We kicked it off in the Kid Zone for the kids, which was outside in the parking lot of Gold's Gym. There was face painting, a sock panda (?), making art with clay, painting, and a super fun bubble situation set up in baby pools. Kids had a blast both trying to make giant bubbles, and chasing them around to break once they were airborne. Good times.
There were several artists doing live painting outside of the Google headquarters (and I still think the silent auction Art Walk headquarters should be back at Westminster School, not at a corporate tech company that has nothing to do with Venice), with the coolest being this woman who looked at you while painting your face without looking (the bad news is that I forgot my phone and notebook and everything trying to get the kids out of the house and all is based on my brother's photos and my memory, which isn't so hot today - sorry to any names I omit as a result). It was cool.
Cooler yet was Balloonski, a guy who makes the most impressive balloon animal things I've ever seen. My little friends stood there watching while he crafted a monkey (complete with eyeballs) climbing a palm tree, and a sword to do battle with.
They were stoked - and they were NOT the kids who knocked over a sculpture inside the silent auction with their balloon things, for the record. Thank God. Balloonski had a permanent balloon piece inside, that my buddies were extra happy to see.
I always want pretty much everything inside of the silent auction, and this year was no different, other than that I couldn't spend the time I usually do to check it all out.
As art often reflects the state of the world and current events, there was no shortage of political art, with excellent points being made. As Mark X Farina does here:
It is also Venice, so there will always be sea, surf, and skate art, like this classic shot from back in the day from Josh "Bagel" Klassman. Want it.
The Signature Artist this year was the wonderful Barbara Kruger, so the t-shirts and tote bags and everything for sale had her "How Can I Be A Better Person?" piece featured on them, and were omnipresent on all the volunteers and attendees. It poses perhaps the best question we should all be asking ourselves every day. How?
I didn't have my phone, so had to rely on my brother to take shots for me, and I kept losing him, so it is what it is. The boys and I went out to the sunny stage area outside to take a load off and try to find the rest of our party. We were entertained by the Rob Morrow Band (Yeah, the Rob Morrow from Northern Exposure), who turned out to be not bad as we enjoyed our spot in the shade.
There was an appropriate bench nearby, as we were certainly kept waiting ...
Also outside were the sculptures up for auction, including a super cool surfboard made up of little photographs. I wanted it.
Kids have to be fed, so we did that, and then headed over to say to John Mooney Glass, who will have his new kiln firing today, but not yesterday, so we went on over to say hi to Amy Kaps at her home studio. We enjoyed some bubbly (Me, not the kids) and saw all of her black and white photos from her live performances from all over, including recently Havana. I love Amy, and her true originality, so much.
Antsy kids kept us moving along, and as they had been in a music video for Sesame Street directed by Rohitash Rao, we went across the street to say hi to him and see all of his recent works. His studio was packed with Art Walkers, and we saw many familiar and fun faces. Rao gave me a Prince piece (LOVE IT! THANK YOU!), and showed my little friend Quinn how to make his first graffiti tag. I mean, they've got to start some time, right?
We didn't have the official map to see which and where all the open studios were, so as the boys were starting to trip, we called it a day for the art part, and embraced the sunny Sunday part, winding up in a pool the whole rest of the day. On the way to the car, we saw a guy showing his art on the street, Venice Style. I don't know if it's because I'm slightly obsessed, but I saw a lot of hummingbird art yesterday. Joy!
I LOVE the Venice Art Walk, and I LOVE the Venice Family Clinic. In times like these, when health care for Americans is in such jeopardy (if you ever even had it), the VFC is more important than ever with all the good work that they do for the members of our Community that need it most. That art is the catalyst for making the good happen is so perfectly Venice that it practically makes me emotional, especially when even the artists are endangered in Venice these days. Events like the Venice Art Walk help to make it clear that Venice is and will remain about the art, and about its People.
I'm a little bummed that I didn't get around to everything I wanted to this year, but again, we need to be about helping each other, and asking ourselves how we can be better people ... and helping friends in need is the perfect place to start/continue.
Cheers to all involved for another wonderful Venice day of ART!
*Photos by Paul Gronner Photography (on his phone)