If you ever venture Downtown LA, this art gallery is a nocturnal sight for soar eyes. These visually stunning neon lights dance upon the asphalt at 102 West 5th Street. Blue, red, green and yellow tubes of light are caged in a store front window for all to see. This futurisitic display made me want to inquire the following:


360: How old is your gallery?


BGFA: We've been open for ten years.



360: What made you start a gallery?


BGFA: I've been curating for almost 30 years. So, opening a gallery was a natural progression.


360: How did you come up with the concept of the lights in your windows?


BGFA: I did not come up with the concept. That is a site specific installation by an artist, Richard Ankrom. I encourage visual artists, who specialize in light, to install their artwork in our windows for a full calendar year. They can create whatever they like as long as it uses fluorescent, neon, or LED lighting, which has low energy consumption.



360: What's your favorite artist?


BGFA: I have no "favorite" artist. There are many that I admire, and all for different reasons.



360: What's next for the gallery? Any events coming up?


BGFA: We install a new show every 2 months, and a new window every January. Some highlights of upcoming shows include a group of French artists in September and the horror film director, author and painter Clive Barker in November.



360: What words of advice would you give anyone that wants to open a gallery?


BGFA: Have a clear vision, show only quality work, don't expect to make any money for the first 7 years and you'll be fine.


Adorned with specs, Rebecca Cav is one of the most impressionistic individuals in the LA art community. She is the Director of LA Films Studies Center and Director of Miracle Mile Artwork. Never hard to spot her in any crowd, especially while accompanied by 6-foot-3 ultra cool rocker hubby, David.


1. What is Art Walk?


Sometimes art gets tired of hanging around in galleries, having people point and stare, so sometimes, it simply gets up and walks. Gallery owners get upset at this, but they know they can usually find paintings pounding beers down at the Little Bar. Apparently paintings are notorious beer drinkers. Sculptures, on the other hand generally prefer the harder stuff.


Seriously, this particular art walk is called, The Miracle Mile Art Walk. We are fortunate to have a wealth of art galleries, one might say a glut in the Miracle Mile. There are close to 40 art galleries and art museums in the general vicinity of Miracle Mile, and many of them are considered the top galleries and art museums in Los Angeles, for example, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). I, like most people, need a little nudge to get out and see the art. The art walk provides that nudge. Many people have lived here for years and have no idea of the art available to them just down the street from their homes. I wanted to do something to serve my community, to get people out and talking to each other.


The art walk is the third Saturday of every month with the exception of August, when many galleries are dark, and December. Since there are so many galleries, we alternate streets, one month on Wilshire Boulevard and the next month on La Brea and Beverly Boulevard. The map may be found at either www.midcitywest.org or our upcoming website: www.miraclemileartwalk.com.


The Miracle Mile Art Walk differs from other art walks that we know of in that each month we highlight a host gallery. We have an artist talk, and one of our fine restaurants provides food, free of charge. In addition to this, there is normally a free, guided tour of a couple of other galleries with shorter artist talks. The art museums are free of charge on art walk days as well, if you mention Miracle Mile Art Walk.


A Holly Trolley from the city, provided by City Council Districts 4 and 5, takes people from gallery to gallery if they wish. Many people walk, drive or ride bikes.


An after party is held each month at a gallery, showroom, or special venue. It includes art, drinks, appetizers and music. We've had great parties!


The entire art walk is free of charge. This summer in June, July and September we are having evening art walks due to the heat. June had an excellent turnout, with retail stores staying open late and a number of art openings in conjunction with the art walk. Normally, the art walks are during the day, from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Once a year we do a large art walk including galleries and museums on Wilshire, La Brea, and Beverly, in conjunction with L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA Muse).


2. Who founded the organization?


The Miracle Mile Art Walk originated with the Mid City West Community Council and is still one of their major outreaches to the community. My neighbor, David Mann, organized a Wilshire art walk years ago. I attended and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I was later elected to the neighborhood council, I suggested that we have an art walk for the entire Mid City WEST area to build community and to support our great gift of art galleries and museums. They liked the idea and said, make it so so, after lots and lots of work and frustration, the art walk has become a regular event.


Actually, it has been great fun getting to know the gallery owners and community leaders. Committee members have particular roles in putting on each art walk and we have very skilled, fascinating and fun volunteers who really make it happen.


Much more coming soon...