We've seen artists settle in areas such as Venice and Culver City, only to turn them into mainstream gallery-and-retail spots. Can there still be an undiscovered creative enclave in our fair city?
We've found it in Elysian Valley, the neighborhood along the L.A. River hemmed in by the 2, 5 and 110 freeways. This gritty area of converted commercial lofts is home to scores of working artists, and we'll get to visit them in situ on September 24 at the Frogtown Artwalk. (The neighborhood's nickname was inspired by a historic wealth of river frogs.)
This self-guided tour (check out periodically updated addresses here and on Facebook) starts at 4 p.m. with a wide range of working artists showing off their recent work as well as their creative methods. Participants include an architect who makes finely crafted furniture out of reclaimed wood, a woman who uses comics from her childhood to make ironic grown-up paintings, potters, painters and screen-printers.
Though this is the sixth annual Frogtown Artwalk, this year's event will be extra special since it coincides with the newly completed pedestrian-and-bike path along the L.A. River. After your artsy stroll, you'll be ready for dinner at Larkin's Soul Food (1496 Colorado Blvd.; 323-254-0934), just over the hill in Eagle Rock, for some evolved Southern cuisine.