Charlotte Bjorlin D’Elia and her husband, Robert D’Elia have been building lofts for close to 10 years. Their most recent development “Dogtown Station” — named to pay homage to the famous Venice skateboard community of years past — is comprised of 35 live/work lofts located on Main Street and is also the site of this year’s Venice Art Walk kick-off party.

Currently a hub for creative types such as screenwriters, sculptors, painters and directors, Bjorlin D’Elia thought it would be the perfect spot for this years’ gala event entitled: AWOL (Always West of Lincoln) a group exhibit of eight prominent, young local artists (including Caroline Jones, Danny Maltzman, Charles Arnoldi and Andy Moses) each of whom have individual spaces in the yet unsold lofts in which to display their work.

“This is really the perfect time for the event because some of these lofts have just sold and very soon they will no longer be available,” said Bjorlin D’Elia.

“Dogtown Station is a creative community, much like Soho and as such we try to support the arts,” said Bjorlin D’Elia.

Four years ago, she and her husband saw there was a burgeoning art movement in Venice and sponsored a young, local artist for the Venice Art Walk, initiated a kick-off party and thus began her affiliation with the event and by extension the Venice Family Clinic.

The Venice Family Clinic provides free, quality health care to people in need. Bjorlin D’Elia asks that her artists submit pieces for the silent auction and donate a portion of all the proceeds they generate from the Art Walk to the charity behind the event.

“We feel like we’re giving back to the community and supporting local artists,” said Bjorlin D’Elia.

The Venice Art Walk opens to the public on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Dogtown Station AWOL gallery is at 700 Main St. in Venice.

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