LEUCADIA — Jim McConlogue is among scores of juried artists, and local galleries, who will be displaying their fine art at the eighth annual Leucadia Art Walk from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 26.
Leucadia Roadside Park will be the hub of activity, which stretches about a mile south along Highway 101 from the U.S. Post Office at Phoebe Street to Leucadia Glass at El Portal.
McConlogue will set up his canvas in front of Mallory’s Leucadia Art Gallery/Corner Frame Shop at Highway 101 and Diana Street.
A painter of the early California plein art movement of the 1800s and 1900s, McConlogue has also assumed the role of historian, documenting Leucadia’s famous canopy of eucalyptus trees that have greeted travelers for decades along Highway 101.
“I was always fascinated by these trees,” he said. “Encinitas has some of the oldest. Most of them have been taken away.”
McConlogue explained that he got an idea to document the trees after noticing they were slowly being removed because of difficulty maintaining them as traffic increased.
“Even though there is a good reason to take them down, it’s the job of a painter to document,” he said. “When you know something’s leaving, you want to know it will be preserved for generations to come.”
As an artist, McConlogue says he is drawn to the “twists and turns of their trunk and the modulated colors of blue, which is both a challenge and a total joy to paint.”
He added, “I’m not a tree hugger kind of guy, but I feel sad when beauty is taken away. I plan to render them in early morning light or the ‘golden hour’ near dusk.”
Original paintings will be on sale along with limited-edition Giclée reproductions.
The trees are also featured in a vintage Leucadia travel poster, one of a collection that is currently on display at the Encinitas Library until Aug. 27.
Morgan Mallory is founding board member of Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association and represents McConlogue’s work in his Leucadia Art Gallery next to the Corner Frame Shop.
“Jim’s ability to capture the essence of light, texture and mood of his art subject is a talent that he shares with his collectors as well as viewers,” he said.
“He has a rare gift and his depiction of the eucalyptus tree, particularly, is a gift he shares with any viewer, now or in the future when these trees will be replaced and enjoyed in our memories and on Jim’s canvases.”
Mallory explained that LeucadiART was founded in 1987 by him and a group of galleries that comprised the Leucadia Art Association.
“Our goal was to create a destination for art appreciators to come and enjoy a variety of art and create an environment for art to further flourish,” he said.
“The artwalk took some time off and was revived through Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association eight years ago.”
Mallory said the park and “nooks and crannies” will be packed with artists and musicians.
“There is always a children’s art area for young creations,” he added. “Our local restaurants will offer their own artistic culinary talents. This is not your average street fair. It is an all-fine art show and we have fought many years to keep it so.”
A double-decker “Magic Bus” will shuttle back and forth along the route to parking at Encinitas City Hall.
In addition, a free, collectable retro “road” map of the Leucadia corridor will be available showing locations of events and participating businesses.
For more information, call the Leucadia 101 MainStreet Association at (760) 436-2320.
For more information about artist Jim McConlogue, visit jimmcconlogue.com.