Drawing Attention



by Melanie Camp

TV Producer Marta Evry filled her Venice garden with fantasy and fairy lights on  hosting an evening that celebrated the 6th Anniversary of the Venice Art Crawl (VAC) on Sunday night, August 13.

ATDesigned Andrea Tan orchestrated the entire event pulling together an evening of mystery and magic.While guests had been asked to dress in either circus vintage garb or cocktail attire for the Cirque Noir themed event, it was really a case of anything goes. As with most VAC events, art trumped all.

5. VAC 6th Anniversary
Katelyn Michele of the Cat Club cat rescue in Venice enjoying a drink. Dominic Coatney of Coatney Creative plays guest bartender at the bar he built especially for the party
11a. VAC 6th Anniversary
Poet James Berkowitz
13. VAC 6th Anniversary
11th Council District Field Deputy, Taylor Bazley with Kelly Layne, Chair of the VCC Chamber and Action Committee

Venice Chamber of Commerce (VCC) Executive Director Donna Lasman looked like a fairy queen in a cascading silver gown. Dominic Coatney of Coatney Creative also looked resplendent in an aqua evening dress fit for a mermaid princess. Coatney had lent his talents to the event, creating the color-changing bar that proved a popular spot. Poet James Berkowitz sported a black beatnik cap, and VCC president, George Francisco was overheard saying this was the only time anyone in Venice would ever catch him wearing a tie.

3. VAC 6th Anniversary
L-R: Producer Marta Evry, with Councilmember Mike Bonin, and Venice Chamber of Commerce President George Francisco

Councilmember Mike Bonin had turned up a little late, after 11th Council District Field Deputy, Taylor Bazley, had warned Bonin had better go home and change before the party. “The last event I’d been to I’d worn shorts. I think tonight’s party is the first time I’ve ever had to dress up to go out in Venice,” said Bonin.

4. VAC 6th Anniversary
Revelers enjoyed a BBQ feast followed by vegan ice cream
17. VAC 6th Anniversary
ATDesigns Andrea Tan’s couscous salad was a big hit

Revelers enjoyed a feast including ribs and corn on the cob from Baby Blues BBQ on Lincoln Blvd. The vegan ice-cream from Salt and Straw on Abbot Kinney as a big hit, as was Tan’s couscous salad.

8. VAC 6th Anniversary
Venice Neighborhood Council’s William Hawkins and Taylor Bazley in party mode

There was a ferocious battle during the evening’s silent auction. A gift pack donated by Hal’s Bar & Grill was highly sort after. Venice Neighborhood Council Community Officer William Hawkins loitered by the bidding table hoping to secure a pajama party with VAC President Sunny Bak.

16. VAC 6th Anniversary
It was a tough battle but ultimately Séan Donovan made the bid that won him the most coveted item of the evening, a pink corset by Donna Lorkowski
9. VAC 6th Anniversary
L-R: Artist Bobbi Bennet, with clinical sexologist Dr Marylou Naccarto, Actor Michael Gogin, and Pamela Angel

Perhaps the biggest battle of the night was between Séan Donovan and artist Bobbi Bennett. The two went to war over a pink corset donated by Donna Lorkowski. Each sneaking back to outbid the other throughout the night. In the end, Donovan penned the winning bid. Ultimately the VAC was victor, as bids for the corset went far above it’s retail value.

However, the man who dug the deepest was Bonin, honoring the VAC with a $2000 arts grant. His announcement shocked Bak bringing her close to tears. Bak has been with the VAC since it’s inception and has long been a champion of Venice art.

11. VAC 6th Anniversary
Venice Art Crawl President Sunny Bak with long time VAC Volunteer Pamela Angel who came dressed as the Bearded Lady

Bak told Yo! Venice after the event, “I’m so grateful to all the artists, sponsors, and the Venice community for keeping the spirit alive, I was so blown away by the city’s $2000 contribution that Councilman Mike Bonin presented to us. I was totally surprised. Buy more art is my motto!”

2. VAC 6th Anniversary
L-R: Venice local and real estate Consultant at Pantanella & Partners Karen La Cava, with Pamala Angel, Marta Evry, and Katelyn Michele
15. VAC 6th Anniversary
Musician Tony Selvage

Supported by the VCC the VAC works to foster and reinvigorate the creativity that has long been a part of Venice. Volunteer run, the non-profit organization relies heavily on community fundraising. For more information and details on upcoming events visit VeniceArtCrawl.com