Downtown L.A. Art Walk 11/12 John Fante and Gay LA Salons, historic theater and neighborhood walking tours
WHAT: Downtown L.A. Art Walk, the hottest grassroots cultural event in Southern California
WHEN: Every second Thursday. November Art Walk is November 12.
WHERE: Downtown Los Angeles, 5th & Main and surrounding area.
COST: The Art Walk is always free, including Walking Tours, Spring Arcade performances and Salons.
INFO: http://www.downtownartwalk.com or (213) 784-2598.
The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk, held on the second Thursday of the month year round, is one of the great success stories of the neighborhood's revival. Launched in September 2004 by a small group of true believers in what was then the western edge of Skid Row, the event now draws upwards of 10,000 art enthusiasts, and includes live music, a thriving bar and restaurant scene, literary events, impromptu performances, and of course art on view in dozens of galleries.
On November 12, 2009, Art Walk hosts its second-to-last event of the year, with the cooler temperatures encouraging visitors to bundle up and spend more time exploring the 40 toasty galleries that dot the Art Walk map. It's a great time to come downtown and see what all the buzz is about, take a walking tour or sit in on a cultural Salon gathering.
For the November 12 Art Walk, there are a number of special events in the works, including numerous free guided walking tours (reservations required), two conversational salons at Clifton's Cafeteria (Stephen Cooper on downtown novelist JOHN FANTE; and Tom De Simone and Melissa Lopez leading a discussion on LAVENDER L.A., the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history of the neighborhood), and experimental performances in the SPRING ARCADE building (a passage leading from Broadway to Spring, between 5th and 6th Streets).
Please note: the free HIPPODROME shuttle is no longer running at the ArtWalk, due to the withdrawal of funding from the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. Stay tuned for revived shuttle news in 2010.
BASIC INFORMATION: To make the most of your visit, your first stop should be the Art Walk web site: http://www.downtownartwalk.com
First click on the MAP link and print out a guide to gallery hours and locations (updated map goes online several days before the event).
Next click on WALKING TOURS and sign up to explore the Art Walk, for free,with expert tour guides like ANNE BLOCK (Take My Mother Please), JAVIER CABRAL (Teenage Glutster blogger leading a food truck tasting tour), CRIMEBO THE CLOWN (recently Grand Marshall of Costa Mesa's Halloween hearse parade), JEREMY KASTEN (horror film director whose spooky Eastern Columbia loft was featured in the L.A.Times), DR. BORIS MAYZELS (Downtown's favorite chiropractor), ED ROSENTHAL (Downtown's original poet/broker) and RICHARD SCHAVE (Esotouric/ Art Walk Director). And representatives of the LOS ANGELES HISTORIC THEATRE FOUNDATION offer guided tours through the Broadway Theater district and inside the celebrated Morosco/Globe Theater. Space isvery limited on walking tours, and reservations for each guest are required.
Finally, come to the Art Walk and explore the dozens of independent art spaces packed with original, affordable work. There's sure to be something to suit every taste and pocketbook, and memorable adventures to be had along the way.
SELECTED GALLERY EXHIBITS on view during the November 12 Art Walk include:
At CREWEST (110 Winston St. LA, CA 90013, 818-235-4598, www.crewest.com) it's the 6th annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration "Top of the Dome IV" featuring ceramic skulls designed by Gregg Stone and transformed by the imaginations of today's hottest tattoo artists, painters, sculptors, graffiti artists, muralists, and designers.
At THE LANDING PARTY (749 S.Broadway, LA, CA 90014 - "thru the blue door and up," 323-363-2323, www.davidthomaspaintings.com ) see recent and early abstractions by David Thomas, the ex-construction worker who was discovered by LACMA Curator of Contemporary Art Howard Fox in 2007, and who uses concrete tools to produce entirely new abstract art born on a jobsite.
At NORTBERTELLEN GALLERY (215 W. 6th Street, Suite 110, LA, CA 90014, 818-662-5041, www.norbertellengallery.com ) it's "Fantastika, Futura, Groteska," ac elebration of fantasy, sci-fi and horror from featured artist Erik Jerumanis.
At SARA PALACIOS GALLERY (112 W. 9th Street, Ste. 1109, LA, CA, 90015) see photographer Carol Cirillo Stanley's exploration of the conflicts that exist in "Reality vs. Perfection."
SALONS AT CLIFTON'S CAFETERIA: Come sit in on one or two cultural conversations. Info http://www.downtownartwalk.com/salon
SALON #1 (5:30pm-7:00pm): Biographer and professor STEPHEN COOPER invites you to join him in a free wheeling conversation about the quintessential L.A.author, JOHN FANTE, soon be honored with the designation of a square in his honor outside the Central Library. Fante's 1939 novel "Ask the Dust" remains the most passionate love letter ever addressed to the City of the Angels. Although Fante spent most of his career scripting Hollywood movies that he hated, he has been called the father of the Los Angeles novel and the patron saint of L.A. writers. What would his fictional alter-ego, the inimitable Arturo Bandini, say about that? Come with your own questions and see where they lead.
SALON #2 (5:30pm-7:00pm): Cultural activists Tom De Simone and Melissa Lopez host LAVENDER LOS ANGELES, a discussion about the emergence of L.A.'s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community circa 1950. As the end of America's frontier, the city attracted all walks of life seeking freedom and reinvention. Come explore such questions as: How did the modern movement form in LA? What are some of the highlights of this history? Why did it happen here? Where is this history recorded? Learn how the "LAvender Los Angeles" exhibit (on display Nov. 8 - 20 at 114 W. 5th Street) was produced,and share your LA LGBT history.
NEW ON THE WEB: The Art Walk is now collecting listings of non-commercial HAPPENINGS taking place during the event. To check out community HAPPENINGS, visit
For more info and tosubmit your event for consideration, visit
And keep an eye peeled for the OFFICIAL ART WALK BLOG team, who will be out on the streets interviewing Art Walkers for the new blog THE LIVING MUSEUM look sharp and maybe you'll be featured on the blog next month.