Category: Arts & Events

Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival’s 20th year of music and revelry

The annual Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival is back for its 20th year with a lineup of musical acts, food and community fun on Sunday, September 26th. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the stretch of Abbot Kinney Boulevard (best known for its craft boutiques and fashionable shops) between Venice Boulevard and Main Street in Venice will be closed to traffic and used as festival grounds. Admission to the street festival is free. The event will feature games, food, a petting zoo, rides, performances, prizes and an art show. The Abbot Kinney District Association, a merchants group, has organized the festival again this year. A special youth and family court for kids will be set up by Inside Out Community Arts and Venice Arts. The main feature of the festival is its stages of live music. This year, the lineup of bands includes SugarBitch, a sassy soul band, freak out funksters The Bonedaddys and Rhythm Child, a percussion ensemble led by Norm Jones that interacts with kids in the audience and lets them participate in making music. Other bands scheduled to perform at the festival include Nova Blue, Form Of, Gila Monsters, Free Kountry, In Bloom, Shaper Shifters, Firefly, Most Chill Slack Mob, Donald & Tichenor, Zoo People, Jimmy Reid, Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston, Ceremonial and Badaue. Performance stages will be set up where Abbot Kinney Boulevard...

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Octoberfair tradition at St. Monica’s Church funds school, charities

St. Monica Catholic Church is calling out the community, with the help of its celebrity parishioners and friends, to its 41st annual Octoberfair Friday, through Sunday, September 24th to 26th, on the church grounds, located at 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. Admission is $2 per day. The three-day family festival starts at 6 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, September 24th to 26th, and continues through about 11 p.m. Attractions include bands, prizes, rides including a ferris wheel, a barbecue, clowns, a chili cook-off, bumper cars and a 5k walk-run. The fair opens with a performance of blues and rock by The Jim Gibson Band and “Father Willie’s Chili Cook-Off.” Actress and parishioner Mimi Kennedy plans to enter her vegan chili in the contest. The public can also enter and compete for the top chili prize. Father Willie Raymond and Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson are scheduled to judge the chili contest. Along with Kennedy, celebrity guests expected at Octoberfair include Olympians Gary Visconti and Randy Gardner. The two Olympians plan to kick off a 5k walk/run that will occur at 8:30 a.m. Saturday before the festival gates open. Lou Ferrigno (bodybuilder and former star of the Incredible Hulk television series) plans to join in the Octoberfair games and activities with fair revelers on Sunday morning. Also, Santa Monica Police Chief James T. Butts Jr. plans to attend the...

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Speculative Terrain — art of landscapes at LMU

Speculative Terrain-Recent Views of the Southern California Landscape from San Diego to Santa Barbara features works of art representing the historical contrast of the southern California landscape from the early 20th century to today. The exhibit opened Sunday, September 12th and will run until Sunday, November 14th at Loyola Marymount University’s Laband Art Gallery, 1 LMU Drive, Westchester. Gordon Fuglie, director of the Laband Art Gallery, organized the exhibit and said it focuses on “the new landscape kind of paintings.” The art works of the early 20th century depicted scenes like “fields of golden poppy”, he said, and today the landscapes of open land are compromised by development. “It was very idealized with all the open space that existed, and now it doesn’t,” he said. “Today artists paint the contrast of the conditions.” Speculative Terrain focuses on many different kinds of landscapes in the region with comprehensive viewpoints, he said. The exhibit features views from the Cuyamaca Mountains (east of San Diego), the Salton Sea and high deserts, the urban, suburban and wetland areas of Orange and Los Angeles Counties, and north into the Santa Barbara foothills. Early 20th century works of art portrayed the natural beauty of the region, and in the 1940s the works depicted urban and industrial subjects in the region. By the mid-century, works that significantly portrayed the region became less frequent, he said. The...

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Film producer Blake can’t kick his photo tricks in Photoholic exhibit

As a long time film producer and post production man, Billy Blake knows how to hustle the necessary bucks and tie up the necessary ends to bring a film project together. But when the veteran of the film business has his own creative urges, he lets his still photography close the deal. Although he grew up in the motion picture world (his father George Blake was a Hollywood producer/director) and spent most of his professional career thus far in film, still photography has proven to be a habit he just can’t kick. Photoholic, an exhibit of Blake photographs from the early 1970s until the present, opens with a reception at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 18th, at the Universal Art Gallery, 2001 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. The exhibit remains on display through Sunday, November 14th. Imagewise, Blake’s photographs contrast colorful, playful, fantasyland imagery with the often overlooked dregs of everyday urban life. A shot of a dour, gravelly puddle of rain or a partially disrobed homeless woman, making a public spectacle of herself, conflict with angled shots of carousel unicorns or colorful Venice Beach mural backdrops. Eye trickery is Blake’s style of photography. Blake chooses kitschy, catchy subject matter, sometimes playful and childlike, sometimes ominous and mysterious, and shoots as to make the subject a visual puzzle. With Blake’s work, the viewer gets the small picture, so that they might imagine...

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Special jams of the Kids of Widney High

The Kids of Widney High, a rock band consisting of an evolving lineup of students enrolled in the special education program at Widney High School in Los Angels, is scheduled to play a gig at 7 p.m. Friday, September 17th, at Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $5. The concert coincides with Track 16’s current exhibit, Radiant Spaces: Private Domain, an exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptures created by about 60 California artists with “developmental differences,” according to Track 16 Gallery. The purpose of the exhibit is to capture the pure, unbridled expression of artists who may not have had the exposure to or had been influenced by the methods of other artists or the teachings of traditional art education. The exhibit, curated by Elena Mary Siff, seeks to display works that may be immune to cultural imitation. The exhibit itself, however, does not share the immunity. It is based on the concept of “Art Brut,” a term coined by Jean Dubuffet, who said “…creativity in its purest form means rejecting all models.” The exhibit remains on display until Saturday, October 16th. The musical group Kids of Widney High has been performing its inimitable brand of rock ‘n’ roll since 1988, when teacher Michael Monagan came up with the idea for the group as a project of a songwriting class he was teaching. With jams...

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