Now in its fourth year, annual art celebration expected to bring over 8,000 attendees
By Margie M. Palmer | SDUN Reporter
One of San Diego’s favorite art fairs has found a new home. From Sept. 6 – 9, Art San Diego will transform one of the most pronounced cultural hubs of the city into a living, breathing “New Art City.” The event, now four years into existence, boasted more than 8,000 attendees in 2011.
Art San Diego organizer Ann Berchtold said she believes there is still plenty of room for it to grow.
“In addition to changing the venue from the Hilton Bayfront to Balboa Park, I think one of the most significant changes we’ve made this year is the date change,” Berchtold said. “In previous years, Art San Diego took place over Labor Day Weekend, when many people are traveling or away on family vacations.” Berchtold said she hopes holding the event a week later will help bring out more people.
Those familiar with Art San Diego may have a sense of excitement at the changes, and those who have not yet experienced the show are invited to come out and get a close-up view of what the local art scene has to offer.
“This year we have hyper-local artists as well as international exhibitors,” Berchtold said. “People will be able to see first hand the strength of the San Diego art scene. We have great artists and museums and educational institutions. People will get to see [local] galleries exhibiting right next to some of the leading ones out of [Los Angeles] and realize the art scene here is just as good, if not better.”
Event exhibitors, she said, will come from a wide range of backgrounds. They include independent artists as well as those represented by highly established galleries.
“We have amazing talent here, and my goal is to raise the self esteem of the San Diego art scene as a whole,” Berchtold said.
Art San Diego 2012, she said, will not disappoint.
“Balboa Park allows us to give the event a fresh palate,” Berchtold said. “We’ve broken the show up into districts and each will have its own community center, its own feel and its own color code. Two are dedicated to contemporary art, one to mid-century modern art and another will be for solo, spotlight artists.”
Councilmember Todd Gloria, whose district includes Balboa Park, said he could not be more excited about the expansion of an event that features so much talent.
“If you ask 10 people, ‘What is art?’, you’ll likely get 10 different answers,” Gloria said. “With its contemporary and mid-century focus, Art San Diego is a great addition to our local arts and culture scene. [It] will expose more people to a variety of artists, methods and disciplines, which will hopefully lead them to explore our local arts community further.”
Gloria said he is also pleased to see the event migrate from downtown into one of the best-known areas within District Three.
“Art San Diego should be a great fit for Balboa Park,” he said. “The Park is already known as the cultural hub of our City, and the event looks like it will bring a kind of art and a kind of festival that we don’t always have there.”
More than 500 artists as well as over 60 leading galleries will be showcased throughout the three-day event. Attendees can expect to see mediums spanning from contemporary furniture design to video-based works, and everything in between.
“The fair size is intimate and our programming offers a great diversity of art viewing, talks, films, culinary events, and music and dance performances,” Berchtold said.
Additionally, this year features a special exhibition on Chinese artists, with an exhibition called “Vision: China.” The Cultural Media Group of China is presenting the exhibit, which represents one of several international aspects to the fair. Exhibitors from Argentina and Mexico will also be present.
“We are honored to have the pleasure to attend Art San Diego,” said Liu Chengxuan, Cultural Media Group representative, in a press release. “We will showcase traditional Chinese painting and arts, made by Chinese great masters. Our wish is for Chinese and American artists to have in-depth and extensive communication and cooperation.”
Art San Diego will be held at the Balboa Park Activity Center, located at 2145 Park Blvd. The event begins Thursday, Sep. 6 with a VIP reception. The fair will run from noon to 7 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 8, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 9. A three-day pass is $15 online and $20 at the door. For more information or to purchase advance tickets visit artsandiego-fair.com.