by Elizabeth Manson
photos by Bona Hong
On Saturday, March 20, I found myself exploring airplane hangars full of art at the Santa Monica Airport Artwalk. Literally—airplane hangars full of art. Studio space like you would not even believe. And everyone was showing it off—and everyone and their mother was there (as well as their children wearing Disney Princess costumes—apparently I missed the memo).
With so many artists vying for the attention of fickle onlookers, the artwalk was the perfect place to troll for free snacks and drinks. And troll we did. But in between shoveling trail mix in my mouth and guzzling free bottles of water and wine, I did get a chance to look at the art, one hangar at a time. I started at the main hangar, which was mostly dedicated to the resident artists showing off their studio space and other visiting professionals (in other words, the place where I would pull out my checkbook if my checking account had something in it).
Right off the bat, I was taken with Daniel Edlen’s “Vinyl Art,” which is pretty much exactly that: portraits of musicians painted on their vinyl records. The incredibly realistic visages of Paul McCartney, Snoop Dogg, and Bob Dylan (among others) were all done with one brush and only one color of paint in a modified Pointillism technique (well, this is what I overheard his father tell the awestruck onlookers, anyway).
Then there was also the hauntingly beautiful work of Wendy Edlen who—I heard again through eavesdropping—creates “paintings of feelings.” The phrase sounds a little trite, but I can assure you that the final product was not. Her paintings featured apparition-type figures emerging from a muted background.
Of course, the different hangars hosted different styles of art and different types of artists—two of the smaller spaces were dedicated to student work and ceramics. The room filled with the Santa Monica College fine art students oozed with bright colors and social commentary—very collegiate. And, of course, the ceramics studio made me think of Ghost, which is apparently a very pedestrian reference to make. But I went there.
Once I had exhausted my snack and drink options and wandered through what seemed like miles of art, I decided it was time to leave and call it a Saturday afternoon well spent.
WHAT: Santa Monica Airport Artwalk
WHERE: Santa Monica Airport
ADDRESS: Airport Avenue
WHEN: March 20, 2010 1-5