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500 to Participate in Downtown Art Fest : Exhibit: A three-week, grass-roots show opens this weekend with a 'bombardment of visual arts' in three warehouses.

November 04, 1994|SUZANNE MUCHNIC | TIMES ART WRITER

A grass-roots extravaganza touted as "the largest exhibition of downtown art and performance in the history of Los Angeles" opens a three-week run this weekend. Featuring works by 500 visual and performing artists, the event mixes "a floor-to-ceiling bombardment of visual arts with ongoing musical and theatrical entertainment," according to advance publicity.

The exhibition and performances will take place in three warehouses at 1895 Bay St. (one block east of Alameda Street, between 7th and 8th streets). In addition to paintings, sculptures, photographs and multimedia installations displayed in 45,000 square feet of exhibition space, visitors are invited to witness such spectacles as Dharam Kaur dancing with swords and knives, Elizabeth Rowin doing her thing as a self-described "cheerleader for drugs and Jesus" and performances by Solid Eye, an experimental noise band.

"Downtown Lives" made its debut last year. The 1994 version reaffirms that "art is alive and well downtown," says Jon Peterson, president of the Downtown Arts Development Assn., which organizes the annual shows. Operating under the acronym DADA, the coalition of artists and business people is dedicated to promoting and improving Los Angeles' downtown art scene.

"There are really great artists producing work downtown who are not as well-known as they should be," Peterson says. " 'Downtown Lives '94' is an opportunity to get a snapshot of what they are doing in one walk-through. Downtown artists are a tremendous asset to the city. We think the city should wake up and see what's going on and nurture it."

A public reception, with music and performances, is scheduled tonight from 7:30 to midnight. The warehouse doors also will be open from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays through Nov. 20. Admission is $2.

Information and performance schedule: (213) 625-DADA, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to4 p.m.

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