WALK OF ART : Tours of Venice Studios Will Benefit Clinic

May 11, 1986|BARBARA BAIRD | Times Staff Writer

There is treasure hidden behind the blacked-out windows and nondescript warehouse walls in Venice and Santa Monica. Behind such unpromising exteriors are artists' studios filled with works by some of Southern California's best-known painters, sculptors and craftsmen. These studios, which sometimes serve as residences, are usually closed to the public.

But on June 1 more than 40 private studios and galleries will be open to the public for the Venice Art Walk to benefit the nonprofit Venice Family Clinic.

Art Walk '86 will allow participants "to experience the richness and diversity of the Venice art community," said chairwoman Sheila Goldberg.

The art walk will include a number of activities, including walking tours, docent-guided tours, a silent art auction and a dinner celebration.

Proceeds will go to Venice Family Clinic, which provides free medical care for unemployed and low-income families and for the homeless. More than 16,000 visits were made to the clinic last year by needy adults and children, according to Fern Seizer, executive director.

Last year, more than 2,500 people participated in the art walk, which raised $212,000 for the clinic, she said.

The starting point will be Westminister School, 1010 Washington Blvd., where participants will be given maps. Tickets are $25.

Participants will visit studios and galleries at their own pace from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Bus transportation will be available along the tour routes.

A new feature of this year's art walk will be historical tours of Venice, featuring the area's picturesque canals, architectural sights and murals.

One of the artists who will open her studio for the walking tour include doll-maker Pamela Weir-Quiton, whose whimsical animals and symbolic human figures in wood have been commissioned by collectors including the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

Former Potato Chip Factory

The tour also will include the huge studio (formerly a potato chip factory) owned by Charles Arnoldi, winner of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Young Talent Award in 1969. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1974 and 1983), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1975) and the California Arts Council (1982). His works include large-scale paintings and sculptural works created from tree branches.

Also on the tour is Laddie John Dill, whose work includes large sculptural pieces made with plate glass and cement. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975 and 1982), the Guggenheim Foundation (1979) and the California Arts Council's art in public buildings program (1983).

Other noted artists who will open their studios are Eugene Sturman, Martha Alf, Jud Fine and Ruth Weisberg. Shows of performance art and wearable art will be included.

In addition to the self-guided walking tours, docent-led tours will be given by members of the Los Angeles art community from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. These will feature five or six studios and an in-depth visit with noted artists including D. J. Hall (whose studio is in a home overlooking the canals), Eric Orr, Karen Carson and Steve Galloway. The $75 docent-tour admission includes lunch. During the day, art walk participants may view and bid on works of major contemporary artists including Ed Ruscha, Jill Giegench, Robert Longo, Roland Reiss and Jim Morphesis. The silent auction will be at Westminister School.

Also at the school, art books, hand-painted clothing, jewelry, ceramics, art walk T-shirts and posters designed by Venice artist Sandra Mendelsohn Rubin, another winner of the county art museum's young talent award, will be offered for sale.

The art walk will conclude in Santa Monica with a dinner starting at 6 p.m. at the Miramar Sheraton. Honorees will be Sister Marie Madeleine, president

of Saint John's Hospital, and Sister Mildred Irwin, community affairs liaison. Dr. Sanford Bloom will receive the Venice Family Clinic's Dr. Morton K. Rubenstein Award. Tickets for the art walk and the dinner are $200.

This is the seventh year that the art walk is being held to benefit the Venice Family Clinic, at 604 Rose Ave.

Through the help of volunteer health care professionals including 170 physicians, the Venice Family Clinic provides free medical care to the needy six days and four evenings a week. Included are daily walk-in clinics offering pediatric care, general medical care and services for the homeless.

Also provided are Saturday family medicine clinics; weekly clinics providing care for seniors, chronic care and optometry services and women's cancer screening; specialty clinics in such fields as cardiology and dermatology; health and nutrition education programs, referral appointments and bilingual assistance.

The 16-year-old clinic is the only free primary-care medical facility serving low-income families in West Los Angeles, Seizer said. The 16,600 patient visits in 1985 represented a 35% increase from 1984, she said.

About 96% of the clinic's patients have annual incomes below the poverty level and 75% are members of minority groups, she said.

The clinic receives more than 80% of its $800,000 annual operating income from nongovernmental sources including individuals, foundations and corporations, officials said. The art walk is the clinic's annual fund-raiser, they said.

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