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Pico Walks the Walk:

Art studios and galleries vied for attention with cars of the past and the future at the Pico Art Walk and Car Show, now in its third year, on Saturday, September 27, from Main Street on the west to Centinela Avenue on the east.

The show gets bigger every year.  This year, 50 studios, workshops, galleries, restaurants, and other businesses and venues opened their doors to the biggest crowd yet at the “amazing day of Music, Art, Food, and Extraordinary Cars” presented by the Pico Improvement Organization and the City of Santa Monica.

A remarkable number of studios and galleries have opened along Pico Boulevard in recent years, particularly at the east end between Stewart Street and Centinela Avenue.  They run the gamut from the spacious elegance of DCA Fine Art Upstairs Gallery showing Katina Zinner’s large format “Flowing Abstracts” oil series to the funky, rather cramped workshop of designer and photographer Louise Anne Marler (which is really upstairs).

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is quartered on Pico, and The Grammy Foundation sponsored live music on a stage set up at Virginia Avenue Park, including the Grammy Camp Alumni Band.  Also at the Park, guests feasted on a “Taste of Pico,” featuring complimentary food and beverages, provided by local businesses and wine sponsored by Hope Wine.

This year’s event had a “green” theme and encouraged Art Walkers to walk (imagine!), ride bikes, or take one of the two London Double Decker buses that continually shuttled visitors from Centinela Avenue to Main Street and back.

If the event sponsors seemed to be disrespecting the automobile, they made up for it with a vintage auto show in the SGI parking lot (Best in Show went to Jose Barba’s ’63 Impala SuperSport), and the future of personal transportation was on display at AltCar Expo down the boulevard at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

The mission of the Pico Improvement Organization is to create community along the Pico Boulevard corridor, believing that merchants and residents rely on one another to maintain a safe and attractive environment.  Last Saturday’s Art Walk and Car Show certainly contributed to that endeavor.

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