Friday, July 22, 2016

The Venice Art Crawl - Summer Edition!

The always excellent Venice Art Crawl went down last night, and it could not have been a more lovely evening for it. The still almost full moon lit up the night, the air was warm and fragrant with blossoms, and music and laughter rang out all through the town. It was an absolutely gorgeous night. In every way.

I got back to the Westside later than planned, so had a lot of ground to cover in a short time. I took off down Abbot Kinney, dodging the dining crowd visitors, and stopped in to Tumbleweed & Dandelion first. This is one of my favorite old school shops on the Boulevard, and I'm so happy that they're still there. They had kind of an ice cream social going on the front patio, and it all felt very quaint and neighborly.

It was only about 8 pm, but many of the VAC stops on AKB were already closed down. They might want to consider staying open later on VAC days ... just saying. I saw some great pieces by Sophie Kipner being loaded into her car, as Current/Elliot was shut down for the night. Same for the Little Room Portraits, and a handful of others I'd earmarked on my map. Oh, well. C.A.V.E. was wide open, and full of art enthusiasts checking out the work of Jim Darling and L7m.

There was a lot of good stuff in there, but my favorite was "Midwest Storm" by Jim Darling (I may be biased, hailing from the Heartland). I loved the idea of framing the piece with an airplane window too. Very cool.

Rolling around the corner, I saw a crowd outside of the 310 Gallery, where they were showing work by Zach Touchon. His "Geometric Abstraction" paintings were excellent, as was the cold beer.

Cold beverages were also on offer at In Heroes We Trust, where the fun, old-timey Speakeasy truck was again slinging frosty slush drinks out their window. It's always a good time over there.

Inside IHWT they were showing the wonderful work of Hagop Belian. I love his mixed media pieces, and they all have an instantly iconic vibe about them. He's one of my favorite Venice artists, for sure. (A whole bunch of the dresses for sale were highly covetable and artistic too!)

With time a-ticking, I raced back down AKB to see what was happening at Ecole Claire Fontaine. The garden of the darling pre-school was transformed into a twinkling hideaway, filled with art, music, and children enjoying all of the above. Here I especially enjoyed the work of Jen Lavita, full of ocean landscapes and mermaids.

On to the multi-artist venue at Venice Metal Worx. Alberto Bevacqua, Jon Grauman, MB Boissonnault, and Kate Wolfgang Savage all showed work from photography to metal work in their new venue (most having been relocated from the studios over on Sunset and Vernon (due to rent jackups).

It's a great, cavernous space, with the feeling of an auto garage inside ... albeit a beautiful and artistic garage. I loved a metal piece that listed all the coolest bands A-Z, and would highly suggest you mark this stop on the VAC's next installment. Really cool and diverse stuff.

Though I had friends waiting on me over on Windward, I made a quick detour to Park Place, and I'm SO glad I did. The walk street was full of art revelers, and acoustic tunes from Christopher Hawley lured you down the sidewalk.

The whole block seemed to be participating, with one front yard after the next full of friends enjoying the night. It felt like a lovely, eccentric fairytale of a community, and each stop was hosted by warm and welcoming Venetians (Nice to meet you, Daffodil!). Dustin Otterbach showed his metal pieces (and his airplane capsule parked on Speedway), Jill Kraft showed her photographs, and art was everywhere.

I stopped to look at a cool Jimi painting (who did this?!), and noticed a stack of flyers for Venice legend Maureen Cotter's upcoming August one woman show at Beyond Baroque (August 20th!). I've known Mo for almost 20 years now, but had not yet been to her (newish) Park Place pad, so it was a completely pleasant surprise to find a house full of dear, longtime friends. We shot the breeze and shared tight, true hugs before I had to hightail it off to Windward.

I really wanted to make it to the Old Glory Barber Shop in time to see the photography of Josh "Bagel" Klassman, and was nervous that they too might have already shut down, as I'd spent a good chunk of my time currency on Park Place. I need not have worried, as when I rounded the circle of Windward, I was met with a bumping PARTY inside and out.

All the Venice O.G.'s were there celebrating their friend's work that captured what was billed as "Remembering The Good Years", featuring awesome shots of golden years of skating, surfing, and friendship here in Venice. One photo was better than the next, and all were highly covetable for any true Venice collection to be complete.

At this point I gave up on trying to see everything on the Crawl (and most weren't happening by this time anyway), so we just got down and hung with the Old Glory Crew (which was better than fine by me). We wound up the night enjoying amazing pizza and some byob wine at Venice Cucina in the Circle, under the starry skies of another wonderful night in Venice.

Thanks and Congratulations to the VAC, all the artists, and our entire Community for putting this on, and for being there for each other. It's something special. See you in September for the Fall Crawl!

*And on a personal note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to my wonderful, beloved Mom, Marilyn Gronner!



  1. Sounds like it was a really Good crawl!!Thanks MY sweet Daughter!! Wish I had been there!! Love!!

  2. Carol thanks for the shout out for my show on Aug 20th, What a wonderful surprise to run into you, Where do you find the energy to cover all these places. You are a wonderful asset to Venice. Maureen Cotter