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Community Art Gallery Opens On A Venice Walk Street

Community Art Gallery Opens On A Venice Walk Street

Featuring the works of Howard Cleworth, known as the "Painter Laureate of the car," a new gallery debuted to an intimate gathering of neighborhood friends on a secluded walk street in Venice, just an earshot away from bustling Lincoln Blvd.

From celebrity car collectors to mega manufacturers including Chevy, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Saab, Cleworth's "super-realism" automobile paintings, with their striking resemblance to photographic prints, are commissioned and displayed around the world. He was the first to show his work at the new Gallery At Marco Place—a converted garage behind a small lot of Craftsman bungalows. He also lives nearby in one of the units.

The Gallery At Marco Place "where art and community collide" is accessible from Lincoln Blvd. on the east and Linden Ave. on the west. It requires you to travel by foot, at least for a few minutes, under the canopy of trees, past the gardens and porches, until a hand-painted sign says you've reached the destination. 

"The concept of the gallery, and the meaning 'where art and community collide' is to give local artists—up and comers and established ones—a place that is low to no cost to show their works and is a needed alternative in the community to the expensive, high-end galleries that have come into Venice," says Frederick Keeve, property owner and resident. "All art shows are accompanied by an event with music, DJ, food and socializing to bring the community together."

Frederick and daughter Anna Keeve. (Photo courtesy The Gallery at Marco Place)

Frederick and daughter Anna Keeve. (Photo courtesy The Gallery at Marco Place)

The Gallery at Marco Place is rooted in generations of community-focused preservation projects. Keeve's mother and stepfather Mary Ann and Ron Webster have been in Venice for more than 50 years. They met through their involvement in the Sierra Club building trails every Saturday with a dedicated trail crew throughout the Santa Monica mountains. They worked on the epic Backbone Trail, which spans 67 miles from Point Magu State Park to Will Rogers State Historic Park. After 50 years, it finally reached completion and was commemorated on June 4th.

"My brother, sister and I as young adults were involved in building trails and hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, and then my four children were also involved in hiking and building trails and even some of the bridges used on the trails," says Keeve.

Their spirit of preserving what's good and making it accessible to as many people as possible is now focused on local artists, and as always, they've made it a family affair.

"We want to bring back a creative space, bring it back to an authentic and humble arts scene," says Keeve. "My daughter Anna Keeve, who works in PR, is in charge of all the communications and in helping to get the word out. She is the PR manager for a global cyber company, but loves art and is so passionate about community and what we are doing here at The Gallery at Marco Place!"

Visit The Gallery At Marco Place

The next show is tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. and continues with the auto theme. It will be Todd Midler's first solo exhibition and book release for his project entitled "COVERED" a look into the world of L.A.'s car-obsessed culture and when the cars are stowed away under covers. 

The Gallery at Marco Place // 928 Marco Place, Venice 90291; (310) 569-7466

Photos courtesy The Gallery at Marco Place

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