THE 19TH ANNIVERSARY gala fundraiser for Venice Arts Nov. 3 will include a silent auction exhibition featuring over 70 photographs by Venice Arts students, such as Bubbles (above) by 13-year-old Kate Squires.

Venice Arts will celebrate its 19th anniversary with a festive gala fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at its newly renovated gallery and workshop space at 1702 Lincoln Blvd.
The event will support Venice Arts’ free art mentoring program for low-income youth and honor long-time supporters Karen and Dann Florek, Leigh Johnson and Tom Wright. Venice Arts offers after-school, weekend and summer programs in photography filmmaking and digital arts, as well as multi-disciplinary art discovery workshops to low-income youth.
Wright and his wife, Johnson, have been involved with Venice Arts throughout its 19-year history and their two children were participants in Venice Arts’ program in its early days.
“I think that Venice Arts does a really good job of fostering an individual child’s point of view and getting them to understand that they have value, and that their words and photographs have value and have impact,” Wright said.
Florek, an actor, and his wife, Karen, a photographer, have attended Venice Arts events over the years and purchased student work. Karen Florek has served as a mentor to Venice Arts classes, teaching students alternative photographic techniques.
Tribute videos made by Venice Arts advanced film students that are focused on the honorees will be screened at the gala, and student docents will give tours of the silent auction exhibition, which will feature over 70 photographs by world-renowned photographers and Venice Arts students.
A live auction will also be held. Other activities will include entertainment by Latin jazz singer Birdie Mendoza, and a student-run photo booth.