Art hopping across L.A.’s vibrant neighbourhoods

Nothing defines Los Angeles, a mecca of arts and culture, quite like its vibrant neighbourhoods.  Each with its own personality, L.A.’s art scene spreads throughout them all. As a recent study by DCI (Development Counsellors International) has found, Canadians prioritize the ability to have new experiences as a primary motivation for leisure travel, making it no surprise that the ever-evolving creativity of Los Angeles’ art scene is a hotspot for Canadian travellers.

Our suggestion? Art hopping of course. We recommend making a day of it and enjoying some of the finest art you’ll ever see while getting to know some of Los Angeles’ most creative pockets.

Neighbourhood 1: Downtown L.A.

L.A.'s newest contemporary art museum has generated lots of buzz since its opening, and with good reason. Founded by avid art collectors and philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the eponymous museum houses 2,000 works from the couple's collection of international and American contemporary art.

The 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, and its edgy facade is poised to become yet another iconic L.A. landmark, not unlike its neighbor, the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. But at the Broad, it's what's inside that counts. The permanent collection offers something of a primer on the best and biggest names in contemporary art. And perhaps the best part? Admission is free.

Across the street from the Broad in the Financial District is the Grand Avenue outpost of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), whose own permanent collection of postwar art is just as compelling as The Broad's. But unlike its new neighbor, MOCA has been around for more than 35 years, and has three locations: the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, MOCA Pacific Design Center, and MOCA Grand Avenue, which shows pieces from the museum's permanent collection of thousands of pieces of contemporary art. At any given time of the year, the museum presents retrospectives of influential artists, as well as traveling exhibitions and temporary installations. MOCA is also well-known for its cultural and community programs, and the Grand Avenue location is always a safe bet for arts lovers, rain or shine.

The walls of the Downtown L.A. Arts District are in a constant state of flux. The neighbourhood is known for its murals, and while some are more permanent than others, there is always the feeling that all of The Arts District you see when you visit here one summer may not be the one you see the following year. The lesson here is always take photos!

Explore some of the Arts District’s best graffiti and murals with LA Art Tours.

The Los Angeles Graffiti and Mural scene- especially in Downtown LA- has been undergoing a renaissance the past few years, fueled by an absolutely amazing cadre of local artists, joined by some of the best from around the globe.

On the tour look out for street artist Colette Miller’s internationally known wings artwork. Colette started the project in 2012 in L.A., inspired by the “City of Angels.” In January 2018 Colette unveiled her first set of wings in Canada at the newest Calii Love location in First Canadian Place in Toronto.

Beyond The Streets (BTS) is the premier exhibition of graffiti, street art and beyond with paintings, sculpture, photography, installations and more, installed throughout 40,000+ sq ft of industrial indoor and outdoor space. The exhibition opens to the public on May 6, 2018.

You don’t want to miss Beyond The Streets (BTS), the premier exhibition of graffiti, street art and beyond, celebrating the soaring heights to which the world’s most recognizable modern art movement has risen. BTS is a groundbreaking multimedia showcase of paintings, sculpture, photography, installations and more, installed throughout 40,000+ sq ft of industrial indoor and outdoor space.

The exhibition opens to the public in Los Angeles on May 6, 2018. Tickets for the event will be available for purchase in advance at BEYONDTHESTREETS.COM.

Neighbourhood 2: Miracle Mile

No visit to L.A. would be complete without a trip to the biggest art museum in the western U.S. Here, you can marvel from more than 120,000 art objects from antiquity to the present day. LACMA's collection of Latin American art includes works from the pre-Columbian period as well as art from modern masters. The museum also features an impressive selection of Asian art, and its collection of Islamic art is regarded as one of the most important in the world.

LACMA has grown significantly since it began as the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art in Exposition Park in 1910. It was established as an institution in 1961, and opened to the public in 1965 at its current location, where it has continued to expand with more buildings ever since.

The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) champions cultural understanding by encouraging curiosity about our diverse world through the universal lens of art. CAFAM is special because it is a place to both see art and make art. Tying into exhibitions, CAFAM coordinates a robust roster of hands-on workshops led by professional artists and instructors. The museum is a place where friends and families come to spark creativity, appreciate more fully what it means to craft something by hand, and feel how satisfying that can be.

Neighbourhood 3: Culver City

Dubbed as L.A.’s art epicenter, Culver City is known for its high concentration of art galleries. You won’t want to miss Honor Fraser Gallery, home to a diverse and influential community of artists whose work challenges artistic and social conventions. From February 17, 2018 – April 7, 2018 Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works spanning 1966 through 2000 by Sol LeWitt. This exhibition of sculptures and works on paper made between 1966 and 2000 by Sol LeWitt illustrate the varied ways in which he explored the cube as a unit.

Neighbourhood 4: Venice Beach

Located a few blocks from Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a vibrant collection of boutiques, salons, galleries, restaurants and bars that attracts visitors from all over L.A. and beyond. In its first-ever "Style Bible" issue, GQ Magazine named Abbot Kinney “The Coolest Block in America.”

Los Angeles is one of the world’s capitals for street art, and murals throughout Venice add to the area’s vibrant energy. Famed muralist Rip Cronk has painted nearly a dozen Venice murals, including Portrait of Abbot Kinney, Venice on the Half Shell and Morning Shot, a portrait of Jim Morrison.

Want to learn more about what to do when visiting L.A.. Check out the Discover Los Angeles website!