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A Brush with Art

Banners announce the arts are alive in Encinitas


The 2013 Arts Alive Banner event is well under way with its long-awaited Live Auction scheduled for May 26 in the Cardiff Town Center Courtyard.More than 100 diversely gifted artists have contributed 101 original works of banner art currently on display along Coast Highway 101 throughout downtown Encinitas, Leucadia, and Cardiff, as well as in the Cardiff Town Center on Vulcan Avenue.

Now in its 14th year, the event is produced by 101 Artists’ Colony, Cardiff 101 MainStreet and Leucadia 101 MainStreet associations, and made possible by sponsors including The Coast News Group, Hansen’s Surf Shop, Cardiff Seaside Market, and Belmont Village Senior Living.

The Arts Alive outdoor exhibit, initiated in 2000 by the 101 Artists’ Colony, is an example of giving back to the community at its best. Half of the proceeds of sales go to the banner artists, who often generously pledge their share to a charity of choice. The other half of the proceeds go to the organizing nonprofits in order to fund ongoing work in the community.

The Arts Alive Banner project is the Artists’ Colony’s only fundraiser, which supports community projects such as the Full Moon Poets’ poetry slam at La Paloma Theater, Halloween children’s games and music for Encinitas Safe Trick or Treat at the Lumberyard, and concerts featuring local musicians at the Encinitas Library.

Created in 1998 to foster awareness of all forms of art and encourage the interaction between artists and the community at large, the all-volunteer 101 Artists’ Colony was deemed “an indispensable part of civic culture in the city of Encinitas,” by Peder Norby, Highway 101 coordinator.

The Artists’ Colony has been homeless since 2007 and is actively seeking a permanent location that can serve as a venue for visual and performing arts events and artist studios.

The public has little notion of what occurs behind the scenes of the Arts Alive banner events each year. Danny Salzhandler, president of the 101 Artists’ Colony and director of the banner project since its inception in 2000, is involved in countless details of the project, from inviting artists to participate each September to the final live auction in May.

Shortly after all completed banners are collected from participating artists, volunteers assist Stephen Whalen as he photographs the banners in his Carlsbad studio. Volunteers Julie Ann Stricklin, Nancy Nelson and Norma Salzhandler produce the official auction guide and bookmarks just in time for the festive unveiling event in February.

Danny Salzhandler and a small volunteer crew work through the night with a lift truck to install the banners along the highway from Cardiff through Leucadia, where they remain on exhibit through mid-May as Leucadia 101 MainStreet records bids received by phone. After the banners are removed from the light posts, they are cleaned and later installed for the much anticipated Live Auction.

Professional auctioneer Rich Houk, who volunteers his services for the free public event each year, conducts the live auction with bids starting at $150. Although bidding wars occasionally occur, this is an opportunity to own an original piece of art for a fraction of its actual value.

Make plans to join in the fun while supporting the arts in Encinitas. This feel-good community event is not to be missed.

Be sure to mark your calendar for the 2013 Arts Alive Banner Auction on May 26 in the Cardiff Town Center, beginning at 2:00pm, with an opening reception at 1:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

The online auction guide can be seen at, while bids can be placed prior to the event by calling Leucadia 101 at (760) 436-2320.

Kay Colvin is director of the L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, serves as an arts commissioner for the City of Encinitas, and specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists.

Contact her at


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1 comment

Julie Ann Stricklin April 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

Thanks Kay!!!! You are awesome and amazing! xxoo

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