To Walk or Not to Walk?

 

Most First Thursday Art Walk enthusiasts and the member galleries who participate wondered whether it was safe or not. Judging by last night's turnout, the pandemic puts many people off by being in somewhat crowded indoor spaces. Nevertheless, the diehards were fine with donning masks indoors to check out exciting new exhibits, enjoy the live music outdoors, and soak up the balmy weather this November night. 

 

On my way to my first art gallery, I was happy to see The Sandpiper Lounge opened its door. Rumor had spread that it was closing for good, but that is not true. They have partnered with oak Laguna Beach for TO-GO food and Dirty Bird cocktails. Call 949.494.4694 to place your order from 3pm-9pm. They also have Dirty Bird merch for sale!

 

I was excited to finally meet the Tina Aldatz, Director of the new Six Summit Gallery and Boutique. She is currently exhibiting Royal Reflections: featuring artists Emily Colvin, Allois, Ailene Fields, and Susan Leonhard. The quaint gallery near Oak St. and Coast Hwy. is filled with stunning portraits by Allois and Ailene Fields, gorgeous accessories, and a line of mask couture designed by Tina. We convoyed the two blocks to La Casa Del Camino, where over 30 works by Emily Colvin and Susan Leonard are on display throughout the newly refurbished hotel. The exhibits run through Jan. 15th. Facebook @sixsummitgallery

 

Time was slipping away from the three hour Art Walk window in part because I went all the way home to change into something cooler to wear. To make up the time, I witnessed from afar the Art Walk excitement from Christie Smith's Unleashed Gallery to Hugo Rivera Gallery and Dave Hobrecht, on down to Mandy Brasa's Gallery.

 

Due to Art Walk pandemic restrictions, Hugo Rivera's Uncle Dave moved to the corner of Coast Hwy. and Laguna Ave. to serenade passersby with bluesy guitar licks. Just a skip and a jump down the block is The Grace Galleries. Founder/Collector Gracie Neidell and her husband David are winning the Art Walk Award for Favorite Art Walk Hang since they opened in July. Her international collections always amaze, and the current exhibit features bold and beautiful works from Ingrid Foet, Tjanda Murra, Jordan Tacker, and Nomada. Hats off to Gracie's husband, David, who masterfully hung all the art in time for the exhibit's opening. Shout out must go to duo Crystal and Dave of Liquid Crystal Music for churning out the timeless hits out front. [email protected]

 

On my way to my next destination, I listened in on a bit of the sweet sounds of Andrew Corradini at Hennessey's Dublin Square and peppy tune from duo Bob Hawkins and Suzanne Morissette Cruz at the outdoor Yard Bar. Silversmith and Jewelry Designer Miche McClendon has settled into her new digs on Forest Ave. next to the Post Office. The space is open and inviting and artfully decorated with a "vintage ranch, rock n' roll chic" surrounding all of Miche's displays of her one of a kind, handcrafted jewelry. Add to that an authenticity with her workshop in the back and all her trade tools to marvel at. www.MicheMcLendon.com

 

Just as I thought, Forest & Ocean Gallery, which was on my hit list, closed early. Some galleries choose to go until 8 pm instead of 9 pm, and you can't blame them due to the lack of visitors. Next month I'll go there first. Also closed was LCAD Gallery and a discovery (but closed), the Martin Roberts Gallery at Beach St. and Forest Ave. 

 

I felt hungry for a blackened mushroom taco, so I stopped on my way home at Taco Loco. I was pleased to see Terrell Washington Anansi (@tribalneopopart) was displaying his latest collection in the open-air garage. My takeaway from the evening is that artists are creating like never before. Give them a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, and the creativity flows like never before.

Next Art Walk is Dec. 3rd.

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