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A Jewel in Frogtown’s Crown: Nomad Art Compound

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Once upon a time, there was a neighborhood called Frogtown. Frogtown had always been beautiful, but for a long while it was only the artists and eccentrics of Los Angeles who could see it’s true beauty. Through the seemingly magical efforts of the good people of Frogtown and organizations like Friends of the Los Angeles River,  Frogtown Neighborhood Association, and  The Elysian Valley Arts Collective, more and more Angelenos began to see Frogtown for the treasure it is. The annual Frogtown Art Walk is a very special celebration where the artists, small business folk, and the townspeople of Frogtown invite one and all to come and enjoy the splendor of their community. This fairy tale (albeit saccharine) is actually true!

And in keeping with my fairy tale theme, there is a jewel in Frogtown’s crown that shines with a particular brightness. That jewel is the Nomad Art Compound. Nomad was founded by artist, musician, and storyteller Damon Robinson because he wanted to create “… a printmaking studio and art compound dedicated to the exploration and preservation of analog art and print processes, and to the inspiration of the communal creative laboratory.” The Nomad Art Compound houses a printshop, art gallery, tattoo shop, music studio, Art BNB, Barbar’elas barber shop, and BookShow LA an uncommon book and curio shop. That’s a lot of goodness packed into this unassuming industrial space! Do yourself a favor and take a moment to watch Damon Robinson: Hecho En LA. Damon is obviously supremely talented, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s one hell of a nice guy too.


NOW, make three wishes! Yep, I’m clinging to my tired fairy tale theme so deal with it.

Wish #1: granted! Barber’elas is an ode to the barber shops of yesterday with a distinct rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Put simply, Barber’elas is throwback done right! Bethany has done a terrific job of crafting a barber shop that serves to do more than simply provide you with an aesthetically ideal place to get your cuts, fades, and shaves. Barber’elas is an experience. Bethany is a highly skilled “…dude loving female barber.” who’d be right at home in a Robert Rodriguez film. What more could you want? Barber’elas is open by appointment only Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00am-8:00pm.

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Wish #2: granted! Book Show is magic. “Book Show strives to keep the art of the printed word and alive and rejuvenate the joy of browsing by offering an interactive creative retail space designed for the curious mind.” In carrying out this mission, Jenn has  carefully curated a collection of vintage books, offbeat and independent publications, odd artwork, and other quirky items that make weird hearts like mine sing. Book Show also provides readings, writing workshops, craft classes, performances, and other special events that give Angelenos the opportunity to exchange ideas freely and develop their artistic skills. Jen and Book Show were even recently featured in the LA Times! I’m a huge fan of Book Show LA, but I’m also fan of Jen. Jen one of those rare and genuine people whom you just feel lucky to know. Go visit Jen and her carnival of books and curios Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00am – 7:00pm.


Wish #3: granted! Nomad Art Compound is open as part of the Frogtown Art Walk this Saturday, September 13th from 4:00 – 10:00pm. And Wish #4: granted! That’s right, I granted your fourth wish too because you’re greedy and I’m nice that way. Ramonda Hammer will be playing a live concert at Nomad during the Frogtown Art Walk! So, no excuses, you best be there.




This gallery contains 17 photos

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“le petit films de carolyn”

If you’ve ever read my Twitter feed, you are likely to have seen my numerous retweets of Carolyn Gair’s amazing stop motion mini films. These tasty petit fours of guerrilla cinema are only about 15 seconds long on average, but they pack a delightfully powerful punch of humor, action, and emotion. Carolyn has a show tonight at Gallery 839 from 6PM – 9PM, and it seemed only fitting to have a compilation of Carolyn’s tiny masterpieces playing during her show. After all, Carolyn is an animator and story teller by trade, and many of the objects that come alive in her films are the very same upcycled and recycled vintage treasures found in her assemblage art pieces.


It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Carolyn Gair. Carolyn is one of the most talented and generous artists I know, and I’m thrilled that she’s enjoying so much success with her films and found object art. I can think of few people who deserve to be recognized for their talent and creativity more than Ms. Gair does.

Please come out and support Carolyn tonight at her Gallery 839 show in Burbank, and tomorrow at “THE UPCYCLE: BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY” opening at FOLD Gallery in The Spring Arts Tower Downtown.

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Caveat: please disregard the trailer attached to “le petit films de carolyn”. Godzilla had a rider in his contract that stipulated that he would be the one to cut the trailer for the film. So, well, the trailer is about what you’d expect from Godzilla. My apologies in advance… Click here to view “le petit films de carolyn”.

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It’s very fitting that my first (proper) blog post features one of my favorite Downtown LA art galleries, FOLD Gallery. FOLD is special. FOLD is weird. FOLD isn’t going to play by anyone else’s “art rules”! FOLD is lovingly curated by the supremely talented Jena Priebe, and it promises to enchant you with fascinating curios and uncommon artistic imaginings  every time you enter its doors.

Enough gushing, I’ll get to the point already… FOLD has a new show that started on August 20th called THE UPCYCLE: BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY” and it’s pretty fantastic! All of the ten artists featured in the show used recycled, rather upcycled, items in their artwork. This theme lends to a wide array of artistic expressions featuring all things once discarded. AND the best part is that you’re invited to the official opening of “THE UPCYCLE: BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY” on Saturday, September 6th from 7PM – 10PM! Many of the featured artists will be at the opening reception, so you’ll have a unique opportunity to get to know your local artist. If you cant’t make the opening reception on Saturday, don’t fret! You’ll have another opportunity to meet some of the artists from the show at the DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES ARTWALK on Thursday, September 11th from 12PM- 10PM


Below is a listing of the “THE UPCYCLE: BEYOND SUSTAINABILITY” artists and their websites. I’ve included a little taste of each artist’s work that I respectfully lifted from their websites with the best of intentions. Click on the artist’s name to go to their website homepage or click on the artwork to go directly to the featured art piece. Please note that this is not necessarily artwork from the FOLD show, but rather a visual aperitif to pique your interest.

Winston Secrest “Straight Ahead”                        


Patrick Quinn “Coke Date”
Sweetie Boosh Random Things


Curtis Brooks “Persevere”



Gunner Johnson Bicycle Parts Sculptures



AnneMarie Rawlinson “Barbie Twitters”


Walter Kerner “Illuminated Triptych No.1”


Phillip Graffham “Campbell’s Label”



Kate Carvellas “Pieces of Me”



Carolyn Gair “Warfare Offices”



Please come out and be a patron of the arts this Saturday, September 6th from 7PM -10PM at FOLD Gallery. I hope to see lots of familiar faces there!

If you want to receive updates on all of FOLD Galleries upcoming shows and happenings, click here and subscribe to their mailing list.


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This will not be a fancy pants website…

This website will not have any bells or whistles that do not come with the free WordPress package. In fact, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you can see which free drag-and-drop WordPress template I used to build this very basic website. The bottom line here is that I’m not trying to sell you anything, so I’m not going to waste your time (or mine) with fluff. My aim is to simply share my excitement for all things artistic in the Greater Los Angeles area with likeminded folks, and hopefully help the artists, galleries, shops, and art event organizers who fuel my love for the LA art scene to sell some art. I don’t get paid to promote certain artists or events, and  I don’t want a commission or a finder’s fee for anything. I write about whomever and whatever inspires me, and my payoff is the satisfaction I get from that… super corny but true.