Discovering the Street Art in Arts District LA

May 31 2020, 12:26pm

Growing up in Los Angeles, the Arts District was a sleepy area adjacent to the much more popular Little Tokyo. It’s been amazing, over the years, to see this area of old brick buildings and warehouses turn into a hub of activity on the east side of Downtown LA. Today, with places like Lost Spirits Distillery, Hauser & Wirth, Two Bit Circus, EightyTwo Barcade, and Angel City Brewing, the once sleepy community is a vibrant spot full of art and culture.

Before and after the Lost Spirits Distillery Tour, I had the chance to check out the local street art. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of pieces and the variety.

Here’s a rundown of the pieces I saw including where to find many of these.

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Some kind of tessellation going on here. I love the artists signatures. So creative and cool-looking!

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My type of art—subtle creepy/quirky. The bigger question for me is “why are there pieces of the wall missing?”

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I don’t know if the black was added by someone else, but the combination of colored bricks with zig-zag lines makes this an exciting piece of street art.

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There’s no doubt, in my mind, that calligraphy is art. This bold piece and many more like it can be found in The Container Yard.

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I remember having a rubber ducky when I was little. Love the juxtaposition of flowers with the rubber ducks.

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I didn’t get a good chance to look at this piece as is started to rain, but the woodwork is mesmerizing.

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I imagine people of all backgrounds reaching their hands up to the sky to touch the sun. I wonder what the actual message is here.

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It’s amazing how powerful the eye can be. This piece of street art and so many others are located right outside the entrance to Lost Spirits Distillery.

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I really want this to be the art in the window of a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop.

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We’re all a little tarnished. Let’s brush ourselves off and make us shine like the gems we are.

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Not only can you find street art on the walls of many of these warehouses, but you can also find art on poles, utility boxes, and the sidewalks—where’s Paper Mario when you need him?

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LA love! The flourishes on this are so pretty.

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Here’s a really trippy looking piece of street art. I wonder from a creation perspective how this piece was created.

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I felt a little like this bird after the Lost Spirits Distillery Tour, so I decided to pose with it.

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Getting some salty vibes from this one.

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I wonder what’s under the surface.

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Being a maker and making a lot of my first pieces out of cardboard, I love this giant parking meter. It’s fun to imagine just how big the corresponding vehicle would be.

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I would love someone who studied art to give me a sense of what I’m looking at here. It’s definitely cool, there’s just a ton of stuff going on.

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With a good friend, always.


Most of these pieces of art were found on the corner of Colyton Street and East 5th Street. A few more were close to Traction Avenue between East 3rd Street and South Hewitt Street.

Here’s a good resource with a map, if you’re considering going on your own art walk in the Arts District.

The Container Yard

Lost Spirits Distillery

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