People of Northeast Los Angeles: Damian Robinson

My name's Damian Robinson and I run a nomad studio gallery/art compound/creative laboratory/fantasy workshop for artists and printmakers and independent art. Independent art is the focus, independent music is the focus. We've been here for about five and a half years in Frogtown here in Elysian Valley. And when I found this building I said 'I'm home,' and one of the most, and, yeah. It's an incredible community.

We're very fortunate to be in this part of Los Angeles which is what I feel to be a unique little enclave. It's a shared community with residents that have been here for fifty years and longer. And then artists and artisans that have kind of occupied, have come in and made something out of buildings that were really strictly for manufacturing. So the mix of industry and residents here creates a really interesting environment because the industry is artisan driven. It's photographers steelworkers, people that are making things, you know, printmaking. And, the river is this wonderful metaphor and a wonderful connection for us and it creates not just focus on the residents but actually this space in Frogtown and Elysian Valley as a vital habitat.

The fact that most people, or I think the perception of the river is a concrete runoff reservoir and a vehicle for transferring water. But there's really a vital life and community that lives along this river. And not only is it, you know, just happens to be a beautiful part of the landscape but it's also a critical part of the, it brings attention to the area as a vital resource in Los Angeles.

The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

About People of
Northeast Los Angeles
These are stories from the everyday people that make-up Northeast Los Angeles, particularly the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, and Elysian Valley. See some of our featured portraits below, explore by neighborhood, or see all the stories.

About the Author

For the past twenty years, Chilean born Ricardo Palavecino has been developing his skills as a cinematographer working on documentaries, feature films, television shows, and commercials.
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