Photograph by Bode Helm, from Frank CitiesEXPAND
Photograph by Bode Helm, from Frank Cities
Courtesy of Frank Cities

The Best Free Art Parties in L.A. This Week

This week in art parties feels a little bit sophisticated — but we know we can count on Angelenos to keep it real no matter how fancy things appear. Two very different high production value contemporary culture print publications introduce themselves with exemplary art shows, plus a free annual art and music fest at the Tar Pits gears up for its September 2015 edition with a cocktail party and benefit auction, a hotly anticipated biennial juried show unveils the 2015 winners at an afternoon garden party up at Barnsdall Park, and LACMA stays up late to host a 24-hour movie night with extra milk and cookies.

Thursday, July 23: Frank Cities debut issue release party and art exhibition.
Frank Cities may look like an art magazine, but it’s much bigger than that. It’s a cross-platform annual publication-based project with components of social engagement, works of art in all media and even a bit of philanthropy. Its fascinating debut issue, “No. 001: There’s No Place Like Home,” examines the chasm between the richer and poorer parts of L.A., which often coexist in uneasy physical proximity. It features the collaborative efforts of art-world figures such as Abel Alejandre, Edgar Arceneaux, Mattia Biagi, Ruben Esparza, Michelle Carla Handel, Anna Sew Hoy, Lauri Firstenberg, Mat Gleason, L.A. Weekly contributor Carol Cheh and Anne Ellegood. Tonight’s Frank Cities launch party features an installation of the original works chronicled in the issue’s print and web pages, along with an auction of that work to benefit Skid Row’s LAMP Community, an arts-based homeless advocacy program on Skid Row — about a mile from the Arts District warehouse location hosting the event. Imperial Art Studios, 680 Imperial St., downtown. Thur., July 23, 8 - 11p.m., free. RSVP essential to:

Friday, July 24: Tarfest fundraiser cocktail party and art auction.
Tarfest 2015 is slated for September 26 this year. This free annual celebration of LA's indie art and music, happens annually in the park at the LACMA-adjacent La Brea Tar Pits — one of the city's most historic green-spaces and a hidden gem among our public lands. And what better way to bring people together than with free, outdoor, late-summer music? Tarfest is a non-profit production — and that means one thing: A silent auction cocktail party kickoff. That’s where this Friday evening at Troika comes in. Beers from Lagunitas, wines from Wilde, and tunes from DJ E13 all conspire to lower your defenses, encouraging impulse buying of art donated to the cause by dozens of artists including Marion Lane, Tanja Rector, Leigh Salgado, Nano Rubio, Gina Stepaniuk, Jeff Koegel, Shepard Fairey, Greg (Craola) Simkins, Mark Whalen, Tara McPherson, Edward Walton Wilcox, Jeff Soto, Vonn Sumner, Camille Rose Garcia and Miss Van. Troika, 101 S. La Brea, West Hollywood; Fri., July 24, 6 - 9p.m.; free. RSVP TO :

Artwork from the Bootleg Bart Unofficial Art ShowEXPAND
Artwork from the Bootleg Bart Unofficial Art Show
Courtesy of Be Street Magazine

Friday, July 24: Be Street’s Bootleg Bart Unofficial Art Show and soft launch.
Be Street is a great urban art, fashion and music magazine in France, with seven years of glossy, gorgeous issues covering the gamut of street styles in Europe and beyond. This summer, Be Street officially rolls out its first U.S. edition by coming straight to L.A. — kicking off with something a bit more unofficial. It invited 70 artists from around the world to participate in “Bootleg Bart,” its first public L.A. event. It’s a soft launch with a giant party, and an illicit homage not only to The Simpsons but to the ’90s, when artists appropriated Bart’s likeness for their own subversive purposes, and to right now, when a new generation of artists is using the character to have a cow of its own.
HNYPT, 212 W. 12th St, downtown. Fri.-Sat., July 25-26, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; free. Direct registration link:

Still from Christian Marclay's "The Clock" (2010); single-channel video with sound, 24 hours.EXPAND
Still from Christian Marclay's "The Clock" (2010); single-channel video with sound, 24 hours.
Courtesy of LACMA

Saturday, July 25: The Clock all-night screening at LACMA.
Christian Marclay's epic video work, The Clock, now in LACMA's permanent collection, plays inside the Art of the Americas Building all day and night and into the day. Lasting exactly 24 hours, it is constructed of thousands of individual movie clips showing clocks — and the clock always shows what time it is for the audience sitting in the theater. An epic feat of research and craftsmanship, its segues are moving and witty, and there's the pure fun of playing name-that-movie. Most importantly, the story moves — along the way addressing the differences between real and represented time, showing when we eat, drink, fornicate, and duel, and ultimately doing what all great art does: showing the familiar world in a strange new way. Also, Coffee + Milk will be open until 2 a.m. and reopen at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Art of the Americas Building, Miracle Mile; Sat., July 25 10 a.m. - Sun., July 26, 10 a.m.; free w/ admission during museum hours; totally free after hours.

Sunday, July 26: 2015 Los Angeles Juried Exhibition at Barnsdall
This biennial exhibition invites emerging artists from across Southern California to enter, and this year it received almost 400 entries comprising some 850 pieces of art. Jurors Peter Frank, Fatemeh Burnes and Tomas Benitez selected about 120 pieces total, by about 80 artists, including video, sculpture, photography, printmaking, painting, digital and installation. “A juried exhibition — especially one determined by a group of jurors rather than a single judge — is, if anything, the opposite of a curated show," says Frank. "It's not a confluence among artists, it's a competition between objects. And it does not fit a theme, it fits a space. A large show such as this does many people a favor by finding them among the myriad applicants. I keep thinking, however, about the artists we didn't have room for, or whom I liked but the other jurors didn't… A competition like this is something like a reality show.” In fact, the opening reception festivities include a best-of-show awards presentation. But don’t worry, the contest is over; no one else will be voted off the island. Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz; Sun., July 26, 2 - 5p.m.; free.


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