- Alex Piña-Ceja
Highland Park is forever flourishing in culture. A hub for artists and students alike, it is a magnet for creative events. NELAart, slated for this Saturday, is an event that reflects the creative and diverse scene that has become Highland Park.
This Saturday, not coincidentally the second Saturday in August, will bring the Northeast Los Angeles Art event (NELAart). NELAart has been happening for over ten years. The event works hand in hand with the community, as well as the city, to bring attention to and celebrate local culture and art.
Each month on the second Saturday, artists of all types showcase their pieces either in their local studio or are hosted by the shops along York, Figueroa and Colorado Blvd. NELAart thrives on promoting, bringing, and celebrating the arts in northeast Los Angeles. Many artists have made Highland Park their home over the years and you can stop into their galleries. But as you take a walk down the mentioned streets you’ll see that local shops and restaurants like The Bearded Beagle, The Highland Cafe and the Greyhound also participate in the event. Though all the shops may not host an artist, their doors are open to the crowd of the event. It is the perfect event to tour not only local art but the ever-flourishing Highland Park scene and it’s wonderful fusion of food and culture.
The event has a continuously growing following of not only artists but of people who support local art, like Councilman Jose Huizar. Huizar is known to be a strong advocate for local community art. Next to him, some of the restaurants and stores will host their own event in support of local culture. Last month Galco’s Old World Grocery hosted a soda tasting with sodas of all types from all over the world. The tasting was done as a benefit to help save the Heritage Square Museum, one of Los Angeles’ oldest museums. The museum is a cul de sac of landmark Victorian homes that used to be open for tours, showcasing old Los Angeles’ homes and the way of life in the old community. Galco’s is one example of what NELAart promotes. It not only celebrates, but brings attention to, the importance of supporting your local art and culture.
The event lasts all day long (and well into the evening), as many shops remain open later than normal for the event. As the event dwindles down, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink with the artists and crowd endemic to Highland Park. (Hint: its bar scene is far from lacking!) The York and the Greyhound remain the most popular hubs for late night art talk following the event. The best thing about the event is indeed the face-to-face contact with your favorite artists.
NELAart is entertaining and enlightening, as it provides a space for supporting the local art culture. Stop by and enjoy it this Saturday and others to come. Support your artists, eat some delicious food and listen to amazing music. And if you can’t make it this time, mark down every second Saturday of each month in your calendar. It is a must-do/see experience for everyone in Los Angeles.
The event is based in Highland Park, Los Angeles and includes parts of Eagle Rock as well. Find the map of the event here and check out the NELAart website for more info on specific showcases and previous walks.
By Alex Piña-Ceja