Santa Monica’s biggest art festival returns Saturday, March 18 with the 11th Annual Airport ArtWalk.
The event is free and runs from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday along Airport Avenue between Bundy Dr. and 23rd Street.
ArtWalk offers visitors a rare look inside Santa Monica’s buzzing artist hive at SMO: nine converted airport hangers stretch the equivalent of 13 city blocks and provide creative space to more than 60 studio artists. While individual artists might host open houses from time to time throughout the year, this is the one chance to tour them all.
“It’s a once a year opportunity to see part of the City in a completely new way and get to explore a unique venue that not a lot of citizens get to spend time in,” the City’s cultural affairs manager Shannon Daut said.
The event is designed to be family-friendly and interactive as well: spectators become participants, getting in on the action and making some art themselves. Artists give demonstrations with paint and ceramics, theater and art workshops, live music and food trucks. This year Daut expects about 3,000 people to attend.
Here are some of the exhibits and workshops you can check out:
Santa Monica College Ceramic Arts students will demonstrate a range of techniques including mold-casting, photo-transferring and wheel-throwing. Things really heat up when the students show off their raku firing techniques. Their art will also be up for sale.
The ARENA 1 Gallery will present Women Look Out, an exhibit of six female photographers who look out at, and look out for others in the world. All of the photo projects support philanthropic causes.
For the first time ever, ArtWalk will feature a DJ. In fact, there will be two: DJs Ry Toast and Kiyomi will spin tunes rooted in New York hip hop out of a 1957 Ford stepvan with a custom booth and sound system. There will be live music as well from the band El Haru Kuroi with sounds that reference Mexico, South America, Africa and American Jazz.
Artist Stephanie Cate will give a workshop on the concept of abstraction. The Santa Monica artist has created custom art for top interior designers across the country. Before turning to abstract art, Cate worked as an apprentice for a muralist, completing large scale works for casinos in Las Vegas and private homes. Cate has a BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Ruskin Group Theater will host an improvisation workshop for children.
The City’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment will give tours of the airport’s gardens and offer a planting and decorating workshop. Attendees can also learn about the City’s popular rebate program for sustainable landscaping.
Finally, food trucks will include Spitfire Grill, Epic Tacos, Me So Hungry, The Pudding Truck and Recess Truck.
While there will be ample free parking, there are plenty of ways to get to the airport without a car. Big Blue Bus Route 14 will take you from the Bundy Expo Line station to the venue at Airport Avenue. Breeze Bike Share cycles will be scattered throughout the campus for getting around as well as a free shuttle running on a continuous loop.
For more information, visit smgov.net/airportartwalk or check out the ArtWalk page on Facebook.