If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’m a fan of street art! I spend a good amount of my free time seeking out and enjoying the murals and graffiti art throughout Los Angeles, and lately, any other city I visit. Lucky for me there’s no shortage in LA! Although, It was my visit to Lisbon a few years ago that really awakened my love of this art genre and since then I’ve been hard at work curating my collection!
I love art museums too, but there’s something so wonderful about a giant piece of art out there in the open for everyone to enjoy. You might just see it out of the corner of your eye as you walk or drive by, but if you do have the time or inclination, its there for you to admire at your leisure any time of day or night. Stay as long as you’d like, or take a photo, but either way, its there for your enjoyment, no walls, opening hours, admission, or strings attached!
LA’s Mural Moratorium
In my quest to see the art I’ve learned a ton about the culture and the artists behind these amazing paintings, but that wasn’t always possible and even now, many graffiti and mural artists are anonymous, preferring instead to use pseudonyms, in order to protect their identities.
Today there are countless murals throughout the city of LA, but there was a period of 10 years, referred to as the Mural Moratorium, where it was illegal to paint any kind of fine art mural. Anywhere. Even on private property. The penalties included steep fines and even jail time. Many artists chose to move away…
During my art seeking adventures, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be a street or graffiti artist, to create a mural, or paint the side of a building when no one was looking…
The Venice Public Art Walls
Thanks to the Venice Public Art Walls, I’m able to find out, and it’s legal!
The Venice Art Walls are all that’s left of the Venice Pavilion, and while there has always been graffiti on the walls at this location, it wasn’t until 2000 that painting them became legal. 2017 is the 10 year anniversary of the name Venice Public Art Walls. The LA Mural Moratorium officially ended in 2013!
The Walls are transformed from week to week by amateurs and professionals alike. One of my favorite Monday morning activities is riding my bike along the beach path to the Art Walls, so I can see what’s new!
Sometimes I see familiar characters, like Snoopy the dog, or Frosty the Snowman, other times, its giant ice cream, or corn on the cob. There are countless sayings, some hopeful, some not, occasionally there are memorials, but no matter what it always smells like fresh paint!
While I haven’t had a chance to leave my mark yet, I did purchase some cans, and did a little practicing at home. Are you interested in making your mark? Every wondered what it might be like to be a graffiti artist? Feeling creative, grab a can and join the fun!
Tips & Advice:
- You’ll find the Venice Public Art Walls just west of Windward Street on the other side of Ocean Front Walk and the bike path, just adjacent to the Venice Beach Skatepark. The approximate address is: 1800 Ocean Front Walk
- The Walls are always open for viewing, 7 days a week, but painting is only allowed on Saturday and Sundays on a first come first serve basis between 10 am and 5 pm.
- A free permit is required before you can paint. Do not paint without one or it will be considered graffiti and you can be fined.
- Before you can get your permit you’ll need to fill out the Artist Agreement. Permits are given on site.
- Children under 18 require the presence of an adult, and should only use brushes and rollers when painting.
- Do get plastic gloves and a mask. Do not wear anything you care about.
- Did you know that spray can nozzles come in different sizes for better control?
- Pressing down on the nozzle for extended periods of time is harder than it looks!
- The Art Walls are available for filming and private events. These photos are from an Autism Fundraiser.
Do grab a coffee at Menotti’s or a bite at The Wee Chippy, both within walking distance, before or after you create your work of art!
Maybe you’re not interested in creating? The Venice Public Art Walls are also a great place to catch the sunset!
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What a great idea, go for it! Dr C won’t even let me paint the garden fence so I’ll watch! 😂
LOL! Precisely why you need to try this! Someone else will come along and paint over it within a few days, so not harm done!
I’ve told her what you said😂😂
Are you on Facebook I’m starting to connect
Yes, I am!
Thank you that was clever Hilary
I am doing local stuff on Facebook so it’s just not a blog repeat
I’m doing a bit of this and that on fb. Sometimes more personal or family oriented…. it’s lovely connecting with new people!
Thank you so much I made big mistakes previously connected to wrong people too political
I sent you a friend request…
Confirmed as friends I hope?
Thanks Hilary, sorry to disappear for a while, time for dinner here in England
I loved that upside down ice cream cone! Such fun #citytripping
Wow, I didn’t know about the public art walls. I was just in LA and spent lots of time hunting street art in the Art quarter, and found some awesome stuff! Next time I’ll have to head over to Venice Beach too! #CityTripping
There is so much to discover here! Glad you found the Arts District!
Ticket to Adventures
So much colour! Love your photos!
Now I need to see your artwork Hilary. I’m sure making these murals is much more difficult than it looks especially when you add in the complications of weird surfaces and clandestine activity! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
Ha! I’m not quite ready to unveil myself in that way, but am close. Maybe. So far I’m only experimenting in my garage!
Not sure I’d be any good but looking at this would be fun for me. How lucky you are Hilary you can ride your bike here regularly and see it changing.
I know! I’m so lucky, I try never to take that for granted!
This is another great post! Unfortunately I’m not able to use a spray can of any kind. I do things with my feet and I can’t wrap my feet around the can or toes on the nozzle. Trust me, the tradition at graduation is spray silly string at the end and I couldn’t do it, I was so upset because I’ve always loved watching the previous years do it. 🙁
We love street art too and LA has come of the absolute coolest! Awesome post 🙂 #TheWeeklyPostcard
Love this. The art is just so vibrant and colorful. I can’t believe they change it so often, but it is nice they give so many people the opportunity to create the art. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
Love Venice Beach – This is a perfect example of how colorful and unique the area is! Great sunset shots, too! Thanks for joining us again on #TheWeeklyPostcard!
You know I love this SOOO MUCH! You should check out Soren Solkaer’s book Surface. He went around the world trying to photograph street artists with their art works. It’s a beautiful story and he has great images. You’d love it! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin
Ooh! I’m going to check this out for sure! Thanks!
I’ve ordered the book!! It will be here Saturday! Thank you!
Awesome! He is Danish and had an exhibit here in Copenhagen – his images were large scale trying to show the size of the street art he was portraying – he showed us each one and talked about them and the experience making the shot and connecting with the artist – it was so cool! Can’t wait to see if you recognize any of the artists there in LA!
I already do just from the book preview! Can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Reblogged this on Tales of Mindful Travel and commented:
Fancy having a go at your own street art? If you’re in Los Angeles then get yourself down to the Venice Art Walls recommended by Hilary in her blog. This is a great concept in LA where folks are free to paint the Walls at weekends provided you have a permit. Have you tried it yet Hilary? Show us your stuff!