Culver City Edition

Art exhibition traces Venice’s history through residents

VENICE — An exhibit that traces the history of Venice opens Aug. 5 at Venice Arts’ new gallery space at 13445 Beach Ave., just east of Lincoln Boulevard presents.

The exhibit is the first solo exhibition by painter Ruth Chase.

The West of Lincoln Project, sponsored by a grant from the Carl Jacobs Foundation, traces the history of Venice through the life stories of people who grew up there, as told through large-scale paintings and audio interviews by Chase and accompanying biographical texts written by Gena Lasko.

The exhibition, which runs through Sept. 1, opens with a reception from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 5. The exhibit is described as a chance for both longtime residents and newcomers to Venice to reflect on the history of their community as told through personal stories.

Chase, a third-generation native of Venice, says, “It is my personal hope that the whole series could be a conversation for any community that is undergoing big changes quickly. A conversation that asks why is this place like this, who are my neighbors, why are people valuable in a community, and what can I do to connect and come together.”

The project was more than two years in the making and involved more than 300 participants, each of whom was chosen to convey different perspectives and a broad spectrum of experiences. Like Chase, the subjects grew up and attended school in Venice.

Chase worked in ongoing collaboration with each individual to create painted portraits reflecting both the subject’s life growing up in Venice and the powerful insights that arose from this place.

Featured portraits include Fernando Manzanilla, Rhonda Lynn Wise, Solo Scott, Brad James, Meta Zimmerman, Gloria Olivas Omar, David Fowler, Elaine Love Leslie, Eddie Hadvina and Leonard Duran.

In addition to the paintings and audio, the exhibition will feature a Venice Tribute Wall, where the public is invited to contribute their own stories and memories of Venice.

To learn how to participate in the Tribute Wall, visit: ruthchase.com/west-of-lincoln/.