Cartwheel Art Tours Coverage: Neighborhood Explorations in DTLA Arts District, with Cartwheel Art Tours Host – Steve Grody
“Arts District and Graffiti Co-Evolution”
The original Arts District east of Alameda started becoming what it is in the late 1970s when artists of various kinds were looking for large cheap space to work and live in. Graffiti writers also looked for out of the way places to leave their mark, so it was natural that those underground cultures became part and parcel of the area. It was a perfect place for Steve Grody, a long-time resident on that street, to document the burgeoning new wave of street art; his photographs were in MOCA’s “Art of the Streets” show in 2011.
With Steve, who co-hosts the graffiti component of the educational and immersive tours with Cartwheel Art Tours, guests of the Airbnb Open, explored two long blocks of the neighborhood to experience a range of creative businesses and graffiti befitting the area’s history.
After meeting in front of the Architecture and Design Museum, one of many gallery spaces moving to the area from other parts of the city, guests’s viewed some of the murals at The Container Yard, an urban renewal project that consists of small and experimental businesses formerly housing an old Japanese ice-cream mocha manufacturer. It’s at The Container Yard, where the first of many murals were seen in a variety of traditional “high-end” graffiti styles and street art approaches that Steve discussed the distinctions.
During the exploration, Steve took guests by his old building that he had a space in from 1986 to 2013 along with a cast of characters that would have made a great sit-com.
The Animal Museum, a vegan-themed space with the present exhibition being about Crazy Cat Ladies was next on our route, as was Cleveland Art, a “creative design store showcasing repurposed home furnishings & art made from salvaged materials.
From there they checked out the Arts District Co-op where various contemporary vendors and artists sell their wares. It’s after checking out some of the artisan businesses for shopping that guests made a stop at Shreebs Coffee, an Arts District pop-up coffee shop known for their cold brew coffee mocktails like the horchata latte, cardamom dulce latte, and campfire latte. Shreebs Coffee, who serves out of a bright pink shipping container on an astro turf lawn, also roasts their coffee in LA provided a tasting for the group.
After the coffee break, guests’s continued around the block where they were still able to get a feel for the initial industrial downtown feel. It was definitely on this Neighborhood Explorations by Steve Grody, that guests were able to get their fill of eye candy!
Top photo by Silver Battle.
Contact Cindy to have her organize a unique and immersive experience, with Steve Grody, for your private group or organization.