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.
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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