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Interview: Michael Salerno on this Weekend's Brewery Art Walk

Michael Salerno
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By Daood Obaid, Special to LAist

The Brewery Artwalk, now in its 27th year taking place this weekend, is a twice annual open studio event at the world’s largest art colony with over 150 resident artists participating. During the event, you will have the opportunity to see new works, discover new favorites, and speak with the artists and purchase work directly from the artists at studio prices. Michael Salerno is an artist and a representative of The Brewery Artwalk who helped orient us to the event.

How’s everything Michael?

Just great, thanks. Springtime is the art world’s busy season.

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Michael how did the industrial buildings of a brewery and bottling plant become an Art Colony?

The current owners purchased the former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery with the intent to tear it down, recycle the materials and then develop new projects. A handful of artists asked if they could rent space, temporarily, until demolition began. There turned out to be a strong demand for studio spaces. The owners decided to convert the existing buildings, rather than knock them down and start from scratch.

Haven’t yet seen the Art Colony, could you describe in detail the physical terrain and why hundreds of artists enjoy this haven?

The Brewery Art Colony is a complex of 22 buildings on 23 acres near downtown Los Angeles. Some of the structures date back to 1888, while others have been completed within the past few years. Early buildings housed the old Eastside Brewery and Edison Power Plant, later known as Los Angeles Power Station #3. The grounds include park areas and open spaces.