Chasing Venice

Venice by Ric Clayton.
Venice by Ric Clayton.


by Melanie Camp

In the art studio of Ruth Chase, there is a group painting that features stories and images about Venice that have come from all over the world. This piece is part of a greater body of work called the West of Lincoln Project, and you can be in it.

As a young girl growing up in Venice Beach in the 80s, Chase says she would lie in bed counting gunshots. Childhood experiences inspired her to create the West of Lincoln Project.

One part of the project is a series of 12 individual paintings and biographies of people who grew up in the neighborhood. “People gave tell-all interviews revealing hardships and lessons learned while growing up on the streets of Venice,” says Chase.

In the West of Lincoln Project Chase aims to capture the “wisdom that came through growing up in a place like Venice” and through this, preserve the history of Venice through its people. She’s still looking for people to be part of a group portrait. You do not need to have lived in Venice, and the image can be from any period. Details at: Follow the West of Lincoln Project on Facebook.

The exhibition will be held in Venice this summer.

Read more about Venice in the 80s and how the neighborhood inspired Chase to include a group portrait in her West of Lincoln Project in the latest Yo! Venice paper.


Artist Ruth Chase working on a group portrait part of the West of Lincoln Project. 


Michael Cramer, forever part of the West of Lincoln group portrait currently in progress.