Meet our team of Downtown Los Angles Arts District Insiders!
Cartwheel Art Tours offer to our guests, a unique perspective and immersive urban experience in art, food/beverage and history with an opportunity to learn about the new developments occurring in one of Los Angeles’s most unique, dynamic, art-centric and rapidly changing neighborhoods–the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District.
One of the elements included to create such a unique experience to occur in our Cartwheel Art Tours is through our rotating, eclectic team of knowledgeable and passionate district insiders, who are deeply connected to the neighborhood, and where Cartwheel Art, our online art magazine and Cartwheel Art Tours are based.
Learn more about our Cartwheel Art Tours “Arts District Insiders” below and how are they connected and engaged in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District:
Cindy Schwarzstein, Founder of Cartwheel Art Tours and Host :
Cindy is an Arts District resident, a Los Angeles River Artists and Business (LARABA) board member, and Land Use Committee member, as well being a guest speaker for numerous universities, art organizations, including most recently the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for a panel discussion on murals. She’s also been a host committee member for the LA Art Show, and produced and curated numerous art shows and events, along with being a guest juror for a handful of art competitions.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Cindy worked in Hospitality and Tourism Management. With over over two decades of experience as a manager and producer in event planning and production/project management for trade shows, tours, operations, and in publishing, she founded Cartwheel Art as an outgrowth of her art consulting business. January 2103 is when she began Cartwheel Art Tours, an offshoot of Cartwheel Art with its’ online magazine and consulting services.
She is passionately involved in creating specialized itineraries, producing and leading the Cartwheel Art Tours in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, where Cartwheel Art and Cartwheel Art Tours headquarters is based along with Laguna Beach, where she was raised and has been connected to the art colony since 1974. She has also expanded the tours to additional art communities nationwide, occurring in Miami during the art fair week in December and in other Los Angeles neighborhoods including: Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown, Lincoln Heights, South Central and soon to be in Venice, West Adams and others A tour to Riverside by bus was also a new neighborhood tour that recently occurred. It’s on that tour where she created an itinerary to tie-in to an art show for Women of New Contemporary. Many of her tours are created as tie-ins to art and events in neighborhoods as creative programming.
Cindy’s exposure to art and adventure began at an early age in Haiti, where her parents owned an art gallery, and continued during her adolescence in Laguna Beach, an art colony and a core location for art creatives in the surf and skate culture.
She is knowledgeable and passionate about the Downtown Los Angeles Art District with its sense of community, artists, and speciality /artisan businesses, the murals and the street art and graffiti, the urban feel with the architectural and landscape mix of repurposed warehouses, buildings and the bridges. And that all comes through in her enthusiasm with Cartwheel Art Tours.
Cindy’s interests, besides sharing the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District, Laguna Beach and other art communities with visitors is art, art and art– whether it’s checking out the art in the streets, going to a gallery opening, or meeting with artists in their studios. Outside of art and tour groups, she likes to participate in cultural activities and events including music and art festivals, travel, yoga, biking, hiking, camping, snowboarding, drinking healthy green juices, eating a vegan based diet that includes chocolate, and spending time with friends and family–especially with her son, Spencer. Her charity of choice is Surfers Healing where her son has been a participant in their family day camp to surf for the last eleven years
Steve Grody, Co-Host (Graffiti Tours)
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 catalogue, and he was co-curator of “Street Cred: Graffiti Art from Concrete to Canvas” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
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.
Damon Martin, Guest Speaker:
Damon Martin has painted two murals in the Los Angeles Arts District that can be seen on 3rd Street. His work has been shown in Miami at SCOPE Art Fair with Citizen X and at several other major fairs. Damon has worked with french artist JR covering Times Square with the “Inside Out” project and is currently working on a new endangered series species campaign with several Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated models. He is also beginning work painting a whole city block in the center of Miami’s Arts District next to Wynwood Walls
Stephen Seemayer, Guest Speaker:
Stephen Seemayer is a Los Angeles-born performance artist, filmmaker and painter. In a career spanning 40 years, he has mounted performances and exhibitions at galleries and museums across the United States. Using controversial imagery, such as aborted fetuses and masks on fire, Seemayer has confronted his audience with the question of what it means to be human in a dehumanizing society. His film “Young Turks,” released in 2013, documents the early wave of artists who moved into downtown in the 1970s. He is now at work on a new documentary, “Tales of the American,” about the American Hotel, Al’s Bar and the Arts District.
CONTACT – For more information and to design a tour for your group/organization, to create a tour as a fundraiser for your non-profit group, to provide an additional offering as a tie-in to your events in the Arts District, to partner for a tour, or to book a reservation on an upcoming tour, please contact Cartwheel Art Tours by email at Contact@CartwheelArt.com.