Los Angeles Art Walks

Photo courtesy of R.E.~, Flickr

From Downtown's burgeoning art scene to Venice's longstanding funkiness to San Pedro's eclectic collections near Los Angeles Harbor, local art walks give both locals and visitors an opportunity to get the true flavor of a community, not to mention a much-needed art fix.

1. Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk

When: Second Thursday of every month, noon-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown's Financial District and Historic Core

This self-guided tour, which started in 2004 and has flourished as much of Downtown has cleaned up, encompasses more than 40 galleries and museums spread throughout the area's many sub-districts, including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo and Gallery Row on Main and Spring Streets in the Historic Core. About 10,000 visitors regularly take the tour. Read more about the Downtown LA Artwalk.

2. First Fridays at Abbot Kinney

When: First Friday of every month, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Venice's Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Local merchants on or near Abbot Kinney, the thoroughfare that runs diagonally through Venice, come together every month to feature the best artists, gifts, products and music in the area. Local charities benefit as art junkies, couples and families descend on the always funky beach community. And, of course, beverages are available. Read more about First Fridays at Abott Kinney.

3. San Pedro 1st Thursday Art Walk

When: First Thursday of every month, 6-9 p.m.
Where: downtown San Pedro

Since 1996, both locals and cruise-ship tourists from the nearby Port of Los Angeles have flocked to the area to experience San Pedro’s tight-knit artists’ community, impromptu street performances and conversation-worthy art — all classic ingredients for a great art walk. The tour's 30-odd participating galleries include contemporary and textile art.

4. Long Beach 2nd Saturday Art Walk

When: Second Saturday of every month, 4-10 p.m.
Where: downtown Long Beach

Exhibits of paintings, sculpture, photography and crafts all greet those who venture to visit this beach-and-harbor-side city's downtown district. This monthly event also includes two stages for live music and street performances. 

5. NELAart Second Saturday Night

When: Second Saturday of every month, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Eagle Rock and York Boulevards, North Ave. 50, Eagle Rock and Highland Park districts, northeast Los Angeles

OK, so you may need a car for this one. Still, the Highland Park and Eagle Rock districts of northeast of Los Angeles feature clusters of art galleries that collectively keep their doors open late during the second Saturday of each month.

6. Miracle Mile Art Walk

When: Third Saturday of January, April, July and October
Where: Miracle Mile and Hollywood

This quarterly event — much of which is centered near the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — brings aficionados more than 40 galleries within four square miles while giving them a chance to explore Mid-City/Hollywood streets like Melrose and La Brea Avenues, and Beverly Boulevard. 

7. St. Elmo Village

When: Sunday afternoons
Where: 4830 St. Elmo Dr. (two and a half blocks east of La Brea Ave.), Mid-City

Founded in 1969, this Mid-City artists' collective is a work of art in and of itself. The Sunday afternoon series is more of a casual happening than a formal event, functioning as an open house for whichever resident artists opt to participate each week.

8. Pomona Second and Last Saturday Art Walk

When: Second Saturday of every month, 3-9 p.m.; Last Saturday of every month, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Pomona

More than two dozen galleries feature the work of hundreds of local artists covering media ranging from painting to photography to ceramics and jewelry. 

9. First Fridays Long Beach

When: First Friday of every month, 6:30-10 p.m.
Where: Atlantic Avenue between Burlinghall Drive and Bixby Road

More than three dozen venues and restaurants feature visual artists and musicians from Long Beach's Bixby Knolls district.

10. Montrose-Verdugo City Artwalk

When: May, July, September and November, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Check website for location and specific dates

The hillside community tucked between Glendale and the foothills puts together a street exhibition for its local artists. 

11. Westwood LIVE

When: Third Thursday of every month, starting at 6 p.m.
Where: Westwood Village

Westwood LIVE, which debuted in April 2011, recaptures the spirit of the Janss Family and their 1929 vision for a genuine village at the edge of UCLA, while bringing back the spark and pizzazz generated by countless movie premieres at iconic theaters during the ensuing decades. This party is a group effort, with more than two-dozen businesses participating in art exhibitions, live music, restaurant discounts and other draws to keep more people in the Village after the sun goes down.

12. Downtown Culver City Third Wednesdays

When: Third Wednesday of every month, 5-9 p.m.
Where: downtown Culver City

Anyone who's been paying attention to the local food scene is well aware of the explosion of Culver City as a foodie destination. With the downtown area well scrubbed from streetscape improvements, locals and visitors alike can experience the area's resurgence first hand by checking out the city's Third Thursdays, where about two dozen businesses get together to provide art work, music, food and other entertainment. 

13. Leimert Park Art Walk

When: Last Sunday of every month, starting at 2 p.m.
Where: Leimert Park

Leimert Park Village, one of LA's predominant enclaves for African-American culture, added its own art walk in 2010. Taking place on the last Sunday of every month, it is a free self-guided art and community experience highlighting both visual and performance art.