El Segundo Art Walk Kick-Off Event

May 21, 2016

el segundo art walk 2016Last Thursday night, I attended the Kick-Off Event for this year’s El Segundo Art Walk (ESAW).

The Kick-Off Event gathered the featured artists, business owners, and ESAW organizers together for an informal introduction at South Bay Customs, an American motorcycle shop, and one of the Art Walk venues.

The inaugural ESAW took place last summer – it was scheduled for the third Thursday of the summer months – and those in attendance instantly recognized what a triumph it was.

A dedicated group of El Segundo locals, artists and business owners – spearheaded by artist, and local gallery owner, Holly Socrates – organized the event, which was inspired by the variety of creative businesses in town.

DSC_6399Holly Socrates and event organizers Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plasccencia Photography

ESAW pairs artists with local businesses to display their work on the premises. Yes, it is an art walk, but the art is only half of the attraction. The venues are what make the event so unique. El Segundo has an abundance of remarkable and historic architecture, most of which house businesses not open to the general public. The opportunity to gain access to these distinctive spaces makes for an extraordinary experience.

Old Town Music Hall 2Old Town Music Hall Photo Courtesy of Old Town Music Hall

The venues included Smoky Hollow Studios, Moto Art, Tyler’s Surfboards, Big Door Studios, Rockefeller Partners Architects, Old Town Music Hall, Ole Smoky Moonshine, South Bay Customs and over a dozen other creative businesses.

DSC_6421South Bay Customs Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plasccencia Photography

Participating businesses were scattered throughout the Downtown and Smoky Hollow districts and each had a supply of event maps, enabling guests to start wherever they liked. El Segundo is a pedestrian friendly town full of nooks and crannies – there’s a lot to discover just walking from venue to venue.

3Last year’s event map Photo Courtesy of J. Balestra

At each venue, the featured artists were on hand to discuss their work and answer any questions. The variety of art on display was impressive: sculpture, photography, paintings, carvings, graphics and more.

2Photography on display Photo Courtesy of J. Balestra

The proprietors delighted in being part of the event last year and took further steps to enhance the public’s first encounter with their business. Many provided bites, sips, performance art, food trucks, live music and DJs, and generously welcomed and engaged attendees. Have you ever walked by a business and wondered what they do? ESAW is a fantastic way to discover, and learn about, what local businesses offer.

5Live art demonstration and musicians Photo Courtesy of J. Balestra

This year’s Kick-Off Event gave attendees an opportunity to meet all the players. The artists had already been assigned the space for their exhibits but most had yet to meet the business owners they’d be working with or been inside their particular venue. Many cards were exchanged, and plans made, to get together and figure out how to showcase all parties at their best.

DSC_6278Jeremy Moran of White Sands Development, an Art Walk venue, with Photographer Kevin Gilligan Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plascencia Photography

El Segundo Beach Cafe catered the event and treated guests to a delicious array of bites including pulled pork sandwiches, antipasto, roasted bell pepper soup, fruit cups and other tasty treats.

DSC_6294Appetizers Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plasccencia Photography

Guests sipped beer, wine, and everyone’s new favorite libation, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine.

DSC_6298Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plasccencia Photography

Live music was provided by Jean-Louis Boudreau and Tom Gramlich of Main Street Band.

DSC_6371Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plasccencia Photography

ESAW will once again take place on the third Thursdays this summer – June 16, July 21 and August 18 – from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Downtown and Smoky Hollow districts. Over thirty creative El Segundo businesses will open their doors for studio tours and become a pop-up gallery displaying original art work of Los Angeles based artists.

DSC_6276Featured artists Photo Courtesy of Gloria Plasccencia Photography

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this…. put it on your calendar NOW. Oh, and did I mention, it’s FREE?

For additional information, visit the website at http://elsegundoartwalk.com/.