Friday, September 20, 2013

The Fall Venice Art Crawl

I love the Venice Art Crawl. It's such a good night every time, everyone seems to be in high spirits and excited ... all in the name of art!  Last night was the Crawl for fall, and we covered a lot of ground. It's best to do it on bikes, as the various stops on the Crawl are pretty spread out around town.

It kicked off with a gorgeous - though muted in a more autumn palette - sunset that rivaled much of the art that we were about to see. Clouds hid the full moon, but you could tell it was there. Rowdy!

The best thing to do is go to pick up a map outside of Danny's Deli and go from there. Danny's had some art upstairs and a musical Improv group downstairs, and Cairo Cowboy, Kiki Designs, Gotta Have It and Gumbo Kinney all did too. More and more people are participating each time, and the art changes out of course, so it's a different experience each time the VAC takes place.

Down the bike path we went to the Cadillac Hotel who were hosting a very cool exhibit called "Mirror, Mirror" where local professional artists paired up with a local homeless person to create pieces from oil paintings to drawings on burlap, from skate and surfboards as canvas for paintings to sculptures of heads. The sense of pride from both parties was tangible, and helped make clear how very healing art can be. Powerful stuff.

From there it was on to the Venice Breeze Suites who had music and art on their rooftop lounge, where it was tiny and packed and stunningly beautiful.

Shulamit Gallery had seemingly nothing going on and nobody to explain what wasn't going on, so it was on to the bright fun of the art at Canal Club, featuring very Venice superhero surfers and sea-like amoeba paintings. 

James Beach had some C.A.V.E. Gallery works and a DJ - and drinks. There was a great spread at "Streamlined" on North Venice, with art works by Dillon and a ton of good snacks. Good hosts!

Over on Venice Boulevard there was a little show of photographs of Big Bill, everyone's favorite Venice mechanic, who is now being forced out of his longtime garage. The photos of Big Bill made that already sad and wistful truth even more stark.

Back on Windward, Hama had some bright paintings by John Christensen displayed outside, and next door was a photo exhibit of Red Bull Flutag events. There was even a sand mermaid on the sidewalk outside of Venice, bringing some Boardwalk to the street.

The very best part of this edition of the VAC I've saved for last, as it was awesome.

My old friend Jason Teague has built a home complex out of shipping containers on Main Street, fronted by a huge mural by our local street artists. Inside (if you got in, there was a verrrry long line) all those same artists had pieces hanging for silent auction to benefit our Venice Symphony Orchestra. That's right, we now have a Symphony Orchestra, led and conducted by Wesley Flowers. They play everything "from Beck to Bach", and were in performance in the courtyard in the middle of the complex.

As everyone enjoyed the pulled pork sandwiches and cold brews (and Dogtown Coffee) being served, the PACKED crowd circled around the orchestra to hear selections from Mozart and yep, "Two Turntables And A Microphone" from Beck, orchestra style. It was so great. I'm so proud of these guys for having a beautiful idea and making it happen (You will hear more about the VSO very soon).

The VAC is so great for Venice because this is one happening that you actually see people from the neighborhood, like First Fridays used to be. I couldn't go two feet without bumping into another fantastic Venice person, also having an excellent time and loving it.

I didn't make it to every location along the Crawl, but we did pack a lot in. I feel so lucky and grateful to live in such a vibrant, talented, creative community, and the VAC spotlights those characteristics better than just about anything we have going on. The next one is in December, and promises to be another art extravaganza. Join in the creation or the appreciation - both are extra rewarding.

Thanks to the VAC for yet another blast. Love it.


  1. Can't wait to hear the orchestra -- and go to an art crawl!!

  2. Brilliant PR move by the next developer about to piss alot of people off with his Main/Horizon project. patron of the arts! ( ;