The Venice Art Crawl, a music fundraiser organized by an all-volunteer non-profit organization that is part of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, took place outside of Venice for the first time. Now in its seventh year, the art crawl has moved to Runway at Playa Vista, not too far from the beach. The 3800 square foot installation space is connected to Hal’s Bar & Grill, which used to be located in Abbott Kinney. Funds raised will go to preserving the arts of Venice and keeping it alive within the community. Over 70 artists had their work displayed, and DJs Arabian Prince and Betty Nguyen spun their jams in the background.
The moment I walked into the Runway at Playa Vista, I naturally gravitated to Neely Shearer, an author and curator who was welcoming to guests. She showed me the ropes around this event. I saw several pieces of art displayed I found interesting. Local and international artists, in addition to street artists, were represented.
The first one that struck me was the large painting of Tupac Shakur—very timely since the movie All Eyez On Me will be coming out this June. The artist, Unfuckyourself captured his image and the eyes are truly captivating when it draws you in.
The paintings by Oliana Afano were instantly striking because the artists look so vibrant. It shows them in their element. From right to left: Amy Winehouse, a magnetic force of energy who was seen as having deep vocals; to Stevie Wonder, known for his dynamic powerful voice and optimistic presence; then you have the soulful but complicated Billie Holiday.
My favorite piece is the political statement, Trump’s Endowment for The Arts. Plastic Jesus is known for his political artwork, so I knew he’d have something for us in this political climate. It’s a piano that is sinking into the ground, there is a music sheet of the “Star Spangled Banner” on the music desk. As a supporter of the arts, this one hit close to home for me.
Kasey McMahon, a multimedia artist from Florence, Italy, had designed a woman figure called “Connected,” which looks similar to the “Kapotasana” pose. This life-sized multimedia sculpture is made of CAT5 and data cables. Kasey embraces science and technology, which you can see in this creation.
Art is about interpretation and how we decide how it makes us feel. It’s a way for us to understand statements that are being made or just to reflect on the image or product. Art evolves and makes us learn. Coming to the Venice Art Crawl opens one’s eyes and you realize the dedication and passion that comes from these talented artists is truly inspiring.