FROGTOWN ART WALK
Date: Friday November 17th, 2006, 7-10 PM
At some point during the 1960’s, residents of the small community of
Elysian Valley stepped outside to a veritable flood of frogs blanketing
the streets and yards of the neighborhood. Legend has it that the
polluted water of the neighboring Los Angeles River caused a decline
in the natural predators of the native red-legged frog: the herons and
the crayfish. The resulting reptile explosion caused the frogs to
overrun the banks of the river and to stray into the neighborhood. This
event gave the area its enduring nickname, Frogtown. The construction
of the 5 freeway effectively cut the area off from the surrounding
communities of Echo Park and Silverlake. The re-zoning of the lots
between Blake Avenue and the river created an isolated pocket of
industrial land that co-existed for years with the single-family
residences across the street. Many of the warehouses and factories are
now being occupied by a range of designers, artists and artisans who
find that the lively streets and nearby river make for a provocative
work environment. We are pleased to announce the first Frogtown Art
Walk, a celebration of the creativity and the diverse talents of the
residents and businesses occupying the industrial buildings of
Elysian Valley (Frogtown). The Frogtown Art Walk is a self-guided tour
of the various studios and business venues located along Blake Avenue
in Elysian Valley. The tour will include the Li’l Frogtown Gallery of
Frank and Sharon Romero, a recently re-purposed plaster factory
now occupied by a series of artists, a stop at Lovecraft Biofuels for a
demonstration of their bio-diesel conversion process, visits to several
architects’ offices, as well as several photography and sculpture
studios. The boundaries of Elysian Valley (Frogtown) are the 2 freeway
to the north, the 110 freeway to the south, the Los Angeles River to
the east, and the 5 freeway to the west. The event hours are 7-10 PM.
The tour is free and open to the public. Free street parking is
plentiful in the area. For further details, images, and a map of the
tour sites, visit the Frogtown Art Walk website at
http://www.frogtownarts.com or call the office of Tracy A. Stone
Architect at (323) 664-0202.
Participants in the Downtown Art Walk are as follows:
1. Romero Studio & Lil’ Frogtown Gallery, 1625 Blake Avenue
contact: Frank & Sharon Romero, tel. 323 226 0356
The studio of artists Sharon and Frank Romero share space with the Li'l
Frogtown Gallery, a venue for emerging
artists. Frank Romero is featured in Cheech Marin's travelling
exhibtion Chicano Visions and is well known for his
murals and paintings depicting Los Angeles.
2. Paul Redmond Photography, 1839 Blake Avenue Loft #6
contact: Paul Redmond, tel. 323 823 5001
Paul Redmond is a Commercial, Editorial and Fine Arts Photographer
shooting out of OPENshade Studio, a
daylight space in the back north corner of 1839 Blake Ave. Modus
Operandi: For work-People. For art-Not
People. Pressed to describe his work "Arbitrary Landscapes" seemed apt;
tending to take himself off his beaten
path, searching for places where humans have "affected their space with
not much thought (which can be really
cool), too much thought (which assaults your sensibilities) or just
plain bad thinking (my visual cafeteria)". Subject
matter can include architecture, landscaping, roads, detritus or civil
engineering. In 2006 people began crossing
the line into his artwork and he's "giving them the tour, figuring out
what to do with these new visitors." They may
be asked to stay.
For the Artwalk, parts of two current portrait series: "Kissing Booth"
and "spawn: father, child"
are displayed. Several photographs from "light leaks" a 2003 gallery
exhibit produced with a plastic $18.95 Holga
Camera will also be up.
3. Eddy Sykes, 1839 Blake Avenue Loft # 4
Contact: Eddy Sykes, tel. 323 369 2979
ChersonProm is a sculpture and architectural design studio, focused on
ambitious material applications in art and
architecture. They specialize in architectural-scale kinetic systems,
create projects from a combination of old-school
technical know how, and modern CAD/CAM applications. They manage all
aspects of their projects from design, to
fabrication, to installation.
During the artwalk, ChersonProm will be exhibiting fulll-scale motion
architecture prototypes/ astm testing
equipment, documentation of architectural projects, a custom-restored
1972 Alfa Romeo GTV , and new sculpture
project in progress.
4. Shawn Freeman Studio, 1839 Blake Avenue Loft # 14
Contact: Shawn Freeman, tel. 323 702 3428
Shawn moved to LA in '97 to work as a graphic designer while he
finished his BA at Long Beach State. He
participated in his first group show at Art Share in April of '99. In
May of 2005 he moved into Frogtown at 1839
Blake Avenue. He now works as a Creative Director while continuing to
create digital illustrations, video and
sculpture. Recent work includes custom video projections for local band
Shawn's art vibrates with the balancing of good vs. evil. His digital
illustrations and installations voyage to current
cultural disasters, possible futures as well as realms beyond the
physical plane. Shawn draws inspiration from the
natural beauty within the compositions of Alphonse Mucha and Japanese
woodblock printers such as Hiroshige and
Hasui. During the art walk his studio will feature a range of videos,
illustrations from his latest series of images as
well as a sculpture installation.
5. Lovecraft Biofuels, 2029 Blake Avenue
Contact: Brian Friedman, tel. 213 291 8587
Lovecraft Biofuels is a cooperative of people with a common goal of
promoting alternative fuels. Currently, we are
actively converting diesel-powered vehicles to run on new and waste
vegetable oil. To keep these vehicles on the
road, we are setting up a network of private and community fueling
stations across the country.
Interest in vegetable oil as a fuel may be for environmental,
political, and/or financial reasons. We're working with
people from all walks of life. Our customers include truckers,
activists, liberals, conservatives, and anyone
interested in clean burning, free fuel from renewable resources
produced in the US.
We will open our main headquarters in Frogtown, (where we do
conversions), for the Art Walk.
6. Tracy A. Stone Architect, 2041 Blake Avenue
Contact: Tracy Stone, Sameena Sitabkhan, Donatella Cusma, tel. 323 664 0202
Tracy A. Stone Architect is a small office offering a full range of
architectural services with an emphasis on
sustainable design. Recent projects have incorporated such features as
retention basins, green roofs, thermal
chimneys, building integrated photo-voltaics, permeable paving, etc.
The North Central Animal Services Center (on
target for a LEED gold certification) for the City of Los Angeles, was
featured in a recent LA Times article (dated
October 9th, 2006) entitled “Fawning over the Fauna at the Shelter”.
The office currently occupies an old industrial textile factory as part
of a small live-work complex along the LA River.
A portion of the office functions as a part-time art gallery. During
the art walk, we will feature work by noted artist,
Andrew West has spent the last twenty years in an effort to push the
boundaries of painting. He has hung paintings
on trees, let them crawl around the floor, created site-specific works
outside of gallery spaces, collaborated with
other painters, and embarked on an infinite series of paintings. He
works with subjects most overlook; the
neglected, the microscopic, the unpopular.
His style has become increasingly improvisational over time, allowing
the process of painting to strip the objects he
works with of identity and function, and transform them into something
more. The task of naming these paintings
places them into an art historical context, establishing a new,
Recently West has turned his attention to the topic of robots, an old
interest of his. Though his connection to the
subject comes from mid-Twentieth Century writers such as Asimov and
Simak, and science fiction films like
Alphaville and Bladerunner, his imagery is not drawn from the fantasy
worlds of western comics and Japanese
manga. Instead, he is focusing on the often unassuming and
non-anthropomorphic robots found in actual industrial
and scientific environments. Using such objects to build paintings
around, he looks to express the avant-garde
sentiments of these other media in order to investigate what shape a
compelling, relevant painting practice might
take in the future.
West received his Master of Fine Arts at UCSD, and lives and works in
Los Angeles. Besides there and San Diego,
he has shown in northern Mexico, Chicago, Amsterdam, and Tokyo.
7. California Modern, 2057 Blake Avenue
Contact: John Conneely, tel. 310 701 9349
California Modern is a general contracting firm started with the goal
of building meaningful modern architecture. The
company builds on the premise that modern is an attitude and a way of
life, not a style. We work closely with
talented designers and architects to ensure that the client receives
full value and the work meets the highest
The founder and principal of California Modern, John Conneely, comes to
modernism with an extensive background
in traditional woodworking and building. With a B.S. in engineering and
advanced education in accounting, John
spent 20 years building monumental circular staircases and finish
carpentry to the highest level both in residential
estates and corporate executive suites. California Modern was built on
a commitment to quality and an overall
dedication to craft. With its own shop and an extensive network of
quality vendors, a high level of quality can be
achieved while working within reasonable budgets.
8. Paragon Cabinets West, 2900 Denby Avenue
Contact: Caleb Powell, tel. 323 270 8971
Paragon Cabinets West is currently completing the full reconstruction
of the original built-in cabinetry for John
Lautner’s Harpel House.
9. Steel and Things, 2900 Denby Avenue
Contact: Steve Graziani, tel. 310 864 9461
I work in direct welded steel, combined with hardwoods and glass,
achieving contemporary, earthy pieces. My
sculptures range from decorative to functional.
On the night of the art walk, I will have my gallery open with about
30+ pieces on display along with some food and
10. RAC Design Build, 3006 N. Coolidge Ave
Contact: Susan Fanfa, tel. 323-663-9898
RAC Design Build is an integrated design build firm that provides
comprehensive design and construction services
for residential projects. The company is guided by a desire to create
built work that resonates with permanence,
craft and clarity, and brings these same principles to the work process.
Please join us for a bite, a drink, and a visit during the Frogtown Art
Walk where we will have on view in our
workshop drawings, models, mock-ups, and photographs exemplifying a
variety of mediums, all of which are part of
our design and construction process.
11. Brand Name Label (Gabriel Renz), 3010 N. Coolidge Avenue
Contact: Gabriel Renz, tel. 213 434 0369
Brand Name Label and Jeremy Watson Fine Woodworking share a studio
space in Frogtown. Together they meet
the diverse needs of their clients by being a highly adaptable and
multi-disciplined fabrication shop. Capabilities
range from large-scale Kinetic Architectural pieces to fine furniture
and art fabrication. Please join us during the Art
Crawl for Drinks and Live music throughout the evening and into the night.