Start the season with Bergamot Spring Fling or Santa Monica Airport Art Walk

By Christina Campodonico

Spring has sprung at Santa Monica Art Studios

Spring may just be waking up, but Santa Monica’s arts scene goes into full bloom this weekend when not one but two Santa Monica arts institutions kick off their spring art season.

Bergamot Arts Center — formerly known as Bergamot Station, and now simply going by Bergamot — holds its annual Spring Fling open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. At the same time, various arts and cultural organizations at Santa Monica Airport participate in the Santa Monica Airport Art Walk from noon to 5 p.m.

After a tumultuous winter that included a name change, an ownership change and the threat of rising rents, Bergamot is showing it’s alive and well with live music, a dance performance, pop-ups and food trucks zesting up its annual Spring Fling event on Saturday.

Kybele Dance takes over Lois Lambert Gallery starting at 2 p.m., Rosegallery hosts a book and frame sale, and Lilla Bello sets up a succulent bar where you can customize your own potted plant. Food trucks are serving up Appalachian-style barbecue, Thai street food, American beach cuisine and a mashup of Asian and Cajun cuisines. Meanwhile, Friends of the Venice Symphony Orchestra — a five-piece component of the ensemble — provide musical accompaniment for a portion of the afternoon. Expect the unexpected from this group, whose larger ensemble plays Beck as well as Beethoven.

The Santa Monica Airport Art Walk is showing off its full colors that same afternoon (noon to 5 p.m.) along Airport Avenue between Bundy Drive and 23rd Street. Really get to know how art is made by stepping inside the Santa Monica Arts Studios’ converted airplane hangar (3026 Airport Ave.), where you can peek into more than 60 artists’ studios or watch ceramic art demos by Santa Monica City College students.

Be sure to stop by quadriplegic abstract painter Tommy Hollenstein’s demo, where he’ll show you how he paints marvelous creations with his wheel chair. There’s also Studio 106LA, which is doing some pretty experimental things with sound and visuals in their space.

The Museum of Flying, just down the street (3100 Airport Ave.), features a collection of artifacts from the Douglas Aircraft Company, as well as an array of aircraft and replicas from the time of the Wright Brothers to the jet age. And Ruskin Group Theatre (3000 Airport Avenue) puts on excerpts from its signature L.A. Café Plays series.

DUBLAB Radio’s DJ Slayron spins family-friendly beats throughout the day, and the lively Carmen Perez Memorial Marching Band brings a boisterous blend of jazz, Afro-funk, klezmer and New Orleans second line to this celebration of arts, spring and creativity.

March may have been seized by a perpetual cold spell, but now it’s time to get out there and explore.

Bergamot’s Spring Fling is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday (March 24) at 2525 Michigan Ave. Visit The Santa Monica Airport Art Walk is from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday (March 24) along Airport Avenue, between Bundy Drive and 23rd Street. Visit