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The Essential Guide to the Downtown Art Walk

An eclectic mix of creative expression, the monthly Downtown Art Walk invites art lovers to discover new painters, designers, photographers and more in DTLA.

On the second Thursday of each month, twelve blocks along Spring and Main transform into a bustling creative core, with select galleries extending their hours, merchants showcasing goods for sale, food vendors, and thousands of visitors taking their appreciation of art from inside traditional spaces to the streets. For the uninitiated, the scale of Art Walk can come as a surprise, so here are several key details you should know about the beloved event before you attend.

Downtown Art Walk guide via @downtownartwalk.

Left: Setting up for a solo show from Andrew Eyler at Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts gallery; Right: A piece from the recent “Permutations”, an exhibition of sculptural works by Ching Ching Cheng at the Fine Arts Building. Photos via @downtownartwalk on Instagram

Held rain or shine, Art Walk is a free event that runs from 6 to 10pm, with most galleries and spaces located in DTLA’s walkable Historic Core District and Fashion District. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation to the event (the Pershing Square Metro train station stop is a convenient option) though many opt for ridesharing alternatives or for parking at nearby lots or meters. From Hotel Figueroa, most activities along the route are within a ten-minute car ride.

The purpose of Art Walk is to connect art lovers and enthusiasts with local and visiting artists, spaces and galleries in a meaningful way. Two dozen art galleries, including the Fine Arts Building and MOCA, welcome “Art Walkers” each month. It’s also the only time the public can visit some galleries without an appointment. And the DTLA Art Walk is a natural time to visit one of our favorite institutions, the Broad, a contemporary museum that was an instant hit when it opened in 2015. Of course, Art Walk is also a breeding ground for artists to test out new concepts before the works are available for purchase or on view in galleries and museums.

The Essential Guide To The Downtown Art Walk

The Downtown Art Walk map of participating venues.

Guided tours are available for those seeking detailed information about the history of the event and the participating galleries, but most visitors stroll along the route at a casual pace or with the help of the gallery guide, above, and here.

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Hotel Figueroa opened in the 1920s as a hotel for solo women travelers, and we continue to rally for women’s rights. We’re continually inspired by the creative energy of Downtown Los Angeles. For local recommendations—and to hear from the diverse individuals who make DTLA what it is today—head to our Meet You Downtown blog.