I hope everyone had a splendid Halloween weekend. I certainly did, which is why I’m unfortunately late in my review for the Venice Art Crawl, but here it is finally.
In a lot of ways, the Venice Art Crawl resembles Downtown LA Art Walk. Both have numerous venues in their respective districts contribute their spaces to local artists to display and sell their artworks. At the same time, there are aspects that make this event distinctly Venice. First of all, I’ve noticed a consistent style that is prominent in a majority of Venice art after I’ve attended both First Friday at Abbot Kinney and Art Crawl. Graffiti art and skateboards are presently two popular subjects for instance. I enjoy that because it shows a sense of authenticity that emerges from artists within a community. While most of Art Walk in Downtown are held in studios and galleries, paintings in Venice Art Crawl are set up outside hotels, within gas stations, in the back of bars and restaurants, and on the rooftops of apartment complexes. It’s a compelling way of using shared space, and it links these establishments back to the community. I do wish the map was easier to read. The hand-drawn approach made it too convoluted.
The map was correct in labeling Ocean Front Walk as “spooky.” It was scary, but it’s scary in that I feared for my life. Although it’s brimming with activity during the daytime, it felt desolate at night. Ocean Front Walk was dimly lit and occupied by the homeless and possible drug addicts. If you must go to that region, make sure to travel in a group, and stay in the light. Even if you end up avoiding that area of Art Crawl, you won’t miss much as only one or two galleries were present at Ocean Front Walk when I was there.
Those who expected food trucks at Art Crawl were surely disappointed since only the “Dogtown Dogs” food truck was present. For food, Art Crawl recommended the “Canal Club,” “Hama Sushi,” and the “Sidewalk Cafe.” While the “Canal Club” had a lovely band performing, these restaurants will definitely hurt your wallet. “Dogtown Dogs” have a tasty variety of hot dogs for $5 to $6 in case you’re on a budget. Their cheese tots and buffalo tots, which cost $3 each, are also popular side dishes. If you wish to dine in, I suggest the “Cairo Cowboy,” a small Mediterranean restaurant that’s also recommended by Art Crawl, at 46 Windward Ave. There are also several bars on Windward Ave, including the “Townhouse” and “Larry’s.”
If you’re aiming to see art, come to Art Crawl. If you come for the food, then this monthly event may not be your cup of tea. It may be smaller than Downtown LA Art Walk, but in many ways, the local style of art and the use of space will help you immerse yourself more into the Venice community. The next Venice Art Crawl will be held on November 17.
Until next time,