ENCINITAS — 62 original pieces of banner art created by local artists and hung from poles along Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas are being auctioned off as a part of the 101 Artists Colony’s annual “Arts Alive” program.
This year, having organized the “Arts Alive” installation for 20 years, 101 Artist’s Colony is hosting a socially distanced auction, receiving bids over the phone and in-person, instead of a large annual Live Auction event.
After the first full weekend of bidding on August 1-2 in the parking lot next to RIDE Kailua (the former Seaside Bazaar location), the 101 Artist’s Colony will host one final day on August 9 at the Cardiff Seaside Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Danny Salzhandler, President of the 101 Artist’s Colony, spoke to the Coast News about the challenges facing the organization in hosting “Arts Alive” during a pandemic negatively impacting the greater fine art community.
“Well, it’s just like all other businesses,” Salzhandler said. “It’s hard but we’ve made it through this. Right now, we’re trying to bring in more people and get more bids so [Coronavirus] has really hurt us as far as that.”
“We aren’t doing this to make it a lot of money. We do it because we want to put great art on the light poles for people to see,” Salzhandler said.
Each banner for sale at “Arts Alive” is an original work of art, painted specifically to hang above Highway 101 in Encinitas by a local artist and are available to view in-person or on the organization’s website.
50% of the proceeds from each piece of art will go directly to the artist while the remainder goes to the 101 Artist’s Colony itself, Salzhandler said.
Diane Dudek, an Encinitas resident and artist, has participated in “Arts Alive” for the last decade. On Saturday morning Dudek, among other artists and locals, took time to browse the selection of banners displayed by the 101 Artist’s Collective.
Pointing at her own ocean-themed banner, Dudek described her process with acrylic paints and love for the Encinitas’ shoreline.
“My daughter does this too,” Dudek said. “It’s really, really fun. We love to paint ours together in December over the holidays.”
Each winter, “Arts Alive” typically brings together the artists to unveil their custom painted banners and hangs them up on the 101 light poles. Come springtime, the banners are removed, cleaned and retouched by the artists before being sent to auction.
Because of COVID-19, the 101 Artist’s Colony had a difficult time unveiling the banners in a group setting as well as hosting the annual Live Auction, Dudek said.
In general, the pandemic has brought both it’s challenges and upsides, Dudek said.
“On one hand, it’s been hard for galleries having to shut down, open up, shut down, and then reopen again,” Dudek said. “But at the same time, as far as creating the art, [COVID] is great for artists because that’s all we do. We stay home and make our art.”
Though coronavirus may have forestalled the live-auction event itself, it is unable to stop the creation and appreciation of fine art by local creatives and residents alike.
In addition to visiting the in-person, outdoor installation on August 9 at the Cardiff Seaside Market, those interested in bidding may place a phone bid at (760) 473-5164 until 5 p.m. on August 11. All bidding begins at $150 and a video of the banners available for auction can be found at the 101 Artist’s Collection’s website.