Category: Arts & Events

NYE Celebrations

From fireworks to champagne dinners, ring in the New Year at one of these fun Westside events By Kamala Kirk 2022 is right around the corner, and whether you’re planning to stay cozy at home or looking to enjoy a night out on the town, there are a variety of ways to celebrate New Year’s on the Westside. Various restaurants and hotels are hosting special NYE parties that include bites and cocktails, while free fireworks shows can be enjoyed across town. Read on to discover what’s going on around town to help you finalize your NYE plans. Fireworks in Marina del Rey. On New Year’s Eve, Burton Chace Park will be closed to the public. In celebration of the New Year, the Department of Beaches and Harbors will host two 10-minute fireworks shows on Friday, Dec. 31 at 8:59:50 p.m. and at 11:59:50 p.m. The shows will be shot from the marina’s south jetty and can be viewed from nearly anywhere in Marina del Rey, Venice and Dockweiler beaches, and surrounding areas. Parking will be available in 12 public lots throughout the Marina. Starting at 4 p.m., these lots will implement an event rate of $20 per vehicle. NYE at Joliet. Celebrate at Joliet inside of Free Market Playa Vista to toast to 2012 and step into 2022. Tickets include champagne and live jazz, a variety of bites, including...

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Bringing Back Memories

Former Venice resident writes book about growing up in the community during the 1940s By Holly Jenvey Author Donna Friess’ latest book, “Growing Up Venice: Parallel Universes,” was recently named a finalist in the Memoirs: Historical/Legacy category of the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest international awards program for indie authors and independent publishers. Published in September 2020, the book recounts her life growing up in Venice during the California Oil Boom of the 1940s. Friess lived next to a working oil pump. At the time, she didn’t realize that she was living next to the fourth most productive oil field in California. Friess is a former professor and historian who was looking to delve deeper into California history, which ultimately led to the idea for the book. When the lockdown occurred during COVID-19, Friess felt it was the best time to start writing. Even though Friess doesn’t live in Venice anymore, she wanted to bring a significant period of Los Angeles history to life. “It was just the experience of writing that book during a pandemic,” Friess said. “When I had the luxury of time to write, I didn’t have to be anywhere. In fact, I couldn’t go anywhere… Of all the nine books that I’ve written, it was absolutely pure joy.” The book begins with Friess’ grandparents who arrived in Venice in the 1880s, and...

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Spirited and Mindful Art

L.A. Louver exhibition explores out-of-body experiences and unseen spirits By Bridgette M. Redman Art helps us to have conversations about abstract issues, about concepts that transcend our physical forms, and about those things which we cannot perceive with our usual senses. L.A. Louver is currently hosting two exhibitions providing a platform for discussing those ideas through art. Their shows, Don Suggs’ “Out of Body” and “Seen/UNseen,” run through Jan. 8 in Venice. Louver showcases artist’s last body of work The “Out of Body” exhibition features five large paintings by Suggs, who passed away in July 2019 when he was hit by a car while walking. It was his original intent to make 10 paintings in the series, but he was only able to accomplish five of them. “They are called ‘out of body’ because they are literally out of the body of his own work,” said Elizabeth East, L.A. Louver director and the curator of the exhibition. “He basically went into his archive of paintings and selected a number of works he wanted to readdress. These were completed works, fully resolved that had been in shows before.” Suggs then began to work over these older works, adding shapes and overlaying new images. Before he died, he gave a statement about his intent and process. “The core idea is one of interposition,” he wrote. “Pre-existing pictures are overlaid with three...

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Shoppable Art

Venice mural supports local artist and small businesses By Jenn McKee There are many vibrant murals around Venice Beach, but only one offers the chance to get some holiday shopping done while looking at it. Google and American Express have teamed up to commission four “shoppable murals,” each created by a local artist in a foot-traffic-heavy locale (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York) to highlight offerings from several small local businesses before the holidays. “Each mural is shoppable with Google Lens, so you literally just point your phone, take a picture, and it pulls up the item and you buy it,” said Stephanie Horton, Google Shopping’s director of marketing. Local artist Crisselle Mendiola designed a bright, fun, beach-manga style mural – located at Ocean Front Walk and 19th Avenue in Venice – featuring products “ranging from scented candles to teas to beauty products,” Horton said. “All things that are great for gifting this holiday season.” But this wasn’t the only criterion for inclusion in the mural. “We definitely wanted to have a nice range of diversity,” Horton said. “So women-owned, black-owned, LGBTQ-owned [businesses] – crossing the spectrum of people who find it harder to get noticed, and who find it harder to publicize their businesses.” This is in part a response to tracking what consumers now prioritize when “shopping their values.” “We have seen searches for black-owned businesses increase over...

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Gorgeous Glass

Artist specializes in mosaics of Westside landscapes By Bridgette M. Redman Carol Davis knows that no two people will see the same thing in her artwork, but one thing she does hope for is that it will bring every viewer some taste of happiness and joy. Davis is a mosaic artist who specializes in capturing landscapes and nature in the Santa Monica area. She takes photographs while she is out hiking or even driving around town and then transforms those photos into glass mosaic pieces of art. “I start with an image that I’ve taken and I love to see how glass transforms it,” Davis said. “I never quite know. I have an idea, but it always kind of amazes me, especially after I grout it and the image pops out. Then the color choices are just incredible.” Art is something that has always been in Davis’ life. Her father was an impressionist painter who used to take Davis to museums and explain paintings to her, pointing out perspectives and colors, and helping her to engage deeply with the art. When she was five, her father took a painting she’d made in school of a butterfly and put it in his art show. “It was just a painting I did at school,” Davis said. “He inspired me by loving the painting and putting it in his show. I was...

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