In shocking news that can’t go unnoticed, the artwalk in Downtown LA has officially been canceled, or has it? As of Friday night the official word from the events website was, “In recent years the Downtown Art Walk has grown so large that it has become too costly to manage in its current form. Effective immediately the Downtown Art Walk will go on hiatus, ceasing all event operations until January 2011, at which time it will be reborn as a quarterly, weekend, daytime, gallery-focused event which will appeal to both patrons of the arts as well as the general public.” This statement was released by Jay Lopez, wait for it, former director of the event. Shoot!
In my small time associated with the art walk I experienced some scandal. My first story on Viva Hoffman entailed interviewing the man showing her, the man who birthed the idea of artwalk many years ago, Bert Green. Throughout the duration of my stay at Downtownster I was none too kind to Mr. Green. During our interview for that first story he told me all about launching art walk, gathering curators and turning downtown into a destination. All of those dreams had panned out and he was showing some of LA’s most prominent artists.
However, my eyebrow rose with suspicion after pulling on the doors, so sure it was a mistake. Bert Greens show with Hoffman and Ramsey was unavailable to the art walk crowd. I called Bert scratching my head and was told he had the gallery open for regular operating hours, closing down at 7:30.
My editor at the time flipped, “This is our story. Forget the rest, there’s something here!”
Come to find, through the loose tongued grape vine, that Bert was being ousted as head of the event. The board wanted the event to become more of a culture walk rather than solely focused on art. This was not Bert’s vision and he was being removed.
Flash forward to what art walk has become. Grateful I no longer needed to report on art I’d seen time and time again, I hit artwalk with a new vigor after quitting downtownster. I headed out with Lyss and friends and we painted the town red. We ate dim sum from food trucks. We spent wads of cash in the jam packed parking lot. I frequented Monster Kat’s (http://www.flickr.com/photos/monsterkat/) booth like an addict unwilling to kick my habbit. I shopped, we ate, we saw one show. One.
We always, without fail, hit up Arty, 634 S. Main St. This gallery is hit or miss but when it hits, its huge! They had a show called the Canary Suicides I couldn’t get enough of. At one particularly dull art walk, when Arty was showing gaudy hotel-art paintings, I asked where the Canary Suicides had gone. My friends and I were let into the back room for a private viewing. Pure gold!
To keep a long story long, I had lost interest in the galleries and shows and had submerged myself in the scene. I had fun!
So it seems culture walk was rolling, headed up by, I’m assuming, one dethroned Mr. Jay Lopez. The Art Walk Board issued a statement blaming the false release of information on Lopez. They released this jewel earlier today, “The announcement made to the media on Friday by Jay Lopez, the former director of the event, was made on his own initiative without authorization or support of the Board or any of the other constituents of the endeavor, including the various civic organizations responsible for managing, financing and supporting the event,”.
We now know, hope, think that artwalk Ocotber 2010 will take place as planned. The fate of the event is uncertain so grab a sweater, skinny jeans and your coolest beanie and devour as much food, art and monsters as you can stand!