On June 19th the Arts District was in full celebration as the community came together for the grand opening of the neighborhood’s Farmer’s Market. The Arts District Farmer’s Market, sponsored by the Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association (LARABA) was inaugurated by City Councilmember for District Fourteen José Huizar, who shared a brief history about the neighborhood and the progress that has been brought about the Arts District through all the community involvement. Local businesses set up stands to support the community and provide their products to old and new coming customers.
In honor of the event and as a tie-in to the Farmers Market, Cartwheel Art provided its services to the community by presenting an art-walk tour of galleries and murals, while also highlighting artisan businesses such as the Pie Hole, Cornerstone Theater and Wurstkuche. Tour participants heard about about significant points of historical interest, including the American Hotel, Al’s Bar and Joel Bloom Triangle along with learning about future development sites like where the new drive-in theater and bowling alley will be located. The tour showcased the galleries in the neighborhood of Joel Bloom Triangle that were open, including District Gallery and Art Share L.A. The tour ended with a special private event–a sneak peek at The Container Yard, a new emerging mixed-use creative space where many new murals are adding to the growing Arts District mural collection.
The tour began after the presentations by LARABA Board members, a carrot cutting with Councilman Jose Huizar and Susan Hutchinson of the Farmers market, a sake cask smashing and a blessing from the local Buddhist temple along with a bit of wandering around the market enjoying the vendors’ goods and the beer garden sponsored by Angel City Brewery.
The tour group–led by Cindy Schwarzstein, founder of Cartwheel Art, an Arts District resident, a Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association(LARABA) Board Member, and a founding member of the Committee for the Advancement of Mural Proliferation (CAMP) –met at District Gallery where gallery director Jonathon Gerald, offered a brief overview of the Arts District history and future developments with LADAD Space. He also discussed the exhibition presently up on the walls by Alex Tavoularis. It was here as well that tour guest speaker Steve Grody, author of Graffiti LA and a co-host on some of the Cartwheel Art Tours, provided the group an introduction to graffiti styles and types before the group went out to discover, explore, and experience the murals, graffiti and street art for themselves.
Cartwheel Art tours can have unexpected encounters and guests. This time Jim Daichendt, a professor at Azusa Pacific University, author of Shepard Fairey Inc.: Artist/Professional/Vandal and Stay Up Los Angeles Street Art joined in for the fun of it. As the tour made its way to one of the Art’s District most central pieces, Shepard Fairey’s Peace Goddess wheat paste poster, it was the perfect opportunity for Jim to share a few thoughts on the contemporary artist.
Through the exploration of the neighborhood Cartwheel Art shows the connections to the history and heritage of the District and how it is developing while supporting the artists and artisan businesses of the community. To that end, artist Nuke, also known as Joseph Manuel Montalvo, who is essential with linking the community to its urban art beginning, took us past the American Hotel, where the world famous punk rock club Al’s Bar was located and into the American Hotel parking lot which is a “hall of fame yard” for the UTI Crew murals. Nuke spoke of his experience as an upcoming graffiti artist and the community that helped propelled him and the UTI Crew into becoming both local and international graffiti art legends.
Before heading out to the Container Yard, the group made a quick stop to Art Share L.A., where director Cheyanne Sauter explained the great programs and shows Art Share L.A. provides the community while serving local artists. She also discussed along with the history of the building which is covered with many murals.
Finally, the group was guided through a starlight walk to The Container Yard, where new works of street and graffiti art were on view for that night only. Owner Ash Chan opened the doors in partnership with Cartwheel Art to celebrate the District and all its new ventures! There was live music, complimentary drinks, and even the opportunity to meet and greet some of the artists who worked on pieces at the venue including Vyal One, Septerhed, Tank, Petal, Sek and many others.
The night was full of with lots of connecting and exploration, not to mention one of a kind, photo-snapping opportunities.
Stay tuned for the video of the evening’s Cartwheel Art Tour coming soon as well…
Photos by Baha Danesh.
Councilmember Huizar with Susan Hutchinson at the Farmers Market for the carrot-cutting.
Steve Grody, author of Graffiti LA, was the LARABA Guest Artist at the Farmers Market where he signed his books.
At District Gallery, Steve Grody provided the group an introduction to graffiti styles and types, and Jonathan Gerald offered a brief overview of the Arts District history, future developments with LADAD Space and discussed Alex Tavoularis’s exhibition.
Jim Daichendt, a professor at Azusa Pacific University, and the author of Shepard Fairey Inc.: Artist/Professional/Vandal and Stay Up: Los Angeles Street Art spoke on the tour about Shepard Fairey’s Peace Goddess mural and provided a few thoughts on the artist.
Nuke, an artist with the UTI Crew with long-time ties in the district, was a guest speaker on the tour. He provided historical background information to the groupabout the American Hotel, Al’s Bar, and Joel Bloom, for whom the Arts District’s triangle was named.
The ever-changing wall on the American Hotel
Nuke showed us his work, that of the UTI Crew and a more recent collaborative mural with guest artist Matteo from France in the parking lot of the American Hotel. Nuke and the UTI Crew have been working on a “hall of fame” in the yard for many years. We also got to see the Earth Mural –they’re working on funding for so it can be restored.
Close up of the work of NUKE and the UTI Crew in the “Hall of Fame Yard” in the American Hotel Parking lot.
In the “Hall of Fame Yard” of the American Hotel before heading to Art Share L.A. for a presentation across the street where Insa painted the building with bright colors.
The group checking out a current exhibition at Art Share L.A. Art Share L.A. Director Cheyanne Sauter discussed the great programs and shows Art Share LA is providing the community and in serving local artists along with the history of the building.
The first murals the group saw as they approached The Container Yard, a new emerging mixed-use creative space where many new murals add to the growing Arts District mural collection. Seen here is a collaboration on the left by Angelina Christina, Ease, Mar and Sek in addition to the work of the Love Crew on the right.
Detail of a collaboration mural created by Angelina Christina, Ease, Mar, and Sek.
The tour ended with a special private peek event inside The Container Yard with live music, complimentary drinks, and the opportunity to meet and greet some of the artists.
Vyal One spoke to the group about his work here in Los Angeles and about of the mural he had just completed inside The Container Yard.
A small portion of the mural that Vyal One recently completed inside the Container Yard.
Inside The Container Yard.
Collaborative mural: Drew Merritt (the women figures) and Skeam BWS (the graffiti work) inside The Container Yard.
Mural inside The Container Yard by TEWSR
The Container Yard party with a mural by the CBS Crew in the background and a bit of Skeam BWS to the left.
Inside The Container Yard.
Inside The Container Yard.
The work of Phobik on the cinder blocks inside The Container Yard.
Artist Septer Hed playing for our cameras with his work behind him after a discussing the meaning of his mural for group.
Artist Gianni Arone with his work behind him that is inside The Container Yard.
Artist Mear One with the work of Phobik behind him who was one of the guests for the evening at The Container Yard.
The Cartwheel Art Tour group at The Container Yard at the end of the night in front of the mural work of Skeam BWS.