loving every bit of of the (too) short time spent with blogtour sponsor, westedge
One could argue that I took the easy way out when just before my departure for Modenus' BlogTour CaliforniaI got sick, causing me to leave a day later, and then sprayed myself in the face with bug spray the night before, causing me to set off alarms at the airport and delaying me even further. By the time I arrived in Los Angeles my group was about to leave the show. Trade shows aren’t really my thing. Up until October the only one I really enjoyed was the Architectural Digest Home Show in New York. If you don’t know anything about the WestEdge Design Fair, you might think I'd dodged a bullet on that one.
asically, I arrived just in time to eat, freshen up and then go to the WestEdge cocktail party at the site of the show. I ended up (just a little) glad that I couldn’t find my group right away because my mouth was hanging open from the moment I walked onto the floor!
Almost everything was a sight to behold. The lighting displays were breathtaking. I wanted everySmeg refrigerator on display. I fell in love with Zia Priven’s display featuring Phillipe, the fabulous 24k gold skeleton, the sustainably-made rugs, the unique glass tiles… all of it was magnetic.
On my way out, I exchanged a couple of quick messages with my friend and old college roommate, Danielle Kurtz, who's now the creative director at Land of Nod. She told me that I couldn't miss the Design Milk booth. Unfortunately, because my WestEdge time was so truncated, I missed it because I was so taken in by the works of art surrounding me (next year, for sure, though!). I was blown away by the breadth and scope of the art. There were works ranging from emerging artists to some that were more well known in California collector circles.
I admit to having a bit of an East Coast snob in me. Usually when someone mentions a Los Angeles art scene I picture repetitive pop-art prints and loud colors that don’t seem to represent anything. I was wrong. I was a terrible person for thinking such a thing! Bad Shani! Bad, bad Shani!
That thought didn’t even make sense. I mean, I was aware of the fact that the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles was an early adopter of the origins and growth of graffiti art, having organized the country’s first major museum exhibition of the history of graffiti and street art in 2011. That fact alone proves that Los Angeles is progressive, thoughtful and inclusive as an art community, doesn’t it? Also, Regen Projects has been marrying studied depth with L.A.’s trademark edge since 1989, and is now leading a mini-revolution ofgalleries moving and/or expanding to the city’s east side. While a lot of this is fueled by economics—rent prices downtown are about a third of what they are in West Hollywood—the movement is inspiring more art collectives to form, more mixed media and mixed genre groups to form. This is cutting edge for all the right reasons.
So I’m a little embarrassed about the extent of my surprise upon finding such a fantastic range of art at WestEdge. While the show does showcase some bigger brands in home decorating, it has maintained its grassroots optimism that makes it a show for the makers. Other shows have done well in adding a maker element to their floors, but WestEdge started out this way and shows no sign of straying from its original mission. This is definitely a reason for me to make an annual trip out of it!*
*I hadn’t yet told my husband that last part. I guess now he knows! October is Southern California month from now on!