A community bound together by art

San Diego’s dynamic arts community is inclusive and welcoming. Regardless of our differences, an all-encompassing appreciation of the creative process binds us together. There’s a gravitational pull between creative individuals that often results in strong bonds of friendship.One such friendship was born when North County artists Lisa Roche and Julie Ann Stricklin regularly tended the Off Track Gallery, then located in the Pannikin in Leucadia.As members of the San Dieguito Art Guild during those years, Roche and Stricklin forged a friendship that has spanned a decade.

North County artists Lisa Roche (left) and Julie Ann Stricklin. Courtesy photo

Award-winning painter Lisa Roche, a native of Portland, Maine, migrated to San Diego in 1995. After building a successful career in business and program management, a brush with mortality resulted in a more personally fulfilling balance of her creative and analytical strengths. Roche muses, “At the end of the day, you have to make conscious choices … based on your deepest passions.” Painting is her passion, so she gives it top priority.

Roche has had a creative “right-brained” advantage in thinking outside the box in achieving business success. She speculates, “My left-brained nature may also be the reason I’m drawn to realism and tend to strive for exactness in my paintings.”

The theme of resilience in the face of personal challenge runs throughout Roche’s work, as seen in her ninth Arts Alive banner “Nobody’s Fool,” on display at the open-air courtyard of the Lumberyard.

Roche’s work is on exhibit at the new Smart Space Art Gallery on Murphy Canyon Road in San Diego, with an opening reception scheduled for April 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

"Nobody's Fool" by artist Lisa Roche. Courtesy photo

Texas native Julie Ann Stricklin is extremely versatile as a commercial illustrator, graphic designer, and a fine artist who’s lived in the San Diego area since 1997. With a widely eclectic range, she has illustrated books and contributed to a collaborative series of refurbished designer surfboards. Stricklin’s work can be seen at Grounded in the Lumberyard.

She describes herself as a “networker gone wild” whose contribution of time and energy to the community seems limitless. She performs many Arts Alive tasks, such as producing bookmarks featuring individual banner images.

Stricklin’s 2012 banner was designed to raise public awareness of the ongoing Pacific View dilemma. Regarding the future of the historical property deeded to Encinitas in 1883, Stricklin states, “Pacific View is a gift to all, not just for those who can afford to buy a piece of it.”

"Pacific View Belongs to All, Not a Few" by artist Julie Ann Stricklin. Courtesy photo

Stricklin urges protection of this gift as “a place to be free to share, inspire, work, teach and create.” She stresses that “Pacific View Belongs to All Not a Few” and hopes her banner will inspire involvement in preserving the property according to the intent of its original historic deed. Her banner can be found in front of Acanthus Antiques, 1010 South Coast Highway 101.

Be sure to see the online Arts Alive banner catalog at artsaliveencinitas.com and plan to attend the live auction May 20 at 2 p.m. in the Cardiff Town Center Courtyard.


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