With summer rapidly approaching, it’s once again time for one of the art community’s most upbeat annual events. The 2014 Arts Alive Exhibit and banner auction will culminate June 8 in the Cardiff Town Center.
Now in its 15th year, the Arts Alive Exhibit is all about community involvement. Each year half of the proceeds go to the organizing nonprofits in order to fund ongoing work in and around Encinitas. The other half of proceeds, which is received by the banner artists, is often generously donated to local charitable organizations.
Originated in 2000 by the 101 Artists’ Colony, this year’s Arts Alive exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Artists’ Colony board member A. Paul Bergen and Billy Stewart, devoted Artists’ Colony volunteer.
For many years the Arts Alive auction has been the only annual fundraiser of the 101 Artists’ Colony, which supports community projects such as Full Moon Poets’ poetry slams at La Paloma Theatre, Halloween children’s games and music for Encinitas Safe Trick or Treat at the Lumberyard, and concerts featuring local musicians at the Encinitas Library.
The all-volunteer 101 Artists’ Colony was formed in 1998 to foster awareness of all forms of art and encourage the interaction between artists and the community at large. The organization has become recognized as an indispensable part of the culture of Encinitas, despite operating without a physical location since 2007.
The 2014 Arts Alive Exhibit, organized and produced by 101 Artists’ Colony, Cardiff 101 Main Street, and Leucadia 101 Main Street Associations, is partially funded by sponsors including Cardiff Seaside Market, San Dieguito Art Guild/Off Track Gallery, Scripps, SPY Optic, and media sponsor The Coast News Group.
Although the program seems to run effortlessly each year, a great deal of activity occurs behind the scenes to produce the multifaceted event. Since its inception in 2000, Danny Salzhandler, President of the 101 Artists’ Colony and director of the Arts Alive exhibit, has been fully involved with the project. Each September individual artists are invited to participate by painting an original work of art for the exhibit. By late November the artists are given either a small banner measuring 18” x 50”, or a larger banner measuring 30” x 84”. The artists have approximately one month to turn in their masterpieces.
Shortly after all completed banners are collected, volunteers assist Carlsbad photographer Stephen Whalen as he takes high-resolution shots of each original work of art. Volunteers Julie Ann Stricklin, Nancy Nelson, and Norma Salzhandler then produce the official auction guide and bookmarks that are available during the festive unveiling event in February. This marks the beginning of the silent bidding period.
As silent bidding continues, the 103 original works of art are on display for three months on light standards along Coast Highway 101 throughout downtown Encinitas, Leucadia, and Cardiff, as well as in the Cardiff Town Center on San Elijo Avenue. Leucadia 101 Main Street Association records bids by phone until the end of the outdoor exhibit.
The banners are removed from the light posts a week prior to the auction and scrubbed in preparation for sale. Professional auctioneer Rich Houk, who volunteers his services each year, will again conduct the live auction with bids starting at $150. Bidding wars occasionally occur, but the auction remains an ideal opportunity to own original works of art by local artists.
The 2014 Arts Alive Banner Auction will be held June 8 in the courtyard of Cardiff Town Center. Banners will be available for viewing by 10 a.m. that morning, followed by an opening reception at 1:30 p.m. The live auction will begin at 2 p.m.
The online auction guide can be seen at artsaliveencinitas.com, while bids can be placed prior to the event by phoning Leucadia 101 Main Street Association at (760) 436-2320.
Kay Colvin is director of L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, and specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists. Contact her at [email protected]