LA Art District
I promised a month and a half ago that I would share my LA Art District adventure with you guys, so here we are! Sorry it took so long... the whole "juggling school, work, coffee, + 2 year old" thing really got me!!! Enough excuses though, I hope you all enjoy!
Safe to say, hands down, that LA is my FAVORITE city so far that I have visited. We visited Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Inglewood, El Segundo, and Crenshaw during the short trip. The Art District, however, is the section of the city that absolutely dazzled me the most.
Lets take a step back to circa 2000-2013... I was an artsy little gal! Seriously, I had almost zero extra curricular activities except art. I hated reading, I hated sports, but you give this girl a pencil and I'd color all day. Then 2013 happened. My first year of college. I laugh just thinking back to freshman orientation in college. I was convinced I was going to go to college and have a career in art. Something happened at that orientation and I basically thought to myself, "Holy shit, am I really going to do this?! Like succeed in Art?" Well LOL, as we know, that all changed. I felt so bad knowing I was going to have to go home and tell my dad that I didn't really need the fabulous (and GIANT) portfolio he bought me for graduation. Anyways, that is a story for another day (read my next blog about finding myself). From 2013 up until this trip, I had a complete art hiatus.
I like to joke and say that the LA Art District helped me finally find my third eye. It definitely helped me find something in myself!
First stop, Art District Brewing Company. Great beer, great food, great atmosphere.
Just to the left of Art District Brewing Company. A common theme throughout the city.
This is hands down my absolute favorite piece from the entire trip. The LA Art District is very unique in its history. The area was a booming district during early railway evolution as a powerhouse for the industry, but later declined with the declining demand for railway and the introduction of trucking. While on decline, the factories became empty homes for squatting artists out-priced of surrounding areas. Just like anywhere else in the United States, graffiti is illegal. These artists took their muse into their own hands and purchased the entire area. Back to that last statement... graffiti is illegal on public property. They can't tell you that you can't decorate your own property. It was a classy and subtle way to say stick it to the police. Although the area isn't really the gritty art scene like it was in the 80s, it still embodies phenomenal character! This district is evolving into an area of creative small shops, upscale lofts, and unique office buildings. As I took this photo, a man whipped up in his Tesla (AKA MacBook on wheels), opens the private gate and proceeds. HOME.
"Pope of Broadway" has belonged to the old Victor Clothing Co. building since 1985. However, in its later years, the mural was worn and weathered. Thankfully, in 2017, the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles and L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar secured the $150,000 restoration. This particular area was the destination for many immigrants during the late 70s. Los Angeles Times says this area was kept alive by the immigrant culture and they agree with mural artist Eloy Torrez that actor Anthony Quinn was the perfect choice. This mural of the actor has become the Hollywood sign for the Latino community of LA.
Branson, H. (2017, January 24). Downtown's 'Pope of Broadway' mural featuring actor Anthony Quinn fully restored by original artist. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pope-broadway-anthony-quinn-20170124-story.html
And to our final destination!
The Marathon Clothing. #CaliforniaLove
I am so happy we took our trip was when we did, or we would have missed our chance to see The Marathon and the two murals before they put up the new gate for the forthcoming Nipsey Hussle Tower. You can read my last blog post about this particular incredible spot.
After my short trip to East Nashville this weekend, I was taken back to my favorite trip. There are so many new murals popping up and they haven't had a chance to go mainstream, so there's no waiting line like our others downtown. I'm ecstatic to see a blooming district of the arts right here at home. A little piece of LA in my backyard.