Painter Andy Moses says he has always been inspired by “vast, open spaces,” and living and working in Venice certainly helps.
“You get that at the beach – an infinite sense of space,” he said. “My more recent work has more of a psychedelic influence and goes back to the history of Venice in the ’60s and ‘70s. It’s diverse, vibrant.”
His wife, sculptural painter Kelly Berg, agrees.
“There’s a special magic in Venice that I feel every day living here,” she said. “It’s a unique community bringing together artists, musicians and other creatives. I love the murals, the canals. Being from the Midwest originally, Venice is inspiring. You can feel the spirit of the art from the ‘60s, and some of that still lives on.”
Being so ingrained in the Venice artist community, it’s no wonder that Moses and Berg are two of the 188 artists participating in this year’s Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction, which is completely online this year on Artsy from May 3-19 due to coronavirus safety concerns.
Moses and Berg are long-time supporters of the Venice Art Walk, which traditionally included tours of artists’ studios, an art exhibition, and music, food and fun for the whole family.
A history of support
Moses’ father, the painter Ed Moses, had a home and studio in Venice. An early supporter of Venice Family Clinic and the Venice Art Walk, Ed Moses introduced his son to the fundraiser and its beneficiary. When Andy Moses moved back to Los Angeles from New York in the early 2000s, he, with help from photographer Alan Shaffer, joined other contemporary artists who donated art for auction. He also supported the Clinic’s Surf & Skate event, in which participating artists used reclaimed surfboards and skateboards as canvases for art that were auctioned off to benefit the Clinic. Soon after Moses and Kelly Berg married in 2012, she also began donating art to the Venice Art Walk. She even contributed a live art piece at the 2013 event.
For this year’s auction, Berg donated her piece Rupture 4 (2018), which uses acrylic on wood to reflect on the natural phenomena that impact our lives.
“In the Midwest, there were certain types of phenomena, like tornadoes and severe storms,” Berg said. “Here, there’s the shifting of tectonic plates, of earth moving underneath us. This piece is representative of my current series of work that focuses on geological shifts. I wanted to give a piece [to the auction] that reflects on what we experience here in Southern California.”
Moses contributed his Geodynamics 129 (2019), which uses jewel-toned acrylic on a heptagonal lucite panel.
“I always like to give my most current work to the Clinic,” Moses said. “I want someone to get the newest version of what I’m working on. I haven’t even shown these a lot yet. I picked a piece that’s particularly colorful to lift our spirits.”
In addition to their individual works, Moses worked with his late father’s estate to include an Ed Moses painting – #2 Nose (2017) – in the auction this year.
A healthy community
A recent experience with the Clinic made that decision a no-brainer for Andy Moses. One of the people who worked for Ed Moses, and continues to work for his estate, needed hernia surgery. He didn’t have medical insurance and didn’t know where to go for medical help. So Andy Moses suggested he visit Venice Family Clinic, where he was able to be seen by a doctor, referred to a surgeon and have hernia surgery – all within two weeks.
“I always knew the Clinic did great work, but to personally know someone and how it has been beneficial to their life just shows the great spirit of generosity and how incredibly well organized the Clinic is,” Andy Moses said. “The surgery was successful, and he’s completely on the mend. None of this would have been possible without Venice Family Clinic.”
While Moses and Berg have remained healthy and continue to create art during the current COVID-19 pandemic, they know there are many others, including in their community of Venice, who have not been as fortunate.
“We’re happy to support the Clinic during such a difficult time,” Moses said. “Venice Family Clinic is in our own backyard, and it’s nice to support organizations that are local. It’s good to know that people who are struggling have somewhere to turn, especially the homeless.”
Berg pointed out the benefit of a community clinic to artists, many of whom also struggle financially.
“A health clinic is so important, especially for creative people who might not have access any other way,” she said. “In order to be productive and enjoy your life, you have to be healthy. Venice Family Clinic is such an amazing organization to reach out to those people in that way.”