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Stroll the streets and explore local galleries during the Downtown LA Art Walk

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ArtWalk is the one night a month that it’s socially acceptable to wander the streets in search of art.
Photo courtesy of DTLA Artwalk

People living in the Valley are all-too-familiar with LACMA and the Getty. Both are popular art spots that seem to fall under this rotating clique of museums to occasionally visit on a mellow weekend afternoon. To break out of this routine, on the second Thursday of each month, the Downtown LA Art Walk hosts a communal gallery night in the cultural vortex of Downtown. Tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. the Art Walk Lounge, located in the MALDEF building at 634 S. Spring St., will be flooded with participants ranging from curious drifters to art enthusiasts all eager to go gallery-hopping.

The Art Walk started small in 2004 but has since developed into 50 galleries and 25,000 visitors each month. The event stretches between 4th, 7th, Spring and Main Street with clusters of galleries and restaurants at every corner.

From the modern, fluorescent-lit window exhibits to the grungy and experimental galleries, each show has its own personality. With the cultivation of variety and diversity comes exposure for up-and-coming artists, many of whom create art to promote social issues, spread awareness or tell the story of their experiences.

Galleries to look out for are the Andrea Art Studio, Dove Biscuit Studio, Fold Gallery, Gloria Delson Gallery and  NWO Gallery. Like wine tasting, people are encouraged to dabble in a variety of art and explore the cultural melting pot where contemporary and more classical works of art are celebrated.

To carry the spirit of International Women’s Day last week, the Art Walk Lounge will feature female artists such as Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Lili Bernard who explore race, gender and exploitation through artistic conversation.

Fazlalizadeh is a Brooklyn-based artist who brings a fresh wave of gender-themed art that projects women in powerful roles. The portrait sketches in her “Stop Telling Women to Smile” project are empowering canvasses that tackle the issue of street harassment. Similarly, Bernard has produced artwork bursting at the seams with vibrant colors that illustrate the exploitation of African-American women.

DJ Panamami will set the scene by spinning select contemporary beats which are often known to reflect the cultural diversity of her surroundings. There will also be a fashion show that honors women and young girls in developing countries, said Art Walk staff member Jose Navarrete. The fashion show will be held at Les Noces Du Figaro restaurant at 618 S. Broadway from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Plan the trip Downtown by creating an Art Walk map available on downtownartwalk.org which not only contains a list of featured galleries but also offers directions to nearby cafés and restaurants once all that walking finally gets to your stomach.

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