The LA Art Show Opening Night And Beyond: Celebrity, Artist And Art!

DTLA Art Walk All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

DTLA Art Walk All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

The opening night of the LA Art Show was a celebration of food, friends and art, coupled with a fun celebrity red carpet hosted by Adam Shulman and Anne Hathaway to benefit St. Jude Children Hospital. The LA Art Show is one of the most internationally diverse art shows in the western hemisphere. While it has that international diversity, local artists are still a significant part of the LA Art Show’s topography. The LA Art Show knows how to engage the curious and the informed art enthusiast with performances, panels and installations.

The celebrities who attended the premiere opening night and red carpet gala were: ZZ Ward, Zach Braff, Dyan Cannon, Renee Lawless, Katherin McNamara, Perrey Reeves, Marq Torien, Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty, Andy Buckley, Colette Carr, Danielle Nicolet, Eva LaRue, Kathleen Robertson, Radio Fortune Teller, Tamara Taylor, Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman. From there, the evening officially kicked off  the art for the days ahead.

I gathered with my friends Karina and Claudia, who were on hiatus from DWTS, to make our way into the Convention Center proper. We were ready to view some art and take advantage of one of the biggest nights of the Los Angeles art scene. The space was well attended with people everywhere sucking in art and performances. Performances that took place that night were Brazilian performance artist Yana Clark, ACE Gallery Curated performance pieces by Melanie Pullen, Ben Jones, Metabolic Studio Sound Division, Millie Brown and Beyond Kashio by Japanese artist Issai Tanaka. I photographed Colette Carr, who was being painted “live” by Robert Vargas, creating a stunning visual I was happy to document. There were over 60 booths representing galleries and artists for the 5 days of LA Art Show.

The following day Robert Williams received his lifetime achievement award at the Littletopia booth, and that was followed by the “Big Street Party” in his honor at Chung King Road in Chinatown. Six galleries celebrated, including Greg Escalante Gallery. It was a festive atmosphere the arty ones enjoyed, while the “The Challengers Of The Unknown” layed down some tasty grooves in a funky LED lit van. Art critic Shana Nys Dambrot, Van Arno, Osceola Refetoff, fashion designer Victor Wilde, Gail Zone, lowbrow artist Anthony Ausgang, photographer Johnny Cubert White, Greg Escalante, Billy Shire of La Luz de Jesus and of course, Robert Williams were a few of the notables who attended this art insider bash.

Other highlights I covered during LA Art Show week were DTLA Art Walk’s “Wild Victorian Solan” by  artist Catherine Coan with her cleverly constructed ethically acquired taxidermy. There was Melanie Pullen’s performance art “High Fashion Crime Scene” that was a destination spot for a darker minded and the macabre fashionably inclined to take in a bloody murder scene. Cosplay enthusiast was represented by the president of the LA Harajuku Lolitas, Jenna Bao, who was representing at the CLU Gallery booth near the sculpture garden and the VIP lounge.  I ran into Georgina Leahy, who was part of Adam Ants’ “The Blue Black Hussar”, as she sauntered amongst the booths looking sassy and funky in her gold metallic platforms. Dale Youngman was representing the Fabrik Expo, Bonnie Tseng, as well as, Qathryn Brehm were delivering the DTLA Art Walk experience as I ran into them randomly for fun brief chit chats. There was Shana’s panel discussion “Notes for the Reconstruction of Beauty” with Riccardo Mannelli’s controversal and evocative Renaissance inspired paintings and illustrations that offer commentary on contemporary Italian society and politics, as part of the extensive programing at this year’s LA Art Show.

The images in the photo gallery below paints a larger picture of the happenings and goings on of 2016’s LA Art Show. The LA Art Show was a combination of fun, art and fashion in a flurry of exotic stations, views and vignettes of the festivities, celebrities and those artistically inclined. Viva art 2016!

Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer and photographer with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with a keen interest in art, fashion, photography, and writing. He shoots celebrity and red-carpet events for ZUMA Press. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. His images have been published in The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Parade, Wall Street Journal, and French Elle, both Vanity Fair and Vanity Fair Italia. He's very engaged in life. You an see more of his work at ZUMA Press at You can follow him on his Facebook page at: and on Instagram and Twitter @billybennight
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