The Venice Art Walls, the last remnant of the Venice Beach Graffiti Pit, were created as a haven for street artists when the Venice Pavilion was demolished as part of the Venice Beach Renovation of 1999-2001. The area was governed by a permit system until 2003. Since that time, use of the walls has skyrocketed due to a high demand for legal places for street art. At the same time, graffiti in the surrounding neighborhood has increased, prompting complaints from the community. As a result, Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office directed a permit program to be re-implemented.
As part of a six-month pilot project, In Creative Unity (ICU Art) will curate the space and implement a set of rules worked out with the community and city officials. Starting with a kick-off event on Sunday, June 3, painting will be restricted to those holding permits granted by ICU Art, and will be limited to daylight hours on weekends and city holidays in clearly defined areas. The program will be monitored by an advisory group consisting of neighbors, artists and city officials.
“The goal of the program is to preserve the important cultural resource that the Venice Art Walls represent for the artists that paint there, while mitigating any possible negative impacts the walls may have on the surrounding community,” said Stash Maleski, the curator of Venice Public Art Walls.
Permitted artist Bryant Allen, aka RCADE, from Compton, who was painting at the kick-off, said, “It’s all about getting your name out there. If there is a way to do that without vandalism, it would be heaven. More Walls!”