Alan Shaffer’s retrospective at Capri Restaurant

Alan Shaffer has been involved with Venice Art Walk & Auctions for more than 20 years. He’s had his hand in nearly every aspect of the event, often providing photographs of auction items or the event itself. This year Shaffer takes on a new role as an artist on display. His photographs of longtime Venice artists (the neighborhood’s own rat-pack) are accompanied by pieces from the five featured artists themselves.

Talking with Alan is a trip through Venice history. He knows the names, faces, and life stories of shop owners, restaurateurs, and artists in the community. His photographs are an accumulation of these stories over the years.

Art Walkers will find this exhibit, entitled Alan Shaffer: Neighborhood Numbnuts, at Capri Restaurant on Abbott Kinney. (Note that Capri owner Alana Hamilton tells me that lunchtime nibbles are being provided.)

In studio with JeanBatiste

Today I had the chance to check out sculptor JeanBatiste’s studio in Venice. He’s got quite the plan for Sunday’s tours through the space but I was able to see a slightly more rough version (complete with JeanBatiste painting as we talked). Above is a shot of 2 sculptures in his newest series, Mask of Venice, which features bronze and salvaged wood. The piece on the far right isn’t all together in this shot but it will be by Sunday.

Jean worked as we talked about life in L.A., art inspired by nature, and his excitement at being a part of the Venice Art Walk & Auctions for the second year in a row. He’s a great guy with a laid-back perspective on life. Be sure to star this spot on your tour list this weekend–it’s a great stop to make!

Pushpin Hume, by Ichiro Irie

Born in Tokyo and raised in L.A., Ichiro Irie uses everyday materials to express his art. We snagged a photo of the artist and the piece he’s donating to this year’s silent art auction. Check it out:

Here’s a better view of the piece Pushpin Hume, 2007 (that’s right, it’s pushpins on cork):

Dale Sizer’s homage to Polynesian Pop

Here’s a fascinating piece you’ll see on Sunday at the Silent Art Auction — Tiny Dancer by Dale Sizer.

Inspired by Polynesian Pop, its subject is the world’s smallest dog, a four-inch Chihuahua by the same name: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/lake/orl-dancerbirthday-pg,0,7855537.photogallery

Charlie Edmiston’s Magic Eye

What’s amazing about artist Charlie Edmiston isn’t that he’s a former graffiti artist who just graduated from Otis College of Art and Design,  it’s that he’s able to paint both what he knows and what he doesn’t know. You see, Charlie is color blind.

He has generously donated one of his vibrant Magic Eye pieces to Venice Art Walk & Auctions. It’s is a riff on the color blind tests. This isn’t the exact piece but it’s a great representation of Charlie’s work.

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 www.lalouver.com.

Ride the Goose, by Sonia Romero

Muralist and printmaker Sonia Romero contributed this fun piece to this year’s Silent Art Auction. Romero is based in the Highland Park neighborhood of LA, and her work includes murals commissioned by the LA County Arts Commission and LA Metro.  Ride the Goose is acrylic and block printing on a wood panel and a little easier to imagine in your home than one of her awesome murals (though those are pretty cool, too). Take a look:

To see her other work, check out: www.sheridesthelion.com