Thursday, August 02, 2012

How - And Why - The Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk - Should be for Everyone - Including Occupy LA

In a post on yesterday's blogdowntown,
I agree with David Markham's comment that  the goal of Art Walk should not for it to be free of political protest but that Art Walk should welcome all participants that do not endanger public safety by creating unsafe conditions.

So if the General Assembly of Occupy LA wishes to have a legal chalk drawing event that can be easily viewed by visitors to the Art Walk - and which will not endanger the public‘s safety, I will help them secure that space; just as I have done for hundreds of artists over the years since the very first Art Walk. - and long before Art Walk started - over the past 30 years.
This will allow them to exercise their First Amendment rights and avoid the problems of last month when congestion on the sidewalk made it impossible for most people to see what the artists were doing and forced people off the sidewalks and into the streets, creating the pubic safety issue.
But by being in a public place where they would not be blocking the public's right to walk on the sidewalks, there will be no public safety issue AND the artists will have a much larger audience for their message, giving both the local community and the demonstrators what they want.
Lastly, I have known and supported street artists in DTLA and elsewhere in LA since the late 1960’s and began to work with many of them after meeting the artists at John Pochna’s first Zero One and at Stash’s various galleries and shows starting back in the 1980’s.
I have also helped many street artists secure shows in LA and New York galleries and have leased - without taking any fees from anyone - spaces to several galleries in DTLA that show street artists - despite some hesitation by the landlords about bringing ‘graffiti artist into their neighborhood.
I am also currently working on obtaining a space for a bi-coastal street artist show for this fall in Downtown LA, which I would like to have on the Art Walk footprint, if possible.
Brady Westwater

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