Art for the Senses: A Look at the 12th Annual Santa Monica Airport ArtWalk

By Michael Ray


On Saturday, March 24, the 12th Annual Santa Monica Airport ArtWalk took place across nine buildings and eight blocks along Airport Avenue. It featured artists working in a range of mediums, from film, to sound, to fabric, to paint. Artist studios and multiple creative venues exhibited functional, decorative and interactive art installations.


Inside the Santa Monica Art Studios, artist Gwen Samuels hung handmade wire forms of abstract shapes, insects and small animals. “I use polyester to fill in the spaces [of the wire forms] because [the fabric] doesn’t fade,” said Samuels. Originally from the east coast, her art is inspired by her travels, a background in textiles, and photography. She leaves “the threads hanging as evidence of the [handmade] process,” she added.

In the Barker Hanger, Tommy Hollenstein’s live painting captured the attention of attendees. “I started using my wheelchair to paint over 20 years ago,” stated Hollenstein. While there are other artists that paint with their mouths, Hollenstein said that he didn’t enjoy the feeling. Instead, he chooses interchangeable wheels to create “slow and deliberate” paintings. He began to paint thanks to his first service dog Weaver, who inspired him to use non-toxic paint because, “it was safe for his paws.”

On the other side of Barker Hanger, Studio 106 LA hosted a group show titled, “Aeroplane Mode.” The exhibition emphasized the usage of light and sound through interactive art.

Maria Krapivko cited that her 35 mm film exhibit was illuminated like a darkroom, while duo Ronald Sardarian and Rick Tuazon used light to create 3D images using “projection mapping” and an “open source graphics library.”

Outside, parading from hanger to hanger, the Carmen Perez Memorial Brass Band caught the attention of attendees. Saxophonist, Danny Moynahan, stated that their songs were a blend of “liberation music from all parts of the world,” and founded in memory of Carmen who was a Venice resident.

For more information visit: or search the hashtags #SMOArtWalk2018 and #SantaMonicaAirportArtwalk on social media.

The 12th Annual Santa Monica Airport ArtWalk took place across nine buildings and eight blocks.
Photos: Michael Ray.
“This is how I see the photos in the darkroom,” said photographer Maria Krapivko.
Ronald Sardarian and Rick Tuazon’s debuted their projection mapping collaboration.

Tommy Hollenstein, started using the tires of his wheelchair to paint 20 years ago.
Artist Gwen Samuels created wire forms and filled the space with fabric.
Functional and interactive art installations occupied the converted airplane hangars walls.