When you live in a big city, the weekend holds an abundant amount of choices on where to go and what to do. However, when living on a college budget, it narrows the list of choices. Thankfully, art hopping is free.

Art openings are a great place to meet up with friends. They often come with free wine or beer, sometimes music and depending on the gallery you choose, wonderful art.

Bergamot Station, an arts center located at 2525 Michigan Ave. in Santa Monica is full of galleries. 

Skidmore Contemporary Art (located at D-2 in Bergamot Station) offers an opening reception for artist Kelly Reemtsen from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on September 8.  An incredible artist, Reemtsen is known for her iconic paintings of women dressed in vintage party attire armed with an unexpected tool of destruction, such as an axe or a chainsaw.

Reemtsen’s ode to classic reruns like "Leave it to Beaver," a show many have seen on TV Land, offers a twisted view when combined with such an ominous object. Floor sculptures and pastels also include pharmaceutical drugs, a subject frequently reflected in today’s pill popping society. The exhibit will be on view through October 6th. See website for more info: http://skidmorecontemporaryart.com/.

There will also be several other openings taking place at Bergamot Station, including openings at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery (G-2), dnj Gallery (J-1), The Frostig Collection (B-5) and the Craig Krull Gallery (B-3). 

Another opening taking place on September 8th in the Larchmont area is the grand opening of a new arts community center, The Loft @ Larchmont Village.  The center is located at 5700 Melrose Ave., Suite #201 in Los Angeles.

Artist Charles Swenson will celebrate a new exhibition at The Loft with an opening reception from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.  The focus of his upcoming show, “Nudes and Shoes,” features his love for women’s shoes and his original nudes painted in 2007.

The show challenges the role of fashion as it pertains to the modern woman with the addition of a sexy high-heeled shoe floating past the classic nude figures. 

Enjoy drinks, delights and Brutha Gimel spinning the discs. RSVP to Jaclyn Lafer at 323- 314-0780 as space is limited. 

For more information about artist Charles Swenson or The Loft @ Larchmont Village, see http://www.charlesgswenson.com/ and http://larchmontloft.com/.

If you are in the Venice area, though the opening already happened, this exhibition is really worth taking a look. “Venice: Yesterday/Today or Still Crazy After All These Years” is currently on view at Universal Art Gallery.  

Jill Prestup, president of the Venice Historical Society, and multi-media artist Helen K. Garber have put together an incredible show sharing vintage Venice Beach photos with new photos by Garber. 

Garber and Prestup went through the society’s archives and maps to identify where the vintage images were taken so Garber could re-create the shot in the exact location. 

Garber then collaborated with fine art printer Titano Cruz to create photographic diptychs showing both images together.  It truly is a brilliant result. 

Universal Art Gallery is located at 2001 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice. See these websites for more info: http://www.venicehistorical.org/, http://www.helenkgarber.com/, www.titanocruz.com, and http://www.framegallery.com.