Category Archives: Venice Family Clinic

Drumroll please…

We’re excited to announce officially that we’ve counted, added and tabulated the efforts of everyone involved in the 2010 Venice Art Walk & Auctions.

This year’s event raised an impressive net  $387,000 in support of the Venice Family Clinic and its mission to provide free, quality health care to people in need. This year’s Silent Art Auction saw gross sales in excess of $250,000–that’s an incredible amount of art sold!

Thank you to all who were a part of the 2010 Venice Art Walk & Auctions. We are grateful for your support-whether as a donor, volunteer, guest or artist–we could never have done it without you!


Giving back, coming home

May 23rd was a special performance in the musical career of Perla Batalla. In many ways, it was a moment when life came full circle, a homecoming of sorts.

When Perla performed on stage at Venice Art Walk & Auctions, she did more than share her music, she said thank  you.  At 16, Perla found Venice Family Clinic through her friends at Santa Monica High. Her family had a record shop in Venice, but as a daughter in a hispanic family, “certain things were just taboo,” she tells me.

Finding the Venice Family Clinic was a pivotal moment for Perla. She learned through her experience that she was responsible for her own body and with that knowledge came immense freedom and the ability to take charge. Now the mother of a teenage daughter herself, Perla hopes that places like Venice Family Clinic exist for women everywhere.

On a short break before her next tour, the Grammy-nominated singer chatted with me from her home in Ojai about the role of free clinics in her life, in her childhood neighborhood and in her culture.

“They are vitally important,” she says. “Community support for the clinic is huge. The support around the work of Venice Family Clinic in the neighborhood is so needed.”

If you missed Perla at Venice Art Walk & Auctions or want more, check out her summer schedule at  She’ll be performing at a benefit concert in L.A. Tía Chucha Centro Cultural, another passion of hers, on August 1st at the Ford Theatre.

Some highlights from the big day

We wanted to share a few photos from the event with you. It was a great day with sun (and a little wind), smiles and laughs.  We’re still adding up the numbers but we know the event was a great success. Enjoy a few highlights from the day below:

Taking an early interest in art, this little guy is inspecting a Laddie John Dill piece at the Silent Art Auction.

Inside Caroline Jones’ studio, guests are captured by her vibrant photography and transported to days of summer by the pool.

For anyone who experienced Alex Andre’s Metamorphosis, this photo will feel familiar. If you missed it, check out our previous post about the piece:

Good food is always a welcome addition at all-day events!

An excited bidder during the auction tries to take home Luis, by Jill Douglas.

There are a few pieces from the Silent Art Auction still for sale, feel free to call for an appointment to come by and check them out.

Thanks to Eric Gero and Beth Rosenblatt for their wonderful photography!

Thank you!

Thank you to the thousands of artists, volunteers, and guests who made the 2010 Venice Art Walk & Auctions a success. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Support  from the community is a vital component of Venice Family Clinic’s operations. Your overwhelming enthusiasm for the Venice Art Walk & Auctions’ “One Great Cause” is humbling and exciting. We look forward to sharing the final results and stories with you as we wrap up the weekend’s events.

Gwynn Murrill’s life meets art

Wondering about this year’s art raffle and t-shirt? When asked, “Why animals?” artist Gwynn Murrill told me, “Many of the animals I work with are also a part of our life here in the American West and I truly enjoy expressing my appreciation of their existence.”

This is especially true of the dog maquette featured in this year’s raffle. Koa, her real-life rescue dog was the model and definite inspiration for the piece. A regular fixture in the studio, Koa was kind enough to allow a short photo shoot so we could compare art to life.

Raffle tickets are $20 each and the commemorative t-shirt rings in at $25. (Both are available at the main event on Sunday, May 23.) To see more of Gwynn Murrill’s work, visit

A reminder about why we’re here…

By now you probably know that the Venice Art Walk & Auctions is a benefit for Venice Family Clinic, but you might not know how much the Clinic means to its 24,000+ patients.

Lauren Peter, 29, is one of those patients. About eight years ago, in her first year of college, she was diagnosed with lupus. No one rejoices at learning they have lupus – it’s a debilitating disease with no cure – but the news wasn’t all bad to Lauren. She had struggled for years just to get a diagnosis, so she was consoled somewhat by knowing both what was wrong and that she was insured through her school’s health plan.

When she left school, though, she also left the school’s health plan and, because of her pre-existing conditions – she has periodic paralysis, too – she was repeatedly denied individual coverage. In addition, she was often on bed rest and couldn’t work full-time, so she worked as a contractor, never qualifying for an employer’s group health plan.

“We would put together as much money as we could so I could see specialists, but then I couldn’t afford routine medical care,” Lauren says. “One of my biggest fears was that, because I could only afford to treat my chronic diseases, I would get sick with something else.”

Then, in late 2009, she saw an episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann and heard about free clinics. She did a little research, found Venice Family Clinic, and made a phone call.

Now she’s a regular patient. She leaves each appointment with a date and time for another, not too far in the future.

“I’m still uninsured, but not so scared,” Lauren says. “Routine visits are routine again.”

Jay Mark Johnson’s new book–featuring Venice

Jay Mark Johnson, spacetime photographer extraordinaire, has a new book (the first of a series of 9). This time, he takes the eye on a journey through familiar and unfamiliar Venice.

Hot off the press, Venice Spacewalk is debuting at the Venice Art Walk & Auctions, and at the event, 100% of proceeds from the sale of the book benefit Venice Family Clinic. Johnson showed me the pre-bound copy in his studio. Enjoy this exclusive sneak peek!

Check out the cover: