11 Places to Check Out at the December 2013 Downtown L.A. Art Walk

The Globe (left) and The Orpheum (right) by Teale Hatheway

Big Changes to Art Walk

Art Walk is back this Thursday, December 12, and the recent transition of power was quiet compared to past management changes. Qathryn Brehm is now the official Executive Director and she quickly made the rounds to restore Art Walk's official hours from Noon to 9 p.m. "Ever since I assumed interim role, I heard over and over about having earlier hours from gallery directors, residents, business owners and community leaders," said Brehm. "We have had two gallery meetings since September, and the group asked to make it official -- so that's what we are doing. So far, the news has been very well received." Brehm was operations manager under previous director, Joe Moller, who resigned his post in September.

Beware of the LAPD

They are out in force to hand out tickets for jaywalking. It's their version of seasonal tidings since they have been using downtown's pedestrian culture to make a statement about public safety each holiday season. This year, tickets can be up to $250 and you can be nabbed if you step off the curb when the walk light is counting down. "In the interest of precision, we have posted specific text from the California Vehicle Code below regarding pedestrian violations. In the interest of brevity, no you cannot cross during a flashing red hand or during the countdown," states a post on the Central Division Facebook page (which is getting an earful in the comments and from other bloggy locations).

Recommendation: Start Your Art Walk Experience Here

In the Downtown Art Walk Lounge, where you can get maps to the self-guided tours of galleries, Eric Rosen is the featured artist, the Downtown Center BID will showcase spin art, and The Gloss is the musical guest at the Art Mart. Now, I don't make a big deal about the artisan craft angle, but being the holiday season, I'll make a seasonal nudge to shop. Of course, there is art to purchase in the galleries, which helps directly support the brave curators that have been hanging in while downtown grows. This week, some galleries are jumping on the Noon to 9 p.m. bandwagon, but it's always good to check hours when planning your tour.

Other downtown connection: The city of Los Angeles Department of Transportation in collaboration with Gallery Row Organization (GRO), presents the LADOT TAP Card Design Competition. The deadline is December 18.

Downtown Art Walk Lounge I 634 S. Spring Street

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Teale Hatheway: Traditional in form, the content is contemporary as she deconstructs iconic urban imagery that downtowners can connect to. There is a sense of familiar place and architecture in her acrylics that tap into intimate theatrical details of downtown Los Angeles. Added pitch: "Come for the art, stay for the live jazz and holiday reception," says Art Meets Architecture, which is involved in the exhibit.

Gallery 1927 at the Fine Arts Building I 811 W. Seventh Street

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Indian Tales by Avi RothCoffeegraph: With art by Avi Roth as the backdrop, coffee bars and the sophisticated tasting are interpreted as an emerging culture at Think Tank Gallery. Coffeegraph by Roth is art using coffee and coffee by-products. "Without using brushes, the organic pigment distilled from the roasts is shaped using various tools to form a Rorshach-like art experience." Frankly, social downtown networking through fancy cups o' Joe is far from underground. It's been thriving downtown and in the Arts District.

Think Tank Gallery I 939 Maple Ave, Suite 200

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Fast Food I John KilduffFast Food Paintings: Blackstone Gallery offers a combo plate of John "Mr. Lets Paint" Kilduff in this performance and installation of fast food themes. Also, for "one night only," Richard Smith's "Moments In Time: How I See It" is an art sale that will send proceeds to The Midnight Mission in Downtown Los Angeles. Noon to 9 p.m.

Blackstone Gallery I 901 S. Broadway

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Snap to Grid: The Los Angeles Center For Digital Art has an experiment where photographers and artists uploaded images that were printed and hung by the gallery -- for a fee, of course. It's a prompt from L.A. Municipal Gallery 50-year-old "Open Call" exhibit, says the center. Set in grids, the installation is "reminiscent of postcard art shows of the 1980's" that turns its head to "curatorial anarchy." Safe to say it's a revenue generator for the gallery. Yet, it tends to be an interesting show with works that trickle in from outside the U.S.
Los Angeles Center for Digital Art I 104 E. Fourth Street

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By Cesar Rodriguez and Christopher Dao

Assembly: The final exhibition in the five-year home of Downtown Art Center Gallery is a collection of over one hundred works ranging from contemporary abstract mono-prints, acrylic paintings, representational ink drawings, and sculptural ceramics by artists from the ECF Art Centers Program. The reception is during Art Walk from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. DAC will move down and over from 828 S. Main Street to 431 S. Broadway and is scheduled to open in early 2014. "This unique intersection of artistic and personal practices has set the gallery apart since first opening its doors in 2008, and will continue to influence the exhibition programming in its new space," said the release from the non-profit gallery.
Downtown Art Center I 828 S. Main Street

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Transitions from GDCA Gallery on Vimeo.

Transitions: GDCA Gallery's showcase of works from their stable of contemporary artists is rarely boring. They continue for Art Walk, and jump in the noon to 9 p.m. pool.

GDCA Gallery I 215 W. 6th Street Suite 115 (entrance on Spring Street)

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Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine: Two Kids From Brooklyn: If you take Thursday to roam downtown Los Angeles, consider a free docent-led tour or a self-guided audio tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall -- and find the small Ira Gershwin Gallery. Through Feb. 23, the space has an exhibition of lyric sheets, scripts, posters, videos, and recordings from comic actor Danny Kaye, and his composer wife, Sylvia Fine. The gallery is also open to anyone attending a performance.

Walt Disney Hall Concert Hall I 250 S. Grand Ave

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Vera Arutyunyan and Don McKinney: In Little Tokyo, LA Artcore hosts Southern California these two abstract painters. McKinney's "fully-loaded color palette animates his works across both representational and abstract realms" and recent work compiles those ideas into single, architectural structures within staged spaces.

Arutyunyan's paintings are expressive of "characteristically intense and immediate gestural brushwork" that use "lyrical abstraction that is evocative of the space between the artist's dreams and her concepts of reality," so says ArtCore.
LA Artcore. Union Center for the Arts I 120 Judge John Aiso Street.

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Sean Roh
Meltdown: Photo-based mono prints by Sean Roh "explore the gap between delusion and reality," says a gallery release. The experimental prints of everyday objects "expose the technological and social systems that shape perception." Roh intentionally photographs objects covered with dripping paint to "highlight the difference between what is natural, artificially produced, present, and staged." Meltdown marks the artist's first solo exhibition at PYO Gallery.
PYO Gallery LA I 1100 S. Hope Street, Suite 105

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Richard Ankrom and Suzi Moon: In 2001, Richard Ankrom used street art as a form of guerilla public service when when he disguised himself as a Caltrans worker and edited the 5 North Interchange sign on the 110 Freeway near the 3rd Street on ramp. The change was adopted by the State of California. (KCET Departures caught up with him in 2011). This exhibition in the Arts District is the chance for his other works to be showcased, which may not be as notorious as his freeway sign, but you can feel the subversiveness. Also exhibited is Suzi Moon's new works that's being touted as "vibrantly colorful and strangely still suburban landscapes, remarkable and subtle narratives of the brightly lit yet vacuous Southern California 'burbs.'" Through January 19.
District Gallery I 740 E. Third Street

About the Author

Ed Fuentes is an arts journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and digital muralist who covers a variety of topics and geographies in Southern California for KCET.
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