The Downtown L.A. Art Walk, the self-guided tour of art destinations in Gallery Row, is back this Thursday, June 13. If you've been in the past, you might remember how much of a party it has become, but that's all quieting down and art is creeping back into the spotlight. Score!
New this month is the Downtown L.A. Art Mart, the official name for the monthly collection of artisan tables held in the lobby of the Los Angeles Theater Center (514 S. Spring Street). It's run by the organizers, who also host the event's lounge where you can pick up a map and look at the photographs of guest artist Rush Varela.
Downtown Art Walk Lounge I 634 South Spring St.
"Painting in Place" is the massive show by Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) in the The Farmers & Merchants Bank. The site is also a canvas, as seen in Olga Koumoundouros' painted rainbow snaking on walls and windows, or the symbolism of a stack of "gold bars" centered on the floor of the old bank. The show that brings you the "representation or metaphor of the body/self, memory and the passing of time, and the depiction and negotiation of spatial environments and architectural structures" runs through July 31.
Farmers & Merchants Bank I 401 S. Main Street
When Melinda R. Smith was designing a cover for her book of poems, "Tiny Island," she was introduced to the artist within herself. Now the writer taps into "the bright, polychromatic landscape" of urban Los Angeles for visual art. "When I quit writing in order to work in a visual medium a couple years ago, I immediately started putting words in the pictures. I felt like I was engaging in a kind of playful trickery, where I was tricking people into reading my words by getting them to look at a picture, because pictures are so easy to look at, versus reading text," said Smith. "After all, we're pretty much living in a post-literate world." She also uses Mexican folk art to guide her visual works, which is seen in her series that plays off the graphic idiom of Loteria cards. Melinda R. Smith "Post-Literate" runs through July 6. Other LACDA items: "Ten Artists to Watch" curated by Holly Harrison, Curatorial Administrator of Contemporary Art at LACMA; the digital potpourri of Electron Salon; and Gershon Kelmen's "L.A. in the Dark" in LACDA's Project Windows. An artist's reception for "Post-Literate" and "Ten Artists to Watch" will be held during Art Walk from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Center For Digital Art I 107 W. Fifth Street
Colette Miller's "Angel Wings" are floating around FIGat7th until August 2, a reminder of the summerlong arts and culture festival from Arts Brookfield. It's worth noting how Arts Brookfield has been a community curator and always shared the Art Walk goal of building a downtown-centric art scene. This summer's slate of music, theatre, and screenings is an assertive reach to continue that ambitious goal.
Figat7th I Figueroa and 7th Street
Art Meets Architecture does double duty this month. Alicia Coppola brings in twelve artists with work spanning five decades for "Psychedelic and Beyond." The original and print artworks dip into the theme of "spirit and complexion of psychedelic and visionary art." Opening reception is during Art Walk from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Les Noces Du Figaro (618 Broadway). It will include an interactive aerial demonstration by Aerial Film FX. Proceeds from Emily Appenzeller's sculpture installation will benefit LAMP Community Fine Arts Program. Plus: Yarek Godfrey solo exhibition will be at the Fine Arts Building (811 W. 7th Street).
"FREAKING OUT: The Process Art of Kyle August Lind, 1965-2013" is a survey of Kyle August Lind, a figurehead of the region's 1960s Freak scene. His elaborate counterculture works are more than a throwback to the hippie movement. It's the real thing, man. He ends his run at the PYO Gallery that featured paintings, drawings, and mixed media, including his 14 feet by 7.5 feet "Cartoone in the Interior of an Atom," which took 44 years to complete. "The serious artist must be a ding-dong, a bum, a magician, a priest, a salesman, a nice guy, and a spiritual being with a four-inch thick skin," said Kyle August Lind for the March opening of the show. "He must be bullet-proof, and very, very, very patient." The South Park experience ends with a closing reception during Art Walk from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
PYO Gallery LA I 1100 S. Hope Street, Suite 105
"Bizarro Au Go-Go" is an artistic invasion of works that aims to be the love child of 1980s camp and 1950s sci-fi. "Rannie Rodil and Cig Neutron took all the things they love from pin-up aesthetic to cult craziness and threw them all together in one blood-soaked picture book." Which sounds like what kind of pop-up gallery would happen if someone wanted to art direct a Quentin Tarantino comedy about downtown.
The Hive Gallery I 729 S Spring Street
"Kimono Rock 'n Roll Art Show" has 70 works by 49 Japanese artists inspired by anime, manga, and video games for their illustrations. It's a collaboration between the downtown art gallery and Team LA JAPAN, an arts organization that develops and promotes creative relationships between Los Angeles and Japan.
Norbertellen Gallery I 215 W. 6th Street, Unit 110
"Looks Back At You" is the first solo exhibition for André Goeritz, whose installations combine painting and sculpture that "speak to an overall holistic perspective, while their individual components tell different stories entirely." Goeritz explores the interaction "between individual elements and the structures they create; how knowledge and observation is affected by perspective; and the modification of individual elements as they interact with adjacent components to affect overall structures," writes CB 1.
Also at CB1 is Kiki Seror's "Hysteresis" that asks, "How do we create communities? How do we create ourselves?" Through multi-media, photographs as animated GIFs tap into her performance videos to make a virtual sub-culture that "far outreaches our in-home battles with loneliness and isolation." It treats surveillance art as a reflective exercise. LATER IN JUNE: Kiki Seror's "Hysteresis -- A Social Teleaction" becomes a multimedia / live performance event will be held 6 p.m to 7 p.m on Sunday, June 23. Both shows run through Sunday, May 23. On the day of Downtown Art Walk, and when installations are exhibited, CB1 Gallery keeps their regular hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
CB1 Gallery I 207 W. 5th Street
"Figurative" is a group show with works that represent interaction with physical phenomena. The exhibition also seems to reflect the experience gallery owner Steven Thomas Higgins has been having. He moved from a quiet inland city to downtown Los Angeles and opened his gallery this past March. "There is always someone or something going on around you. I can actually feel the physical change in my body from being downtown and experiencing the pace of the city," he said. "Thinking about how I ended up here now is sort of funny. It was 47 percent magic, 21 percent spite, 11 percent anger, 9 percent dirt, 8 percent suffering, and 4 percent ice cream. I am pretty sure that is the exact recipe." "Figurative" closes June 29.
Blackstone Gallery I 901 S. Broadway
Artist and filmmaker Bill Barminski is featured at District Gallery. Referring to him as a post-modern artist doesn't quite describe him, since his aesthetic precedes street art irony and media mash-up. Under "Walter Robot," the small space will be filled with "video, cardboard weaponry, and other strange objects." It opens the night of Art Walk with a reception for the artist from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Arts District venue is a bit off the Art Walk path, but seem to time openings for the second Thursday of the month event so the neighborhood doesn't forget its namesake. Also, here's some previous insight about Barminski at KCET's Artbound. Through July 21.
District Gallery I 740 E. 3rd Street
During Art Walk, Robert Reynolds Gallery host French photographers Olivia Barratier and Alain Bali from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Barratier comes from a family of film makers and after working in the European film industry, came to Los Angeles where she is now a creative director, animator, and digital artist. Her work becomes a personal diary using images from her archives. Bali, also born in France, was a film and commercial photographer "until felt it was time to move on" to art photography. With a fondness for underground music, Bali has increased his art presence back in his home nation. With the "Art of Punk" working as a digital extension for MOCA, the aesthetic documented by Bali is another layer of evidence that post punk angst has raucous relevance.
Robert Reynolds Gallery I 408 S. Spring
Here's the short list in case you use the day to roam around downtown's major venues. Admission charges, if any, still apply.
- "360 Sound: The Columbia Records Story," "Good Vibrations: 50 Years of the Beach Boys," "Ringo: Peace & Love" at The GRAMMY Museum (800 W Olympic Blvd)
- "Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese History" at the Japanese American National Museum (100 N Central Ave)
- "URS FISCHER" at the Museum of Contemporary Art (250 S Grand Ave)
- "Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture From Southern California" at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N Central Ave)
- "The Otolith Group: Medium Earth" at REDCAT (631 W. 2nd Street).