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Oceanside holds first Four Seasons Art Walk this weekend

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside is launching a rigorous campaign to showcase city art. Part of that plan is the Four Seasons Art Walk set for March 3 and March 4.

The Four Seasons Art Walk will be held quarterly, in addition to the city’s ongoing First Friday Art Walks. Both feature local artists, musicians and dancers, and give galleries and host businesses exposure.

The additional Four Seasons walk extends an extra day, and is coordinated with museum and library art gallery exhibit openings. Fridays of the two-day event will continue to be adult-oriented walks with wine tastes at select venues. Saturdays will add extra family-friendly activities.

This weekend nine venues will showcase more than 25 artists.

Civic Center Library will feature paintings of Bonnie Tucker on Friday, and photographs of Pulitzer Prize winner Don Bartletti on Saturday.

“We’re really excited about the two artists we’re featuring,” Monica Chapa Domercq, Oceanside Public Library principal librarian, said.

Oceanside artists began First Friday Art Walks two years ago. The monthly walks provide visitors with a map that directs them to artwork and live demonstrations inside and outside downtown galleries and businesses.

In December 2016, the Oceanside Museum of Art stepped down as the event’s fiscal agent. Organizers took a few months to regroup, and consider how to move forward in a more robust manner.

The result is a more strategic approach to the monthly event.

Friends of Oceanside Arts is the event’s new fiscal agent. The nonprofit group brings business promotion skills to walk efforts.

“I’m a business person interested in arts and culture, and want to share with the community the talent we have, and support those involved,” Susan Brown, Friends of Oceanside Arts president, said.

First Friday Art Walk founders will continue to be part of the think tank to organize monthly walks, set themes and recruit artists.

Friends of Oceanside Arts will lead economic steps forward, which includes a $20 fee for artists to display their work, in order to cover event and promotions costs.

Additionally, partnerships to support the walks have been extended beyond downtown entities, to include greater involvement by Visit Oceanside Conference and Visitors Bureau, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, and the local Rotary club.

There are also plans to hold the art walks in other parts of the city.

This weekend, art walk locations extend outside of the downtown area.

Future quarterly walks will be centralized at city landmark locations, including the harbor and Mission San Luis Rey.

“We want to encompass all of Oceanside,” Brown said.

On the horizon is training for event organizers by Crossroads Kansas City, which is a national leader in using art walks to create economic prosperity.

A strong social media campaign is also in the works.

The end goals are to increase art walk attendance, boost city commerce, and promote Oceanside as a city known for its arts. Monthly surveys will be used to fine tune walks and meet those goals.