A Seaside Crawl of Kinetic Art & Antique Amusements - Atlas Obscura
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Venice, CA

A Seaside Crawl of Kinetic Art & Antique Amusements

Discover the forgotten beach bohemia of Abbot Kinney.

Join us for an art crawl along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in which we'll make lions fly, spin a "wheel of fortune," and reenact the coin toss that gave birth to an Italy-meets-Coney Island seaside resort.

Together, we'll discover the oft-forgotten stories of "Kinney's Folly" and the magic and art that went into transforming swampland into a seaside resort of canals, gondolas, and pleasure piers through public art installations of mosaic sculptures, topiaries, and an anamorphic sculptural portrait.

In this hands-on excursion arranged especially for the LA Obscura Society and led by Field Agent Sandi Hemmerlein, we'll be guided by public artist and Otis College instructor Robin Murez, who has been creating the Venice Public Art project since 2005.

The famed, boho-chic boulevard traces its origins back to the early 20th century and tobacco baron Abbot Kinney. Kinney had a grand vision for creating a unique community by the sea: VENICE OF AMERICA. Together, we'll explore the hidden wonders of this curious enclave's 111-year history—and the creative genius behind it.

We'll also interact with "no-tech," kinetic amusements of days gone by, such as a peephole box, a zoetrope, moiré animation, and a thaumatrope. 

The gondoliers may be gone, and there may be no more camels or ostriches to ride, but you can still take a peek into the past... if you know where to look.

Be transported, and enjoy the ride.


  • We'll cancel with heavy rain or wind, but we'll forge on if it's just a light sprinkle. (Cancellation notice will be sent at least one day in advance.)
  • We'll start at Venice of America Centennial Park and journey all the way to the former Coral Canal (now Main Street) and back.
  • Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers for two miles of flat, paved walking at a slow pace and bring sun protection and water! Dress in layers, as weather by the beach can be variable.
  • Souvenir maps will be provided to all attendees.
  • Free parking available at start/end point.
  • There will be at least one rest stop along the way, but be sure to go before you join.
  • Children and dogs on leashes welcome. 
  • Photography encouraged! Tag #atlasobscura and @atlasobscura.

Questions? Email Sandi Hemmerlein at sandi@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.