It's that time again. The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk is Thursday, May 10, and this checklist is the chance to take a look at what is happening in city core's art world. If you have the day open to roam, you will not just find galleries nestled in the area bordered by Spring and Main and between 2nd and 9th streets, but major gems that define the L.A. as a cultural center. Galleries are free, and you can get a map at the Downtown Art Walk Lounge. Regular admission fees apply at museums.
At the Art Walk Lounge, Center Theatre Group will exhibit sketches and costumes from "Follies," the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts production currently on Broadway, and also on tour at the Ahmanson Theatre. The production received eight Tony Award nominations on May 1, including Gregg Barnes for Best Costume Design of a Musical.
Plus, recycled hand-sculptures of iconic pop culture figures using car parts, motorcycle parts, nuts and bolts, spark plugs, nails, and "all different kinds of metal scrap" will be showcased. "The crafting process can take up to three months for each sculpture," says Midu Sayed Ahmed of Scrap Sculptures.
Also, on display are works from Los Angeles-based photographer Jaimee Itagaki, that "express the urban and ethnic spirituality lost and found within the daily stresses of modern urban life." (Below) After working for years as commercial photographer, the long time Arts District resident is now concentrating on fine art photography. This series is about the "end of the line. Two lines converging. The tracks of the trains and the railways no longer in use, a dead end," she writes. "But the abandoned rusted steel, dusted glass and concrete become the canvas of the stealth artist."
Art Walk Lounge I 634 S. Spring Street
A few months ago, Jennifer Main arrived to downtown Los Angeles to set up her gallery. Now it's ready to open the doors and showcase her figurative expressionist paintings. Jennifer Main Gallery is on the second floor of the Mercantile lofts.
Jennifer Main Gallery I 620 S. Main Street, Suite 204
CB1 Gallery brings back writer-turned-painter Daniel Aksten for his second solo exhibition, "Support, Edge, Variation." It continues his ongoing series of finished grid and striped paintings while adding a new body of work referencing those earlier pieces. Recent paintings formed by a journal of thoughts make up Ardeshir Tabrizi Paintings & Notes is in CB1's West Gallery, a solo exhibition of Iranian-born artist Ardeshir Tabrizi. "Imagery and technique that pours into Tabrizi's work is a reflection of his search for a more candid self and a more open expression of what he sees."
Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. Extended hours during Art Walk are again pending.
CB1 Gallery I 207 W. 5th Street
They are having a reception for three shows during Art Walk in May.
Sheri Neva is "Looking Deeply" at the microscopic world that she considers "a fascinating mix of science and art, revealing the hidden beauty of life." Science becomes art by what she witnesses in her scanning electron microscope, be it the structure of a mosquito wing "or grooves in a grain of sand."
Jeff Alu's "Mythic Realities" is a series that comes from a belief that "photographic process captures much more than just a fractional moment in time. His work in this series are shot on a iPhone 4S 8.0 megapixel camera and processed on an iPad 2.0.ic.
Also on display is J.T. Burke's "Beautiful Again," which used collected objects to create compositions that "represent intangible human desires and philosophies." Burke writes "Although I use photography as a tool I am no longer a photographer. Instead, I work with a painterly technique to create interesting and thoughtful images."
Los Angeles Center for Digital Art I 102 W. Fifth Street
DAC Gallery brings in "SHON KIM: New Works," a two-part exhibition by Korean-born, and now Los Angeles-based artist Shon Kim. "Untamed Line" is experimental drawing series of unfamiliar tools to create black marks against white, new abstract forms while rendering the volume and mass of 3D spaces with 2D lines. "Untamed Paint" is a color-based geometric formula playing with light and shade derived from Kim's observations "of the inequality between objects and the illogical connections between logical things."
The Downtown Art Center Gallery I 828 S. Main Street
White Gloss Gallery's new show featuring street artist Chase opens Sat., May 12, but you can attend a soft opening during Art Walk to preview the show's silkscreens, works on canvas, and "a unique mural installation."
White Gloss Gallery I 433 South Spring Street
"Desert Spring" continues Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts exhibition from last month, "Spring," with sculptures by Robert Toll, Gonzalo Algarate, paintings by Michael Ruffini and Hans Ladislaus, plus works by emerging artist Paradee Chularee.
Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts I 215 W. 6th St. #115 (Entrance on Spring)
"Vacationland" is photojournalist Steven Rubin's black and white chronicle of rural Maine during the 1980s and 1990s. It began in 1982 when Rubin hitchhiked into remote regions that eventually had him become a local in the communities he covered. He still returns, but now as an Assistant Professor of Art at Penn State University.
drkrm/gallery I 727 S. Spring Street
Phil Stern Gallery features works from two photographers: Dan Thompson's street photography about "real people in the heart of downtown L.A.," and Heather Williamson, who seeks to get raw stories in her images. Opening reception for both will be held during Art Walk, 7 to 11 p.m.
Phil Stern Gallery I 601 S. Los Angeles Street
Hatakeyama Gallery present the first exhibition of fine art pieces by photographer Ken Weingart, MOTION, that hopes to redefine "the intersection between photographic and conceptual images." MOTION opens during Art Walk at 6:30 p.m.
Hatakeyama Gallery I 905 S. Hill Street
"Sakura Exhibition 2012!" is a Japanese anime and illustration homage to the cherry blossom, a cultural symbol of spring's bloom. During a reception set for Art Walk, you can meet guest artists from Japan, Hideyuki MORI, Yoshimi OHTANI, and Ryu Takeuchi.
Norbertellen Gallery I 215 W. 6th Street #110
The Miguel Osuna Studio presents "SPIN" that has a collective of artists working the theme of spinning paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and video.
Miguel Osuna Art Studio I 410 S. Spring Street
Kiku Mori's transition from graphic artist to painter is seen in her watercolor realism mixing with collage, spurred on with her involvement with The Experimental Artists: South Bay.
Gallery Mujo I 548 S. Spring Street Suite #113 (Entrance on 6th)
Take My Picture shows photography by Gary Leonard, and at the time, his 14-year-old son, David, taken during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Gallery hours on the day of Art Walk are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the website.
Take My Picture I 860 S. Broadway
The Hive Gallery presents "Line Attack: The Art of the Doodle." That about says it all.
The Hive Gallery I 729 S. Spring Street
Gallery 1927 brings in Gregg Stone's watercolors and ink realism (opening photo), and Edgar Hoill's street photography for a joint exhibition called "Marginal Lives." An opening reception will be held during Art Walk starting at 6 p.m.
Gallery 1927 I Fine Arts Building I 811 W. 7th Street
The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol at MOCA (250 S. Grand Ave) runs through August 20, 2012. "Cai Guo-Qiang: Sky Ladder" at Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N. Central Ave).
The Grammy Museum continues "The Beatles LOVE: A Fifth Anniversary Cirque du Soleil Showcase," "Bob Dylan, l'explosion rock 61-66," and "Golden Gods: The History of Heavy Metal"
LA Plaza De Cultural Y Artes: "Cinco de Mayo: Latinos in California Respond to the Civil War" (501 N. Main Street)
ON THE EDGE OF ART WALK: To the east and south are two shows that give gallery goers a chance to take in street art.
To the east is "LA Freewalls Inside." It supplements the ongoing street art around the Arts District, and they will keep the doors open late, said Daniel Lahoda of LALA Gallery (1335 Willow Street at S. Santa Fe). The Gallery opens at 1 p.m. and extends their hours up to 10 p.m.
To the south is "Urban Legends," The Estria Foundation collective survey of fifty international public and graffiti artists at the L.A. Mart Design Center (1933 South Broadway near Washington). With L.A. Art Machine and the DoArT Foundation, and in partnership with the Social and Public Art Resource Center and The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, the exhibition is an "overview of the larger 'Art in Public' movement" from the last 45 years.
And finally, a note: The Art Walk crowds are not at the frantic levels seen two years ago, but the concept of Art Walk lives on. Downtown Art Walk founder, Bert Green, moved to Chicago and now reports that a recent meeting in Evanston, twelve miles north of that other downtown, Gallery Row in Los Angeles is cited as an example of how an historic core can focus a revitalization. "They were all agog," said Green.
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