People just love open art studio tours, and the more eccentric the architecture or neighborhood, the better. A hidden magic garden, a secret post-industrial perch, an epic skylight, overstuffed bookshelves, works in progress — it’s a special kind of experience for arts experts and new audiences alike. And no one does it better than the Venice Art Walk.
Charles Arnoldi Forty years ago, Venice Art Walk started as a neighborhood-driven event sparked by artists and Venice residents like Frank Gehry, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Lita Albuquerque, Ed Moses, Robert Graham and Larry Bell. From an initial idea to support the progressive work of the Venice Family Clinic, VAW has grown into a cultural touchstone, and the clinic has grown too, now operating a dozen Westside sites and citywide outreach for those impacted by homelessness.
Obviously, a lot has changed in Venice in 40 years, gentrification being the least of it. But there is still a robust community of artists who call this place their home, studio and muse. This weekend, some 40 of them invite you in to see why, including Jim Budman, Laddie John Dill, Jean Edelstein, Greg Falk, Alejandro Gehry, Tanja Skala, and a special pop-up show by Austin Art Projects presenting Doug & Sharon Britt at The Chuck Arnoldi Studio.
For the auction, the list of marquee names is a little mind-blowing, with works starting at $500 to the stratospheric, including honoree Laura Owens, specially-created work by Rosson Crow, Ry Rocklen and others, and a diverse community including Gary Baseman, Gregory Siff, Andrea Bowers, Amir H. Fallah, KAWS, RETNA, FriendsWithYou, Kelly Lamb, Alexandra Grant, Ramiro Gomez, Vanessa Prager, Alison Saar, Haas Brothers, Jennifer Moon, and Raymond Pettibon. Watch for a special commissioned Blue Dog project riffing on VAW's unofficial mascot.
Sunday, May 19, Auction and Art Walk hub/shuttle: Google HQ, 340 Main St., Venice
Studio Tours: noon-4pm, $40 (includes free shuttle and a 40th anniversary limited edition tee)
Auction, Art Workshops, Beer & Wine Garden, Food Trucks: noon-6pm; free (art classes ticketed separately)