The Definitive Guide to Los Angeles Art Walks
Frogtown Art Walk
Photo by Brenda Rees
People really do walk in L.A., which is the reason why there are a surprising number of L.A. art walks. Some, such as the Los Feliz Art Walk and Miracle Mile Art Walk, appear to have come and gone, while others have endured. In fact, there is more than one art walk each in Long Beach, Pasadena and Venice. Some are monthly, while others are quarterly, seasonal, biannual or yearly. We compiled a list of some of the best ones around.
San Pedro 1st Thursday Artwalk
When: Monthly, every first Thursday until 9 p.m.
Where: Between Fourth and Seventh streets, and between Pacific Avenue and Palos Verdes Street
With gourmet food trucks and live music at several restaurants, the San Pedro 1st Thursday Artwalk attracts a variety of folks who come for the entertainment, wine and cuisine as much as for the art. Many businesses, including shops and eateries, offer special deals, and galleries highlight works from both established and up-and-coming artists. Parking on the streets and municipal lot is free after 6 p.m. 1stthursday.com
Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk
When: Monthly, every second Thursday, noon to 10 p.m.
Where: Around Spring and Main streets, between Second and Ninth streets
Perhaps the most famous of the L.A.-area art walks, the Downtown Art Walk went from being a celebration of artists to an all-out street party. These days the focus is back on the art, and in addition to checking out openings at the galleries, visitors have the opportunity to take a variety of tours, namely the Historic Core Mural Tour, Collector's Tour, Kinder Walk and Art Walk Gallery Tour. While many events are free, some programs cost money, with proceeds benefiting the Downtown Art Walk. Check the website for details. downtownartwalk.org
2nd Saturday Artwalk in downtown Pomona
Photo by Sally Egan
2nd Saturday Artwalk (Pomona)
When: Monthly every second Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: Garey Avenue to Parcels Street and First to Fourth streets, downtown Pomona
With artists lofts, shops and galleries comprising a dazzling art colony, downtown Pomona also features public art in the form of architecture, sculptures and murals. During the art walk, more than three dozen galleries open their doors to host receptions for new exhibits, from painting, photography and mixed media to ceramics, jewelry and more. downtownpomona.org
First Fridays Long Beach
When: Monthly, every first Friday, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Atlantic Avenue from Bixby Road to San Antonio Drive, Long Beach.
Krista Leaders, owner of Chroma Glass Designs, began First Fridays Long Beach in 2006 as a way to call attention to her work. Her event has since become a monthly tradition that includes more than a dozen local businesses and musicians in the small North Long Beach neighborhood of Bixby Knolls. A double-decker bus shuttles people among destinations as art galleries, gift stores and restaurants stay open late to accommodate interested visitors and community members alike. firstfridayslongbeach.com
Long Beach 2nd Saturday Art Walk
When: Monthly, every second Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.
Where: East Village Art District around Linden Avenue, First Street, Broadway, Fourth Street and Elm Street in Downtown Long Beach
This charming street fair takes place on a road closed to vehicular traffic, and the result is a relaxed, open feel that takes advantage of Long Beach's salty sea breeze and easy, laid-back vibe. With two stages devoted to live music and street performances, this art walk features local businesses such as galleries, boutiques and cafes staying open late for art-loving pedestrians. artwalklb.com
Canoga Park Art Walk (live art section on Owensmouth and Sherman Way)
Photo by Erin Stone
Canoga Park Art Walk
When: Monthly every summer on the third Thursday (June 18, July 16, Aug. 16), 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: At Owensmouth north of Sherman Way between Topanga Canyon and Deering Avenue, and Wyandotte Street and Gault Avenue
San Fernando Valley–based art collective 11:11 has been producing the Canoga Park Art Walk since 2011. For one day each month during the summer, the art walk features more than 200 artists and vendors, as well as a section for live art and murals where local urban artists work on large-scale works. There are also live local bands as well as breakdancers and record-spinning from Gr818ers, plus food trucks and dozens of local businesses with their own music events and art shows. 1111ACC.org
NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night
When: Monthly, every second Saturday, 6 to 11 p.m.
Where: Northeast Los Angeles (PDF map)
For nearly 10 years, Highland Park's NELAart has been supporting the art of Northeast Los Angeles, including Frogtown, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, Cypress Park and surrounding areas. Happening rain or shine, the monthly gallery night is a self-guided tour of nonprofits, artists' projects and galleries, with creative spaces and businesses opening their doors to visitors. It's more of a self-driving tour than a walking tour, but in L.A., that's to be expected. nelaart.org
At the Atwater Art Walk, Heart of the Neighborhood
Photo by Don Nocon
Atwater Art Walk
When: Yearly, with the next event on Saturday, June 20, 5 to 9 p.m.
Where: On Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village.
The fourth annual Atwater Art Walk pays tribute to L.A.'s rich diversity by highlighting stories of its inhabitants through art. Kids from a pair of local elementary schools tell their own tales, while local businesses invite visitors to relax and take in the surrounding live music. The yearly art walk also features an art contest with cash prizes in categories such as photography, sculpture and painting, and artists are invited to submit up to four pieces each for free. (Deadline for submissions is June 7.) Stick around for the after-party at Bon Vivant Market & Café. atwaterartwalk.com
East Los Angeles Art Walk
When: Monthly, every second Sunday, 2 to 7 p.m.
Where: 3501-3540 E. First St., East L.A.
Small business owners of the First Street Corridor in East Los Angeles sponsor this monthly art walk with music. facebook.com/EASTLOSARTWALK
David Pilcer at Venice Art Crawl
Photo by Michelle Foster
Venice Art Crawl
When: Quarterly on third Thursdays, with the next event on June 18, 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: Between North Venice Boulevard and Rose Avenue, Venice Beach (PDF map)
While the Downtown Art Walk has been moving away from the street-party feel, the Venice Art Crawl still embraces it with full force. Hosted by the Venice Chamber of Commerce, the seasonal event is designed to call attention to the area's vibrant history of creativity and work by independent artists. veniceartcrawl.com
Leimert Park Artwalk
When: Monthly, every fourth Sunday
Where: 43rd Place and Crenshaw Boulevard
Since 2010, this event has featured art, music and culture for all ages in the historic South L.A. neighborhood of Leimert Park. Originally developed in the 1920s, the area has become a center of African-American intellectual history. facebook.com/leimertparkartwalk
A sculpture by Claudia Morales at ArtNight Pasadena
Photo by Clare Curran, courtesy of Light Bringer Project
When: Biannually, the second Friday in March and October
Where: Various locations across Pasadena
Travel to more than a dozen cultural institutions, including the Armory Center for the Arts, Art Center College of Design, Kidspace Children's Museum and Pasadena Museum of California Art. Listen to music, take in the performing arts and marvel at the unique installations, all while taking advantage of the free shuttle bus from City Hall in downtown Pasadena. artnightpasadena.org
When: Biannually, on weekends every spring and fall, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: The Brewery, 2100 N. Main St., off the I-5 Freeway at Main Street.
First the Edison Electric Steam Power Plant, then the Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery, this 112-year-old compound is now the Brewery Art Colony, one of the largest live/work spaces for artists around. Twice a year, the Brewery's studios, lofts and galleries open their doors to the public for a much-anticipated event that's equal parts art walk and studio open house. The added benefit is that the artists, who work in all genres, often inspire visitors to leave and make their own art. breweryartwalk.com
Venice Family Clinic's Art Walk & Auctions
Photo by Jason Kempin
Venice Family Clinic's Art Walk & Auctions
When: Yearly, in the spring
Where: 340 Main St. in Venice, at Google headquarters.
With exhibitions, family-friendly activities, food and live tunes, this annual art walk at Google's L.A. headquarters features a silent auction that helps benefit the Venice Family Clinic. It's free, but certain events required an admission fee, such as the Art & Architecture Tours and other related happenings. Check the VFC website for details. theveniceartwalk.org
Frogtown Art Walk
When: Yearly, with the next event on Saturday, Sept. 19, 4 to 10 p.m.
Where: Along Blake Avenue in Elysian Valley
Visitors drop in to artists' studios run by the likes of Bill Lagattuta, while also paying tribute to Lewis MacAdams' efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River. Live music, children's crafts and other L.A. River–themed events complement the open-house studios. Check the website for updates, including where to park and how to get to the event on your bike. frogtownarts.com
When: Yearly, with the next event on Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Playhouse District on El Molino Avenue between Colorado Boulevard and Green Street, Pasadena
This massive yearly festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall, and has more than 5,000 people attending annually. The centerpiece of the Pasadena ARTWalk is a juried art show that celebrates SoCal artists working in just about every medium, from painting, watercolor, illustration, photography and sculpture to printmaking, ceramics, jewelry and mixed-media. Other activities and live entertainment help round out the annual art bonanza. playhousedistrict.org/calendar-of-events/artwalk
Canoga Park Art Walk, at the Owensmouth entrance
Artwork by Rosa Lopez/Photo by Erin Stone
Tanja M. Laden on Twitter:
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.