Today, the Venice Paparazzi shines a light on Venice Oceanarium’s Tim Rudnick.

How many years in Venice?

40 years in Venice…but I was a kid here.

Give us a brief bio of yourself:

Born in 1942 in Los Angeles. Degree from U.C. Riverside in Art History. Traveled Europe on a motor scooter from 1965 to1967. Bought a house and lived in Venice since 1968,… seen many changes. Married since 1970 to Robin Lithgow. Worked as a building contractor….Rebuilt our house extensively and live on Market St. Go to the beach every day. I’m founding Director of Venice Oceanarium. I am now retired and do drawing and photography.

Tell us about the work your organization does and the programs you run?

The Oceanarium is a museum without walls. We do not have a physical facility but do events at the beach and workshops in the community.  We host an annual reading of Moby Dick (on the beach) and a Grunion party here in Venice every year.

We conduct workshops about the ocean at Oakwood Recreation Center and at schools in Venice and around L.A. We conduct weekly exhibits of ocean animals and beach dynamics every Sunday at the Venice Fishing Pier. Presently we are on hiatus due to COVID 19.

How long in business, and how did you get started?

Where did the idea or inspiration come from?  The Oceanarium has been operating in Venice for 26 years. Got started by putting a table on the beach here and displaying ocean specimens. The inspiration came from seeing a large dead sting ray on the beach here and realizing that if we didn’t do something that the ocean fauna would be significantly degraded.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Most proud of bringing an increased awareness of the ocean here and bringing people who lived here but had never been to the beach.

How are you surviving Covid-19 and the lockdowns? What moves or pivots have you made?

2020, which was the 25th anniversary of our annual Moby Dick reading on the beach – was a little different. Due to health and safety concerns, we didn’t get together on the beach as we’ve always done in the past. Instead, we collaborated on a virtual reading of the book. We’re all thrilled with how well it turned out.  You can check it out here: Moby Dick – The Venice Oceanarium’s 25th Anniversary Reading.

What support do you need? How can one help your organization?

Of course, we need increased financial support and also an enlarged corps of volunteers to help with our programs

Anything else that you want to share with our readers?

We look forward to extending our programs and and establishing a permanent facility here on the Venice Pier.

The new Venice Oceanarium Pavilion will offer an educational venue on the Venice Fishing Pier

It will serve as a marine museum and aquarium and will display animals local to Venice Beach

It will be built with a simple design consistent with the environmentIt is intended to be free of charge to the public

View the proposal for the new Venice Oceanarium Pavilion.

A few personal questions!

Define success:

Success is feeling good about yourself!

What is the best advice you have received?

Work hard, always tell the truth, and always smell the roses.

Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:

All work should be done in a way that resembles prayer.

Favorite book?

Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn

Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments.

I worked and lived as room mates with Yoko Ono in the mid 1960’s.  She is certainly one of the most important influences in my art work.

I was a Board member of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands for almost 20 years and I am very proud of our accomplishments in restoring Ballona Wetlands.

Venice Questions:

Describe Venice:

Venice is defined by the beach…except for that we are Silver Lake.

What do you do for fun in Venice during Covid times?

I go for morning drives each each day and listen to classical music

What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?

Watching the sunrise and sunset.

Anything else you want to say?

Become a member of the Venice Oceanarium and accompany us as we strive to enrich our understanding and appreciation of the ocean, and to protect the marine life indigenous to Venice Beach.

Who should Venice Paparazzi spotlight next?

Steve Claire might be a good person to spot light or maybe Larry Bell or especially Maralyn Fox of Pacific Resident Theatre

How can one follow you and Venice Oceanarium?


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