CARDIFF BY THE SEA — The Cardiff Town Center was teeming with bright colors and buzzing with excitement as the 12th annual Arts Alive banner auction got underway June 5.
Artists joined friends, family and art enthusiasts for the event. Many arrived early to get a glimpse of the 101 original banners that hung on lampposts throughout the city since March.
“It’s a little sad to see them come down,” said Sharon Patino. “But it’s cool to know that I could own one.” Patino runs a design store in Carmel Valley and thought the auction would be a good place to pick up inspiring artwork to decorate her store. “I love the fact that some of the money goes to charity and local organizations,” she said.
The 101 Artists’ Colony, in conjunction with the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association, Cardiff 101 MainStreet and Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association, are program sponsors of the banner program.
Proceeds from the sale of the banners were split 50-50 between the artists and either the 101 Artists’ Colony, Cardiff 101 MainStreet, or Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association.
Silent bidding had begun in March at the unveiling ceremony, as people picked out their favorites early in the day. Gene Hunner reluctantly shared his favorites as he scanned the 101 banners hanging around the courtyard.
“I don’t want to give too much away before the auction starts,” he said smiling. “I bought some last year,” he said as he pointed to several oversized banners that caught his interest. Hunner ended up winning several bids and even helped pack up after the event.
Local artist Bre Custodio’s banner titled “Evening Session with a Local” was a crowd favorite. The work depicts a Swami on a surfboard surrounded by lotus flowers. “I got the inspiration during a sunset surf session at Swami’s, when I saw a double rainbow overhead,” she said.
Conceived in 2000, the banner program has been adapted in various cities across the country. The program serves as a way to get a large part of the community involved in public art, according to the event organizers.
“It was a high energy afternoon fueled by art and our auctioneer Rich Houk,” said Danny Salzhandler, one of the event organizers. “Seventy of the 97 banners sold, so if you missed out, there are some still available.” Bids will be accepted through the DEMA office. For more information, call (760) 943-1950 or visit ArtsAliveEncinitas.com.