Hello Glendale, hello Los Angeles,
So are you an Art lover?
Yes? No?! It’s alright!
At The Los Angeles Artwalk, a new monthly venue organized by a group of Gallery owners in Downtown LA, you don’t need to be an Art specialist to enjoy the event – there is so much going on.
Come on, let’s face it, this is Los Angeles: no event goes by without a bunch of street actors throwing on their make up to earn a couple of extra bucks by entertaining curious event attendees with their special costumes and talents. The Artwalk is full of these people, showing off once again, that Art does not just end with painting.
For the third time in a row now, the Center of Downtown LA has hosted this spectacular event which took place on Thursday the 12th of August, 2010, opening LA’s doors to all residents and visitors, and giving them a great sense of community and City Spirit which is so missing in this Metropolis, broken up by its individual City Communities, lost in anonymity, hiding behind a meaningless day-to -day routine.
The Artwalk is this new magnet which has the charisma to fix this void, by gluing each Community back together again and sticking it to the Center which they so very much belong to: the City of Los Angeles, or in our case: Downtown LA.
The Center of Los Angeles, which over time has earned itself a bad name due to the high rates of homelessness and problems of drug addiction (with its good weather and other unique attractions, LA is probably the most popular destination for homeless people to travel to in the entire United States of America), is not only historically, but also architecturally and culturally a jewel, which The Artwalk shows the true potential to revive it with: Art and Cultural action, showing off its visible, and hidden gems, one day each month, for free.
This one day venue, which starts at 12 o’clock PM on the second Thursday of each month, is when the galleries located around the loop from 5th to 7th and from Main Street to Hill Street open their doors to the public, until, around midnight, at 12 AM, the doors close, exposing their art to more specialized clientele during the month, and waiting, for the next month, to open their doors to the public again.
“It would be a really nice idea to close the streets for traffic on this day, there are so many people coming to this event, especially at night, it would make the whole thing something special, “ says Alex Miller -Ferrari, resident at the Hotel Alexandria, which is located on 5th Street and Main Street.
The Hotel Alexandria, with an impressive history of its own, is an Art Deco building from 1906 designed by John Parkinson. It has not only welcomed an astonishing lot of Hollywood Actors and US Presidents into its rooms, e.g. Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, Mae West, Franklyn D. Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin and many more, which are all shown in a permanent photography exhibit in the lobby, but the Alexandria contains one of the most spectacular and unused ballroom spaces in the entire city of Los Angeles, an impressive reminiscent of 19th Century European building style: the spitting image of “The Great Hall” of the Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg, the famous mirror room (see slideshow).
The Hotel Alexandria opened its doors to this special event for the first time this Thursday, thanks to the doings of Jenifer Sunshine, a resident of the same hotel.
But this is only a small example of the culture revealed by this event.
“Right now, it is a mere pleasure to watch the people walk around and sometimes dance in the first and second floors of the otherwise deserted lofts,” observes Michael Palmer, who is handicapped and has been riding by these buildings every day in his wheelchair, for the past three years.
He is a former resident of Alaska and cannot get enough of the beauty of the historic buildings which he points out to me, showing me the exact timeline of construction of these buildings by describing their different styles.
Fascinating! There is a huge building activity in the 20ties of the last century, then there seems to be a quite long pause, then again in the seventies, the city becomes majorly active, mostly with banks and business buildings, and then again in the nineties. Right now, it seems, that Renovation and Innovation is the trend, architectural recycling? Saving energy? I see some amazingly innovative buildings, renovated downtown lofts, some of them newly built. Is there a beginning trend in Los Angeles to move life back into town, where it belongs? What is life like in a city loft?
We residents of Los Angeles, we hope so, for there is a need for revival in this town, to show people who travel here from afar, that there is not only much less criminality and drug use in our streets but a real life, a good life, and a culture to be proud of, which The Artwalk so much promotes.
Come and see for yourself and enjoy the works of young and established artists next month, on Thursday the 9th of September 2010, and hopefully, on many, many more.