Echo Park Art: SUPER iam8bit’s Opening Night Extravaganza

Echo Park Art: SUPER iam8bit’s Opening Night Extravaganza

A line of attendees — spanning the sidewalk from Mohawk to Rosemont on Sunset Blvd. — waited patiently during iam8bit’s Opening Night extravaganza last Thursday, August 11th.  Luckily, yours truly was on the “first name only” VIP list (by sheer luck and coincidence).

And, what a sight to behold!  The art show quietly drew more fanfare and insider buzz than its highly-anticipated gastropub neighbor 2 shops down, Mohawk Bend.  Same street, yes.  New additions to Echo Park, hell yes.  Gravitas, absolutely no.  Beyond several feet of store frontage was an immersive collection of people thronged over art from 100+ artists, who envisioned their 80’s gaming fantasies in different media, whether it be foam sculptures, oil paintings, spray paint, or ballpoint pen on notebook paper.

Sky Burchard celebrated Super Mario’s and Zelda’s iconic sculptures in foam and housed them in plexi-glass.

Jim Rugg needed just pen, pencil, and paper to do the colorful “Bill & Lance’s Irresistible Force.”

Mike Mitchell, the genius behind the “I’m with Coco” poster fame, re-imagined Link, Luigi, Kirby, and Mega Man in a quadtych.


The grossly talented José Emroca Flores conceptualized a sweeping oil painting:

Arguably, a prominent star of the night was Barnaby Ward’s “Symphonic Embrace,” a celestial nod (on acrylic and spray paint nonetheless) to Metroid:

Synthesized chiptune musicians Leeni and A_Rival performed live above a mezzanine loft space.  Guests lined up to play Galaga on a big projection while, diagonal to the screen, artists worked on their graffiti in situ.  An outdoor patio, for guests who wanted a night-time art feel, could play with life-sized swap cards by Andrew Kolb, framing a third or two of their body parts against those of popular 80s heroes.

Wine and beer flowed generously throughout the night.  And, for a moment, I pinched myself and wondered if I really was in Echo Park.  Indeed, I was…  Fanboys, welcome to the ‘hood.

The gallery persists now until September 10th.  Free admission.  2147 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026.

For additional Opening Night photos, visit here.

About Jovelle Schaffer

Echo Park native and real estate agent who loves to cook, imbibe, and write about Los Angeles real estate, community, revitalization.


  1. wow great artists

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