Shepard Fairey mural on building side in downtown LA

LA’s Arts District | Chock a Block

Just east of downtown Los Angeles, the sprawling warehouse area is gradually transitioning from industrial to trendy with increasing numbers of boutiques, galleries, lofts and the inevitable restaurants and coffee shops that follow. Perhaps no one block (okay – it’s really several but feels like one) epitomizes the changing nature of this area as much as East 3rd Street between Santa Fe and Traction where Hauser Wirth Schimmel just opened their arts complex in a former flour mill.  The adaptive reuse of interconnected  late 19th and early 20th century buildings provides a terrific combination of gallery space, a bookstore, and a restaurant (opening summer 2016) along with expansive interior courtyards.

Hauser Wirth Shimmel, DTLA, Arts District, Los Angeles
Outside the Main Entrace of Hauser Wirth Schimmel

The inaugural exhibit Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016 is on view until September 4, 2016. It is a phenomenal show with a wide variety of works. Unfortunately, photography in the galleries is not permitted, so I cannot show you the amazing pieces by Ruth Asawa (one of my favorite artists), Lee Bontecou, Louise Nevelson or others (click on the link above for more info).

Shinique Smith, Forgiving Strands, Hauser Wirth Shimmel, DTLA, Arts District
Up Close and Personal with Shinique Smith’s Forgiving Strands

However, I hope you will be inspired by the two I can share: Forgiving Strands by Shinque Smith; and

Jackie Winsor, Hauser Wirth Shimmel, DTLA
Interior Courtyard with Jackie Winsor’s “30 to 1 Bound Trees”

Jackie Winsor‘s 30 to 1 Bound Trees in the central courtyard. There are numerous places to sit and admire the fabulous building while sipping coffee or another beverage from the outpost of Blacktop Coffee housed in a repurposed Airstream trailer (and whose main espresso bar is across the street).

Blacktop Coffee

If you are in need of more sustenance or an ice cold draft beer,  Wurstküche is just a few doors down with outdoor seating for those sunny Southern California days and balmy nights.

Not to worry – the line moves quickly!

Meanwhile, there are several boutiques to explore including the Poketo flagship store, which has the perfect gift for everyone (oneself included);

Poketo, dtla, Los Angeles
Poketo – Purveyor of Design-Driven Wares

Hammer and Spear which carries vintage pieces and contemporary works by local designers; and Alchemy Works – a rotating gallery, event space, and retail that features on trend housewares, fashion and accessories.

Alchemy Works

There is so much more to explore in this area so stay tuned for future posts!


8 thoughts on “LA’s Arts District | Chock a Block

  1. Maggie, you are capturing Los Angeles, and haven’t gotten to the beaches! Well, after living in many cities and states,(growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which I thought no place would ever beat! ) then living in Boston, Houston, New York, Los Angeles just feels like heaven on earth
    ……love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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