This April 25th and 26th, on the final full weekend of the month, San Diego's "Little Italy" district will be scene to the 2015 Mission Federal ArtWalk. You can tour events and exhibits from 11am to 6pm. ArtWalk 2015 will be the 31st time these annual festivities have taken place. The celebration will once again display to the world the rich diversity of San Diego's art and culture.
Who Funds ArtWalk?
The festival is made possible, in large part, due to the generosity of Mission Federal Credit Union (MFCU). Both MFCU, the Little Italy Association of San Diego, and other sponsors continue to give sufficient support to make ArtWalk an event that is totally free to the public.
Where Do ArtWalk Profits Go?
The activities of ArtWalk may be supported by the gifts of its many donors, but ArtWalk itself serves to generate funds for ArtReach San Diego. ArtReach is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free art programs for San Diego elementary schools with little or no art education resources. High-quality, visual art workshops are brought to the classrooms, and children are introduced to the world of art.
What Will I See at ArtWalk 2015?
Over 300 artists will crowd the streets of Little Italy to display and sell their finely crafted artwork. Musicians, dancers, and others in the performing arts will be present in abundance. This is the largest of San Diego's urban arts festivals, and the streets are typically crowded with 100,000 visitors who peruse hundreds of screened, high-quality art booths and purchase around a million dollars worth of artwork.
Little Italy itself is a neighborhood packed with art galleries, making it well worth the trip for art lovers even if there were no ArtWalk activities going on. Food vendors, unique restaurants and cafes, and quaint, little shops all add to the experience.
KidsWalk, an art education program designed specifically for children, is always a part of ArtWalk San Diego. Participants get hands-on experience at creating art works of their own. The whole family can join in the fun, excitement, and creativity. Local art education groups make KidsWalk possible because of their strong belief that exposure to art is fundamental to the human experience.
What Will Be Different About ArtWalk 31?
The individual artists and their works or performances always vary, but there are location changes as well for 2015. Due to ongoing construction on Date Street in the downtown area, KidsWalk will be set up at the corner of India Street and Beech Street. India Street will also be packed with far more art displays than were located there in previous celebrations. You can also still check out Ash, Grape, Cedar, and other east-west streets in the vicinity to view the maximum number of artist tents.
Construction on Date Street will not be finished until 2017, but once it is, an attractively laid out Piazza de la Familia will sit in the center of Little Italy. As for 2016, the activities will take place on April 23rd and 24th, but the construction will still affect the set-up locations.
What If I'm an Artist and Want to Take Part?
Both returning and new artists can apply but must be approved. This ensures that the highest quality of art will be present for public viewing. While returning artists have space priority, new applications are accepted until all tent-spaces have been rented out. As space can fill up fast, it is recommended to waste no time in applying.
Your artwork and application will be reviewed by a qualified committee based on very specific criteria. An photograph of you art pieces is required as part of the approval process. While judges strive to be fair-minded, they must also always keep the fine-art experience of the public foremost in their minds.
What Kind of Performers Will Be Present?
While schedules can change and there is too much to list here, we can give you a taste of the types of singers and performers who will attend. Alaina Blair, a country/pop singer who has won iTunes awards and been heard on local radio, will be there. Americana and folk/rock artist Barrie Demsey will perform. Brad Perry will be there to mix folk and soul, and there will also be jazz, blues, ensembles, piano, and more. Many of the artists are local to San Diego.
Why Is Art Appreciation Important?
There will be 15 blocks of art and entertainment offered at the 2015 Mission Federal ArtWalk, and over 100,000 people will attend to enjoy it. The question arises as to what makes art appreciation so important as to merit so much fanfare and celebration. Perhaps, living in such a technologically advanced age, we see work quickly the value of efficiency and economic output. The things that matter most in life, however, like family, friendship, love, beauty, and individuality, are often the things most often expressed in artwork. Cultural values are foundational to our whole society. Without them, we don't know who we are or why we are here. Viewing, creating, and appreciating quality art, whether visual or performing in nature, can help us better understand and communicate the most important aspects of being a human being.