Venice Boulevard came alive for Mar Vista Art Walk

1. Allison Butcher paints outside Venice Grind; 2. Cassie Allen Schultz makes a finishing touch in front of Buckwild Gallery; 3. & 9. 826LA’s Time Travel Mart is now a whimsical curiosities shop with a hand-painted floor; 4. The Daddies rock out at the corner of Venice and Centinela; 5. Indigenous Mexican art by Tatei Haramaratsie; 6. Cristina Vane performs soulful blues; 7. Nina Palomba live-paints street art; 8.Participants take in the glow of a pop-up candle shop by Gloria Janette Pavia.
Photos by Maria MArtin

Chilly winter weather on March 1 didn’t stop locals from turning out in droves for the Mar Vista Art Walk, an evening of art happenings and live music in the heart of Mar Vista.

A small troupe of Afro-Brazilian drummers and dancers dressed in white paraded along Venice Boulevard, christening four mid-block pedestrian crossings installed as part of the city’s Great Streets initiative along the way. Upon reaching Centinela Avenue, they danced to live music by local indie rockers The Daddies and Venice blueswoman Cristina Vane.

Across the street, youth literacy nonprofit 826LA celebrated the grand re-opening of its Time Travel Mart with cotton candy, carnival games and a fortune teller stationed outside the newly refurbished store. Animi Design transformed the space into a Victorian-era curiosities shop with a hand-painted floor, a spiral staircase
and a wall of “portals” to the past, present and future.

Buckwild Gallery turned into a temporary exhibition space for local fine artists, who also set up easels and canvases at various points along Venice Boulevard.

“It’s so eclectic. There’s all kinds of art here,” said New York transplant Joseph Mesiano, who also walked away with an original piece of art. “This has felt like a real New York, Chelsea night in Mar Vista, which is really cool. I was brilliantly surprised.”

Or, as Councilmember Mike Bonin said during his foray out: “The Mar Vista Art Walk continues to rock.”

— Christina Campodonico