This post was guest-written by Aaron Kind, our education specialist at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Aaron runs our Aquarium's lecture series. Here, he writes about an innovative new addition to that program.
Being a talented artist, whose works have hung on my mother’s refrigerator and graced a few bathroom stall walls, I was quite excited to host the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium's first Artist Night. The event was meant to reach out to the local artists in the community, and by keeping the RSVP list to a minimum the Aquarium had plenty of room for the artists to set up. The event received some unexpected advertising; Traffic Queen and Shortcuts author Kajon Cermak of KCRW announced the night on her radio program and The Santa Monica Observer generously devoted an entire page in color to our Artists’ Night flyer.
The Aquarium’s local species were the models for the night; moray eels, octopus, sharks and moon jellies took center stage for the evening’s festivities. Photographers, painters and even a couple of digital sculptors attended the two-hour event. For the first hour, the Aquarium lights were dimmed to help photographers reduce glare from the tanks for their shots. For the second hour, the lights were brought back up and sea stars, sea urchins and other denizens of the deep were placed in bins so painters and sketchers could get an up close look. A little bit of 60’s beachy rock 'n' roll set the mood for the artists and models alike. After talking with the participants (the ones without the fins) the Aquarium staff is planning to set another artist night in approximately three months.
“Tonight is about artists hanging out with other artists,” one woman was overheard saying, and we were excited to offer this great community with a venue to do just that. For further information on upcoming events, visit the Aquarium section on this site. Also, join us on Facebook to view pictures from the night.