Our very own LA Art Walk

We’ve had a few inevitable declines from our Couchsurf requests, just too little notice really. But what we have found is a social event going on tonight planned by one of the CS hosts. We think we might go along and meet some CSers and see what comes of that.

Having had another look at the possibility of buying a car for a road trip we are beginning to realise it’s not feasible as there’s so much paperwork and conditions, like needing an address in the state you want to but the car in etc. So we start focusing on other options. How cheaply could we hire a car? Could we deliver a car, is that feasible, what about car share?

Then there are accommodation costs, how do we get these down if the couchsurfing doesn´t come off… maybe we should be looking for wheels that would double us as sleeping space – a van or similar…in the meantime we book another night here in the hostel and head out for the day.

Armed with our Art Walk map we go looking for some more galleries, and here are some of the highlights we come across: Gallery Gloria, where we get talking to the gallery assistant – Petra, we find she´s an actor who lives upstairs and works for the owner here in the gallery too. The work on show is stunning, being portraits of course Bernice is hooked, but these really have a new take on the portrait. The artist Melissa Meier, has worked with mixed media, starting with taking a photo of her subject (all female in this instance) and working into an enlarged version of it before overlaying it with a lace doily and cutting away a well-chosen design and then the whole piece is mounted in front of black velvet giving a very haunted yet strong look. We liked them so much we told Petra that we would email Melissa and tell her so.

Moving on, with our map and recommendations now, we visit Gallery CB1, which has an eclectic mix of work well presented together – what we are realising is that there is very little video based art here in LA and asking about why this might be the only conclusion we can come to is that moving image is left to Hollywood!!! – there is one video piece here which looks lost amongst the otherwise wall based work. There also seems to be a lot going on with Graffiti art at the minute, there´s a big exhibition on at the “Geffen @MoCA” that we´ll be seeing later as part of the CSers social.

Lastly of note on our rounds is Gallery Ground Floor, this is run by Dane, a lovely lady who tells us about an event that’s on over the weekend – with artists opening their studios up, live music and stalls. Sounds like one to catch.

Quite tired from all our culture taking, we head for the Harlem Place Café for lunch, down an alley nearby. We have a great sarnie and get to taking in some more art as unexpectedly they have an exhibition on too.

All fuelled up we go in search of The Hive, a gallery, come artists’ studios that Petra and both Dane recommended as Bernice mentioned looking for opportunities of taking up a residency sometime in the future. Nathan the owner was just diving out as we arrived so we had a look around anyway. The front portion was laid out in gallery style but as we went through an open doorway, we hit upon a couple dozen small stall-like spaces each with a different artists work in. Some of which we really liked. As Nathan never returned we planned to come back another time.

Back at the hostel we have a relax before setting of for the Geffen and meeting CSers for the 1st time… Not sure who we are looking for and finding the exhibition packed we just relax to enjoy it with a plan on hooking up with them in the 2nd rendezvous The Angel Brewery, there is a huge amount of graffiti art on show, including Banksy, some site recreations and a whole section on the history of graffiti evolution. While it was really informative and well done, there´s just something not quite right about showing graffiti in a gallery context, it doesn’t belong on the inside it should be out there on the inside defying the establishment not being accepted by it.

At the brewery, and it really was a brewery, we grab a beer and some food from a man in a van, and wait… eventually we are accosted by a half dozen of so people and asked “are you couchsurfers”, guessing yes was the right answer even though we haven´t as yet, they join us and we get chatting…it’s an incredible evening, not just because we get offered our 1st couch, but more because all these people are brought together by their thirst for adventure through travel, and if they haven´t time or money to travel just now, they host people who are travelling and satisfy their thirst on hearing their stories. The group is pretty much 50-50 split, backpackers to hosts, which we didn´t anticipate, we thought there´d be a few hosts and loads of backpackers scrounging couches…

The other exciting thing to come out of it is there is an organised hike to the Hollywood sign on Saturday and we´ve agreed to join in. We´re not into the whole Hollywood scene, hang about the red carpets, see the stars, but a hike, now you´re talking 🙂

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