The Brewery Art Colony
|The Brewery Art Colony|
|Location||2100 North Main Street Los Angeles, 90031
|Design and construction|
|Architect||John B. Parkinson|
The Brewery Art Colony, located in Los Angeles, has been called the largest live-and-work artists' colony in the world. The compound sits on twenty-one former warehouses – with an old Edison power plant chimney dating to 1903 – house work studios, living lofts, restaurants and galleries. The Brewery is home to practitioners of a variety of artistic mediums from painting, sculpture and photography to industrial design, architecture and experimental new media.
The Brewery Art Colony began in 1903 as the Edison Electric Steam Power Plant and then as a Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. Years later it was converted into artist lofts. At the edge of downtown looms the cement-gray smokestack of the Brewery. Thousands of motorists on the 5 Freeway drive by each day, giving it nary a glance. Just beyond the Main Street exit, a neighborhood thrives — an eclectic mix of painters, performance artists, sculptors, potters, weavers and filmmakers, plus a few tattoo artists and taxidermists. It's called the Brewery Art Colony because it includes the old Eastside and Pabst Blue Ribbon breweries. Carlson Industries bought the Brewery site in 1980 and spent two years renovating the place, removing large tanks and pipes as it reshaped each building into workable spaces. Originally, the idea was to rent space to any kind of business, but the developer decided 10 years ago to open it up as a place for about 300 artists to gather and get creative.
With the passing of the Artist-In-Residence code, artists could rent live/work space in commercially zoned buildings. The Brewery rents only to artists. In July 1997, the LA Weekly called The Brewery "the world's largest artist-in-residence community" and in a March 1999 Los Angeles Times article The Brewery was quoted as the "world's largest art complex." These are true lofts, not apartments, in industrial buildings.
The Brewery Art Walk is a twice-annual free event showcasing Los Angeles artists selling fine art at studio prices. Artists open up their homes to the public and allow them to browse and purchase their artwork in their lofts. The Brewery Art Colony consists of three hundred twenty oversized artist lofts converted from the former Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery. Zoned for live/work, the lofts house hundreds of artists working in dozens of media – from painting, sculpture and photography to industrial design, architecture and experimental new media.
2100 North Main Street
Los Angeles, CA
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