ENCINITAS — After a break last year, Encinitas Arts Alive is coming back, just in time to celebrate the banner exhibit’s 20th anniversary.
The banners will be revealed at an unveiling reception on March 14 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center. The exhibit is put on by the Encinitas 101 Artists’ Colony, who invites area artists to participate in the art show. This year 62 artists, ranging from teenagers to a 101-year-old, will be showcasing their original work.
“The unveiling is the most exciting art event of the year,” said Danny Salzhandler of the 101 Artists’ Colony. “The countdown to unveiling turns a room to color and beauty before everyone’s eyes. It is a spectacular display of color when all the banners are unfurled at the same time. It brings the community together in a way no other event does.”
After the unveiling ceremony, the banners will then be displayed throughout six miles in the city, from lampposts along Coast Highway 101 from La Costa Avenue in Leucadia, continuing through Encinitas and ending at Cardiff’s Restaurant Row and Seaside Market’s parking lot.
People can bid on the banners beginning at the reception and also by calling (760) 473-5164 until June 12. The entire collection will then be on final display and auctioned off at the live auction held at the Seaside Market Plaza in Cardiff on June 14.
Christinia Lee, the 101-year-old artist whose banner will be featured in the exhibit, said she first started painting after her husband died in 1994. Lee previously showed her work at the 101 Artists’ Colony in the late 1990s, when it was in the Lumberyard Shopping Center. She said she’s painted and sold a lot of pictures and her house is like a gallery.
“I have pictures everywhere,” she said in an interview March 2.
Arts Alive marks Lee’s return to painting — in December she retired from teaching hula at the Carlsbad Senior Center for more than two decades and she said now that she’s not working so hard on that she’s happy to pick up the brush again.
“I told Danny if he’d give me a short (banner) I’d do it,” Lee said, describing her banner as having a rosy background with the words love, harmony and joy displayed throughout it. “And then in the middle of all that it shows a profile of a man and a woman about to kiss.”
She added, joking, “I think it looks like a 101-year-old did it. I can’t draw a straight line anymore.”
Salzhandler said Encinitas Arts Alive debuted in 2000 as a way to promote art and the Historic Highway 101. He said from start to finish the event is a nine-month endeavor and there have been as many as 101 paintings on exhibit along the 101 in previous years.
The event also helped earn the city the Great American Main Street Award from the national Main Street organization.
This year’s exhibit will be dedicated to Morgan Mallory, a beloved resident and longtime owner of Corner Frame Shop who died last September. Salzhandler said Mallory was always involved in the Cardiff and Leucadia parts of Arts Alive, helping to hang the art for the unveilings and auctions. He said Mallory left a legacy of keeping art alive in Encinitas.
“He started the LeucadiART Walk and was instrumental in many other art and cultural community events that will endure through the years,” Salzhandler said. “He was so involved in community art and will be missed.”
Salzhandler said Arts Alive is the sole fundraiser of the 101 Artists’ Colony. He said the money raised is used to pay the artists and also supports several other community events each year such as Safe Trick-or Treat and poetry slams.
Salzhandler said the Arts Alive benefits the community as well as the artists.
“We want people to understand that fine art is accessible to all walks of life at an affordable price,” he said. “Also, local artists are happy to paint for (the exhibit) to enhance our historic highway for all to see. They can use their original images for promoting their art and to make other items.”