In 1979 the Venice family Clinic was on the verge of closing when a group of supporters, including many artists, came up with the idea of showcasing their work to raise money for the organization.
“At the time, it was one small clinic in Venice, and it was very much a volunteer-run organization that did not have a lot of resources,” said Erin Harnisch, Venice Family Clinic Event Director and Venice Art Walk Director. “The artists and the volunteers really wanted to keep the clinic going because either they themselves were relying on it or their neighbors were, so it was really kind of by and for the community.”
Now, for the 44th time since then, artists, galleries and collectors will join forces to put on an art walk and auction in support of the Clinic’s ongoing work.
This year, the event will take place from April 18 to May 19. Proceeds from art sales will help fund the Clinic’s work providing comprehensive healthcare services which has vastly expanded since the 1970s to now serve over 45,000 people across West LA and the South Bay, including many in Santa Monica.
This year marks the first time that the event will be held in Playa Vista, a decision made in part due to the organization’s merger with South Bay Family Health Care in late 2021.
The event was historically held at Westminster Elementary School on Abbot Kinney Boulevard for several decades and at Google Headquarters in Venice in recent years.
“We find that Playa Vista is a symbolic bridge between our West Side locations and our new South Bay locations,” Harnisch said. “We wanted to give a nod to both of the constituencies that we have and make it easy for the new South Bay supporters to enjoy the Artwalk and also easy for our Westside supporters.”
The exhibition will feature work from established artists as well as mid-career and emerging talents in a 7,000 square foot gallery space at RUNWAY in Playa Vista.
Charles Gaines, who recently retired from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) after serving on the faculty for over 30 years and establishing a fellowship to provide scholarship support for Black students in the Master of Fine Arts program, will be honored as this year’s signature artist.
“Mr. Gaines is a world renowned artist and an incredible supporter, and very much believed in the ethos that the clinic has. And so we were just so thrilled that we would have the opportunity to honor him this year and he is donating a wonderful artwork to the auction.”
The event is free to attend to view the art, and for those looking to take a piece home, Harnisch said there are a wide range of price points available.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to view art and potentially start an art collection,” she said. “We have pieces that range from well under $1,000 to over $70,000.”
The majority of the proceeds from the sales will go directly to the Venice Family Clinic. The clinic has raised over $1 million through the event in previous years.
While the Art Walk will run through May 19, purchases must be made through the online auction at Artsy.net/veniceartwalk by May 4 at 7 p.m. PDT.
For Art Walk hours visit: https://venicefamilyclinic.org/annual-events/aw23-plan/
For more information and a full schedule of events associated with the art walk and auction visit: https://venicefamilyclinic.org/annual-events/aw23/