Santa Monica is celebrating Pride

Santa Monica, California, is going rainbow for June.

To celebrate Pride Month, the tourist core of Santa Monica is painting itself all the colors of the rainbow with the “Rainbow Road Art Walk.” Santa Monica Pier, downtown including the Third Street Promenade, and Santa Monica Place are all being vividly ornamented and will remain so through June 30.

Over a dozen artists and artist groups are involved, all of them some flavor of LGBT+. Under newly-rainbow street lamps, they’ve made a massive collection of murals, interactive works, and photo installations.

Very Gay Paint, a painting duo of L.A.-based artists Nicholas Scheppard and Jenson Titus, are painting their “Very Gay Mural” in front of interested passersby on the Santa Monica Pier. Their style is one of flowing geometric landscapes with a retro flair.

The Artist Grey has put up “The Mothers of Pride Pearly Gateway” on Third Street. They hope visitors will engage with the work’s exploration of spiritualism and the queer community, and that their work will teach people about the leaders behind the Pride movement.

UnderNewMGMT and ShakesTheArtist are working in flowers with their installation “Protest and Pageantry,” which celebrates the transgender performers of color who have done so much to shape the Pride movement, as well as the trans lives lost to violence.

Other art, every bit of it in vivid colors, offers interpretations of trans rights, Pride parades, broad LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and the chosen families that many LGBT+ people form after being rejected or dismissed by their biologically families.

The rainbow has been representative of Pride and the LGBT+ community since Gilbert “Busty Ross” Baker designed the iconic LGBT rainbow flag in 1978. Baker refused to copyright or trademark his flag, wanting it to be freely available to the LGBT community forever. The display covering so much of Santa Monica this Pride month would make him proud.

Image: Dogora Sun /