Santa Monica ArtWalk Preview
With free admission, the ArtWalk will have a variety of events stretched over eight blocks on Airport Avenue. These include art exhibitions from the local studios which will be opened in addition to live music and food trucks.
The airport contains several art studios which will be open, and several artists will be giving demonstrations such as Tommy Hellenstein, a lifelong quadriplegic and abstract artist who paints with the tires of his wheelchair, as well as Regina Herod, a local artist who will be giving a workshop on printmaking all day.
Santa Monica College has an active presence within the airport, given that both the Ceramic Arts department and the Airport Campus, which contains the Art’s Mentor program, are there and will be participating in the ArtWalk. Firing demonstrations in the SMC Ceramic Arts building will be occurring periodically.
About 22 students are a part of the Art’s Mentor program, and most will be showcasing their work that are available to purchase for visitors. Christopher Badger, a faculty member in the Art Department, currently runs the program.
“We’re going to have this as more of an open studio environment than a formal exhibition. We have a group of artists working down here on really different projects,” Badger said. “We’re going to use the ArtWalk to showcase the diverse activities of the students and so everyone’s bringing in things they’re making over the course of the last year or so.”
Badger noted that the event is a good opportunity for students to meet the public. Anyi Zhao, a student within the program, will be at the ArtWalk displaying some pieces.
“Having a show is a very good opportunity to meet people in the field of art because networking is always important,” Zhao said. “It’s pretty cool that we work together and show to people. I like it, but it’s kind of overwhelming. I’m always kind of afraid that nobody’s going to come and see my work.”
The Mentor Program in the Arts is available to students through invitation, typically from recommendations from faculty and “[students] have been invited to this program because they are exceptional, serious, and dedicated students,” stated Badger.
From the local artists to the students participating, the airport that normally is filled with small airplanes taking off in the distance will have the result of hours of creativity on display.