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Southern California has any number of “arts districts” –Venice, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood come to mind immediately– but the most unusual, often is overlooked from the freeway, as drivers fly by at 60 miles an hour. OK, 15 miles an hour.

Right where the 5 and 2 freeways connect, just north of Dodger Stadium, an area called Elysian Valley is better known to the locals as “Frogtown.” –It’s next to the L.A. River. Converted industrial buildings are home to some three dozen artists, designers, architects, and the like. And once a year, they open their doors and let outsiders in to show what they create.

This Saturday, 4-10 pm, the artists are holding their 6th-annual Frogtown Artwalk. It’s definitely worth checking out: especially, for anyone who’s not sure whether he or she would “appreciate” art. The Frogtown Artwalk is a genuinely fun and enlightening event, there’s no art snobbiness (with a name like Frogtown, how could there be?), and participants can talk with the artists themselves –always an enlightening thing.

One of the best-known artists, is a familiar face to Southern Californians and TV audiences, nationwide. Bill Lagattuta is an respected painter and photographer. (Check out his work, here.) Lagattuta decided to devote full-time to art, after leaving his post as correspondent on the CBS news magazine, 48 Hours. Before that, he was an anchorman here in town. Now, he hones his craft, and also chronicles the lives of his fellow artists, on a clever website, called MadeInFrogtown.

The Frogtown Artwalk deserves a spot on any true Angeleno’s agenda: it’d make a perfect, off-beat date night. The diversity of exhibits is staggering: from paintings to sculpture, to furniture. Plenty of free parking… and you shouldn’t have any problem finding something to eat.

Frogtown Artwalk map/directions


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