Banner exhibit on track

ENCINITAS — The Arts Alive banner exhibit will proceed as planned according to organizers after a rocky start.
The event was originally going to be dedicated to the late City Council member Maggie Houlihan who died Sept. 16. Danny Salzhandler, coordinator of the project, said more than 100 banners with a sketch of Houlihan on the backside of the banner were given out to participating artists weeks ago.

Danny Salzhandler, coordinator of the Arts Alive banner project, stands in front of one of the banners with the likeness of the late Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan on one side. Photo by Wehtahnah Tucker

“A situation that started with the best of intentions and now it’s turned into a real bad scene,” Salzhandler said in an earlier interview.

The Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association was initially granted the permit to use the city’s light posts to hang the banners along Coast Highway from La Costa Avenue to Cardiff’s restaurant row.

However, Salzhandler asked that when the organization’s board of directors voted to use banners without the late council member’s image, that it instead rescind the permit to avoid any potential conflicts and allow the 101 Artists Colony to apply with the original design.

The Arts Alive banner exhibit is a joint effort by the 101 Artists Colony, the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association, Cardiff 101 Mainstreet and Leucadia Mainstreet. In its 13th year, Salzhandler said the participating artists are an exceptionally talented group.

Salzhandler said the city denied his application but approved a modified version with the sketch of Houlihan painted over.

The timing of the new permit should allow for the program to continue with its original schedule of a Feb. 4 unveiling ceremony.

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