LA’s exploding art scene and clever Valentine’s Day promotion

img_0756.jpgBy Joy A. Kennelly

Last night I was invited to attend a Valentine’s party downtown which looked like fun and seeing as my other single girlfriend didn’t have plans either, we decided to see what it was all about.

The invite promised a chance to win 2 nights at the Standard Hotel & more! Wine, chocolates, roses, raffles, art exhibit and a smart car on site – sounded interesting. Besides, who can turn down chocolates and roses on Valentine’s Day?

On the hour-long, traffic-ridden drive down there I was beginning to question my decision, but as I got closer and saw all the people walking around, heard music, saw the red carpet, and the gallery openings I began to realize we were actually going to be attending something bigger than even expected.

The organizers of our private event had very cleverly wrapped their event around the regularly scheduled Downtown LA Art Walk which takes place the Second Thursday of every month in Downtown Los Angeles.

What a brilliant idea! We were thrilled to have more to do than just one party, which was fun, but small. There were tons of sponsors all perched on little cocktail tables selling their wares, condos and offering goodies to go.

I picked up some candy cigarettes (why? I don’t know…), a bottle of excellent Honest Tea which tastes light and refreshing, some lovely chocolates from Valrhona, some healthy dog treats from the Polka Dog bakery (again why? I don’t even own a dog! Mainly I liked the woman’s sales pitch – it was for my sexy beast. Too funny.), an introduction to Pussy Pooch, the ultimate pet destination from Boston, and numerous other sponsors.

Leaving there we decided to hit some of the other art openings in the surrounding area and were happily surprised to see some really great art. I kept telling my friend that the art scene is exploding in LA.

Then, this morning, my client sent me a link to the New York Times article which states when referring to the predominance of white male artists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s spanking new Broad Contemporary Art Museum, “It should also be embarrassed by the dominance of New York artists (21 out of 30) at a point when Los Angeles has one of the liveliest art scenes on the planet.”

Now if the New York Times says it, will you believe me? Here’s a link to the whole article. Very cool. If last night was any indication of how hot the LA scene is getting I’m very excited!

What I loved about last night was there was so much raw, creative energy in the air. All kinds of people milling around on the streets, laughing, popping in all the various galleries and engaging in conversation inside. All kinds of amazing, interesting, not usually seen art from a wide spectrum of artists.

Here’s some pix to show you what I mean – highlights of the evening then I have to run. More later. This was the first gallery in a wide open area at the bottom of the building – very raw and eclectic. There was even a 50 person marching band accompanying us part of the way- wild! Sorry some of the pix are blurry, I was taking on the fly since I didn’t know if the gallery owners would allow me. But I am press so… Enjoy!

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