Hillel Smith

Spirituality mural in Venice, CA

As part of my Illuminated Streets collaboration with Itamar Paloge, we teamed up with a third artist, Amir Magal, who connected us with the Venice Love Shack, a really funky space on Lincoln just north of Venice Blvd. in Venice, CA. The side of the Love Shack facing the alley was just a chain link fence covered in rattan and maroon cloth. We took the large piles of scrap wood lying around–plywood sheets, bookshelves, signs, cabinetry, 2x4s, even a gate–and built a wall which we secured to the fence. A centerpiece was constructed out of a round table and additional scrap lumber to make wings, rods from a chair back to make a crown (“keter” in Hebrew, this one with seven points like a menora), and painted with a large alef. Then we went nuts decorating the wall improvisationally, creating a rich, layered texture of various styles and colors. We were joined by two more Jewish artists, Elke Reva Sudin and Shome Hayun, who added small bits of their own. Meanwhile, friends and neighbors joined us to watch and be a part of the process. We worked long into the night, finally finishing painting and clean up close to midnight. Not bad for a day’s work!

See more photos of the making of the mural here and here.

The Illuminated Streets project was covered in LA's Jewish Journal newspaper.

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