Spirits ran high in Downtown Anaheim as artists of all kind set up their tents, displays and canvases. Food vendors prepped their grills and utensils, ready to satisfy hungry customers and a team of Folklorico dancers warmed up, squeezing in some final practice before showtime.
Soon, the streets of central Downtown Anaheim were filled with festive music and enthusiastic crowds, with the tantalizing aroma of different foods permeating through the crisp November night air.
The Art Crawl Experience, is Anaheim’s quarterly art walk, held every second Saturday in February, May, August and November. Coordinated by artists and community leaders, ACE aspires to deliver culture and art to the downtown area.
The free event plays host to a number of gallery and retail open houses, an indie craft fair featuring over 50 artists, a gourmet food truck alley, beer and wine, live musicians and dancers and always a crowd favorite, fire dancing.
This month’s Tim Burton-themed event was anchored by “The Burton Show” housed at the Rothick Art Haus in Anaheim.
Presented by Popzilla Gallery, this show pays tribute to the films of Director Tim Burton, showcasing eclectic Burton-inspired art pieces presented on an array of different media.
Popzilla owner and curator Sam Carter drew inspiration for the exhibit from the concerts of composer Danny Elfman, who scored all but two of Burton’s films. This exhibit, Carter said in a previous interview with the Hornet, is the art version of Elfman’s concerts.
The gothic, quirky-horror mood set by the Burton theme was carried by artists in the indie craft fair, which stretched down Center St. Promenade. Artist End One presented his pieces that featured popular Burton characters such as Sweeney Todd and Edward Scissorhands.
Dino Perez, Santa Ana-based artist and designer, showcased his surreal wood acrylic paintings, along with apparel designs. Sticking with a subdued, dreamy color palette, his framed pieces ranged from otherworldly scenes to quirky, 90s-esque portraits of Simpsons characters.
He aims to keep his work dream-like and urban, gathering his inspiration from the music of The Smiths and Morrissey.
“Through lyrics, I’m able to envision paintings,” Perez said.
Another notable aspect of ACE is the live artists featured throughout the event, showcasing their skills in real time and really allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the art.
Sat intently in front of a canvas with palette and brush in hand was “My Mathematical Mind,” an artist whose work is driven by the mathematics of fractals and a process called recursion, in which patterns reiterate.
“I start off with a pattern and repeat it over and over again,” he said. “Before I know it, it’s blossomed into something beautiful. It’s kind of how nature is created. I’m essentially just employing the same process the universe did to create us.”
Alongside the many artists in the event were crafters of all sorts. Popup booths lined the street offering goods such as handmade jewelry, cute and quirky accessories, clothing, scented candles and oils, candy and even duct tape wallets.
Among these many crafters were Stephanie and Beckah, co-founders of Ha’andah Products, a local company that offers all-natural bath, body and household items. All their products are handcrafted and organic, using only high grade natural materials. Along with preserving the environment. Ha’andah also strives to serve their community by educating about the use of organic products.
“We’re trying to reach out to the general public and help them use organic products,” Smith said. “Be clean, safe and green but still have it be affordable.”
Like many other vendors of ACE, Ha’andah does not have a storefront in order to keep prices at a minimum. Instead, many of the artists and vendors can be found at other local farmers’ markets and art walks, upholding a strong community bond.
As the night progressed, a hearty crowd gathered at the gourmet food truck alley to get a taste of what each four-wheeled kitchen had to offer. Following the trail, one had a plethora of options: juicy burgers at Baby’s Badass Burgers, gourmet hummus and falafels from Falasophy, unique Mexican-Korean cuisine from MexiCalbi, French crepes from Crepes Bonaparte or keep it classic at the Grilled Cheese Truck. Caffeine-lovers could get their espresso fix at Frijolito’s Mobile Coffee.
Live entertainment was sprinkled throughout the event with a DJ spinning at The Gypsy Den and singer and songwriter Shawn Skim performing on the patio of Ink and Bean. The main stage featured an array of different performances from cultural Folklorico dancing by Grupo Folklorico Desafiio, DJ Craig Lamont and Spyglass Fire Dancers.
ACE delivered a splendid art walk experience like no other, packed with eclectic art, culinary delights, culture and fun for all ages.
This crawl concluded the 2014 season with the schedule for 2015 to be announced. Visit their website at downtownanaheim.com/artcrawlexperience for the latest updates.