Banner for Summer of Art & Design in DTLB

In the coming months, Downtown will be buzzing with world-class creative activities during the Summer of Art and Design. “We’re bringing together several distinct-yet-related annual summer events under one banner,” said Sinead Finnerty-Pyne, Marketing & Special Projects Director at Studio One Eleven and a key conceptualist in Downtown’s creative community. “These events highlight that while our city has many cultural districts, Downtown is our cultural epicenter.”

Long Beach Architecture Week

Long Beach Architecture Week (LBAW), May 29 to June 9, will spotlight our city’s rich and varied architectural history through tours and talks. Dr. Brian Trimble, Assistant Professor and Program Head for Art Education at CSULB who assists as a volunteer during LBAW, explained: 

“Long Beach — particularly Downtown — has a long history; Our architecture reflects so many historical and cultural events of the past, such as the population boom at the turn of the 20th century, the rebuilding of Long Beach in the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne styles after the 1933 earthquake, and even the unprecedented development in Downtown over the last several years.” 

Trimble noted that LBAW is an opportunity to visit spaces in our city that are rarely accessible, and to get informed commentary at every stop. “You are invited to be part of Long Beach Architecture week,” he said. “There are talks and tours for almost everybody. We’re excited to share our knowledge with you and help you see our city’s architecture with fresh eyes.”   

LB Walls & Art Renzei

The Long Beach Walls & Art Renzei International Art Festival, June 22 to 29, brings art and culture to Downtown’s public spaces, beautifying the city while cultivating community pride. “Downtown is a cultural hub by nature — it’s home to numerous creative businesses such as Intertrend Communications – and there is great support from local administrators, businesses and residents for the city’s cultural landscape,” said Cassandra Leeman, Executive Director for Creative Class Collective. 

She is involved in every step of the Long Beach Walls/Art Renzei process, putting together ideas, creating the event plan, bringing in the right people, and working as an advocate for arts and culture. “I’m honored to work with some of the most talented people in the creative and arts industries. We work together on numerous city-wide initiatives which are truly changing the face of Long Beach.” 

Leeman had some advice for those taking in the stunning open-air mural show that is Long Beach Walls: “It’s an experience to be enjoyed slowly, unlike anything else we see in our daily lives,” she said. “Instead of a rapid flash on our phone screens, Long Beach Walls invites us to pause, reflect, and take a journey of discovery. Whether enjoyed while dancing at our opening day festival, savored while stepping onto a Long Beach Transit bus, or taken in while riding a tandem bike, there are so many ways to make Long Beach Walls a reflection of your own artistic journey.”

DTLB Art Walk

The Downtown Long Beach Art Walk — one of the DTLB Alliance’s signature events — happens on Saturday, July 13 in conjunction with the Long Beach UbeFest, a celebration of the purple yam that’s a staple in many Southeast Asian desserts. “We’re gaining some great momentum with the first three quarterly Art Walks we’ve hosted, and we’re excited to collaborate with the Summer of Ube/UbeFest team!” said Justine Nevarez, the DTLB Alliance’s Community Outreach & Events Manager. 

“Downtown is perfect for Art Walks because it has a high concentration of creative people and businesses,” said Finnerty-Pyne, who serves on the Art Walk Planning Committee. “There’s a rich cultural legacy here, a diverse community, and it’s an accessible location. It’s walkable and bikeable with a great food and bar scene. And, there’s lots of free parking!” 

Beyond visiting the artists and vendors spread throughout the footprint and taking in all UbeFest has to offer, here is Finnerty-Pyne’s to-do list for the July 13 Art Walk: 

There will also be Art Walk programming by the Long Beach Museum of Art, a possible showcase by Long Beach City College architecture students, While * West—an art and music exhibition featuring over 25 artists like Lajon Miller, Ivan Deavy, and Senay Kenfe at Altar Society Brewing, and other presentations that are in the works and will be announced over the next couple of weeks. 

Plan on taking the proverbial deep dive into these opportunities to get a new feel for Long Beach history, discover amazing local and international artists, and really experience the thriving creative energy that animates Downtown. Create your own adventures so you’ll always remember 2024 for the Summer of Art and Design!