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Downtown LA’s Thought-Provokers

LA has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.  Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around DTLA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Robert Standish

I was born and raised in LA. I loved Art and PE in ES and HS but never imagined I’d end up an artist until much later on. In university, I was studying psychology and aiming to become a therapist. As graduation neared, I was informed by the registrars head that I was unable to graduate as scheduled because I lacked enough liberal arts credits. Read more>>

Jeff Iorillo

A lifelong Californian, I grew up in West LA in the 70’s, riding my orange Schwinn bike to the beach as a kid. After many years in San Francisco and a good long run as an advertising agency creative director, I moved back to LA for love and to pursue a second career in fine art. Read more>>

Mel Inez

Mel, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist. I picked up a guitar when I was thirteen years old. It was a deep red first act guitar. Until then, I had sung most of my music a cappella, which worked considering I was singing opera in churches and birthdays. Read more>>

Tidawhitney Lek

I was born and raised in east side Long Beach in a neighborhood now called Cambodia Town. I was raised in the economy of poverty with a mother and father of seven along with close relatives. We lived in a household with 13 people in a two bedroom apartment. Read more>>

Chris Smith

I grew up idealizing artist like jean michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. I would draw and sketch all the time and at a young age I was always drawn to graffiti and street art. As I got older I started gravitating to abstract and quickly became obsessed. Read more>>

Nikitha Madduri

I’m Nikitha Madduri and I’m from Hyderabad, India, and I lived there all my life, until the day I decided that I want to study photography and that I want to know every detail to excel in this form of art. My actual passion towards Photography began when I was working with a top photography company in Hyderabad, India. Read more>>

Jane Szabo

Though I am making my name as a fine art photographer, I originally trained as a painter. When I went to graduate school at Art Center in Pasadena, I started working three dimensionally, creating sculptural objects and installations. Read more>>

Christopher Charles

I am originally from North Carolina where i began my journey as an artist. From North Carolina I moved to Florida where my career really started. I worked in a high end salon called Kimberly Clarke Salon, where Kimberly (the owner) really taught me how to be a professional artist. Read more>>

Marcus “Ritmo” Figueroa

I first picked up the guitar 10 years ago. Having solidarity in your passion is very important. If you treat it like anything less, it’s just a hobby. I am proud to confidently say that the minute I picked up the guitar and started learning covers of my favorite bands, I knew right then and there that I wanted to do nothing else with my life but to be involved in music professionally. Read more>>

Shari Cookson

Just after the 2016 election, I was walking down my street in a kind of fog when I fell into a pothole and broke my leg. For the next six months I sat on my couch, watching cable news and getting riled up about the political situation. Read more>>

Novi Brown

Thankfully, my mom was adventurous and curious enough about life that she passed that on to me. I was born in Berlin, Germany and spent about 12 years going between there and the US. I started my modeling career in NYC while I was going to school for Theatre at CCNY and working at hot nightclubs. Read more>>

Ariel Cannon

There is so much that goes into early family life – so much love and energy – and for a quite a few years your kids won’t have any memory of it. I really wanted to show them that part of their story. Now that they are older the portraits I take of them are a bit different. I want to show them all the wonderful things I see in them and all their little quirks that I love. Read more>>

Jun Iida

Jazz has always been a passion of mine, and with age has also become the musical language with which I am most comfortable expressing myself. I have always been a student of the art, and am inspired and intrigued by the evolution of jazz as a direct reflection of the history of America. Read more>>

Taylor Loredo

I hope to inspire others to look around their environment and at themselves with a different mindset than the norm and to create what they want no matter what anyone else says or thinks. Read more>>

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