More than ever, Los Angeles is becoming an art mecca. From the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles to beachside communities, artists are creating beautiful pieces of work, be it oil paintings, sculptures or glassworks. In an effort to support these local artists and art galleries, communities organize art walks throughout the year, which go beyond art and include live music, food and more. Whether you're just looking to support the cause or you're in search of that perfect piece to hang above your mantle, here are the best art walk options in Los Angeles.
Best art walk options in L.A.
Cruise Downtown L.A.'s galleries every second Thursday of the month at a Downtown Art Walk. These free self-guided gallery tours highlight DTLA's art spaces, many of which feature local artists. It's not the best art in L.A., but more than 25,000 visitors attend each month and many of the local businesses participate as well. The boundaries of the tour are 4th and 7th streets and Spring and Main streets, but some of the participating galleries are outside that area. To see a map of the galleries and to make a custom guide for your next trip, click here. Check the website for specific details each month. After the Art Walk, find a restaurant or bar in the Arts District with our neighborhood guide.
Food trucks, open galleries and late-night shop hours—it's the triumvirate of L.A. street fest staples in full force at First Fridays. The monthly Abbot Kinney celebration brings out locals and distant Angelenos alike for bites and sales in the fashionable Venice 'hood. Show up early to find a parking spot, otherwise you'll waste time circling for spots when you could've been lining up for that cheesy goodness from the perennial-favorite Grilled Cheese Truck.
Downtown San Pedro is a burgeoning art mecca. With galleries lining the streets, particularly those between 4th and 7th and Pacific Avenue to Palos Verdes Street, it makes for a natural spot to do an art walk. Every first Thursday of the month, the art galleries and local restaurants participate in 1st Thursday ArtWalk, which changes in theme and participation every month but you can expect lots of art, gallery tours, restaurant deals and food trucks. Thre is also an ArtWalk tour, which has a different itinerary each month. The art walk is open from 6 to 9pm the first Thursday of every month.
NELAart consists of about 40 galleries and studios in Northeast Los Angeles, which open their doors to visitors on the second Saturday of every month. NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night has been doing down for more than 10 years and is a great way to see the comprehensive art and culture happening in Northeast L.A. The event takes place from 7 to 10pm the second Saturday of the month.
This art walk has all the usual suspects: galleries and studios open late, food, vendors, and live music. But a highlight to the monthly event is the competition, where attendees can submit an original art piece (entries are due to Hellada Gallery by 5pm the day of). The winner of the monthly contest receives a $75 prize. The art walk takes place in the East Village Arts District in Long Beach, around Linden Avenue, 1st Street, Broadway, 4th Street and Elm on the second Saturday of every month.
First Fridays is not only an art walk, with vendors, art work and live music abound, but it's an entertainment hub. At past events there have been spoken word performances, dances, juggling ice cream men and jump rope masters. The event takes place in Bixby Knolls from Atlantic Avenue to Bixby Road to San Antonio Drive. It is open from 6:30 to 9:30pm on the first Friday of the month.
This seasonal artwalk, produced by 11:11 A Creative Collective, features live music, art installations, more than 200 vendors, food trucks and local restaurant specials. More block party style than some other art walks, this is a strictly summertime activity, with it going down on the third Thursday of June, July and August at the Downtown Historic Canoga Park. The event takes place from 6 to 10pm.