Posts tagged ‘artwalk’

December 27, 2012

…………………..2012: A List………………

(Hope you don’t get seasick) p.s. it’s all local


Cassettes were all the rage this year. Massenger was my favorite band.

Recorded Music
The Pullmen
D on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers



Live Music
Wussy at Zoey’s
Pangea at Indie West Fest
The Pullmen at Bombay
Kapeesh at Red Cove
Alexandra and the Starlight Band at Zoey’s
Miguel Garcia & the Vaquetones at Yolie’s
OFWGKTA at the Ventura Theater (for the sheer spectacle of it)


Outstanding film! Bob Forrest actually remembered me from the old days.

Bob and the Monster at Indie West Fest


Shenanigans at the Scavenger Hunt. (Appropriately, I stole this photo.)

The Local Rock Picnic
86 Scavenger Hunt (I was a secret weapon. Plus, I sacrificed my son’s innocence. See pic.)
Westside ArtWalk

comics comics

Comics and Comics at Hypno Comics

Comics and Comics at Hypno Comics


I purchased one of these pieces from Sean Tully. Can you guess which one?

Sean Tully at The WAV
Stacie Logue’s guerrilla bluebirds
Paul Lindhard’s gateway to Ventura
Evan Ames’ and Lauren Mosinka’s yard sale
Everything at Sylvia White Gallery
Michael Pearce at Carnegie Art Museum
Art of Autism at Westside ArtWalk
MB Hanrahan’s Scabenue Calendar


End Transmission: The Life and Death of the People’s Radio

April 15, 2010

Sound and vision, love and miracles

Chris Velasco by James Scolari

It’s shaping up to be another busy weekend in Ventura with the Spring Artwalk promising lots of  sweets for the senses. The turnout for VCReporter’s first local music issue party last weekend was tremendous.  It was smiles all around when six up and coming Ventura County bands performed for a capacity house of enthusiastic music fans–can’t wait to do it again next year. One of the bands from the party, Shades of Day, will be performing at ArtWalk at 1 p.m. Saturday on the promenade where C-Street meets the ocean. Last night, another performer, Dan Grimm, proposed to his girlfriend while performing at Green Art People.  Gratz!

A band that’s on our radar for next year’s bands to watch,  Shoddy Cons, whose hybrid of hip-hop, punk rock and funk is generating some buzz in these parts,  just announced they will perform at WAV‘s grand opening on Saturday at 10 p.m. Pick up this week’s VCR for a thought-provoking q & a with WAV’s visionary developer Chris Velasco (pictured).

In early Feb. during a First Friday ArtRide (cyclists dress up and gallery hop on wheels), Gwendolyn Alley‘s husband Marshall  broke his C2 vertebrae in a freak fall. Alley is a longtime fervent supporter of the arts in Ventura County. “Known as a “hangman’s break”,” she said, “It’s the kind of break where 95 percent of the people die instantly; for those who live, almost all have limited mobility.” Marshall, whose recovery thus far is amazing to say the least, will be at Bell Arts Factory during ArtWalk at about 4 p.m. to meet up with Alley and her cycling compadres for some well-deserved revelry.

Goodness knows we pay a lot to live in this fair city, but given the riches that surround us, I’d say, most days it’s worth it.  See ya at ArtWalk!

October 22, 2009

Moving beyond ArtWalk

Let me preface this post by saying that I’m a big fan of ArtWalk, I’ve been to nearly every one and I always have a great time. I also try to buy something original if I can and encourage others to follow suit. I will be in attendance this weekend for the Harvest ArtWalk. I will likely spend most of my time at Stoneworks Studio, Bell Arts and Artists Union (I’m dying to see the featured artist’s work).

That said, it might be time for a change.

I don’t mean this to negate anyone’s efforts or the value of this event to the city both economically and culturally. But, it seems that given the looming threat of funding cuts going forward, as well as the stasis the event has settled into over the years–perhaps due to it being a city funded/staffed event, perhaps a natural evolution, the passage of time–something fresh is in order.

I’m not suggesting a new take on ArtWalk, but a new arts event entirely. Something unique to the city would be ideal. As a cultural destination and an arts-centered community, a signature event would go a long way toward furthering Ventura’s brand and generating some fresh interest. I imagine that once complete, the WAV community will almost undoubtedly spawn something, if not get folded into whatever the larger arts community comes up with.

It would be extra cool if the event came to be in an organic way, not as a city-facilitated project but from the heart and soul of the city’s artists and arts supporters.

This has been the year of the event in Ventura. People continue to come out of the woodwork to launch events in our city. Some have succeeded, some have failed, some have been authentic in their desire to celebrate this wonderful place we live, others have been opportunistic in their approach.

ArtWalk took a while to gain momentum and it’s had a good, long run. Let’s create some space for something new. It’s time to come together and do what artists do in a natural, collective environment: play, imagine, create and birth something together that only we can.

September 17, 2009

BEST OF: the subjectivity of hierarchy and a few of my favorite things in Ventura County

We just put our annual Best Of Ventura County issue to bed after a long but mostly painless labor (depending on who you talk to.) This was not the first time I’ve been involved with the issue but it was my introduction to the back-end/inner workings of the voting process.

I am currently working on an article about the approval process for WAV applicants, which makes for an interesting parallel with “Best Of” on the subject of winning. Just as hundreds of people are coveting one of the affordable artist live/work units in the project, others are hoping to be voted the Best in their category in VCReporter.

Best Mexican food, best band, best citizen, best bartender. . . the list goes on. For those who may not be clear, this is a READER’S POLL. VCReporter staff did not have anything to do with deciding the winners or choosing who would “compete.”

We did however, do our best to make sure it was a fair fight, but there are always those who win when they probably shouldn’t have and others who weren’t voted for and should have been. Were it up to us, many of the winners would have been different. But, it’s not up to us, it’s up to our readers, and we don’t always see eye-to-eye with our beloveds.

Your “best” Mexican food is not mine. Your favorite artist is not mine. Your favorite band is also not mine. Because I am informed about music and have a long history as a listener, does that mean I can determine who the “best” musician is? Maybe my favorite Mexican food isn’t really authentic but someone else’s is. Which of us can say what the best is? If 200 people say Katy Perry is the best female vocalist in the world, but Joni Mitchell says Eryka Badu is, who is right? It’s a popularity contest and it’s a matter of taste–which we all know there is no accounting for. That said, here are a few of my Ventura County bests:

Art Gallery:
Winner=Red Brick Gallery
My Pick=Artists’s Union Gallery

Best Local Band:
Winner=Rey Fresco
My Pick=tie between All Seeing Eyes & Dirty Words (<3 ❤ <3)

Best Live Music Venue:
My Pick=The Lodge (Exquisite sound, comfortable and cool)

Best Annual Cultural Event
Winner=Casa Pacifica Wine & Food
My Pick=ArtWalk Ventura (Say what you will, I always enjoy it)

Best Mexican Food
My Pick=El Rey

Best Breakfast
Winner=Allison’s Country Cafe
My Pick=Art’s Corner Cafe (Corner cakes and campfire combo… mmmmm)

Best Gift Shop
Winner=B on Main
My Pick=B on Main (Carol knows her stuff)

Best Chiropractor
Winner=Logan Osland
My Pick=Daniel O Schnieder (He’s a magic man.. yaaaaa)

July 23, 2009

New Art City vs. New Bar City

In the midst of decreased funding for the arts in Ventura (the “New Art City”) and the subsequent slow death of ArtWalk, the local music scene is, as I’ve reported previously, exploding. At the same time, the bar scene–if you can call it a scene–has recently been plagued by violence which has led to what appears to be a crackdown by Ventura police on nightclubs.

This of course casts a shadow on downtown nightlife , nightlife which like it or not, the city is quite dependent on for revenue, especially considering the decrease in TOT revenue this year.

Yesterday, Joe Cardella, publisher of the now-defunct (but not irrelevant) Art Life magazine, left a very kind message on VCReporter’s Facebook fan page, but also mentioned his distaste for what he called the “New Bar City.”

I’m not exactly sure what I’m trying to say here, but I suppose the overarching theme idea is that there should be a way for all sectors of the arts and nightlife to work together for our common purpose.

As one local band’s name says, “Adversity Breeds Creation.” I tend to agree with this although I’d prefer “Creativity.”

July 9, 2009

The future of ArtWalk hangs in the balance


It’s been just over two months since I reported on the tenuous state of ArtWalk due to budget cuts. The final ArtWalk of its kind–100 percent city supported–was one of the best ever and left me feeling optimistic about the event’s future.

As the city has given over at least 1/2 the responsibility of coordinating, promoting and facilitating ArtWalk to the community via the Downtown Ventura Organization, it seems interest in keeping it going is already waning–especially among artists.

Come on people; get involved, make it happen. Here’s an easy way:

Art Party ArtWalk Fundraiser
Red Brick Gallery
, 315 E. Main St., Ventura. 643-6400.
July 18, 7-10 p.m.

Art, live music, eats by Watermark, 71 Palm, Savory Cafe, Cafe Fiore and more.

April 30, 2009

Public art is not always pretty


From Michele Chapin's Door Project Exhibition. "Public Art Is Not Always Pretty," by John White (Sylvia White Gallery).

From Grant Ensminger's hip, impromptu exhibit at ArtWalk. He also created Rey Fresco's album artwork.

From Grant Ensminger's hip, impromptu exhibit at ArtWalk. He also created Rey Fresco's album artwork.

April 30, 2009

Luis Perez’s Retablo


One of my favorite moments at last weekend’s Spring ArtWalk was hanging out at the new Vita-Art space with co-owner Luis Perez. Perez has a warmth and authenticity about him that made me not want to leave, which turned out well as my lingering allowed me to meet artist Wil Shephard who has a provocative, exhibit of 3-dimensional art made from found objects.

While perusing the gallery a particular painting caught my eye and Perez explained to me that it was a retablo that was made for him by a Mexican artist.  As it turns out, retablos are fairly rare (Perez has a personal collection in his home), made mainly in Latin America and devotional in nature–an aspect that resonates deeply with me.

Retablos are  expressions of gratitude for answered prayers.  They are very personal and few artists make them. Perez’s retablo (pictured) depicts an environment for teaching children to create art and includes an image of a saint that corresponds with the subject or event, a traditional practice for retablo painting.  The Vita-Art Center is a manifestation of Perez and his wife’s dream, for which they are of course grateful. This attitude is reflected in the retablo and throughout the gallery/learning space.

If you didn’t make it to ArtWalk (or even if you did) Vita-Art at the Bell Arts Factory will be open on Friday, May 1 for the First Friday gallery crawl, an event put on solely by local artists.

April 24, 2009

Follow me: ArtWalk

These are my picks for ArtWalk. I plan to go on Saturday, and make Sunday my cleaning day (sigh) but there are some noteworthy events on Sunday so please visit the ArtWalk Web site for details. My general order of visitation is west to east but that could change. Plus, I’m not sure what time I will begin the journey. I will try to tweet but I’m still trying to figure out how to set up my phone.

643 A Project Space (cool contemporary art here but they’re rarely open)

Bell Arts Factory/Vita Art Center (never disappointing, always refreshing, eclectic and fun)

Stoneworks Studios (go for the art and entertainment, stay for the homemade hospitality)

Architexture (the best live music happens here and this time will be no exception)

Spa by Diane Loring (VCReporter managing editor/artist, Michael Sullivan‘s inaugural event)

Artist’s Union Gallery (needs no introduction)

Erle Stanley Gardner Building (CSUCI Capstone exhibit: foretells an expansion into Ventura)

Buenaventura Art Association (friendly people, friendly art)

Sea Breeze Gallery (an authentic collective that gets overlooked sometimes, well worth a look)

Sylvia White Gallery (large scale, upscale and inspiring)

Other possibilities:

1 p.m. Sea Lions (live music) at Buffalo Records

3 p.m. Kiley Ki (live music) California St. stage

6 p.m. Delaney Gibson (VCReporter musical artist to watch) California St. stage

April 23, 2009

Buying into the New Art City: Take my challenge


In my article today about the business of ArtWalk, I quoted Focus on the Masters‘ Donna Granata regarding the importance of not only attending ArtWalk but also purchasing art.

While the city of Ventura has long been a destination for its diverse ecology, clean air and gorgeous landscape, about a decade ago, as the need to redevelop our historic downtown came into focus, we rather auspiciously began exploring cultural tourism as an economic driver.cover_s1

Today, we are the “New Art City,” not to be confused with the old Art City which remains closed to the public for “code violations” or something. The New Art City is a place where artists live (but can barely afford to do so) and work and create alongside everyone else. There are no numbers to support it, but I’d venture to guess the New Art City has a fairly dense population of creative types compared to other cities of its size. The majority of them live in the downtown cultural district/Avenue area.

Having a city full of artists and a city council that embraces them means we are surrounded by art (though there could certainly be more and better) and the arts. It also means that if we are to lean on the artists for our branding identity, it’s crucial that we support them in the only way that really matters: buy their work.

Many people don’t even consider art and objects d’art to be within wallet’s reach but barring large scale works, original art can be surprisingly affordable.

In Ventura and surrounding cities, we’re blessed to have a multitude of visual artists creating the full spectrum of possibilities. From breezy Plein Aire paintings, to handmade jewelry, small sculpture and contemporary multimedia works, there literally (and i don’t use that word liberally) is something for everyone.

I commit to buying at least one piece of art (and I owe a crapload of money for parking tickets at the moment) at this weekend’s ArtWalk to show in the best way I can, my support of the arts community and the city’s arts-driven business strategies. I will post a pic and blurb on Sunday or Monday.

When you buy something at ArtWalk, send me a pic and a sentence or two about it, and I’ll post it here or on the VCReporter Web site and you will be entered to win a $25 certificate to My Florist Cafe. Do it!

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