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Cool Spots, View Points

This is What My First Time at The Downtown Art Walk Looked Like

July 8, 2015 by Amatullah Guyot

On the second Thursday of every month The Downtown Art Walk transforms seven blocks of DTLA into a vibrant (and free!) pop-up street fair. There is music and crowds and food trucks. There is every type of street art imaginable. Combine those elements with the normal hustle and bustle of a Thursday in downtown and it creates quite a scene.

What I enjoy about the Art Walk is that it’s perfect for those of you (like me) who are clueless about L.A. art culture. If I had to put it in a single word, I’d call it an introduction. In one night you can become exposed to a massive array of art from street performances and pop-up stands to the more refined works found in the nearby galleries. A realization kind of hit you… “Woah, there’s a lot going on here I didn’t even know about.”

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That said, I went to my first Art Walk a few weeks ago, and this is what I saw…

The View From a Downtown L.A. Parking Structure

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

This is the view from the parking structure where I left my car to attend the Art Walk. Let me start out by saying… PARKING SUCKED… not that this is a surprise. I scored super cheap parking at one of the furthest parking structures from all of the fun, then hiked with my camera in hand to search for art.

If you plan on braving the traffic and driving to DTLA like I did then here are a few tips. The further you go from the central hub of the Art Walk, the cheaper parking becomes. Also, closing times vary per parking lot, so don’t forget to ask. And bring CASH!

Art Display Near One of Many Public Parking Lots  During The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Art stands were set from the moment I stepped outside of the structure where I left my car, each one more unique than the next.

Diffrent Art Stands Set-up Along Spring Street During the Downtown Art Walk.

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

People walked with friends or their dogs to enjoy a of the enticing art from sculptures to paintings on old records, and bongs made from recycled bottles. Going to the Art Walk helps you define art in a new way.

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A Handmade Bottle Keychainn Table at The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Along with viewing various art, there was also the opportunity to buy wares from as small as stickers and keychains to as big as life size sculptures and paintings. I bought a few little things but part of me wishes I could afford to purchase a few of the expensive framed pictures and paintings.

Random Drum Circle and Musicians Playing During The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

I stumbled across these guys who were playing loudly and crossed the streets to check them out. Good music vibes anyone?

Art Displays in Front of The Last Bookstore During The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

The hustle and bustle of everyday downtown traffic and drama continued as The Downtown Art Walk was in full swing and hitting its peak hours.

Artist Painting on a Skateboard During The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Some artists were so inspired (or maybe they were bored) that they painted and created new things like this guy. I walked past him maybe five times watching how his skateboard piece progressed, the last I saw, it was really coming along.

An Art Gallery Located Within The Last Bookstore

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Not only was there art for public viewing along the streets but there were a variety of galleries set up especially for the Downtown Art Walk. The one pictured here is from a gallery on the second level of  The Last Bookstore, which definitely worth a view.

Abstract Sculptures Displayed at The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Some of the oddest art sculptures I stumbled upon in front of The Last Bookstore while exploring all of the ground that The Art Walk Covered.

Keep Calm and Feed Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

What’s an awesome event without food to refuel? The Art Walk had a parking lot set up  for all of the great food trucks to hangout out in. I didn’t order anything to eat but I thought this sign was pretty cool to entice art goers to eat.

A Homeless Artist Paints Freestyle During The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Of all the things I saw, I think this dude was the coolest and sweetest. I loved how he just set up his “studio” on the corner and decided to just paint for the day. Some people took pictures of him and moved along, others joined him and painted with him.

One of the Formal Art Galleries Opened to the Public During The Downtown Art Walk

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Besides street art, there were also formal art galleries where photography was not allowed but there were some really neat things on display. One of the galleries presented a live ballet studios practice session open to the public to view.

Hotel Barclay at Sunset in Downtown Los Angeles

Credit: Amatullah Guyot

This view is basically how I ended my late afternoon adventure at The Downtown Art Walk.

If you haven’t been at least once, I wholeheartedly recommend checking it out!

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