CAA News Today

Free Los Angeles Art Apps for Your Smart Phone

posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 15, 2012

CAA encourages you to look into a handful of free and low-cost smart-phone apps to help you navigate museums, galleries, and other art-related events, enhancing your conference experience in Los Angeles. Most of the apps, which offer an abundance of exhibition information for the Hammer and Fowler Museums and for Pacific Standard Time, are designed for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches; several work with mobile devices using Android. A few of these apps assist with travel and transportation around the city, and with finding restaurants. The apps are available in the iTunes Store and in the Android Market.

Art Openings and Events

ArtConcierge is a free guide to galleries, art fairs, and art-related exhibits, including programming for the Getty Center’s Pacific Standard Time and to independently organized events. GPS navigation is available for all selections. ArtConcierge is produced by Fabrik Media Group, which publishes the magazine Fabrik.

Artcards gives you free instant access to a comprehensive list of current art openings, talks, performances, screenings, and related events in greater Los Angeles. Galleries are grouped by neighborhood or city. Artcards provides names of artists, titles of shows, event day and time, and links to maps and to each gallery’s website.

The free LA Weekly app offers content from the printed newspaper and its website. Updated events listings include: live music, art openings, comedy clubs, theater, and dining options. Search for a particular event or use a GPS device to find events near you. More than two thousand restaurant listings and write-ups by the celebrated food critic Jonathan Gold. Get it for Apple or Android devices.

Museums and Exhibitions

Learn all about the Los Angeles art world from the 1940s to today with The Getty: Art in LA, Pacific Standard Time at the Getty Center. This free app for both Apple and Android devices highlights all four Pacific Standard Time exhibitions held at the Getty Center. See paintings, sculptures, photographs, and archival material, listen to audio, and read the stories behind the artworks.

Getty Goggles will help you explore and learn more about paintings in the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Simply photograph a work of art you are interested in and click the Getty result to hear insightful commentary from artists, curators, and conservators. Getty Goggles works with Apple products and mobile devices using Android.

This free app for Apple and Android can help you plan a visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition to learning about the museum’s collection, you can reserve tickets for film screenings, concerts, lectures, and gallery talks. Video interviews with artists and curators are also available. The museum has also created an Apple-only app for its exhibition, California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way.”

Use the free Hammer Museum app to plan your visit and to experience in-depth content about the Hammer’s exhibitions and collections. Features include: interviews with artists and curators discussing specific works of art, videos of artists describing their practices, and excerpts from exhibition catalogues. The Hammer app is compatible with Apple products and mobile devices using Android.

The free Fowler Museum Guide app provides visitors with a tour of the Fowler Museum’s permanent collection of more than 150,000 art and ethnographic objects and 600,000 archaeological objects representing ancient, traditional, and contemporary cultures of Africa, Native and Latin America, and Asia and the Pacific. The app also gives information on temporary exhibitions.

Designed to help you learn more about the Norton Simon Museum’s current and upcoming exhibitions and events, this free app lets you browse the collections, listen to podcasts and audio stops, watch videos, and learn about the museum’s history. The app also lists the museum’s hours, admission fees, and directions.

Listen to the award-winning Norton Simon Museum Audio Tour. More than four hundred stops are featured in English and Spanish, including tours for adults and children. Look for the audio-tour icon and stop number on the labels of many of the museum’s artworks.

Navigating the City

Mappity Los Angeles, available for $.99, offers a map of Los Angeles with features such as street-level map details and custom mapping for door-to-door travel.


The free Beat the Traffic app for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry tells you about the road and traffic conditions in your desired city. Its features include: real-time traffic maps, GPS displays of traffic jams in your area, and weather information. Beat the Traffic HD Plus+ is an ad-free version that is available for $4.99 in the iTunes Store and $3.99 in the Android Market.

The California Traffic Report, a free app produced by the University of California, San Diego, delivers real-time traffic reports, including approximate commute time, traffic speeds, and maps. It covers greater Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego.

Yes, public transportation does exist in Los Angeles. Use the free Go-Metro Los Angeles app to help you navigate the city’s bus system. Features include: maps, timetables, fare information, and a trip planner.


Eat Like a Native

The Los Angeles Street Food app ($1.99) covers cheap eats in the city, from Vietnamese pho houses to Mexican taco stands to grilled-cheese food trucks. The interactive maps will help you navigate the city, while listings are organized into categories and publish in-depth reviews, Twitter links, and picture slideshows. This app, though, does not track food trucks.

Vegan Los Angeles supports a healthy vegan lifestyle in Los Angeles. Find recipes and vegan restaurants and watch cooking demonstrations using this free app for Apple and Android mobile devices.


Revised on February 16, 2012.

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