September 20, 2019 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Flying Carousel

by Akela Morinaka

From her peephole box to her camel topiaries, local artist Robin Murez has spent the last ten years creating interactive and story-based works all over Venice. She greatly enjoys sharing Venice’s colorful history with the public and has even created a tour guide to all her art pieces, just a walk away from one another.

A guide to Robin Murez’s art around Venice. Courtesy: venicepublicart.com

The Venice Place Project is sponsoring the Venice Flying Carousel by way of providing a workspace for Murez in its Pop-Up Park “where I carve and host carousel events,” Murez told Yo! Venice. The public space at 250 Broadway Ave., just off Abbot Kinney Blvd., is equipped with wi-fi, outlets, and tables. “I’ve always had a public studio. And I love the interaction with the public. Stop by to see me carving and join in on the project,” she said.

Using the Flying Carousel, Murez has devised a plan to turn Venice’s Centennial Park “into a place of joy and community.” Running from Abbot Kinney Blvd., to the Venice Public Library on an island sandwiched between Venice Blvd., North, and South, the park goes largely ignored and with the lack of benches and visitors, feels a bit unwelcoming. But, within proximity to the library, farmers markets, and Abbot Kinney, Murez believes the park has great potential with the carousel.

The proposed Flying Carousel will be 30-feet in diameter, holding 15 riders (yes adults, you’re welcome to ride too). Bike-powered and solar-lit, the carousel can be operated by a single person and run into the evenings. Total costs are estimated to reach about $200,000. Wrestling for grants and funding to cover construction, installation, permits, potential licensing fees, insurance, and the other hidden fees that are sure to come her way, Murez hopes to underwrite the rest of the balance with her Adopt-a-Carousel idea. A tradition in carousel building, a dozen people or so will have the opportunity to adopt a carousel animal of their choice or create one. Donors can help in the design and naming of the animal and have their own personal touch engraved into what will be Venice history.

The carousel has received widespread support. “Everyone I’ve told it to loves the idea,” Murez said. Projected to be finished by 2019, she is currently at the stage of carving the animals and working with the city and the Department of Recreation and Parks to commence construction.

Taking influences from the Oregon Albany Carousel and The Davis Dentzel Carousel, Murez is determined to handcraft the sculptures. She started her first carving in April working on an ostrich laced with eucalyptus leaves on its side. During the establishment of Venice, Abbot Kinney commissioned ostrich farms on Windward Avenue, a lesser-known fact about Venice that she wants to share. And seated on the back of the ostrich is her dog, Astro, donned with goggles.

Abbot Kinney commissioned ostrich farms on Windward Avenue. This little-known fact inspired the first carousel animal. Photo by Alon Goldsmith.

Some of Murez’ other carousel creature ideas include a turtle, symbolizing the Tongva tribe and creation of California, a rocket in honor of Ray Bradbury and science fiction, a guitar referencing Jim Morrison and the Doors, and a winged lion. The Winged Lion of Saint Mark is the symbol of Venice, Italy, where Abbot Kinney often found inspiration. Later, when building his Venice of America, he sculpted lions onto some of the Italian architecture archways and columns.

Murez has already begun involving the community. Safe Place for Youth (SPY) have helped with the landscaping and weeding of the park., and Murez has plans to engage the public at any point she can. When asked why she wanted to do this project she said, “The essence is really telling these stories, and having there be a sculptural element that brings out these stories. It will be this happy, beautiful, cool thing that brings out history and art and alternative technology.”

Donate, participate, and find out more at veniceflyingcarousel.com or venicepublicart.com and follow Yo! Venice for updates.

Robin and her dog Astro. Photo by Alon Goldsmith.
Related Posts

Bridge Housing Operators to Hold Weekly Community Meetings

September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019

Safe Place for Youth (SPY) and PATH “Coffee With the Community” meetings By Sam Catanzaro Safe Place for Youth (SPY)...

Yo! Broker: If You Went to an Open House and Saw a Framed KKK Application on the Wall, What Would You Do?

September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019

Dear Yo! Broker, I recently read where a black guy went to an open house and saw a KKK application...

As Trump Visits LA, White House Suggests Increased Law Enforcement to Combat Homelessness

September 16, 2019

September 16, 2019

Left: President Trump exits Marine One. Right: an LAPD officer speaks with two individuals experiencing homelessness. Photos: Air Force/Los Angeles Police Department (Twitter).

Burglar Leads Police on Chase from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier, How Potential Homeless Ban Impacts Venice: Yo! Venice This Week September 16, 2019

September 16, 2019

September 16, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week September 16, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Burglar leads...

Venice Bar Stabbing Suspects At-large

September 16, 2019

September 16, 2019

Stabbing occurs on Speedway Avenue Sunday evening By Sam Catanzaro Two suspects remain at large following a bar stabbing in...

Rooftop cocktails for a good cause? Take Neon-electric-Bike Photos in Venice: Yo! Venice TGIF Show September 13

September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Yo! Venice TGIF Show September 13 – all your fun local events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Learn how...

Jason Kolowski Marries Henna Sherzai in Oregon Enchanted Forest Wedding Celebration

September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Venice Locals, Jason Kolowski and Henna Sherzai married in Mckenzie Bridge, Oregon on Saturday, August 31st, 2019,  surrounded by their...

Pacific Police Division Wins Blood Drive

September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Venice PD show their support for vital service  By Chad Winthrop The LAPD Pacific Division has won a blood drive...

Venice Art Scene: Ryan Linke and Karen Amy Finkel Fishof

September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

Inspiration, Born Out of Wonder By Henry K. Long Ryan Linke was born and raised in Venice, CA. He was...

Police Chase Burglar from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier

September 11, 2019

September 11, 2019

Suspect wades through water as police pursue on-foot By Sam Catanzaro A burglary suspect led police on a lengthy on-foot...

Coastal Cleanup Day Returns to Venice

September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019

Heal the Bay's Coastal Cleanup Day returns September 21. Photo: Heal the Bay.

Bringing Homeless into Policymaking Process? Yo! Venice This Week September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week September 9, 2019 – all your local news in under 5 minutes!* Bringing homeless, formally homeless...

Yo! Venice TGIF Show September 6

September 7, 2019

September 7, 2019

Yo! Venice TGIF Show September 6 – all your local events, happenings and in under 5 minutes!* Vigil for Westside...

Bagel Eating Driver Was Using Autopilot When Tesla Crashed into Firetruck on 405

September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019

National Transportation Safety Board releases on about 2018 crash By Sam Catanzaro Shortcomings in Tesla’s autopilot system were partly responsible for...

Bringing Homeless and Previously Homeless into the Policymaking Process?

September 5, 2019

September 5, 2019

Bonin proposes commission composed entirely of people who are or have been homeless By Sam Catanzaro A week after a...