By Kathy Leonardo
It’s an early foggy morning in Venice Beach, a small yellow house with an interesting piece of street art plastered across the front catches my attention. Nestled on the busy Abbot Kinney boulevard, I realize, I have arrived at the recently opened, Very Venice Art & Design Gallery. Greeted by one of the artists working in the front gallery, I am lead back to the office of the owner, curator and artist, Dary Rees. Though just meeting her, I am aware of her renowned reputation as an exceptional business woman. Having an incredibly successful import/export business in the late ‘90s already sets her apart from many artist/gallery owners. This woman knows how to get things done. Right brain, left brain, she does it all.
Rees takes me on a tour of the gallery. The Very Venice Art & Design Gallery is home to more than 50 artists. It’s an eclectic array of visual art. In addition to framed paintings on the wall, the doorway is wrapped by a lovely mural by local artist Outi. Passing through another room, I recognize beautiful tile sculptures by another Venice local, Linda Fenster, more work from another Venice artist, Rachel Rubenstein, then finally into a back room where I stop and say “This must be the erotica room.” Dary laughs.
Rees is at home here in Venice. Originally born in Israel, she came to America at a young age and lived all over the US. She explains that she has always been drawn to Venice. She loves being surrounded by people who are artists and want to make the world a better place, like she does.
Dary has been creating art, ever since she can remember. She was raised in a family of artists, her mom made sculptures and her sister was a painter. It is something she always looked at as a healing process. “My current project is illuminated sculptures made of eco-conscious material. My art celebrates hope, courage and survival by reaching out to celebrate our lives, relationships and the environment.” “Illuminators of Hope”, 2008, is a series of eco sculptural chandeliers and light fixtures.
“The motives resemble reaching arms & hands with elements of cocoons, flowers and butterflies. The colors are passionate and bright or calm and serene. The material is mainly local palm trees parts and aluminum. The dry parts of the palm remind me of confused and abused materials. I bring it to life by stopping the decay, organizing and shaping it, adding colors and electrical light, turning it to a celebration of life. Using electricity has a great meaning to me, since electricity is power and energy. When I add it to the finished sculpture, it breathes life into it and acts as an illuminator that lets you shed light on the dark shadows in your life,” said Rees
Located at 1629 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Very Venice Art & Design Gallery is a combination of a co-op, and a gallery together, with intensive marketing and monthly PR and events. Gallery hours are 10am-7pm Sunday through Tuesday and 10am-10pm Wednesday through Saturday.
When asked what she sees for the future of the gallery, Dary replies very assuredly “Opening more locations, selling art all over the world, and bringing the average person closer to artists and the art world.” see website, www.veryveniceart.com
Photo by Kristina Valentine.