Brewery Artwalk Goes Virtual
Written by Genie Davis
The Brewery Artwalk in October was as much of a visual feast as it always is, overflowing with innovative, original artwork that viewer might not get a chance to see anywhere else. But this year was different: the Artwalk was entirely virtual. Conducted over a two-day weekend period, the walk-throughs were conducted in both morning and afternoon increments, with two groups of artists presenting at any given time. This allowed viewers to see, or sample, all or a few artists from each group opening their studios.
This approach allowed plenty of time to see current work by old friends and meet new artists whose work I was previously unfamiliar with, artists who, to be honest, might have gone unseen in a “IRL” format, with more visiting among familiar faces.
So, while the loss of in-person interactions was still acute, it was also mitigated by a chance to view new works without any crowds, in a leisurely conversation between artists and the video crew hosts filming their work. Conducted by LA Art Tours, the walk was viewable interactively on Zoom, and also seen on YouTube and the Brewery Artwalk’s own website. Despite a few requisite glitches from switching Wi-Fi connections between studios, overall, the process was smooth and inclusive.
Among the many highlights:
Emily Elise Halpern showcased gorgeous new scale paintings that traversed a line between figuration and abstract. Her work to some extent echoed the aesthetic of the art walkitself: not quite real, but imminently recognizable, immersive, and absorbing. The works are worlds within worlds, hauntingly dark yet hopeful; her latest paintings had the quality of half-remembered dreams.
Teale Hatheway’s latest works continue her transcendent linking of art and architecture in images infused with shades of salmon and aquamarine: detailed, precise, elegant, and somehow unmoored from the confines of the city her works depict.
Todd Westover’s vivid floral images took a new direction – as did his presentation, infused with humor and visual jokes that included a self-image rolling by on a skateboard. Westover has said that his art is meant to evoke beauty; it does, along with a sense of joy that has led to more expansive settings and landscapes, broadening his “flower power” in the world.
Kristine Schomaker’s return to vivid, painted color works was dazzling to see in a collection; the works are a deep dive into a vibrant series of patterns that adds both order and welcome, a sense of expansive possibility. Earlier photographic images celebrating body and spirit were also on display, lush and sensual sepia toned works that are as graceful as they are moving.
Among the many beautiful works in Jill Sykes’ studio – flora and fauna with gold and silver, a beautiful homage to RGB – there is a serene sense of perfect balance, an especially potent message today that there is symmetry and serenity in the creative world.
The Human Being Society remained as mysterious as ever, with its founder off-camera while the video host discussed the mission of the society – inclusiveness and human love – and offered a glimpse of the society’s alien mythology, inviting viewers not already familiar with the society’s concepts a look at its magical and quirky mission
Laurie Shapiro’s glorious floor to ceiling mix of textiles and painted images, of lights and draped fabric and kaleidoscopic room-caves translated especially well to video, as viewers were treated to a walk-through of her installation work, an Aladdin’s cave of stenciled drawings and muslin. Replete with a scene-stealing studio kitty, Shapiro’s mixed-media wonderland came alive on screen.
From a glimpse at the latest whimsical work of Andrew Miripolsky to insight into the richly colored abstracts of Joshua Elias, the two-hour art tours did not disappoint, and added an up-close and personal look at artist studios I can’t wait to revisit in person.