The Culver City Art Walk

Jun 03, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend my first Art Walk. Los Angeles has long been home to the Entertainment Industry; but lesser known is the fact of its existence as a long time home for printmaking, etching, seriographs, lithographs, and associated art movements.

With the explicit goal to “introduce a wider audience to the unique vitality of the artist spaces,” Art Walks have been a common place occurrence here. I haven’t been able to attend the Downtown ArtWalk yet, but based on how much I enjoyed the Culver City ArtWalk, I’m sure that they’ve designed a great tour as well.

Gary Paige – Diptich

Artist: Gary Paige – Diptich – Left Title: “Empty Singular Series” Right Title: “Magenta Blue Bias” – Inkjet Prints on Stonehenge Paper – Size 22” x 30” Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City, California.

Early Background of Southern California Printmakers and Artists

Serious printmaking in Southern California grew out of the presence at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 of two American artists-etchers.

In 1913 the California Society of Etechers was founded; subsequently though the years the number of associations, art schools, art movements, and strictly Southern California artists started to shed their non-recognition status, and began to gain traction with the American modern art movements and markets, as its epicenters were up until then in New York, Paris, and Spain. Source: Los Angeles Prints, 1883-1980

There is no there

Recent nationwide research has established that four qualities are necessary for any city or community to have cultural vitality: (1) the presence of a spectrum of artistic – cultural opportunities; (2) the capacity to foster multiple dimensions of participation; (3) support systems to present and validate the arts; and (4) planning to encourage greater impacts. At the recent Culver City Art Walk, all of these components were in healthy abundance, in accord with Los Angeles’ role in its global leadership position and significance.

The Culver City Artwalk Turnout

If the huge turnout for Culver City’s Artwalk is any indication—people are extremely interested in viewing and participating in their neighborhood’s cultural infrastructure, its artists, galleries, and ancillary support and ecosystems.

All the galleries were full even at mid-day, the streets were festive, and the crowd’s mix was eclectic,

Group of Visitors

covering all age groups, including many families with their children. Scores of the artworks had already been sold, but many were also looking for a new home. I’m sure that when the economy turns, more people will be carrying out art from the galleries, than just their various personal paraphenelia.

If you’ve ever been to an Art Museum or Gallery opening, the air is always full of excitement, anticipation to see what is going to be shown, and of course, people watching.

With the growth in digital art, technologies, printmaking, and creative use of material and performance art—I expect that the future can only portend many more talented artists in Los Angeles, and Southern California, who will not just be surviving but thriving.

Although I can certainly say, like all would perhaps, that I didn’t like all the art that I saw; but enough to pique my interest in purchasing a piece or two and displaying it in my house.

Acceptable Losses

This particular piece, featured at Lebasse Projects and entitled “Acceptable Losses,” I found very moving. It literally spoke to me on many different levels. The artist, Thomas Doyle, said:

“By sealing the works in this fashion [under glass], I hope to distill the debris of human experience down to single, fragile moments. Like blackboxes bobbing in the flotsam, these works wait for discovery, each an indelible record of human memory.”

As you can see–and I can see me–when Travelin’ Local, the foundation of your life is your neighborhood.

Mine is “Art Friendly.” What about yours?

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6 Responses to “The Culver City Art Walk”

  1. Paisley (Paisley Thoughts) says:

    My city is very arty and it gives an edgy and interesting atmosphere.

    It’s so great to hear art is alive and well and being ejoyed all around the world because art improves life.

    I was especially impressed by the mention of art for all ages and therefore the whole LA family.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)’s last blog post..The Last Word

    [Reply]

  2. Diane C. says:

    I’m sure I would have enjoyed that Culver City Artwalk as I’m fascinated by the unpredictable nature of printmaking. I had never heard of artwalks but after reading your article, I checked and learned that my city has monthly artwalks. Great article!

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Along Sunrise Drive

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  3. David says:

    I enjoyed reading about Southern California’s long history with printmaking and the pictures and story that accompanied the Venice Art Walk.

    Los Angeles is so diverse and geographically spread out, that I think there’s a different art style in every borough.

    [Reply]

  4. LisaNewton says:

    @Paisley I love that art is alive and well, especially for the families. I didn’t take my children to too many events like this, but I wish I had.

    @Diane C. I’m so happy you discovered a local artwalk. I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did………….:)

    @David I totally agree. It’s great to see so many cultures represented in an artwalk such as this.

    [Reply]

  5. Kim says:

    I love how you have the ability to write like I was there.. wonderful.

    Kim’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Looks & Talent

    [Reply]

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