Save the Date: July 20th Atlas Obscura Cartwheel Art Tour

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On July 20, join Atlas Obscura Society LA, Los Angeles’ exploration arm of Atlas Obscura–the online guidebook to the world’s most wondrous places–on a Cartwheel Art tour in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, led by Cindy Schwarzstein.

The Atlas Obscura Society LA guides fellow adventurers through the unknown, the curious, and the obscure across the Los Angeles area, and the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District has many hidden treasures for all the senses. The founder of Cartwheel Art, Cindy is an Arts District resident, a Los Angeles River Artists and Business (LARABA) Board Member, and a founding member of the Committee for the Advancement of Mural Proliferation (CAMP) who has been designing and leading Arts District tours for the Los Angeles branch of  the American Planning Association, the LA Art Show, and other groups.

On this Cartwheel Art tour created for Atlas Obscura Society LA, we will discover, explore, and experience murals, galleries, artisan businesses and significant historical points of interest in the north section of the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District as Cindy guides participants through the art and history of what was once a gritty section filled with disused warehouses, train tracks and manufacturing plants by the L.A. River, now rapidly  becoming the hippest and most vibrant and dynamic art-centric part of Los Angeles.

The following is what guests of the Atlas Obscura Tour, can expect  to discover, explore and experience on the tour:

– View murals by internationally well-known and local Los Angeles Artists who have been painting on the neighborhoods walls for the past 30 years. With the passing of the new Los Angles City Mural Ordinance in 2013, more murals are planned, staging the way for Los Angeles to reclaim its title as the Mural Capital of the World. Mural viewing specific to this tour will include the work of Dabs and Myla and How and Nosm with their mural Cream of the Crop painted  during MOCA’s 2011 “Art in the Streets” exhibition; along with JR’s Wrinkle for the Cities murals created at the same time; murals by  Kid Zoom, Vyal One, RISK,  Tristan Eaton, Damon Martin, Kim West. Peace Goddess by Shepard Fairey  is also on the tour. Works by by NUKE, Black Light King, Petal and other collaborators in the UTI crew that are painted in the exterior of the American Hotel and parking lot, will also be seen. Participants additionally will view murals by Mr. Cartoon, Dcypher Eise, Defer, the CBS/UTI/LOD/OFA crews, BB Bastidas and others that decorate the exterior walls on what will become the city’s largests gallery complex, Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel.

– Meet artist NUKE of the UTI Crew who will present the history of the murals filled with art in the American Hotel parking,  which he’s painted in collaboration with other artists such as Black Light King and Petal. Learn about the Earth Crew Undiscovered America mural, an historical mural sponsored and commissioned by SPARC in 1992 located around the corner from the American Hotel.

–  Hear about the history of community activist Joel Bloom and why the Arts District triangle is named after him and  learn about the American Hotel, built in 1905 and home once to the notorious punk club Al’s Bar (Beck got his start there, and bands like White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Black Flag also played the tiny stage) by Terry Ellsworth who is a resident of  over twenty year’s at the American Hotel.

– Visit District Gallery, where you will meet the Gallery Director, Jonathan Gerald, and see the work of storyboard artist, production illustrator, production designer and art director, Alex Tavoularis, currently on exhibition in the gallery.  Tavoularis’ has more than forty film credits including Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, The Godfather: Part III, Gardens of Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married, and One from the Hear. Opened in 2012, District Gallery was designed a demonstration project gallery that opened in anticipation of the LADAD Space gallery/exhibition space,  theater, and screening room, soon to open at One Santa Fe, a new development further south in Arts District.  Additional art galleries in the north part of the district we will be walking by also include Art Share L.A.’s Warehouse Gallery, The Box Gallery and Lili Leon Lakich Neon Art Studio.

-Meet artist Zenka, who specializes in ceramic street art, often using augmented reality to bring her urban creations to life in addition to creating murals, ceramic installations, stickers and wheat paste projects that are scattered throughout the Arts District and other parts of of the Western Hemisphere from L.A. to Buenos Aires.

– Learn about the maze of warehouses that were converted to legal live/work spaces in the 1980s when the City of Los Angeles recognized that artists had moved into abandoned spaces and converted them into lofts. We will be walking by Art Share L.A., an innovative live/work community center and gallery, decorated with exterior murals.

– See artisan businesses along the route including the Pie Hole, Black Top Coffee, Alchemy Works, Poketo, Guerrilla Atellier, Eat Drink Americano, Umami Burger, The Novel Cafe, Wurstkuche, Eighty Two Barcade and other restaurants and businesses including Zip Sushi Izakaya, the new Bourbon Supper Club, the Arts District General Store (the location of the original Joel Bloom General Store), Cornerstone Theater, and Love Woo.

– Tour Angel City Brewery where guests will hear about the brewery and the 101 year old building that houses it, as well as a discussion of the brewery’s involvement with the Arts District they call home.  From there we will examine the brewing process and learn what an average day is like for one of their brewers. Finally, we’ll end sampling three of their flagship beers, discuss what style of beer each is, as well as how our spin on each said style makes it unique.

Special notes for the tour:

* The tour runs two hours from 5:30 to 7:30pm on Sunday July 20 with the last half hour devoted to Angel City Brewery.

* This is a walking tour. Comfortable shoes are recommended.

* The tour will begin outside of Angel City Brewery, by the entrance, in the parking lot.

* The tour will end at Angel City Brewery for our last stop that includes a tour of the Brewery and a beer tasting, sponsored by Angel City Brewery.

* The portion at the end of the tour at Angel City Brewery will require guests to be 21 years old otherwise, the tour is open to guests of all ages.

* Cost of the tour is $20.00. Tickets can be purchased here through Atlas Obscura.

For additional information or questions, please contact


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 JR and Kid Zoom murals at Angel City Brewery


Dabs & Myla and How & Nosm murals in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles.


 The work of Zenka who will be a guest speaker on this tour created for Atlas Obscura by Cartwheel Art.


 Mural by Tristan Eaton by Joel Bloom Square. Photo by Cindy Schwarzstein

Als Bar Venue 3

 The American Hotel with the Arts District General Store and the Pie Hole located on its bottom level.


 Mister Cartoon mural in the Downtown Los Angels Arts District. Photo by Cindy Schwarzstein


 Collaborative mural area that will be seen on the tour which includes the work of Eise/ICR and many others. Photo by Cindy Schwarzstein


 Mural by Dcypher. Photo by Cindy Schwarzstein


Tour group will have the opportunity to participate in a tour at Angel City Brewery by the Brew Master. Photo provided by Angel City Brewery

ACB Slide

 A peek inside of Angel City Brewery that will be seen on the tour. Photo provided by Angel City Brewery.

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