The artists, artisans, and architects of Los Angeles’ Elysian Valley, otherwise known as Frogtown, are pleased to announce the sixth annual Frogtown Artwalk, a celebration of the creativity and talent flourishing in the industrial buildings and working class neighborhood along the LA River. Thousands are expected to tour artists’ studios, enjoy indie bands and the offerings of food trucks and experience art being produced in this unique section of the city.
Visitors can wander along the newly paved pedestrian and bike path along the river, where years ago frogs rose up and invaded the neighborhood, giving Frogtown its unique name. In the past decade, an influx of artists and craftsmen have relocated to Elysian Valley in search of creative spaces. More than thirty will open their studios and lofts for this year’s self-guided tour. Lighted balloons will guide visitors in and out of the various workspaces. Among the artists who have discovered Frogtown is Bill Lagattuta, former LA television anchorman, and an accomplished painter and photographer whose studio is a former marble cutting warehouse steps at the river’s edge. In addition to producing painting and sculpture, Lagattuta photographs and chronicles the working lives of his fellow artists on his popular website:
. “Years ago I interviewed Frank Gehry, and asked him what some of his favorite spaces were,” says Lagattuta. “Without hesitation, he replied ‘artists’ studios.’ I couldn’t agree more.” Following his successful journalism career, Lagattuta turned his storytelling ability to producing fine art, seeking out an authentic artist community in which to base his studio. He found it in a little-known area with an intriguing nickname: Frogtown. “Frogtown is a relatively undiscovered corner of our city,” he comments. “It’s not fancy, it hasn’t been gentrified – it is an inclusive and vibrant area. The number of talented people I have discovered here is remarkable, and we look forward to sharing our neighborhood at the Artwalk.”
In past years, Frogtown Arttwalk has taken on the air of a street party, with music food and special events. This year a local factory owner commissioned a mural covering three walls of his building. Its christening will feature a display by the Elysian Valley lowriders, a car collecting group. NOMAD studios, an art collective will feature demonstrations of silkscreening and printing. Conceptual artist Jim Piatt will unveil an installation designed to produce drinking water from the LA river. Bands will perform, a hula hoop contest and a juried art show will be held. Local food trucks, as well as Frogtown’s own “Taco’s by Kevin” will be serving refreshments. For further details including a map of the tour sites visit the Frogtown ArtWalk website at
. Frogtown is easy to reach, and there is plenty of free parking. The boundaries of Elysian Valley (Frogtown) are the 2 Freeway to the north, the 110 Freeway to the south, the Los Angeles River to the east, and the 5 freeway to the west.