By Kay Brown
What do a local actor, artists, teacher and councilmember have in common? They have all read and recommend our reading of the “Art Tiles at Venice Beach – a Graphic History: 1904 – 2001.”
The book magnifies the public art tiles that represent scenes from the history of Venice, 1904 to 2001. Each tile bears the name of the street on which it is located and has the date of its scene at the top of the design, which was inspired by historic and modern photographs, drawings, memory, and imagination. They consist of a suite of 22 handmade ceramic tiles, 12 inches wide by 13 inches high, constructed of high fired clay and glazes. The tiles are inlaid into the concrete ends of each of the eleven benches on the Ocean Front Walk from Horizon Ave. to Dudley Ave., and are located where the streets end at Ocean Front Walk.
The benches are deteriorating and are being removed and destroyed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The Venice Arts Council Endangered Art Fund is working to protect and rescue these tiles and the benches that house them.
Published by the Helicon Nine Press and the Venice Arts Council, all donated proceeds are used to rescue and protect these tiles.
What is not evident is the back story on the tiles themselves. A nude beach in Venice? See page 32 on the Park Avenue bench. Oil wells in Venice? See page 18 on the Clubhouse Avenue tile. Blackouts during WWII? See page 22 on Wavecrest Avenue caption. As a matter of fact, these little captions serve as a teaser for all of Venice history and invite the readers to refresh their history buff butts into our local bookstores and libraries to bone up on what we’ve been wondering about!
What do you know about Venice?
As actor Matt Malloy is quoted on the back of the book, “Want to love Venice even more than you do now?”
You can see the book at the Venice Library, where a book signing will take place at the Venice-Abbott Kinney Library, 501 South Venice Blvd., on Saturday, November 15, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Above: The Venice Arts Council donates its newly published book “The Art Tiles of
Venice Beach: a Graphic History 1904 – 2001” to the Venice Library Senior Librarian and Branch Manager, Dr. Rachel Bindman.
“This book showcases the historical development and diversity of Venice.We are pleased to include it in our library collection.” – Dr. Bindman
Photo by: Regina Barton