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.
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.