Venice Art Walk Leads to Dinner

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Final installment of the Venice Art Walk weekend. After two days of perambulating through artists' studios, supporters, artists and workers were ready to sit back and dine. The money raised supports the Venice Family Clinic, which provides a complete range of medical services at no cost. Sunday night's dinner, at the Santa Monica Museum of Flying, honored retiring clinic executive director Fern Seizer and her husband, Bob, and Dr. Martin H. Prince, a longtime volunteer.

Who Was There: Most of the artists who opened up their studios to the tour, including Tony Berlant, Karen Carson, D.J. Hall, Lita Albuquerque, Billy Al Bengston, Laddie John Dill, Betty Gold, John Okulick, Woods Davy and Guy Dill.

The Buzz: The crowd didn't seem to be as big as in years past, and the art market really stinks. But those people who did come along for the art tour asked better questions than ever, or at least asked fewer dumb things, such as, "Which side is up?"

Fashion Statements: Many people took the invitation literally and dressed "Art Walk casual," meaning there were inordinate numbers of comfortable walking shoes. Among a sea of Reeboks, the feet that stood out belonged to artists Chuck Arnoldi in handmade Belgian loafers, Billy Al Bengston in velvet thongs, and Peter Alexander in suede driving shoes and cashmere socks. "Once you've worn a pair of these socks you can't wear anything else," he assured us.

Quoted: "When the sun was up, they spoke. When the clouds came over, they were sullen and quiet. When the sun came out, they asked prices. When the clouds rolled over, they were shy. It was perfect L.A. People respond to the light," said Guy Dill of those who came through his studio.

Overheard: Two artists exchanging their experiences of the day--"We had a homeless lady show up and take off all her clothes and lie screaming in front of my door. I had to call 911," said one. "Mine went smooth as pie," said the other.

Reality Bites: Beautiful the centerpieces were not. Rather than lavish money on them, workers decorated the tables with balloons and scattered Tootsie Roll Pops.

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