The Downtown Art Walk, taking place the second Thursday of every month from 6-10pm, provides an opportunity to explore galleries, unique shops, restaurants and other businesses on and around Gallery Row that stay open late just for this night. You have the option of self-guided tours following the Art Walk map or you can have a more personalized experience with guided tours through Dot Red.
If you want to grab a bite before you start walking there is such a wide array of cuisines available in this thriving neighborhood that you are bound to find something you like. If you are looking for vegan or vegetarian food, consider stopping by Wild Living Foods, located on Main and 8th, whose artful design will make you feel like you are already on the Art Walk! Their menu offers a variety of delectable options that are all prepared under 118 degrees which harken back to the Native American heritage of the owners. If you are interested in dessert, hop over to Nancy’s Fancy, a newly opened gelato shop in the Arts District. The owner says that “the area is undergoing a Renaissance, and we are excited to be a part of it”. So, if you’re looking to rub elbows with the Michelangelo of gelato be sure to stop by.
Once you have filled your stomach with food, it is time to fill your soul with art. If you have never attended the Art Walk before, I would advise visiting the Art Walk Lounge (the visitor center) located at 634 S. Spring Street in the MALDEF building before embarking on your journey. Be advised: the later in the night you begin your tour, the more populated the galleries will be. Some people love the crowds, as it can be a wonderful opportunity to chat with other art lovers!
There are over 30 galleries included in the Art Walk – if this feels overwhelming, don’t despair, I will let you in on a few of my favorites. Of course, I would love to see you at my gallery, BertaArt Studio Gallery located at 120 East 8th Street, on the second floor, Studio 202. I am a contemporary, abstract artist, and create new works every month, so every Art Walk visit will be a new experience! And if you are not able to visit the gallery during the Thursday walk, stop by for personalized painting classes and create your own art.
After visiting me, I would recommend dropping into Ren Gallery, located right around the corner from BertaArt Studio Gallery on 7th and Los Angeles. Ren Gallery specializes in exhibiting pop, urban, and geometric abstract art and features contemporary artists such as Nicholas Treadway, Mike Anderson, and Louis XXX.
If you are interested in avant-garde, contemporary art, make sure to stop at Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts. Since the opening in 2010, co-owner Petra Wright has focused on fostering relationships with emerging and undervalued artists, offering them a platform to reach a large number of art enthusiasts. The gallery is a diverse showcase of painting, sculpture, graphics, original prints, and photography.
Finally, if you’re looking for some of the freshest art in LA, head to Mugello Gallery, which opened a few months ago. This new gallery features contemporary artists such as Brent Estabrook, Nicholas Hunt, and James Law. I attended the gallery opening and was inspired by the creativity of the works present. Artist Nicholas Hunt creates sheets of anodized metal with layered paint and then proceeds to shoot the unusual canvases with a range of guns to create very textural works of art. His commentary on American society is boundlessly interesting.
New galleries are constantly opening, so make sure you pick up a free gallery map, available at most galleries every month. Another new gallery to check out on your tour is Avenue Des Arts. This gallery is conveniently located right in the same building as my studio, with an entrance on Los Angeles Street. This Hong Kong-based gallery focuses on Asian and American urban art. The large gallery located on the ground floor and basement of our renovated historical building (designed in 1922 by architect John M. Cooper) spans over 6,000 square feet.
We look forward to seeing you this Thursday at the Downtown LA Art Walk!
About Clara Berta
Clara Berta is a passionate, award-winning abstract artist of Hungarian heritage. Her dynamic, highly textural abstract paintings have been exhibited in the United States and collected worldwide. In addition to exhibits across the US, Clara’s work has been featured in film and television including CBS’s Two Broke Girls, Bravos’ Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Disney’s You Again, Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, ABC’s The Catch, and the indie TV film Broken Links. Her art has also been seen in LA Weekly, Singular Magazine, Culture Trip, Downtown News and other publications.
About the Downtown Art Walk
The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk is a nonprofit organization that supports local community economic development through a variety of year-round programs, which includes the self-guided “Art Walk” on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Our daily Mission is to improve the local community and to create economic opportunities for artists, galleries, small businesses, and youth through our programs which include: Downtown Art Mart, a monthly microenterprise incubator for artists and small businesses to generate sales from the thousands of visitors to the Downtown Art Walk, Downtown Art Walk Internship Program, a job program for youth and adults who have a passion for community, the arts, nonprofit administration, media, and leadership and Youth Education and Community Art Program, bringing local art experiences and instruction to the communities who need it most.