One of the funkier, artier, and flat-out better events in Los Angeles.
Did you know that there used to be a Pabst Brewery right in the heart of downtown L.A.? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. Most Angelenos don’t know it either.
Of course, it’s not a Brewery anymore. Pabst moved out to the Inland Empire years ago, and the motley collection of drab Art-Deco buildings out near the Railroad tracks? Well, of course they became the L.A. Brewery Arts Complex.
Yep, for the low-low and not-so-low price of $700 to $4000 dollars a month (depending on availability), you two can live and work in what was the historic Pabst Brewery. And twice a year, if you so choose, you can open up your home to total strangers, allowing them to sample your wares.
The Brewery Art Walk is a fairly well-organized event (well, organized by Artists standards). Parking’s free, as is the event. There is a beer and snack garden, though you’d be well advised to chow down first before hitting the event. (Hey, Phillipe’s, the San Antonio Winery, and the Empress Pavillion are all nearby). After that, you’re ready for some Art.
Whether or not that Art is ready for you (or the world) is another matter. As you tour the various galleries, you are going to be confronted with two variations of the same question. (Oh, my God you’re so talented) “What in the world are you doing there? And (Oh, my God that sucks) “What in the world are you doing here?” It may take some work on your part, and a lot of exploration (again, on your part), but there are some seriously, seriously talented people at the Brewery, and their work is worth every penny of the multi-hundreds or thousands of dollars they are asking for. There are people there who have had their work on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and have set up super-professional, serious Gallery spaces to view their work. And there are people who look like they just can’t cut it, and probably won’t be there again if you visit again. (The woman who liked to smear paint all over herself and various mannikins was not a particular favorite of mine.)
The March viewing in 2012 was in cooler weather, and not as crowded (though as you can see from some of the pictures, it was hardly a ghost-town). The event is family friendly and perfectly appropriate for the Stroller brigade. If you’re worried about L.A.’s cutting edge being a little too risque for the kiddies, don’t be. I believe a little thing called the internet has taken a lot of that market away from the event.
So, long story short. The event is fun, its cheap (as long as you’re just looking), and give you a look at the cutting edge of what’s going on in one of America’s preeminent art scenes…though as you soon might learn, cutting edge can sometimes leave you burned.
Hey, now that I think about it. Why the hell aren’t the food trucks down here??
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Those expecting to find a cheap little odd and/or end for their one bedroom apartment in North Hollywood, are going to be sorely disappointed. The tiniest, and I mean TINIEST original works were running in the $1200 range, with larger pieces going for in the $4000-$5000 range.
There is some hucksterism going on with some places charging for special mini events, like charing $5 bucks for a trip inside a day-glo 3D extravaganza inside the old Steel Plant. (I said it was safe for the kiddies). And one promienent photographer was charging $5 bucks to take photographs in front of his admittedly amazing “Jesus Wall”, which has to be seen to be adequately described. In both cases I kept my fiver in my wallet.
Also, if you have an aversion to Outhouses being a means of personal (ahem)…relief. This may not be the even for you. The Masters of the Brewery Universe forecast the need for approximately two…count ’em…TWO Outhouses for the entire event, making the consumption of beer and snacks at the event probably not a wise option.
PARKING: Once you turn off Main Street onto Moulton, the Event Planners were wise enough to hire Security to guide people into the visitors lot of nearby UPS Visitors lot. (UPS is closed on weekends). The Parking is free, but fills up REAL fast.
The Brewery Art Walk
2100 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031