Upon her move to the neighborhood, Holly was impressed with the numerous creative businesses located in the Smoky Hollow and Downtown districts. She already knew many of the local artists – painters, sculptors, photographers – but she also encountered architects, interior designers, graphic artists, paper craftsmen, jewelry artisans and moonshine makers. In addition, she discovered production facilities, a custom motorcycle shop and a studio that repurposes airplane parts into furniture that doubles as artwork.
South Bay Custom – Photo courtesy of J. Balestra
Art walks in cities and towns throughout the country follow the usual art walk pattern with local galleries playing host for the evening, offering guests wine and cheese as they wander from gallery to gallery.
Holly and friends had something different in mind. They envisioned an event that would showcase not only the local artists but the local creative businesses, many of which are not necessarily known, or open to, the general public.
Listening to Holly describe the Art Walk, it sounded so fantastic, I knew I had to go.
I arrived at Holly’s gallery at 4:30 and picked up a map. Just as I arrived, my co-host Joe Terry sent me a text saying he was there as well. Two minutes later, we embarked on the Art Walk.
Holly Socrates Gallery Ribbon Cutting – Photo courtesy of Michelle Guidi, Spitfire Social Media Marketing
Many of the participating businesses were located in cool and unusual structures. El Segundo has successfully retained a significant number of older buildings – everything from the original Old Town Music Hall and numerous corrugated aluminum Quonset huts, to warehouses, factories and barns.
Joe Terry at the big table, Smoky Hollow Studios – Photo courtesy of J. Balestra
Each venue showcased one or more artists’ works and offered a variety of refreshments. One of the larger venues had a couple of food trucks in the parking lot, and a few locations featured live music.
Dawn Von Flue doing a live painting demonstration at Blue Butterfly Café – Photo courtesy of Michelle Guidi, Spitfire Social Media Marketing
There were 24 participating businesses 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 and full of nooks and crannies – there’s a lot to discover just walking from venue to venue.
The work of Jason Olive at DSG International – Photo courtesy of Brian Kirkwood
The businesses were incredibly welcoming, offering tours of their facilities and explaining what it is they do. At each venue, the featured artists were on hand to discuss their work and answer any questions. We met so many fabulous, talented individuals and many business cards were exchanged.
The work of Michael John Spitaletto at MotoArt – Photo courtesy of Michelle Guidi, Spitfire Social Media Marketing
I had to cut my visit short to attend another event that evening, but the following morning, my social media platforms were blowing up with people saying how much they enjoyed the entire experience. I heard a few people ended the night dancing behind Tyler’s Surfboards.
The work of Lee Tunila at Smoky Hollow Studio – Photo courtesy of Michelle Guidi, Spitfire Social Media Marketing
If you missed this first Art Walk, don’t panic – there will be two more this summer on the third Thursday of July and August.
The El Segundo Art Walk offers something for everyone and even the youngest kids will enjoy this outing. By all means, make a night of it and have dinner at one of the many terrific restaurants in town. Next month, I plan to devote the entire evening exploring this unique experience.
For additional information, visit the website at http://www.elsegundoartwalk.com.