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Los Angeles has long incubated world-class artists, and today enjoys international prominence, attracting blue-chip talent, collectors and culture enthusiasts to its arts institutions and gallery districts. Navigate the burgeoning scene with help from guides who draw back the curtain on exciting local studios, street art, galleries and museums. —SUZANNE ENNIS

If you’re keen to experience L.A.’s art scene from the ground up, head to downtown’s Arts District, centered roughly around the intersection of East 3rd and Rose streets. Here, former industrial buildings are filled with restaurants and artist lofts, and are covered in vibrant murals loosely classified as “street art” (some sanctioned, some not). While a recent influx of creative businesses makes this a fascinating (if still slightly gritty) district to explore, to the passerby, access to working studios can be limited, and the graffiti can be inscrutable. Enter Los Angeles Art Tours,

of the murals and pointing out works by local graffiti crews and widely known street artists including Shepard Fairey (creator of the Barack Obama “Hope” poster). En route, you’ll pass the

Container Yard (800 E. 4th St., yard), a creative space whose walls serve as a street art canvas. After this tour, you’ll never look at graffiti the same way again. TOP LEFT, KRISTINE SHOMAKER; SPREAD, KEVIN FLINT


the brainchild of Kevin Flint, a professional artist whose studio is located in the Brewery Arts Complex on the northeastern outskirts of downtown. Flint’s impromptu tours of the Brewery led to his development of a fullfledged company in 2007 that, Flint says, walks you “right into real working environments where you smell the paint, meet the artists and get a glimpse rarely seen by outsiders.” Among its offerings are tours of studios in the Brewery and in the Santa Fe Art Colony, south of the Arts District. But it’s the Downtown L.A. Graffiti/Mural tour, led by a fixture of L.A.’s graffiti scene in the 1980s, Hector “Shandu” Calderon, that sheds light on a genre growing in broad popularity as well as critical awareness. For two hours on Saturdays (including Oct. 11 and 25), Calderon leads groups of up to 15 people through the Arts District, sharing details about L.A.’s past and present street art scene, deciphering the script and symbolism


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9/18/14 4:36 PM

WHERE Los Angeles Magazine October 2014  

Where Los Angeles Magazine gives visitors and locals a portal for essential, immediate and accurate information on the best things to do in...

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