Celebrate Fashion Week LA by visiting Earnest A. Batchelders 100 Year old Chocolate Shop, Thursday, October 9th, during the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. Featuring a 50ft runway with fashion designers, photographers, and super models from all over the country. Exhibiting artists include Glenn Primm, Conception Designs, JND73, and Nate Coleman, with Live musical performances and sweet treats.
Ernest A. Batchelder (1875–1957) was an American artist and educator who made Southern California his home in the early 20th century. He is famous as a maker of art tiles and as a leader in the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
His life took a turn in 1909 when, behind his house overlooking the Arroyo Seco, he built a kiln and entered the business of creating hand-crafted art tiles. The tiles were hugely popular, and by the 1920s, Batchelder’s tiles could be found in homes and buildings across the United States. Batchelder’s prominence in Southern California’s art community included his involvement in the founding of the Pasadena Art Institute and his membership in the Pasadena Society of Artists. Batchelder was also the third Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pasadena Playhouse, to which he contributed an original tile fireplace and fountain (recently restored).
The Batchelder House built in Pasadena, California, in the early 1900s, and where he set up his first kiln, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The current resident, Dr. Robert Winter, wrote the definitive Batchelder history, Batchelder Tilemaker (Balcony Press, 1999, 112 pp, ISBN 1-890449-03-2). Although the house is not open to the public, some Batchelder tiles, stamped with heraldic animals and figures, may be found on the walkway in front of the dwelling.
Today, Batchelder’s Chocolate Shop is newly unmasked and serves as a tour destination for the Los Angeles Conservancy on the weekends. During the DTLA Art Walk the space doubles as an exhibition hall and artisan craft shop.
There have been problems with plans to reopen the Chocolate Shop due to it not being able to obtain the proper permits to sell food. To help with progress visit CHANGE.ORG.
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