There are only a few things that will convince Josh and I to make the pilgrimage to downtown L.A. One is a great restaurant. The other is art. And this weekend (go tomorrow!) is the bi-annual Brewery Artwalk, hands down the coolest artwalk in L.A.
You see, whereas most artwalks are like going to the zoo, the Brewery is like going on a safari. You get to see the artists in their natural environments, where they live and work. It’s essentially a massive artists’ commune and the loft spaces are amazing. In fact, it’s as much fun seeing how they live – what they have on their coffee tables, how they decorate their kitchens, etc. – as it is seeing the actual art. For a brief moment you’re jealous that you aren’t a mohawk-wearing, pink-eyeliner-sporting, full-body-tattooed 22-year-old who specializes in mixed-media letterblocking using crushed Froot Loops and tie-died goldfish scales.
Sidenote: artists have great taste in succulents
We spent four hours at the Brewery and just barely skimmed the surface of each loft we visited (there were actually two whole buildings we didn’t even get to). These were some of our favorites:
Lumi – This was the first exhibit we saw and by far the most fun. For $5, you can create your own market bag using their ridiculously-cool Lumityping process (Lumityping – learn it, it’s the new hipster word of the day).
Lumityping uses light-sensitive Inkodye, a new type of photographic fabric ink that develops in the sun. You use some of their premade stencils, paint in a variety of colors, and then literally watch your creation “develop” before your eyes. It’s amazing.
They did a partnership with Cisco Home where you can see how intricate you can get with the prints and stencils… some really gorgeous stuff. If you have even just a smidge of artistic inclination, you can use their dyes on your own and really go nuts (I love their lace stencil project).
Jim Payne 3D Stereo Photography – Jim’s collection featured 70′s/80′s style family portraits, like something my dad would stage in the living room every Christmas. The majority of the photos were displayed in viewfinders playfully hanging throughout the gallery, so with each photo you felt like you were peeking in on someone’s private family album. Instantly I was a 5 year-old kid looking through my Fisher Price Viewmaster… the format of the exhibit made you want to look at all 100+ photos!
David Lefner – David totally captures the heart of retro L.A. He does these really cool reduction linocuts – an increasingly rare medium with an incredibly time-consuming process. He gave a great demo on how he creates his art… wow! Thank god passionate artists like him exist – I don’t know how they do it. Learn more about David here and here.
Ryan McIntosh – be sure to check out Ryan’s iArt, I loved the mirrors he created out of hard drives and the art on cracked iPhone screens.
Dystopian Studios, which is worth checking out for the living space alone, has some totally rad metal sculptures, such as a lemonade dispenser that looks like a robot, and the must-have dorm room game Battle Shot (think “Battleship meets shot glasses”).
One of the things I love most about the Brewery Artwalk is the wide range of mediums and offerings. A couple our our favorite “non-traditional” exhibits:
- Hipcooks, a cooking school, gave cooking demos and sold cute little kitchen items in their store. Check out the colander chandelier and be sure to sample the vanilla bean paste… yummy. Bonus: they also have a location in West LA, here’s the class schedule.
- Level Naturals, which makes all natural, gluten-free soaps and body products, offered sugar scrub demos and opportunities to smell and sample their whole line. They make their products on site and the place smells downright amazing. Be sure to try the coffee body polish and the eucalyptus shower bomb.
Wanna go tomorrow? You totally should. Just so you know, there’s free parking in the UPS lot adjacent to the brewery. You can also get lunch on site @ Barbara’s restaurant or from the BBQ stands in the beer garden (serving hot dogs, ribs, burgers, beer, wine, sangria, etc.). Be sure to check it out, it only comes around twice a year!
Spring 2012 Brewery Artwalk
Saturday, March 31 & Sunday, April 1
Brewery Art Complex
2100 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031
p.s. make sure you get your picture taken in front of the Jesus Wall. don’t ask. just do.