Art Party on the Block

Hosted by the 18th Street Arts Center, the Pico Block Party gave local community members the chance to not only view local artworks and performances, but also participate in art-making workshops on Saturday, Oct. 14. The event's main attraction was to show that art can be both interactive and instructive at the same time.

Stands of workshops, booths of local organizations, vendors, and studios with artists filled the space of the venue. The event included colorful studios that were painted in bright shades, from royal purple to a lime green. The event also included a building where attendees can find food trucks and the 'experimenting quesadilla' workshop with Teresa Flores that allowed the Block Party goers to make a quesadilla with items like marshmallows and gummy worms.

At the Melrose Poetry Bureau, poets used typewriters, taking various tales that attendees told them and turning those stories into poems on the spot. 

The event also featured artists like Luciana Abait from Argentina, who opened her painting studio and hosted a painting and collage workshop for people to ask questions and understand how she works. Abait says it is the perfect opportunity to "see an artist studio, the process of art making, the material, be able to talk to an artist and experience what it is like to be an artist.”

Sue Bell Yank, the event organizer and Director of Communications and Outreach at the center, talked about bringing the party together, and said the center expects to have more in the future. "The main reason we're starting this event is because we have been doing an oral history project into our local community, the Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica, to preserve history as the neighborhood is rapidly changing," Yank said. "But also to strengthen our connections with our local community and our partners.”