Kim Schoenstadt

Indomitable Spirit, 2020
Acrylic on paper
72 x 42 inches.
Courtesy of the artist and Chimento Contemporary

The Tasting Kitchen, a staple in the Venice community for the last 10 years, it has a chalk board wall in the upstairs dining area for which they commission chalk murals from local artists.

Artist Statement
For Drive-By-Art I have created a new work (pictured above), based on a 2017 commission for The Tasting Kitchens upstairs dining area. Since I already had a contact at the restaurant, I just ‘poured myself a cup of ambition’ and contacted them to see if they would be open to hosting me for this project. They were super receptive and welcomed me back. The work combines parts of the 2017 commission with color patterning based on a needlepoint chair cushion my mother made in the ’70s. The architecture included is from El Segundo, Venice Beach, Westchester, and proposed lifeguard station by local architect Thom Mayne.

Since ‘Safer At Home’ began, I’ve been spending time with the needlepoint chairs my mom made. Memories of my mom (who passed in 2012), her artistic skills, and intellectual curiosity have been swirling in my mind. She had an indomitable spirit and in addition to her masters in social work, she would take night classes at the University of Chicago including an Albers based color theory class and multiple Charles Dickens courses.

This new work is an homage to her spirit and a reflection of the odd new rhythms life is taking in this pandemic moment. Echoing the ebbs and flows of our reconstructed ideas of connectivity, space, and time.

In this moment of multiple simultaneous traumas, it felt weird to continue to do my job, it felt less important. Yet in a year where all my projects have dried up overnight this opportunity to continue to do my work was important. What I can do is commit to a percentage of the sale of this work to go towards Black Lives Matter and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Kim Schoenstadt was born in Chicago, Il. and currently lives in Venice, CA. She received a BA from Pitzer College, Claremont, CA. She is known for large scale wall drawings / murals and a project entitled Now Be Here which gathered close to 1,000 women-identifying and nonbinary artists in Downtown L.A. for a historic photograph that visually showed the world artists who are not always included in exhibitions and collections. The project launched other “Now Be Here” events across the country in Brooklyn, Miami and Washington, D.C. to significant media attention and critical acclaim. Schoenstadt’s work will be featured at the Fairview Heights Metro station on the Crenshaw/LAX line.

About The Tasting Kitchen
The Tasting Kitchen is a contemporary Italian restaurant with a New American farm to table heritage, using traditional and classic regional diction with thoughtful, local growers to guide guests through the ever changing landscape of Southern Californian cuisine. The restaurant reinforces their scratch kitchen philosophy with handmade pastas, in-house cured meats, and produce from the westside farmers markets. The menu changes regularly based on seasonal fresh produce and offers an optional tasting format as a guided dining experience. The neo-classical cuisine is amplified by an exquisite, purposely-curated wine portfolio and a celebrated cocktail program. Designed around a central olive tree in the entrance, The Tasting Kitchen, which opened in 2009,  is a romantic, intimate space where one would be comfortable finishing a bottle of wine with friends until closing time.