Monday, April 7, 2008

Exploring Downtown's Brewery Art Colony

Twice a year, more than 100 of the Brewery's residents throw open their live/work lofts to show off some of their wares. The Brewery Art Walk took place this past weekend, and the Franklin Avenue trio checked it out.

As interested I was in the art, the L.A. nerd in me was even more interested to get a good look at the lofts, and how a one-time brewery had been adapted.

A hodge-podge of 22 buildings on 23 acres, the complex dates back to 1888. Much of the site began as the Eastside Brewery, and later the Maier Brewery. Still later, Pabst Blue Ribbon took over the brewery, and operated there until 1981. The complex's buildings also include what was once one of Los Angeles' first power plants.

The Brewery functions as a mini community, which hundreds of residents creating a wide range of art. The doors open during the Brewery Art Walk, in which artists show off and sell their works; several studios also sell clothes at sample sale prices, among other things. Parking and admission is free.

It's obviously too late to attend this past weekend's events, but another one is scheduled for fall.

Some pics:

"Since 1894 - Paradox Iron," the sign on the warehouse reads. This is the building from which the famous smokestack, with the words "THE BREWERY" painted on the side, soars.

Once upon a time, where beer was sent to ferment. Now, artists lofts.

"Pabst believes in safety." 28 years later, this bulletin board still exists, now highlighting news and info for the Brewery tenants.

With the Brewery smokestack in the backgound, event attendees dine on food from Barbara's, the art colony's restaurant/bar.

In this piece, Arnold Schwarzenegger sprouts horns and holds a dead bunny. Much like the real governor.

A cat sculpture next to the studio of artist Bruce Gray.

No lie, this is a rug of Britney Spears' face. No takers as of Saturday morning.

Joy Division!

Yes. That is a dress made of sporks.

The artists colony even boasts its own bookstore, Bookfinger.

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