Cartwheel Art “Insiders” are from Los Angeles, Miami, Berlin Germany, Paris France, and London, England, and beyond. They are connected and engaged in the neighborhoods we explore. Meet them below.
Cindy Schwarzstein, Founder of Cartwheel Art and Host
For Cartwheel Arts founder Cindy Schwarzstein, work, passion, curiosity, and lifestyle are all one and the same. As a committed Arts District resident, her company’s curated experiences, tours, cultural publishing, event production, and international curations are all expressions of the same love of DTLA’s vibrant street art scene that inspired her to not only move to the neighborhood herself, but to establish a multifaceted service dedicated to sharing that love with audiences from around the block and across the globe.
Cindy’s introduction to art began at an early age in Haiti, where her parents owned an art gallery, as well as in her native New York and her youth in Laguna Beach’s hybrid arts and outdoor tourism environment. Her interest in art expanded while working in the surf/skate/snow industries, where she met many artists who were also illustrators, along with graffiti and street artists. Now Schwarzstein brings together her two decades of experience in Hospitality and Tourism Management, event planning, trade show production, hotel operations, and publishing to fuel the full-service, multifaceted, cross-platform, art-experience resource that Cartwheel Art is today.
Since its founding in 2012, Cartwheel’s immersive neighborhood explorations and topical tours on various cultural and historical subjects, including art, food, beverage, theater, architecture, and the hidden history of Los Angeles — all rooted in the compelling history and visual drama of the Arts District itself — have reached tens of thousands of people. In 2017 Cindy was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Los Angeles for “exemplary commitment and outstanding service in bringing the April 15th, 2017 World Art Day to the City of Los Angeles.”
Schwarzstein received her BS degree in Hospitality Management from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and honed her knowledge of various art markets through years spent as Production Director in publishing for Action Sports Retailer and Surfer Publications (Surfer, Skateboarder, Bike and Powder Magazines). Frequently hailed in the cultural media as a “savvy insider” and local leader, most recently awarded and featured in Aspire Magazine September 2017 cover story as one of the top six leaders in Downtown LA, she is also a frequent guest speaker on institutional panels, an in-demand art competition juror, and a busy curator. Schwarzstein is an active Arts District resident, serving as a Board member of Los Angeles River Artists and Business (LARABA).
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Steve Grody is a photographer, historian and the author of Graffiti LA: Street Styles and Art. Before Steve Grody earned his B.A. in fine arts, he was also involved in his era’s ‘pop’ graphics, psychedelic art. When he saw spray can murals popping up around Los Angeles’ walls, he immediately recognized their creativity and verve. Since 1990, he has been driving across L.A. and searching its back alleys, washes and abandoned lots in search of this vernacular art. Over the years he cultivated trust amongst L.A.’s most prolific, skilled and infamous graffiti ‘writers’ allowing him access to obscure locations, and through interviews clarified their motivations, and thoughts on creativity as well as the troublesome aspects of its illegality. His obsessive drive to document this distinctive youth underground has resulted in an archive of over 35,000 images. From this, he has chosen the best work to illustrate the range of styles and approaches of this urban phenomenon in Graffiti L.A.: Street Styles and Art (Abrams 2007).
In 2011 his photographs were in the MOCA “Art of the Streets” show and catalog, and he was co-curator of “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Steve has been featured on TedxSitka, as well as speaking at numerous universities and panels.
He is also an internationally respected martial arts instructor, and as a swing dancer, he was brought in by director Peter Weir to choreograph the dance scene in “The Truman Show,” working with Jim Carrey and cast.
Angelina Coppola, Host – Los Angeles
Angelina Coppola is a third-generation Angeleno and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She received her B.A in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. She has previously worked as an Editorial and Marketing Assistant at Rare Bird Lit, an independent publishing company based in Downtown LA. Her first published short story, Desert Mermaid, was recommended for publication by Joyce Carol Oates, her former professor. Her own writing has been covered in LA Magazine, The Washington Post, and CNET Australia, among others. She currently lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Sandi Hemmerlein, Host – Los Angeles
Sandi Hemmerlein is an LA-based writer, photographer, and urban explorer with a focus on history, art, and culture. Whether for her own personal blog AvoidingRegret.com, as the “SoCal Wanderer” for KCET.org, or as a field agent for the Atlas Obscura Society, Sandi is constantly on the prowl for new adventures to share with kindred spirits and spends much of her time in the ghost towns, lost cities, abandoned buildings, and cemeteries in and around LA.
A board member emeritus for the Los Angeles City Historical Society (where she served as Chair of the Events and Social Media committees), Sandi has also donated her time as a docent for the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and as a member of various other preservation-minded advocacy groups including Friends of Rockhaven, San Fernando Valley Historical Society, LA Conservancy, Art Deco Society, Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley, American Aviation Historical Society, Morongo Basin Historical Society, and Lake Norconian Club Foundation.
When she’s not writing, photographing, or exploring, you can find her presenting her discoveries at various conferences, conventions, and historical meetings.
Teale Hatheway, Host – Los Angeles
Teale Hatheway, a fourth generation Angeleno, is a Los Angeles-based artist exploring the intersection of observation, recollection and architecture. Her mixed media paintings explore the theory that environments are remembered as compilations of elements with which we develop emotional or intellectual connections. She extracts details (such as pattern, color, form and texture) from the urban environment and utilizes them to trigger recognition of place. The results are layered, fragmented representations which convey the way we frame, archive, and recall our physical surroundings. Check out Teale’s artwork on her website.
Michelle Homami, Host – Los Angeles
Michelle Homami is an artist, writer, and consultant born and raised in Los Angeles. She is passionate about the cross cultures between art and psychology, and the intrinsic effect creativity has on individuals and populations at large– from pockets of gentrified U.S. cities to countries around the globe. Versed in four languages and an avid world traveler, her diverse cultural inspiration fuels her to connect the dots between individuals, businesses and communities to help each reach their fullest potential. Michelle was an instrumental leading force in the development of the UTI 30th Anniversary Mural painted on the Westbrass building. Follow Michelle on Instagram
Lee Joseph, Host – Los Angeles & Joshua Tree
Immersed in music and art around the clock, Lee Joseph works as a visual arts and pop culture event publicist, runs the underground indie label Dionysus Records, plays bass for Joshua Tree’s Jesika von Rabbit, and is a DJ.
Lee collects illustrative artworks, many of which have already made perfect album covers. Numerous pieces in his collection — by Damian Fulton, Heather Watts, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Shag, Lisa Petrucci, Winston Smith, and others — were created for (or later became) feature art for Dionysus LPs and seven-inches. He also collects records. Lots of them!
Lee plays bass with former Gram Rabbit leader Jesika von Rabbit. As a DJ, Lee’s “Over Under Sideways Down” show can be heard on LuxuriaMusic.com, Wednesdays, 5-7 Pacific. Lee is half of the Desert Soul Club Palm Springs DJ team and also has a bi-monthly DJ residency at Clifton’s Pacific Seas, downtown Los Angeles.
Dan Levy, Host – Venice Beach, Los Angeles
Based in the heart of Dogtown, Venice Beach, California, Dan Levy lives breathes and eats skateboarding, music and art, serving these communities through his photography and writing at Juice Magazine, which has been publishing in print since 1993. Dan was one of the key advocates in getting the world famous Venice Beach Skatepark built, which has become the most photographed and skated skateboarding facilities in the world. The majority of Dan’s photos are seen in Juice Magazine, and he has also been published in Rolling Stone, Vice, Transworld Skateboarding, Surfers Journal. Dan and his footage and photos were featured in the Made In Venice documentary about the fight for the Venice skatepark, and his commercial work includes Bones Wheels, Gullwing Trucks, Z-Flex, Anaheim Skateboards, Juice and Zephyr ads. Most recently 10 of his photographs, including a rare shot of Zack de la Rocha, were featured in a new book entitled “Somos Locos” published by the California Locos and the Manhattan Beach Art Center. Dan’s photo of Greyson Fletcher also made the cover of Juice Magazine’s 20 Year Anniversary issue celebrating Greyson and the extensive Fletcher family tree of surfers and skaters. As a skateboarder, Dan was the 3-time champion of the Venice VSA Skate Contest from 2000 to 2003 and he also rides for the illustrious Jeff Ho / Zephyr competition team. Dan has a contagious positive energy and his tours are always full of surprises and celebrity drop-ins that make for one of a kind memories.
Follow Dan on instagram
Hadley Meares, Host – Los Angeles
Hadley Meares writes articles on history for LA Magazine, Curbed, Atlas Obscura, LAist, HISTORY, Aeon, Malibu Magazine and Kcet among other media outlets. She also leads historical tours and sings jazz at the Dresden. The shadier side of the street is what she enjoys.
Kim Ohanneson, Host – Los Angeles
Kim Ohanneson, who leads tastings, talks, and tales for corporations, organizations and private events. BuzzFeed L.A. praised Kim’s “encyclopedic knowledge of whiskey” and her “exciting, energetic” tastings, which combine “lots of laughter along with the fun of learning.” Kim is the President of Women Who Whiskey ~ Los Angeles: a whisk(e)y appreciation club for women, which has 2400+ members: the largest in the world.
Stephen & Jodi Zeigler, Host’s – Los Angeles
Stephen and Jodi Zeigler are Los Angeles natives and long-time residents of downtown’s Historic Core. They are owners and curators of THESE DAYS, a gallery and store featuring emerging artists, collectible and out-of-print photography books and zines, original art, and more. Stephen is also the curator of the Indian Alley mural project, a unique place of historical significance dedicated to America’s indigenous people.
Jane Cantillon, Host – Los Angeles
For over 24 years, Emmy nominated Jane Cantillon wrote and produced for shows like Entertainment Tonight, ET Weekend Show: Where Are they Now, ET on MTV, Anderson, Tyra Banks Show, Dr. Phil, Oprah’s All Stars and Blind Date. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for The Talk.
Multi-talented Jane Cantillon is a historian of both Hollywood and gay history as she directed and produced an award-winning and critically acclaimed film called “The Other Side: A Queer History’s Last Call.” The film is a history lesson on LA and Hollywood gay culture from the bar scene in the 1930s till the present, including the harsh tactics of the LAPD with the backdrop of the disappearing gay piano bar. Annually, she leads a history tour for and funded by the City of West Hollywood for the Stuart Timmons LGBT WeHo History Walk.
A true entertainer, Cantillon has lived in Los Angeles for most of her life and sings about it in her original band called the Dick and Jane Family Orchestra. Backed by her husband, the five piece band moonlights at various nightclubs and have their first album coming out in the fall.
Stephanie Wiegert, Host – Berlin, Germany
Stephanie moved to Berlin in 2008 for her B.A. in dramatics and English language and literature at the Free University of Berlin. Being a creative soul ever since, she wanted to experience Berlin’s unique cultural scene first hand and is still exploring it up until today. So no wonder she always knows what’s happening in the city, whether it is an interesting exhibition coming, a new restaurant opening or a cool party happening.
At the prestigious Renaissance-Theater, she’s responsible for press and public relations, and she is also a tour guide at the biggest opera house in Berlin, the German Opera. What she enjoys most while doing this is getting to know all sorts of different people that share her passion for the arts.
Stephanie is an absolute music enthusiast, with favorites ranging from everything between Punkrock and Electronic Music. She is trying to see her favorite bands live as often as possible. Apart from that, she enjoys taking photos, is interested in all different sorts of street art and loves animals. Right when she first visited Los Angeles in 2015, the city, its people and the vibrant art scene charmed her and she returns regularly ever since.
Follow Stephanie on: Facebook and Instagram.
Sean Singery , Host – Paris, France
Sean was born in Chicago, and moved to France with his family when he was 6 years old. At school, he was regularly called “Jean” because the french just couldn’t pronounce his name correctly! He grew up in a little town called Senlis, full of ancient roman and medieval remains, which really sparked his interest in history at a young age. Sean went to a film school in Paris, and worked on movie sets as an assistant director. He also worked in costumes for a while for period films, mixing both his passion for history and cinema. He now works as a guide in Paris, and would love to share with you all the secrets of the city of lights. He’s at home there, with such a wonderful access to culture, movies, music and art.
As far as hobbies goes, he’s in a theatre group in english, and he definitely uses that for his tours : as an entertainment, first and foremost! Going back to the states? Not likely. Sean would miss the food too much ! He just can’t live anymore without his baguette, red wine and cheese!
Kasey Billitz, Host – Miami, Florida
Miami native, Kasey Billitz, is an art enthusiast, photo journalist, and tour guide aiming to celebrate Miami’s growing culture. She loves to document the arts in the Wynwood Art District and Beyond through Miami Art Seen: Art. Music. Culture.
Follow Kasey on instagram.