Mar Vista Art Walk riffs off the NBA finals with friendly competitions among local artists

Venice Boulevard lights up for Art Walk

They say that the art world is competitive, but the next Mar Vista Art Walk — themed “The Art of the Game” — ups the ante with fierce but friendly contests between the neighborhood’s local artists.

While pro basketball players vie for the championship in the first game of the NBA Finals on June 1, artists from many genres will duke it out with paintbrushes, guitars and more along Venice Boulevard from Beethoven Street to Inglewood Boulevard.

Mar Vista “art ninja” Mitchelito Orquiola, DJ Neff and Art Seen’s Leonardo Ledesma will jury a campfire Art Battle, in which four artists will tackle one theme with their creative skills. Stop by Alana’s Coffee Roasters (12511 Venice Blvd.) for a Battle of the Bands between funk/soul group Puscie Jones Revue, Afro-Cuban hip hop band Earth Arrow and popular local indie troupe Millwood, or check out a Rap Battle at Buckwild Gallery (12804 Venice Blvd.).

Budding young artists can also get in on the action with a kid-friendly dinner, bake sale and open play session at A Kid’s Place (12306 Venice Blvd.) or kid yoga at Light on Lotus (3807 Grand View Blvd..) And diehard basketball fans can catch the game on big screens at Louie’s of Mar Vista or Grand View Market.

After all that hard ball, rejuvenate your senses with a gong sound bath at fitness studio The Moving Joint (12813 Venice Blvd.), a sniff at LADOT Artist-in-Residence Alan Hiroshi Nakagawa’s street perfume installation, or a listen at TimeWarp Records (12204 Venice Blvd.), where popular duo Feisty Heart and the band Radio Botanica will perform.

Dance pieces by Lizzy Mulkey and Gaida Paulovska will also wend their way around the boulevard, where new protected bike lanes and four mid-block crosswalks should be ready for their debut.

Who said sports and the arts can’t get along?

— Christina Campodonico

The Mar Vista Art Walk’s “The Art of the Game” happens from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, June 1, along Venice Boulevard between Beethoven Street and Inglewood Boulevard. Free. Visit for a map and schedule updates.