Friday, August 29, 2014

The 4th Annual Surf And Skate Auction For Venice Family Clinic - A Very Favorite Event

The Fourth Annual Surf and Skate Auction for the Venice Family Clinic was held last night at the Robert Berman Gallery at Bergamot Station. It is one of my very favorite local events of the year, so cool and creative, and all for the very worthwhile cause of helping to give medical care to our Venice families that need help.

 It was a gorgeous, balmy night in Santa Monica, so there was a great turn-out of people, all in that endless summer kind of mode. The indigo skies and the sliver of a silver moon set the scene for good times and generous hearts.

Artists, skaters, surfers, and artist/skaters/surfers donated their works of art on surfboards and skate decks, and one was cooler than the next.

My brother, Paul Gronner, had a skate deck in the auction, and it was fun to hear him talk about his art with some collectors, explaining his methods and making new friends. It was wonderful to see old friends too, like contributing artists Neil Carver and Jennifer Wolf (and their fresh boards).

Elwood "Woody" Risk had a surfboard and a skate deck in the auction, and I was happy to finally meet him in person after admiring his work for some time.

There were boards from everyone from Tesla Motors to Tony Hawk ... though the art on the pro decks was from the factory, and just had autographs as their original art. Cool still, but cooler if those guys really did some original art ... and it would fetch more funds for the clinic. None of those boards had any bids on them by the time I left, so ... get creative, Pros!

Lots of the works were great because they were so OF the area ... like the Dogtown and Santa Monica Airlines ones ...

Like the ones featuring beach scenes and local sights ...

Even though these are all meant for the walls, not the water.

As the sun set, it got more packed, inside and out. It was boiling hot in the gallery, so you had to take periodic breaks to get fresh air and/or a cold beer. Folks mingled around, artists and skaters like Ed Moses and Jeff Ho were checking out the scene, where you could ham it up for a photo booth or get trucker hats screen-printed by Volcom.

There is a lot of imagination at play with these works, like the deck covered in foliage from Big Red Sun, next to an image of Gene Simmons shredding a bowl in the full Kiss get-up (probably photo-shopped).

In my own bidding, I was torn between the very cool (and close to my heart) Venice Beach one by Jeffrey Manpearl that he somehow cut out of steel ...

... and the one I wound up winning, that I'm so thrilled about, the beautiful deck by Sephira Salazar. She photographed these indigenous people in Peru that gather the sacred water (I need to hear the story again ...) and painted brightly around it, and then there's a little shelf in the front for a candle. I cannot wait to hang this lovely piece in my house and love it every day, even more so knowing that it helped a little bit to help someone out.

The surfboards were all gorgeous, and people were lining up to be photographed next to them all evening long.

It was one of those nights when there are just too many things going on at once, and I had to cut out of there before the band played or the auction and raffle ended. It wasn't easy to get out of there, though, because every time you turned around, you saw another cool person you hadn't seen in a while and had to catch up quick. That's what I like so much about this event every year, it's all very community-minded, and everyone's cool.

Perhaps none cooler than these two little dudes, looking at the art and looking out for each other.

The next generation of skater, surfers and art lovers taking it all in ... you could almost see their own ideas formulating under their little caps. I can't wait to bid on what they come up with at maybe the 24th Annual Surf and Skate Auction ...

Put this great opening on your seasonal list of things to do, it never disappoints, and really helps the Venice Family Clinic a lot. And until next year's auction comes around ... Surf, skate and make art!

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