The Coast News Group
A Brush with Art

Encinitas is a community filled with many intangibles

Those of us who call Encinitas home know we are a privileged group for many reasons. It’s not simply the glorious weather, the accessibility of idyllic beaches, the friendly smiles, or the daily hush in anticipation of the elusive Green Flash.There’s a rare sense of well being in this community that involves many intangibles. It’s not surprising to learn that, according to a recent study conducted by the San Diego Foundation, Encinitas is home to the second highest concentration of practicing artists in San Diego County. Perhaps that’s why the annual Arts Alive banner program attracts the participation of so many diversely gifted artists.

Sheryl Tempchin’s “Shayla at the Beach.” Courtesy images

One such artist is Sheryl Tempchin, whose banner “Shayla at the Beach,” is displayed on the light post in front of the Whole Foods courtyard between E and G Streets. While this portrait of her family’s playful dog is painted realistically, Tempchin’s recent work on exhibit through March 22 at the L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is highly abstract.

These vibrant acrylic paintings, created from her studio at the Foundry in Carlsbad New Village Arts, have garnered the recent attention of designers and architects. Her work has also been seen at the San Diego Art Institute: Museum of the Living Artist, First Street Gallery, the Civic Center Gallery in Encinitas, and on four album covers produced by her husband Jack, famed songwriter for The Eagles. Not limited to the visual arts, Sheryl has also created, edited and published the literary magazine “Zahir,” for almost a decade.

Growing up between Minnesota and Los Angeles, Tempchin settled in Encinitas in 1976. Almost three decades later she met her neighbor Donna Butnik, who has since become a close friend and artistic associate.

Donna Butnik grew up in an artistic family with a sculptor father who encouraged his children in their creative pursuits. She had her first art show in 1974 before attending school at CalArts. After moving to Encinitas in 1996 Donna quickly involved herself in the local creative scene by joining the 101 Artist Colony, through which she’s been a contributing artist to Arts Alive since the program’s inception.

Donna’s current banner titled “Two Cats” can be found near the Beachside Bar and Grill at the corner of 101 and G

Donna Butnik’s “Two Cats.” Courtesy photo

Street. Donna’s artistic style is expressive and textural, using a wide variety of media including house paints, acrylics, china marker, oil pastels, and charcoal.

Donna’s paintings are currently on display at both Off Track Gallery and the new Wabisabi Green Gallery in Encinitas. A reception for Donna’s collection “Fantastic Dreamscapes” is scheduled on March 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the First Street Gallery on Pacific Coast Highway.

The Arts Alive banner program is produced by 101 Artists’ Colony and the 101 Main Street Associations of Downtown Encinitas, Cardiff, and Leucadia. Silent bids for the banners are being accepted at (760) 943-1950. The final live auction is scheduled for May 20 at 2 p.m. in the Cardiff Town Center courtyard.

Visit for a full catalog of banners.

Kay Colvin is an art consultant and director of the L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. She specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists and bringing enrichment programs to elementary schools through The Kid’s College. Contact her at [email protected].