Artists show & tell at 10th annual Art Around Adams
By Cynthia Robertson | SDUN Reporter
No question about it, Adams Avenue has got the groove going on. The 10th annual Art Around Adams held June 1 was a two-mile-long happening from Normal Heights to Kensington.
Unlike at other San Diego street fairs, Art Around Adams organizers did not have to rope off the street. Shopkeepers flung their doors open, coffee shops had singers crooning to small gatherings, and people painted murals on walls. Even the Kensington Library had in on a piece of the action, with Aerial Revolution Circus entertaining on the lawn.
At Back to Tombuctou, shop owner Claudio DeLucca said Art Around Adams has been very good at bringing people out and about. “With events like these, Adams Avenue is getting to be a destination point,” DeLucca said.
The soft voice of a young girl singing emanated from nearby Broke Girls’ Coffee Bar. Co-owner Malakiah Hammers bustled about filling orders for iced coffees. “The turnout has been great,” she said.
On the patio outside, Roxy King played the guitar and sang Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me.” When King finished the song, the folks on the patio put down their iced coffees to applaud. Passersby on the sidewalk who had stopped to listen, joined.
Across the street, a crowd gathered to watch mural artists spray paint on the side of Mega Dollar. Ten-year-old Alex Quinones bent down to paint a small area, with his dog Mickey at his side.
“[It’s the] first time I tried this. It’s pretty neat,” he said.
Chris Dyer, a skateboard artist from Canada, smiled at Quinones. “He’d been watching me work, and I wanted to give him a chance to try it,” Dyer said, who has a show of his skateboard art at ArtLab Studios. VISUAL/Visual Art Supply, who arranged a majority of the artists for the event, sponsored the wall at Mega Dollar for Dyer and other neighborhood artists for the mural art.
“I have to tip my hat to the local skateboard community of San Diego,” Dyer said. “It’s been so friendly to me.”
The grassroots art scene of Adams Avenue is a boon to local artists, too, such as Steve Hilferty, who had his work for sale on the sidewalk. “I took classes at the Academy of Art from Andrea Rushing,” Hilferty said. “Now I get to be here today because, in a sense, this is like an art show.”
The artists on Adams Avenue depict the heart of the neighborhoods surrounding it. In a parking lot, where fencing and wrestling demos were taking place, Christine Eco sat on the ground under a small three-sided enclosure. “Tell Me a Story,” read a sign tacked up on one side.
Cathrow Zishka sat cross-legged watching Eco work. “She’s drawing the story of my special friend and how we met,” Zishka said.
Eco drew in some balloons, a pair of ballet slippers and a bottle of champagne. Zishka said the drawing was a perfect birthday gift for her friend. “It’s unique. She’s doing a great job,” she said about Eco.
The Tell Me A Story booth was something that Eco had dreamed up after being offered a space from a friend. “This is an experiment to see how well I could do. I’m amazed at the response,” Eco said.
Brenna Gebauer, who lives on Adams Avenue, summed up the experience: “Where else can you find a neighborhood with a culture like this? Where else can you find fencing, wrestling, art galleries and someone to draw and tell your story all within a 30-second radius?”
Editor’s note: this version varies slightly from the printed story. VISUAL/Visual Art Supply was integral in arranging several artists at Arts Around Adams and sponsored the mural at Mega Dollar.