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Portrait of Arts District Opens at District Gallery

Mateo at 6th St. by Jose de Juan, oil on wood

Opening July 12, 7 to 10 pm, show runs through September 30

Many of the aging warehouses and derelict factories have been restored and adapted as upscale housing, restaurants – and even a college campus – but the industrial character of the Arts District remains and pockets of urban grittiness echo the era when the community was colonized by artists – urban pioneers who were the prophets of L.A.’s downtown renaissance.

Work in Progress at Third and Traction, painting by Alex Schaefer

In recent weeks an extraordinary group of artists, working in a variety of media, have been constructing a remarkable, shimmering, surprising portrait of one of the city’s quirkiest communities. Led by Alex Schaefer, whose depiction of a Chase Bank going up in flames earned him the sobriquet, “the burning bank artist,’ participants include:

Christian Hernandez is a virtually self taught painter who only studied oil painting for a mere three months under Cody Erikson and Daniel Raminford. After falling in love with oils he became a voracious painter who has chosen to document his life adventures through painting. He has shown at the Hive Gallery, does live painting at the Unravel Your Mind and Go Green events and other shows throughout Southern California. He plein air paints on all of his travels and makes a living doing commission work for people all over the United States. You can see more of his work at

Jose L. De Juan: From Madrid to Los Angeles, Jose can’t escape the light and that’s just as well because he loves painting it. He’s an avid plein air addict and tends to rhapsodize about urban beauty as much as any hipster shouldn’t. The California Art Club foolishly accepted him as an artist member and he’ll hang his artwork wherever there’s a wall and some foot traffic — but he has gallery representation and that’s ok. He lives in Pasadena with hubby Armando who loves the champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.

Catherine Kaleel is a Los Angeles based painter.  Please visit her website or follow her on twitter @catherinekaleel.

John Kilduff received a BFA in Painting at Otis/Parsons and a MFA in Painting at UCLA. He has exhibited his paintings and performances around the world.  He is best known for his cable access show titled “Let’s Paint TV’.

Jennifer Korsen is a Los Angeles based mixed media artist and painter. She is currently working on a series of 100 themed paper hearts. Jennifer’s work can be seen at the Hive Gallery and Studios in Downtown LA.  Her website is

Arpi Krikorian.  Born in Beirut, Lebanon. Immigrated to the US in 1978 to escape the war.  Arpi Graduated ACCD in 1992 with a BA in Illustration.  She worked as a staff artist at Nickelodeon Animation studios and has recently returned to her passion for oil painting.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in Pasadena, CA.

Rikki Niehaus: “I’m an artist who enjoys working in oil and pen & ink. While a lot of my work is figurative, I have always been interested in urban landscape; it’s full of exciting shapes & potential, and really expresses my interest in both representational work & abstraction.”

Photographer Alan Reyes identifies with Youth, Art, Chaos, Creativity, Architecture and Los Angeles.

Alex Schaefer (b.1969 Los Angeles) took his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in 1992. He worked 9 years as an artist in the video game industry for Disney and Insomniac Games doing 2-D texture mapping, lighting and 3-D modeling. 11 years ago Schaefer dedicated himself full time to painting, and now teaches at the Art Center College of Design. Schaefer’s work has been covered in the LA Times, ArtINFO, The New York Observer, the Huffington Post, and Artillery Magazine. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.

Teod Tomlinson is a Southern California based artist compelled to express with paint and sculptures his search for kindred souls. He worked on the band Tool’s early videos and artwork. He received his BFA with honors from Art Center in Pasadena. You can find his work at and The Hive Gallery in Los Angeles.

The District Gallery is a project of Los Angeles Downtown Arts District Space (LADADSpace), a 501(c)(3) arts non profit dedicated to creating a center for the arts in the Arts District.

District Gallery

740 E. Third St.

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 6 or by appointment

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