The Festival of the Arts has become a local favorite since it kicked off in 2009, and this year’s event added to that reputation.
This year the event featured 56 artists in the Fine Art Show and Sale (up from 43 last year and 34 in 2009) with 27 artists participating in the Quick-Draw (up from 25 in 2010) and 99 entries into the special “The Colors of Water” exhibition, a record high, as well.
The event has grown steadily since its inception in 2009, with the greatest growth being made in the Fine Art Show and Sale.
“It has been our goal since the beginning to bring this festival to the level of other high-profile art festivals in the state, such as Sausalito or Laguna," said Anne Laddon, Festival fine art show director and founder of Studios on the Park.
"We juried this show in order to keep the level of art as high as possible. We are very pleased with the quality of art that was offered this year and hope to attract even more high-quality artists next year.”
“The Colors of Water exhibition is the most exciting Festival exhibition yet," stated Sasha Irving, Festival coordinator and program director for Studios on the Park. "Everyone who sees it is amazed at the beauty of the work. It was really challenging to narrow down the nearly 100 entries to the final 56 that we are now being displayed. Each year the quality of the exhibition increases, and we are very proud to showcase it here at Studios on the Park.”
The exhibition will be on display and available for sale at Studios on the Park at 1130 Pine Street through June 26th.
Another major success of this year’s Festival was the expanded River Vision booth in the Environmental Partners section of the park. Attendees were apprised of all of the progress made toward making the vision set out in the Salinas River Corridor Project a reality and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Stated Meg Williamson, assistant city manager and the project lead for the Salinas River Corridor Project, “The River Vision and Progress booth gave the community an opportunity to see all of the progress that has been made on each aspect of the river since the Salinas River Corridor Project began. Hearing about each project separately is pretty impressive, and when you put everything in one place – the Charolais Trail project, 21st street remediation project, Wastewater Treatment Plant, REC Foundation Trail, etc., it is really exciting to see all that has been done and what is in process. It brings the message home that the River Vision is real and exciting, the progress has been steady and nearly every project has been accomplished with (over $5 million in) grant funds.”
The River Vision and Progress exhibit is on display in the Library/City Hall downstairs lobby the month of June.
“The entertainment this year was a huge hit with attendees,” states Barbara Partridge, event chair. “The energy all over the park was just incredible, and people were grinning from ear to ear again this year. The flash mob was fun, the people painted from head to toe were terrific, the little rose petal play area in the youth art zone was precious. All of it made for a magical day. We hope to see enough support for this event to eventually grow it to two days so that visitors make Paso Robles a Memorial Day weekend destination.”
A new addition and a highlight of the event was the standing room only crowd who attended the Friday evening lecture given by Jean Stern, the director of the Irvine Museum and the preeminent expert on California landscape art.
“We were overwhelmed by the positive response we got to our guest lecture by Jean Stern," said Laddon. "We could have doubled the number of attendees if we’d had the space. He was such a delightful and knowledgeable speaker, we would love to have him back next year if his schedule permits.”
The organizing committee for the Festival this year commissioned a promotional video about the Festival of the Arts to help promote Paso Robles as an art destination and announce the event. The full-length video was used in social media announcements to attract out of area visitors and a 30-second spot ran on KCOY locally to attract local attendees to the event.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of art go to fund next year’s event, the Salinas River Corridor Project and to support community art programming at Studios on the Park.
“We are still waiting for the final numbers, but it’s safe to say that art sales topped $50,000, which is nearly 25% more than last year," said Liz Hastings, treasurer for the event.
By the numbers:
2011 Festival of the Arts
· Attendees: Approximately 5,000
· Participating Artists: 83 total
· Volunteers: 150
· Total Art Sales*: Approximately $50,000
· Youth Art Projects Completed: Approximately 1,000
· Bikes Parked by the Bike Valet: 74
· New Elements Added: Friday Night Guest Lecture, Interactive Art Workshops, More Artists, More Entertainment Areas, Paint Jam, Rose Petal Pool Play Area, Flash Mob, Apron Sales.
*A portion of proceeds from art and merchandise sales goes to fund the Festival of the Arts, the Salinas River Corridor Project and Studios on the Park community art programming.
About the Festival of the Arts
The Paso Robles Festival of the Arts took place on May 28, 2011 from 10 AM to 6 PM in the Paso Robles City Park and celebrated both the arts and the environment. The event featured a plein air quick-draw and auction, a fine art show & sale, interactive art seminars for adults, hands-on youth art classrooms, a community “paint jam,” environmental displays & native plant talks, live music and performances, stilt walkers, and more. The theme for the 2011 festival is “The Colors of Water” which is being celebrated in an exhibition at Studios on the Park through June 26, 2011. An image gallery from the 2011 event is available at www.pasoartfestival.com