Keep the Venice Art Walk Weird
When Google took over the former Chiat/Day building on Main Street in Venice Beach (you know, the one with the giant Claes Oldenburg binoculars out front), locals figured that would be fine. A fairly progressive company (or at least one that wants to be seen that way), the tech giant attempted to prove its indie street cred by signing on as the major sponsor of the legendary Venice Art Walk. The annual event, held in May, was in some ways expanded, which was all well and good. But feathers were ruffled in the 'hood when boundaries were tightened to exclude certain blocks -- booting some perennial participants from the open-studios tour at the event's core. But this is Venice, dammit, and these artists ain't playin' -- they're pushing back. This Sunday's free, self-guided tour of nearly 50 art and design studios, Venice ArtBlock, offers art walkers what a source close to the fracas calls "a counterpoint to the exclusionary fiasco of the corporate co-opting." Meet at the group's ad hoc HQ at Sunset and Fourth to get your route map (or download it from the website) and catch a shuttle if you prefer your art without the walk. Folks are organizing music, food trucks, wine sponsors, performances, discussions, demonstrations, readings, live art, crafts and, above all, an experience that reflects the bohemian soul that made -- and is working hard to preserve -- the Venice you know and love. Fourth Street and Sunset Avenue, Venice; Sun., Oct. 13, noon-5 p.m.; free. (310) 957-7037, veniceartblock.com.
Sun., Oct. 13, 12-5 p.m., 2013
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