Favourite Place in Venice | 7th June 2011 | 20:59 PDT

My favourite place on Venice Beach are the Venice Art Walls and 2011 marks the area's 50th birthday of this concrete canvas for graffiti artists.

Welcoming entrance to the area

This concrete used to be apart of a once horrible eyesore (but that was really up to your own personal opinion) on the beach known as the Venice Pavilion, it used as a recreational facility, essentially a barbecue/fire pit, and a location for many live bands to play, it was the local hub of gatherings and events throughout the 60s until mid-70s.

The area back in the day (via benefitnetwork.org)

Until someone got murdered there in 1974, that always puts a full stop on the fun for some reason and when the bands stopped (even though a few 'peace' gig were played until 1990) that was a transitional point to what it is today. The graffiti artists and free-speech nature of Venice infiltrated in, unfortunately this also brought in the homeless and society's degenerates, putting the area in an untouchable state.

Inside the pit  (via benefitnetwork.org)

In April 2000, the pavilion was demolished as part of the city's regeneration program, leaving what we have here is a safe place where an every-person can wander around the area along with local 'artists' without the fear of being hassled (that has migrated to the Boardwalk and is now apart of the "Venice Experience" tourist attraction)

Hey Hobo!

Unfortunately the generation project, reduced the wall's height from 10ft to 6ft, as the landscape architects thought of burying most of it's history by creating a grassy and sandy knolls for people to sit, eat picnics and watch the world go by. It seems to work as that's what people do with the area now.

In 1997, the creative control of the walls and cones (chimneys left over from the Pavilion's fire pits) is now regulated by In Creative Unity Art (ICU Art) - artists wishing to pour hours of sweat and pain into their art displays have to apply for a free permit, they need to submit sketches first for approval (the cones don't need initial sketches) - after approval, artists are given the lease permits, then they're free finish to complete their masterpiece.

He looks more confused than I do

The lack of height hasn't had any effect on the wall's importance to the community and artists that are so fond of it, as the this canvas for public outlet has increased from it's original width of 4inches to its present size of 10inches and is about 8000 pounds heavier, that's around 6048 cans of spray paint have been used on the wall, you can see where the wall is now created of layers ad gone from a smooth surface to something that looks like the surface the moon - ICU Art predict at it's current rate of 4 coverings a week, it will reach the Venice Boardwalk by the year 4068

The "Layers"

That's why I love this place, I just wished more of the history remained and wasn't purposely buried.

Big nod to Christopher J. Lynch of LA weekly and to benefitnetwork.org for the information

Cone back in the day  (via benefitnetwork.org)

Cone in the day

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