Pick of the Week is the Santa Monica Auctions this weekend at Bergamot Station!

This week is filled with lots of Art Events. My Pick of the Week is the Santa Monica Auctions, an annual live public art auction at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. See image of a functional art installation by artist, Helen Garber.

This yearly event occurs in two sessions beginning on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm continuing on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm at the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. So hop on over to this annual live public auction, it is always quite the scene featuring an open bar with food trucks and incredible installations.

See Saturday Events for more details about the Santa Monica Auctions. I also have a full article about it on the Examiner, feel free to check it out http://exm.nr/iVrONW

Also don’t forget to Save the date, June 25th…. Sona Mirzaei, a brilliant artist, is set to show in a group exhibition at Seyhoun Gallery, in West Hollywood. The opening reception happens from 6:00 pm till 9:00 pm and will be a fabulous party! I will keep you posted. See my recent article in Singular City Magazine. http://bit.ly/m3pop3

Wednesday, June 15th

If you are into music, Guitarology at the Melody Bar & Grill (9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., 90045) offers some fantastic players from 8:00 pm till 11:00 pm. Brophy Dale is guest hosting. Guitarology has become a musical haven for incredible musicians.

This series has picked up "Best Live Music Event of The Year" from Los Angeles Magazine (get there early-reservations suggested) 310 670-1994.

Speed dating…..Do you really have to pay, to meet someone, when you’re in your 20’s or 30’s? Come on …I understand when you are my age....actually not really.

Anyway, if you are desperate to date….weed through the wackos quicker, with this speed dating event at Barney’s Beanery (1351 3rd St, on the Promenade in SM). Tickets are $15.00 check out the link for all the details. http://bit.ly/jch8bo

Thursday, June 16th

Now if you are near Fairfax Ave….stop by Family, a very hip, indie bookstore located at 436 N. Fairfax.

Family will be having a book signing and opening for Beginners from 6:00 pm till 9:00 pm. (323) 782-9221;store.familylosangeles.com.

Of course Venice is definitely the place to be tonight…

The Venice Art Crawl, a monthly event that continues every third Thursday of each month in Venice is back in full swing.
It runs from 6:30 pm till 9:00 pm, however, some events go later. The summer months are expected to help this relatively new event blossom. This Art Crawl was inspired by the very successful Downtown Art Walk.

Still in its infancy stage, the Venice Art Crawl continues to grow at a “crawl.” But remember, it is just the first year. The commitment and passion, local venetians feel for their art community is definitely paying off. Some fun events are going on and I have listed my favorites.

Start off the Crawl at Figtree’s for some complimentary wine and appetizers. Also you will receive 10% off on food only (between 6:00 pm till 8:00 pm). They have a great happy hour too.

Figtree’s Café is known for their healthy delicious food, located right on the Venice boardwalk at 429 Ocean Front Walk Venice, at Paloma Ave, two blocks south of Rose. Figtree’s has been voted the best restaurant on the boardwalk since 1978. Figtree’s happy hour runs Monday thru Friday and also has FREE delivery. 310 392-4937; www.figtreescafe.com

Tonight, Figtree’s Café will feature a fun event with live music from Chantz, performing blues, jazz and tap dancing too.

Also enjoy art on display from Toby Ortolano and the photography of Larry Shapiro, see image. http://www.lshapirophoto.com/

Make sure to stop into the Venice Ale House, (2 Rose Ave on the Venice Boardwalk) where you can see the work of Alberto Bevacqua, photographer and metal fabricator. He created the beer pint light fixtures currently being featured in the Venice Ale House. http://www.albertobevacqua.com/.

Stop by Treeman’s place. You may have noticed Treeman, gliding through the streets of Venice, a true walking sculpture/art installation. Treeman is adorned with an incredibly life like tree costume, complete with leaves. Each Art Crawl blockbuster movies are shown on a large screen on the boardwalk at treeman's art garden along with the cast of retro-active entertainment: fire and pole dance artists, magicians and various musicians. Tonight’s movie is Green Hornet and there will be FREE hotdogs and popcorn. And last but not least the guided backstage tours. South of Dudley, right next to the Venice Bistro).

Gotta check out this new one…at 811 Ocean Front Walk .Dogtown Artists United has taken over this historical house on the boardwalk after 5 years of being closed, for one-night at the Venice Art Crawl. Featuring music, live video, DJs, visual arts, installations, I love that art has reawakened this house. Artists include: Clark Davis, David Hailey, Lisa Mansy, Jean Paul, Chris Tallon, Chango, just to name a few. As well as Live Painters: Killed and Sonata.

A few steps away, you will see, The Sidewalk Café, who is also participating with an artist lounge that includes drink specials for sale, as well as Small World Books, right next door at 1407 Ocean Front Walk  will be featuring artists, M Susan Broussard, Maria Kolligian and Loraine Stern. Open from 6:00-9:00 pm. (310) 399-2360;

Continue on the boardwalk to Venice, Maui & Sons at 1415 OFW, between Horizon/Market always has a scene brewing with new artists. Then pop by the Pop up Gallery at Jay's Rentals, at 1501 Ocean Front Walk to see what’s cookin!

Keep walking on the boardwalk to South Venice Blvd, then hook a left and on the left side, you will find The Alkaline Water Gallery, exhibiting art by local teens. This charming little gallery, curated by Leila Levi will also have on display a variety of wearable art, jewelry and accessories. Snacks and wine will be served. The Alkaline Water Gallery is located at 18 North Venice.   http://www.leilalevi.com/.

Then continue towards Pacific Ave., and saunter into James Beach at 60 North Venice, for a group show. Also the Canal Club right across the street, always has a yummy happy hour (all night on Thursdays) and will be offering a eclectic group exhibition with Mark Satterlee and Bobbi Bennett in their back room. http://www.jamesbeach.com/canal_index.php.

Then circle around to Pacific Ave. to Santinos at 1611 Pacific Ave, Enjoy yummy empanadas (at a great price).

Next door, stop by the Hotel Erwin, which has two venues. You will immediately see the downstairs one, in the driveway right next to Hash Café. There will be several artists showing here, Jennifer Hart Biagiotti, Justin Pike, Susan Haynsworth and others. There are specialty drinks on sale downstairs, but occasionally you’ll find some free wine being offered.

Upstairs on the fifth floor of the Erwin Hotel, in “Larry’s Loft”, catch the solo show of David Phiilips. This will be an actual opening reception with wine…hey it’s on the flyer…don’t blame me if there’s none left by the time you get your butt over there.

Also you won’t be able to miss the colorful new addition to the Art Crawl. The Gas Station, located at 1697 Pacific Avenue directly across from Hotel Erwin. Photo taken by Ron Proulx. This pop up artistic abandoned gas station holds a variety of artists and had quite the buzz going on last month. Some of this month’s artists include: Betsy Enzensberger, Jules Muck, Ugo Nonis, Rachel Rubenstein as well as several others.

There are some great Art Crawl events with food and drink specials. Stop in at Hama Sushi 213 Windward Ave to catch the work of Brett Woods, where they will be raffling off his original Buffalo painting shirts. http://www.hamasushi.com/

At Danny’s Venice at 23 Windward, stop in for their drink specials! Theresa Holliday and Dakato Rayfiled are the featured artists. http://dakotarayfield.com/; http://www.dannysvenice.com/. Skip right across the street to the Townhouse, (56 Windward) where CRYPTIK is showing and later downstairs at the Del Monte Speakeasy, don’t miss the after party from 10:00 pm till 2:00 am. You may want to continue on, then come back to party all night.

Now down at the 1320 Main Street Studios, right at San Juan, enjoy a photography show with featured artists: Christo Brock, Grant Barbeito, David Zentz.

The crew at 57 Market St., Momentum has moved to Brooks and Pacific…904 Pacific Ave., to be exact. Art by Joshua Bletterman, Grant Buckerfield (video installation as well), Maximillian Einstein, Isabelle Alford-Lago; More video installation by Mark Farina, Alex Paxton and Mark Rojas. Djs too.

Maps will be available at most of the participating galleries/venues. Check out the website at www.veniceartcrawl.com.

Friday, June 17th

Track 16 (C-1) offers a reception for filmmakers Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray, co-directors of the documentary Unfinished Spaces. Their film follows the careers of three Cuban architects who designed what was to be the world's most spectacular and futuristic art school, the ISA, in Havana. This event runs from 7:30 pm till 9:00 pm. Track 16’s site boasts of music, mojitos, beer and Cuban food….hmm, sounds good, we’ll see. 310-264-4678; http://track16.com.

Or in Venice, stop into the Talking Stick, Venice MoZaic is hosting their 9th annual "Summer Celebration" from 7pm on. There will be some awesome talent committed to this amazing evening!  "Zebra Party" starts off the night off with their fantastic blend of Jazz, Funk, and Soul! The VeniceVille Players will be sharing their individual talents during this magical party. DJ Noj keeps the groove goin’. Nickie Black hosts this festive and FREE community gathering! 310.450.6052; www.thetalkingstick.net;

The Talking Stick offers delicious, reasonably priced salads, sandwiches, hummus & pita, tasty desserts, and an array of smoothies, coffees and teas in a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere. 310.450.6052; www.thetalkingstick.net; Free admission.

Saturday, June 18th

Back to the Pick of the Week….The Santa Monica Auctions is hosting its annual summer live public art auction this weekend at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA. Art is a wonderful investment and unlike real estate, the bank can’t take away. So hop on over to this annual live public auction, it is always quite the scene featuring an open bar with food trucks and incredible installations.

This yearly event occurs in two sessions beginning on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm continuing on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 1:00 pm at the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Auctions feature modern and contemporary works and showcases mid-career and established artists of all mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, multiples and prints. Artists included are Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, John Baldessari, Sean Cheetham, Guy Dill, James Doolin, Helen K. Garber, Dennis Hopper (see image), Man Ray, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and many more.

An unusual piece of functional art is offered by artist, Helen K. Garber. Her creation dubbed Miss Lucy was born out of the re-use of a 1955 Shasta 5th Wheel Trailer which was found stripped and abandoned in the forest in Idyllwild CA.

Miss Lucy was used for 3 installations as the center projection hub of Group SC 2009, An Intimate View of Southern CA, in collaboration with MINARC, Santa Monica and 50 fine art photographers who documented their own neighborhood in Southern CA over the course of the year. Their stories were projected to rear view screens through 4 windows in Miss Lucy, one on each side. Miss Lucy has garnered much attention as she traveled to Bergamot Station for Month of Photography's Opening Night 2010 and then later to Pershing Square to be the centerpiece of the Autumn Lights Festival, 2010. Miss Lucy is now up for auction. The projection equipment and slide shows are not included in this sale. Here is the link to her catalogue listing: http://www.smauctions.com/garber.duce_misslucy.htm. For more info, see her website at www.helenkgarber.com.

Santa Monica Auctions is noted for receiving record prices for works by Banksy, Pettibon, Ruscha (see Image) and Warhol as well as selling other gems for a fraction of their current market value, allowing new buyers bid alongside avid art collectors.Preview is currently at Bergamot Station in galleries D5 & C2. The continually updated catalogue along with registration, phone and absentee bidding forms are available at www.smauctions.com. Live internet bidding on Saturday evening only at www.liveauctioneers.com and www.artfact.com.

Now if you do go to Bergamot, you should start here at Craig Krull Gallery (B-3), from 4:00 pm -6:00 pm for an early opening of “Phranc of California” (see image) and Larry Cohen’s exhibit, “Views of the Coast” . 310.828.6410; http://www.craigkrullgallery.com.

Santa Monica offers more events such as this fun art scene at 18th Street Arts, who will be presenting a performance installation. They always have fun events here. These final two exhibitions are from its Legacy theme, Jerri Allyn and Inez S. Bush’s “Debating Through the Arts: Performance Art Event 3 project and York Chang’s second life project. 18th Street Arts is located at 1639 18th Street 90404, and the event runs from 7:00 pm-10:00pm.  (310) 453-3711; http://www.18thstreet.org.

Another fun event in Santa Monica,, deyermond art + books, 2801 Main Street  continues with their FREE concert series….with performances by Musica de la Gente and Kissing Cousins,. They always put on a fun party here, Run from 8:30 to 10:30 with free booz. (310) 450-4400; www.deyermondbooks.com

If you prefer Venice, the owners of Dannys, Canal club and James’ Beach are bringing back an old tradition to celebrate the Summer Solstice. (Now I am NOT sure how organized this event will be, but hey, how bad can it be when it ends up in a bar, right?)

Starting at 3:00 pm the Neptune Parade runs from the breakwater at Venice Beach, past the Skate Park, across the Boardwalk to the Venice Sign on Windward, where the Start of Summer will be proclaimed and King Neptune & his Royal Court will be crowned.

Then at 5:00 pm Danny's offers live acoustic soul and funk rock music by GAEA. Happy Hour specials until 7:00 pm and 1/2 off drinks for anyone who dresses up for the parade.

Then at 9:00 pm - Neptune Ball moves to the Canal Club, which always has the best parties, with live DJ and drink specials all night long! Wear your best Summer time beach attire - there will be a costume contest with great prizes!

In the Hancock Park area, check out these two wonderful galleries which are right next to each other….so park and hang for a bit.

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts presents “George Condo: a collection of etchings” and “Summer Group Exhibition: paintings, prints, drawings & sculpture”. The opening  reception runs from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm and continues through September 3, 2011. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is located at 357 North La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles. 323 938-5222; www.jackrutbergfinearts.com.

Carporale/Bleicher Gallery presents FLOOD, featuring dynamic new works by Australian artist Josh Rosenthal (see image). A portion of the exhibition proceeds will benefit Homeboy Industries. Opening reception is from 6:00 pm till 10:00 pm. Carporale/Bleicher Gallery is located at 355 N. La Brea Ave 90036. 310 237-6423; http://caporalebliecher.com.

Or head to Culver City and drop into LeBasse Projects who will be presenting the opening reception for Shark Toof’s latest show, “Nature will Always Win”. LeBasse Projects (6023 Washington Blvd. 90232) Opening reception runs from 7:00 pm-10:00 pm. 310.558.0200;  www.lebasseprojects.com.

Down the street, Thinkspace (6009 Washington Blvd., 90232), will be open as well and always has nice events…From 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, enjoy the opening reception for Jen Lobo and Scott Radke(see image). 310.403.8549; http://www.thinkspacegallery.com.

Then stop by Las Cienegas Projects, which is open a bit later (till 10:00 pm)

They will be offering an opening reception for two exhibitions, Sayre Gomez and J. Patrick Walsh III: ZZYZX and Zoe Crosher: LA-LIKE:Transgressing the Pacific, from 7:00 pm till 10:00 pm. See image by Zoe Crosher,Transgressing the Pacific: Where Natalie Wood Disappeared off Catalina Island, from the seriesLA-LIKE, 2008. Las Cienegas Projects is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd. http://lascienegasprojects.wordpress.com/.

Sunday, June 19th

If you have not been to “Grand Performances” it’s a wonderful Free event that happens in Downtown L.A.’s California Plaza. Grand Performances’ offers incredible performers, all established singers, dancers and musicians in this free performing arts summer series.  

Tonight’s show is Embers, A jazz Opera in Poems. Librettist Terry Wolverton pairs up with composer David Ornette Cherry for a concert reading of a jazz opera that fuses world music, hip hop grooves, song and spoken word. Directed by Michael John Garces. Show starts at 8:00 pm. http://bit.ly/kyiAP2

Back in Venice, The Solstice party continues today from 2pm-6pm - Start of Summer Tea Dance at Canal Club with live DJ, drink specials, and Bottomless Summer BBQ! Dance the afternoon away!

Then this Tuesday 6/21 is the Actual Start of Summer! Enjoy Summer Solstice Celebrations at James' Beach, Canal Club, and Danny's. Drink Specials.

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