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Strolling around the Art Walk

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, December 14, 2007, at 01:51PM
IMGP8695.JPG Ed Fuentes

On the twelfth day before Christmas, the Downtown Art Walk was filled with those taking a collective breath from the busy holidays before diving back into final stretch.

While at Spring Arts Tower I ran into curator Armando H. Torres and friends and was able to give them an informal tour in how to navigate Art Walk efficiently. With the growth of Gallery Row it can be hard to make it everywhere you should in just a few hours, like those who arrive around 6pm when the real activity starts. It was the Arts Walk DASH that allowed more ground to be covered, and there has to be a way for it to be publicize more.

Together we saw the seasonally smaller crowd buying more art than usual, mostly the works that some galleries wisely priced for gift giving. Springs Arts Collective got the surprisingly large number of artisans and fashion designers who occupy the building together to show off wares, and the resulting sale seemed to be effective. Red Dot Gallery reported a good night, and Pharmaka sold most of the works from their fundraiser “Small Wonders III.”

IMGP8666.JPGThe brisk sales were matched by brisk weather, but that didn't stop people from enjoying the sidewalk space. The Regent Theater was once again in use, and featured live painting out front and artists inside. Next door The Regent Gallery stayed full just about all night, as was a poetry slam at 626 Art Gallery's Studio B. New to the Art Walk was LAMP Community, exhibiting works from their inner-city art program.

IMGP8702.JPGOver the past few months music has become a solid addition to the Art Walk festivities, so it was a surprise when a resident of the San Fernando building made a 9pm noise complaint about the band playing next to Old Bank DVD. The LAPD officer who responded was friendly, though the enforcement action was not treated sympathetically by those on the sidewalk. I'm happy to say that torches and pitchforks were not brought out.

Still, all the local cafes were busy after the walk. It was good to see MJ Higgins Gallery continue to adapt to their new location, staying open late into the night. Gallery Row may be changing, but it's good to see that for now the scene lives on.

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