Annual event highlights value of the arts in the community
By Sam Catanzaro
As part of Santa Monica’s Arts Month, a 400-foot mural is coming to a popular beachside destination.
Every April, Santa Monica celebrates Arts Month, highlighting the value of the arts in the community. This year, there are a number of self-guided art features throughout Santa Monica that represent the last year of challenges and the subsequent recovery.
“This year, we are celebrating with an even deeper appreciation for the power of the arts after having seen how artists and organizations adapted, created and shared their work to inspire thought and connection throughout 2020,” said the City’s Cultural Affairs Manager Shannon Daut.
Arts Month formally kicks off with past Santa Monica Artist Fellow and Artistic Director of Santa Monica Repertory Theater, Tanya White, performing her original proclamation for Arts Month at the Tuesday, April 13 City Council meeting. The meeting will broadcast live on CityTV cable channel 16 and on YouTube.
As part of Arts Month, the Annenberg Community Beach House has commissioned artist Yvette Gellis as part of its Out of the Blue program to create an outdoor mural that covers the 400-foot fence in front of the Beach House. The artist will be painting onsite periodically from April 14 through April 21 and the completed mural will be on view through the summer. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Gellis’ “contemplation of the vast open terrain in contrast to the urban sprawl set up structures for her painting that echo or reiterate the impermanent and mutable states depicted in her work,” the Annenberg Community Beach House writes. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Landesgalerie Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria, St. Jacques Eglise in Dival, France and the 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica.
In addition, throughout Santa Monica there are a range of self-guided art features the city is highlighting.
On the Third Street Promenade a Black History Month exhibit has been extended by Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. ‘s through April featuring the work of two local Black artists SHpLinton and Mira Gandy.
In the Bergamot Station Art Center parking lot, the Building Bridges Art Exchange Rose River Memorial installation by artist Marcus Lutyens, features a hanging wall composed of felt roses made by community members that acknowledges someone from the Westside of Los Angeles lost to COVID-19. Community members are invited to contribute by picking up a free rose making kit to add to the installation, on view throughout May.
Throughout the City, Artist Marni Gittleman’s “What’s 6 Feet?” features creative responses to her interactive prompts painted on walkways and signage throughout the City.
A number of virtual art experiences are also being highlighted this month, including the Camera Obscura Art Lab’s Artists-in-residence Final Exhibit – Jenny Ziomek and Laura Davis: New Works.
In addition, local artist Paula Goldman’s project, #SMhopes: An Archive of Hopes and Dreams, invites Santa Monicans of all ages to envision our post-pandemic world. What will you do the first day you can meet your friends? What will be different? Upload words, images, video or audio at Journal of The Plague year’s “Share Your Story”. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much of the funding for these projects comes from the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force’s , the Art of Recovery initiative.