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Culver City Artwalk December 2012 and beyond

2012 was a year of visiting Laguna Beach and San Pedro artwalks.  This was mainly due to the proximity to Huntington Beach, but it is time to expand, and the Culver City Artwalks of 2013 is the new location to explore.

I received my art education at Cal State Long Beach, and at that time Culver City was, and still is, the buzz of the LA Art scene.  The galleries are all concentrated along Washington and La Cienega which makes the walk easy to explore, but what makes the Artwalk worthwhile is what can be described as the three E’s; ‘E’nergy, ‘E’nlightened and ‘E’ncouraging.

Though there are so many good galleries, the three that we will focus on here are Cherry and Martin, Samuel Freeman and Think Space

Cherry and Martin has what I would describe as a minimalist show with a concentrated focus on material and space.  These are ‘aha moment’ works by Robert Overby, Erik Frydenborg, John Henderson, and Noam Rappaport, which challenges what the beholder views as art.  The materials make us take a moment and pause to look deeply into what the artist found to be important, such as a latex casting of a corner of a brick building, or the plasticity of an object casted and place within a frame, and even the gradient glow of a florescent light.  In this eclectic time of art the artist of yesterday reminds us that ‘art’ is all around us, and that the beholder can grow esthetical by opening themselves up to the elements and the visual phenomenon of experiencing those materials.

Samuel Freeman Gallery has an exhibition which in many ways echoes Cherry and Martin.  In this show, by Stephanie Taylor, there is again an emphasis on material, but I surmised that the goal of the show was more about successful story telling sculpture object, than material by itself. Particularly moving is a long rope sculpture that looks like rigging from a ship and a large blue form that my friend and I figured out is the English Channel (we didn’t look at the title or read the Artist Statement until after looking at the show).  I’m not sure it is all successful though.  The eclectic nature of the objects and lack of continuity from one art object to other is confusing and does not make me wanted to understand the story more.  All in all, it is a thought a provoking show which gave our group a lot to talk about.

Last, butcertainly not least, is the Think Space which had this fantastic show of fantasy art by Kelly Vivanco .  I can tend to take myself way to serious when it comes to art criticism, but when I get blown away with a beautifully whimsical show like this one, it brings me back to why I’ve spent a life time loving art.  This show is just fun!  The beauty of the artwork extenuates a world of mystery and delight, with its wonderful drawings of fantasy scenes and beautifully rendered ethereal landscapes.  One becomes engrossed in the imagery and begins to wonder what it all means.  By the time you are done looking at the pieces you wonderfully rewarded by the quality of the work and how kitsch can be elevated to such a high fine art status.

Finally, this is a good time to spend with friends and people who are passionate about art. This artwalk will be long remembered, and we are ‘E’xcited to continue this exploration in 2013…God willing.