Obscura Day Is Coming!
We’re thrilled to announce that Cartwheel Art, who has partnered for the last three years with Atlas Obscura in designing and leading monthly, unique art focussed neighborhood tours in Los Angeles, has also become a partner with Atlas Obscura for their sixth annual Obscura Day—a single day when Atlas Obscura’s mission of discovery and exploration is celebrated.
Obscura Day, designed to make explorers out of everyone—wherever you are in the world, there’s something around the corner to surprise, delight, and amaze you. A kayak exploration through the largest ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. A private tour of the world’s original nuclear power plant. A classical concert in an abandoned hilltop spy station outside Berlin. Those are just some of the discoveries that await you!
For Atlas Obscura’s hosted events that will be happening in 170 events in 36 states and 25 countries, Cartwheel Art, has crafted ten tours and experiences, offered in Detroit, Miami, and Los Angeles in the USA, and in Paris, France and Berlin Germany. See more details below on the Cartwheel Art Tours.
Discover an underground labyrinth inhabited by mechanical monsters and meet British musician Andrew McGinn for tales of Haus history.
Most know Haus Schwarzenberg in Mitte as a colorful place for street art and creative spaces. And indeed, it is! But there’s much more to this magical place that will be discovered on our Obscura Day exploration with Cartwheel Art host Stephanie Wiegert.
Music & History: Meet Andrew McGinn, a British musician who sings in his Berlin-based band, “The Bar Sinister,” and is also the founder of “Kinder des Oubliettes,” a dark, musical puppet theatre. We’ll hear about Andrew’s work, his life as an artist in Berlin, and his relation to Haus Schwarzenberg. After that, we’ll get a historical insight into the history of The Haus.
Monsterkabinett: Enjoy a private tour of Monsterkabinett, a small museum created by the Berlin artist group “Dead Chickens.” Dramatic presentation and original music set the stage for the kinetic, digitally driven, and pneumatically powered mechanical monsters. These bizarre creatures sing, dance, and recite poetry in their habitat, telling tales of mysterious inner journeys.
Discover the hidden history of the “marche aux puces” as we explore the Venasion Market, Malassis Market, Dauphine Market, Biron Market & Paul Bert Street.
Join Cartwheel Art x Atlas Obscura as we explore the Paris Flea Market on Obscura Day! Weave together past and present as we journey through the marche aux puces, meeting shop owners and artisans while uncovering hidden history.
Vernaison Market: The most emblematic of the flea markets, with shops made from aluminum shacks. Meet vendors and artists and discover “Chez Louisette,” a restaurant where Edith Piaf used to sing in the 1930s.
Malassis Market: Experience the fairy tale “papier maché” sculptures of Charlotte Terriou. Charlotte will explain her artistic process and share stories of life in the Malassis Market.
Dauphine Market: This is a modern addition to the Flea Market that opened in 1991. We’ll see a spaceship and visit a fascinating area that specializes in music records and equipment. Grab a takeaway crepe on the way out!
Biron Market: Known for its gold chandeliers and furnishers. This is an area for the very wealthy, but it doesn’t cost anything to look! We’ll visit a Chinese shop selling Ming Vases and exit through the back alley to meet an artist who makes stain glass windows.
Colonial Shop: Traveling down Paul Bert Street, we’ll discover extraordinary street art before arriving at “Colonial Shop,” specializing in taxidermy–a must see at the Paris Flea market.
Paul Bert Market: The second most famous market where Woody Allen filmed a scene for “Midnight in Paris.” Set decorators look for props and furnishings for movies there. Among the amazing vendors is the 19th-century science lab themed shop of Pierre Balzagues.
Jules Vallès Market: Nicknamed “the poor man’s market, it’s where you find the best deals.
Chez Sarah: A beautiful 1920’s dress collection, and a huge collection of shoes.
La Chope des Puces: Our last stop where we can have a drink while listening to gypsy music. There is no ticket for the concert, but you pay an additional 3 euros per drink for the musicians.
Detroit, MI. USA
Step inside Make Art Work, an industrial art center housed in the original Lincoln Motor Car Factory in Detroit.
Make Art Work will give you an inside look at the massive street and industrial art center housed in the original Lincoln Motor Car Factory in Detroit. Make Art Work is a unique art collective that attempts to solve complex societal problems by using art and participation as a mechanism to create local ownership and long-term systemic change.
The tour will be led by Matthew Naimi, founder of Make Art Work, who will discuss the history of the building and lead attendees through Recycle Here!, the City of Detroit’s Recycling Center, the Lincoln Street Art Park, and the Studio of Detroitus, Artist-in-Residence Ryan C. Doyle’s machine art shop (mechanical, fire-breathing sculptures built from scrap metal). Attendees will also get an in-process view of Artist-in-Residence Louise Chen’s multi-room installation for the upcoming Art and Amble Art Dinner. Finally, attendees will see the awesome firepower of some of Make Art Work’s flamethrowers and fire cannons by Captain Josh Bacon.
Detroit, MI. USA
Exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of 1xRun, a fine art print studio located in the heart of Detroit.
This 10,000-square-foot art space in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market is home to two exhibition spaces, an artist-in-residency program, a full-time printmaking studio, and fine art publishing company 1xRUN.
Founded in 2010, 1xRUN has meticulously curated over 1,500 daily releases including fine art prints, hand-painted multiples, and collections of original artwork. With over 50,000 members around the world, 1xRUN has revolutionized the way that fans collect art, allowing anyone to take home a piece of work from their favorite artists, no matter where they live or their budget.
Join us on Obscura Day as we go behind the scenes to see the studio and peek into the archives. Afterwards, explore on your own! Click here for a map of all the murals in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market. More info on Murals In The Market.
Wywnood, Miami, FL. USA
Experience shock waves of color as we explore murals and artist studios in South Florida.
Join Miami native Kasey Billitz with Cartwheel Art for a tour of two innovative locations on the fringe of Wynwood that reveal the neighborhood’s history and artistic legacy. Together we’ll discover historic Wynwood and learn more about the future of the arts in this district. From street to studio, this is Wynwood inside out, traveling from outside in.
RAW Project: Discover the true power of art at Jose de Diego Middle School, a canvas for reinventing a community with world-class street art. This school is home to the RAW Project, which stands for “re-imagining the arts in Wynwood.” Here we’ll explore the work of over 80 artists who came together to inspire, revitalize, and create the art programs for the school.
We’ll also be joined by guest speaker Diana Contreras aka “Didi Rock,” an influential Miami artist who will introduce her piece and share her experience working with RAW Project.
Bakehouse Art Complex: This institution is Wynwood’s true artistic pioneer, turning 30 years old this year. Home to the stories of Miami’s art scene as well as many of Miami’s established and emerging artists. Tour the art complex and explore the numerous studios, meet artists and discover one of Wynwood’s most inventive spaces.
Los Angeles, CA. USA
Join Cindy Schwarzstein, founder of Cartwheel Art, for an immersive graffiti, street art, and dining experience taking place in the rapidly changing neighborhood of the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District.
Graffiti Tour: Become familiar with the major forms of modern graffiti by a wide variety of graffiti “writers” as well as street art and some archival gang writing scribed into the sidewalks. Our guide will be Steve Grody, featured photographer in Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) groundbreaking “Art in the Streets” exhibition, and the author of Graffiti LA: Street Styles and Art.
Some of the graffiti art we will be viewing is located on graffiti crew walls where they’ve been creating productions for years, but are not usually explored by those other than the graffiti community. During our exploration, we will meet Mr. Trixter, an artist who has been a staple in the world of graffiti, spreading his creative talents coast to coast while working in the fields of fashion, art, design film, and music. He will show us one of his crew’s mural productions and describe more about the work and what it’s like to be part of a graffiti crew.
Workshop: Step inside the studio of artist Nicholas Bonamy, who will take us through his creative process and then help us create our own artwork.
Dinner: We’ll end with a cooking presentation and gourmet dinner of food sourced from local and organic farms, prepared by Sarkis Vartanian of the Daily Dose Cafe. Our meal will be served in a unique setting where brick covers old railroad tracks, vines scale the walls, and strands of lights will illuminate our tables. While dining we will also be among graffiti artists and experts, who will guide us on practicing our own graffiti tags.
A time warp tour of kitsch culture in Los Feliz including Ozzie Dots, The Dresden Room, Soap Plant, and Tiki Ti.
Join musician, publicist, and indie label mogul Lee Joseph with Cartwheel Art, for a tour of Los Angeles’ legendary Los Feliz Village.
Nestled between East Hollywood and Silver Lake, this tight-knit historic neighborhood is firmly entrenched in Los Angeles kitsch culture! Learn of the hotspots for lounge music, vintage clothing, lowbrow art, Tiki Culture and discover a barber shop that will make you feel like you are in a mid-century time warp. Stops on this tour include:
The Dresden Room: Unchanged since the 60s, ground zero for authentic old-school Vegas-style retro lounge, and home of resident combo Marty and Elayne as featured in the movie “Swingers.”
Sweeny Todd’s Barber Shop: The vintage 40s Mayberry style barbershop which focuses on precision shaves and haircuts in an old-fashioned space.
Ozzie Dots: One of Los Angeles’ best vintage clothing and costume shops.
Soap Plant / Wacko / La Luz de Jesus Gallery: The axis of Los Angeles Underground pop-culture, birthplace of the Lowbrow art scene and the most eccentric bookshop and gift-store in America
Tiki Ti: One of the oldest Tiki bars in the world, family run for over 50 years and revered by Tiki aficionados for serving up the most unique Tiki Drinks in the country.
Lee has been immersed in retro-culture for decades and has personal ties to all the stops on this neighborhood exploration. As a bonus, each guest will be given a free digital compilation album from Lee’s retro-centric Dionysus Records label!
Los Angeles, CA. USA
Join Hidden Hi Fi for an interactive, time-traveling cultural expedition through Historic Filipinotown (“Hi Fi” for short).
Taste your way through Historic Filipinotown and discover bagoong, suka, balut, and corn-and-cheese ice cream.
Get to know one of Los Angeles’ most vibrant, under-the-radar neighborhoods—its hidden charms, history, and personality. Find out what’s “Filipino,” what’s “historic” about it, and how it fits into the multicultural landscape of Los Angeles. You’ll travel back in time through a curated media archive of community stories that bring history to life, visit sites of social histories that are “hidden in plain sight,” and immerse yourself in Filipino food culture by exploring the oldest Filipino market in the area. Along the way, you’ll find out where to stock your pantry with flavorful staples like bagoong and near-surreal suka, contemplate whether corn-and-cheese ice cream is a grand idea, and understand why so many Filipinos have Latino-sounding last names. You’ll discover where to find that curious Filipino-American hybrid: the adobo sandwich. And, if you’re feeling particularly brave, you may try balut.
Hidden Hi Fi is a cultural and economic development project of Public Matters and Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) that seeks to share the wonders of Historic Filipinotown with the rest of the world. It is funded in part by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and Center for Cultural Innovation’s Creative Economic Development Fund grant.
Los Angeles, CA. USA
Take a ride on a vintage Pilipino Jeepney to explore LA’s Historic Filipinotown.
Join Cartwheel Art x Atlas Obscura for a guided tour of Historic Filipinotown in a colorful and kitschy jeep shuttle.
Jeepneys originated in the Philippines after WWII, when military jeeps left behind by American troops were converted into colorful jitneys for public transportation, and are now the most popular form of transportation in the Philippines today. These open-air shuttles expose their passengers to car exhaust, dust, heat, and humidity—but what they lack in comfort, they make up for in convenience.
Our tour through the “Hi Fi” district in an authentic 1944 Sarao Motor Company jeepney will be led by Hidden Hi Fi, a cultural and economic development project in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown (Hi Fi) neighborhood. Led by the Hi Fi-based organization Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), a non-profit that advocates for workers’ rights and services for immigrants, in partnership with LA-based social enterprise Public Matters, Hidden Hi Fi illuminates neighborhood assets through interactive events, tours, and experiences that inform and delight.
As we pass murals, churches, and a number of Filipino-run local small businesses, we’ll learn about the history of this LA ethnic enclave that’s the only one in the world outside of the Philippines officially dedicated to honoring Filipinos.
Filipinos are the largest ethnic Asian population in LA County, but because the Philippine diaspora tends to quickly assimilate with the local population, they aren’t as visible as other Asian communities. However, their roots go back to the 16th century when the Spanish Galleon trade route opened between Mexico and the Philippines. The first Asian in California (then part of Mexico) was a Filipino!
Hidden Hi Fi is funded in part from the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and Center for Cultural Innovation’s Creative Economic Development Fund grant.