Over 70 artists participated in this year’s Venice ARTBLOCK. There was: art, exhibits, street art, demonstrations, live music, street performance, public installations, artists, creatives, live music, bands, interactive activities for the kids, performance art, food, free pedicabs, shuttles, people using self propelled vehicles like skateboards and bikes, with maps in hand. All this made for one of the best annual community art events. Thank you to all the Venice ARTBLOCK organizers, artists, and volunteers for hosting. In photo above: A Place Called Venice Exhibit’s artists and guests at Letelier Studio. View event photo highlights below by Venice Paparazzi!
About ARTBLOCK: ARTBLOCK is an open community of independent artists, living and working in Venice, who’ve joined together to open their studios to the public. ARTBLOCK maintains their focus on art and celebrates original Venice art studios in the heart of the Venice Arts Corridor. You don’t need an expensive ticket or wristband to enjoy ARTBLOCK! ARTBLOCK is free and open to the public. ARTBLOCK is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs and with the support Community Partners.” For event and artist info, visit VeniceArtBlock.com. Fan their Facebook page facebook.com/veniceartblock. Join ARTBLOCK on instagram at instagram.com/veniceartblock.
Here is a message from ARTBLOCK organizer Francisco Letelier.
“ARTBLOCK was in great form on May 15, with returning artists once again showing their studios and latest work, while new artists were integrated into the event in a variety of ways. More than ever ARTBLOCK revealed how artists and creative culture, improve and sustain the place we call Venice. Both new arrivals to our community and that who have made their home here for decades found opportunities to create new connections and imagine a common future.
One accomplishment for ARTBLOCK was to further inform the public about the intent and purpose of the organization. The creation of Venice Art Week as a vehicle for ARTBLOCK to partner and cross promote the event with the Venice Art Crawl and the Venice Art Walk, is making it possible for the public to understand how vital the health of the local arts community is to the success of all our cultural endeavors.
An important initiative that has grown out of ARTBLOCK is to support a P.L.A.C.E. project in Venice. PLACE is a national organization that creates artist colonies, providing affordable housing and work space to artists and others while also including market price retail and housing, common work areas, amphitheaters and exhibition space. Their projects provide a solid response to communities like Venice where growth and accelerated housing speculation have brought a new set of economic and social challenges. PLACE projects serve as national models to help revitalize economies, renew communities and provide opportunities for all. ARTBLOCK, along with a growing number of stakeholders in Venice, believe that art and artists should be a part of our future. You can support the initiative and sign the online petition at www.welcometoplace.org/venice.
A central core of artists at 361 Vernon Blvd and 360 Sunset Ave, the last larger buildings in Venice dedicated to art and professional artists, are facing an uncertain future. All these artists have been told that they will soon have to vacate, as building owners claim the need for improvements and change. Some artists perhaps will afford a return to the improved spaces, but it is clear that many will not. Venice is facing a large and costly cultural loss. Instead of short term vision, we hope that real estate owners will see the lasting value of an investment in the culture arts and artists of Venice.
Many newcomers will continue to use the term Silicon Beach for our home, its an undeniable fact that the tech industry continues to grow. Perhaps this explains why the public is so interested and fascinated with hand arts and crafts, some of which have not undergone major changes in centuries. Great numbers of visitors showed up to see the glass blowing and other aspects of the craft at Moonlight Glass while others crowded in to the Los de Abajo printmaking studio at SPARC (Social and Public Art Resource Center) to watch intaglio printing demonstrations on their etching press. It is important to note that all the creative spaces on the ARTBLOCK tour, those that emphasize traditional fine art skills as well as those that utilize state of the art technology, relied on the Boardwalk app to navigate the tour. The Boardwalk app continues to grow as an indispensable tool for experiencing the cultural events that make Venice, Venice.
Many visitors were able to experience the team of talented street performers and musicians that added to the event helping create a sense of community and neighborhood. We were fortunate to establish a relationship with Westminster Elementary School Principal Barry Cohen who enabled the Natural Plasticity installation on Abbott Kinney Blvd in front of the school. The massive sculptures, created by Jana Cruder and Matthew La Penta call attention to plastic pollution and consumption, and the devastating effect plastic is having on our oceans , environment, wildlife and health. We hope that in the future ARTBLOCK continues to moves towards becoming a plastic free event.
ARTBLOCK creates Open Studio events but we are active all year round, actively pursuing partnerships and opportunities with businesses organizations and institutions interested in enacting the power of art and the imagination of Venice artists to meet their goals.
Thanks to all those who attended, and to our community partners: Los Angeles Department of Cultural of Cultural Affairs, Office of Councilman Mike Bonin 11th District, Venice Community Housing, Venice Arts Council, Electric Lodge, Social and Public Art Resource Center SPARC, AKFF Abbot Kinney First Fridays, Yo Venice, Venice Paparazzi, Marybeth Fama, Boardwalk App, and Natural Plasticity – Jana Cruder and Matthew La Penta Plastic Pollution Coalition, Barry Cohen- Principal Westminster Elementary School, Argonaut Newspaper, Sarah Spitz/ SM Mirror, C.J. Gronner Blogtown, and many more. For more info, visit www.VeniceARTBLOCK.com
VIEW VENICE ART BLOCK EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:
Photos by Team VenicePaparazzi. HireVP.com for your next event!
Ara Bevacqua is the youngest artist and one of the founders of ArtBlock. Thank you Ara for your work on this free community event.
One of the ARTBLOCK founders Alberto Bevacqua
Performing artists Suzy Williams and Michael Jost
Activities for the kids
Mural by Francisco Letelier
Jules Muck and friends
David Bowie mural by Muck
Artist and one of the ARTBLOCK founders Pamela Weir Quiton
David Tanych/ Meryl Lebowitz Studio
Special performances by Heather Rabun and Domonic Dean Breaux
Center: One of the ARTBLOCK founders Marbeth Fama
Support artists! Buy art and shop local!
Paul Gronner, friend, William Attaway, friend, Gallo, and CJ Gronner
Great times had by all! For more event and artist info, visit www.VeniceArtBlock.com.
View slideshow below for full event coverage!
Click on the “View all” button below to view all 900+ photos by Venice Paparazzi. Get your photo courtesy of Venice ARTBLOCK. Social media share, like and download buttons are on the bottom right corner of the selected image in the photo gallery. Enjoy.
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