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Art Walk: Part One

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, January 13, 2005, at 05:41PM

Once classes got out today I figured I would catch some of the more southern Downtown Art Walk destinations on my way back home. I'll be walking around to more places around here in just a bit, but I wanted to take a second to give my impressions from sixspace and Downtown Art Gallery.

Starting out from USC I hopped on the Downtown DASH F bus and took a short ride up Figueroa. I got off at 23rd St. and checked out the show "Can't See the Forest" at sixspace. Some very good stuff from a variety of artists. The images online are good, except the ones for the two pieces by Randall Sellers. Those jpegs give the pieces absolutely no credit: they're tiny but unbelievably detailed pencil drawings.

From there I walked north to Downtown Art Gallery. I tend to neglect stuff that's down in South Park since it's a little bit of a hike from my apartment, but I absolutely shouldn't. The collection of works as a whole was very good, but you must make your way down here to see some amazing etchings. Now I hear you saying "etchings?" Let me explain (while hugely oversimplifying): To create an etching you scratch lines into a metal plate and then use acid to create areas of varying depth (and therefore areas that will be lighter or darker depending on how long they were exposed). Once you have the plate set you ink it, and then print the image onto the paper (basically how a printing press works). Often you'll see etchings done in black and white and then colored with watercolors. What's special about the etchings they're showing at Downtown Art Gallery (I'd give artist names but I'm awful at them) is that the color is done via the etching. Multiple plates are used, as are multiple colors per plate. The impressive part is how fantastically precise the results are, thanks to artists with special tricks for getting the paper to line up exactly the same for each plate. I'm sure I butchered that explanation, but it's definitely worth seeing.

After leaving there I walked to Pico and Olive and caught the DASH D up to 6th and Spring, and dropped into my apartment to post this and fix myself some food. I'll post more Art Walk impressions later on tonight or tomorrow.

Update (midnight): Also check out Part Two of my Art Walk recap.

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