CARLSBAD — Thousands flocked to Carlsbad’s Annual ArtSplash on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 to observe working artists create their own masterpieces and sample tasty food with friends and family.
Now in its eighth year, the free family-oriented weekend event attracted residents from all over with food vendors, live art demonstrations and hands-on activities. The event is hosted each fall to raise money for arts programming in North County’s public schools.
ArtSplash took over Armada Drive just north of the Flower Fields, with more than 400 feet alone of chalk drawings — the main attraction. Artists crouched over sponsored squares to recreate famous paintings or draw an original using only chalk.
“We’re pushing the seams, but the chalk is the backbone of the event,” artist and volunteer Raziah Roushan said. “We have 64 squares and a lot of really talented artists; they all volunteer their time and come from all over the region.”
Kids carnival activities like a newspaper hat booth and seed art kept the younger attendees entertained. There were also opportunities for children to join a high-energy drum circle and paint using eco-friendly supplies.
“It’s a neat way to expose kids to different styles of art,” Encinitas resident Marcy Rodin said. She brought daughters Sonja, 6, and Siri, 4, to the event. “There’s a lot of pictures they’ll recognize and other images they can absorb and work into their own art someday.”
This year’s newest artistic addition was longtime ArtSplash artist Ron Juncal’s “Portrait of Caring.” He collected clothing in a rainbow of colors and used it to depict Alice and the Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland.”
The clothing was later donated to North County residents in need, ArtSplash’s volunteer communications consultant Marilyn Campbell said.
Another highlight of the weekend was Saturday’s “Taste of ArtSplash,” which allowed attendees to sample the many food vendors for a prepaid price. Nearly half of the funds raised from presale tickets go directly back to the schools that sell them, Campbell said.
To date, ArtSplash has donated more than $15,000 in grants to local schools, Campbell said. This year’s grant recipients include art programs at Jefferson Elementary School, San Marcos Middle School and Carlsbad High School, among others.
ArtSplash and its founding nonprofit organization began in 2002, backed by a large group of volunteers. The following year’s event was cut due to a lack of funding, but was kicked into high gear in 2004 “through aggressive fundraising and wonderful city and business support,” Campbell said.
To learn more about ArtSplash or to register a North County School for an arts grant, visit www.carlsbadartsplash.org.