Cartwheel Art Tours Coverage: Neighborhood Explorations in the DTLA Arts District, with Cartwheel Art Tours Founder – Cindy Schwarzstein
“The DTLA Arts District: Past, Present and Future”
Cindy Schwarzstein, Cartwheel Art Tours founder, who is also an Airbnb Super Host, and an Airbnb Experience Host, known as the “Street Art Steward,” provided Neighborhood Explorations in the Downtown Los Angles Arts District for the Airbnb Open – Los Angeles, on Thursday November 17th. She was also the curator and producer of 34 other Cartwheel Art Tours, Neighborhood Explorations that occurred throughout Los Angeles, for the 7000 attendees, as part of the Airbnb programming.
Cindy, who, is deeply connected to the art community as the publisher of Cartwheel Art Magazine, and with the neighborhood, as a resident and a board member of the neighborhood council, as well as being a committee member of the Land Use and Urban Planning Committee, offered to guests her insider knowledge and special behind-the-scenes access to some of her favorite hang-outs in the north area of the Arts District. Included were Art Share L.A and Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel, among others.
The Neighborhood Exploration she led titled: “The DTLA Arts District: Past, Present and Future,” included showcasing two art and community centers (There are over 40 galleries, art centers and museums in the DTLA Arts District neighborhood). Both were shown as good examples of adaptive reuse projects, as well as being catalysts in celebrating community and art in unique and different ways.
We began at Art Share L.A. a 28,000 sq-ft warehouse was built in 1928 for textile recycling (“rag shop”). In 2013 Art Share L.A. became s a community art center that housed a gallery, theater, painting studio and workshop spaces, as well as providing an affordable live-work housing complex for artists. The group spent time exploring the art in the gallery space and hearing stories about local artists who lived and worked at Art Share L.A.
The second art center we experienced, that’s really changed the dynamics of our neighborhood was Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel, which opened earlier this year. Hauser, Wirth and Schimmel, occupy’s the restored former Globe Mills flour manufacturing complex consisting of late 19th and early 20th century buildings. There is also an interior courtyard and public gardens with chickens. Erin Connors, Communications Director for Hauser, Wirth and Schimmel, toured the group around, the largest art center in the west coast (It’s 110,00 sq-ft). As they are devoted to exhibiting contemporary art and modern masters as the Los Angeles location of Hauser and Wirth, Erin shared her knowledge with the group.
With over 100+ murals in the neighborhood, some by internationally well-known street artists as well as Los Angeles Graffiti Crews, viewing the murals was a component of the Neighborhood Exploration. Cindy organized for Mr. Trixter, an artist who discovered his passion for the arts through skateboarding and hip-hop, to meet us and discuss graffiti lettering and styles.. Mr. Trixter has been a staple in the graffiti community since the early 90’s, and has been commissioned to paint world-wide, and for corporate clients, as well as appearing in numerous movies, commercials and music videos for recording artists such as Usher, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Lil Bow Wow, 311, 50 Cent, Christina Aguilera and Macy Gray, spoke about his transition from the street to the gallery sharing how his work has been displayed in San Francisco’s MOMA at the Yuerba Buena Center, The Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles and numerous galleries coast to coast.
As Mr. Trixter, is a member of the UTI Crew (they are celebrating their 25th anniversary) who has deep roots in the Arts District, he spoke to the group abou graffiti lettering and the different styles, as well as what it means to be a member in a graffiti crew.
Meeting sculptor David Hollen, was also part of the unique experience that occurred during the neighborhood exploration. It was in the basement of his building that’s his live/work studio space, where guests were provided the opportunity to see and hear about his artwork that involves fabrication of various ubiquitous materials including wood, steel, stainless steel cable and porcelain castings. David who has designed and built art for theater groups, commercial establishments, public spaces for private collectors, and has been shown at several art museums and galleries in Southern California, shared stores, along with his husband Frank Theobald, about what it’s been like living as an artist in the Arts District, for the last 15 years.
Significant and historical points of interest were also pointed out during the neighborhood exploration. Included was Al’s Bar, which was considered the west coast version of the famed – NYC CBGB, and the American Hotel, which was also compared to the NYC Chelsea Hotel. In addition we saw some of the specialty and artisan businesses in the neighborhood, such as Angel City Brewery and The Pie Hole, as well as learning about the waves of creatives who are moving into her neighborhood as fashion, food, art and filming have become the new manufacturing.