3rd annual ‘Artists of North Park’ exhibit on display at Expressive Arts
By Jessica Dearborn | SDUN Reporter
Tish Sjoberg is the owner of Expressive Arts @32nd and Thorn, located at 3201 Thorn St. She has been a leader and art conveyer within the Uptown community for over three years, opening her doors to any artist – professional or not – who wants to delve deeper into themselves via a myriad of mediums.
She recently honored North Park artists and musicians by creating a community-driven event with a common fellowship among attendees. For the September T-32, 3rd Saturday Stroll, Expressive Arts hosted the third annual “Artists of North Park” exhibit, showcasing artists who “live or work in the 92104 zip code,” organizers said. The artist talk and reception was held Saturday, Sept. 21 from 4 – 8 p.m.
One reason Sjoberg started the “Artists of North Park” show was to meet the artists in the neighborhood, she said, as well as to encourage people to support local artists within their own neighborhood.
Moreover, she wanted the artists to meet one another in hopes of creating a supportive, collaborative environment. The core of her vision has been to build community, to educate and to promote the artists of North Park.
“[This show is] open to people who make art. Showing their work is the next step to feeling like an artist,” Sjoberg said.
Beverly Fitzgerald, a new Uptown resident, attended her first exhibit at Expressive Arts that Saturday night. She said she and her mother joined the evening’s event after they had been peeking through the windows while strolling through the area.
Though not a trained artist, Fitzgerald said she is an “artist at heart” and feels welcome to express herself at the studio. “I’m totally sold on the place and I’m planning on continuing to come to the events here,” she said.
Joining Fitzgerald were a talented array of artists. One in particular was singer, songwriter and guitarist Marc Delgado, a North Park resident who has been a musician since he was 17 years old. He was a newcomer to the studio as well.
“[It is] a really nice room to play in [and is] an intimate experience. I like to be able to see the people’s faces,” he said.
Delgado said his style is greatly influenced by Neil Young and will be releasing a solo album under the artist name of Wounded Knee next year, titled “High in a Neon Dive.” He also plays every Saturday with the band Snow Dog at Riley’s Music Lounge in Point Loma.
Among the other artists that evening was Silfredo La O Vigo, a professional dancer and instructor at Palomar College and North Park’s A Time To Dance studios. His oil-based painting “Inspiration” was conceived by combining his passion of dance and art. He crafts a story while the blank canvass lies on the floor beneath him, dancing as he paints.
Dan Landrum wowed attendees with his laser-cut “Cardboard Lamp” collection, and newcomer Alisa Hernandez displayed an oil-based painting titled “Apartments on Alcatraz Island.” Hernandez said she began painting in second grade, after being inspired by her teacher.
Retired San Diego employee Paula Thomas said she delved back into her art after nearly 40 years, in part to discover herself. She stumbled on Expressive Arts a year ago, and was inspired to begin her art again.
“I put myself together after being blown away by life,” she said. Her piece “Florida Canyon Figurine” is a nature sculpture made from items she found while hiking one day.
Owner of a new Ray Street gallery, Signs of San Diego, Brandon Hubbard showcased his watercolor painting of North Park at Expressive Arts. He described his work as “unique local art,” focusing on “iconic symbols that make up San Diego via photograph and sketch,” including, of course, the North Park neon sign.
Sjoberg was a generous host. She welcomed the artists and audience with lavish and heartfelt gratitude, and took her time to make everyone feel comfortable. She has a natural ability to open people up.
“Let people inspire, and make [art] your own,” she said.
“Artists of North Park” will be on display through Oct. 11 during Expressive Arts open studios or by appointment. For more information, including open studio times and the complete list of North Park artists on display, visit expressiveartssandiego.com or call 619-251-8474. The next T-32, 3rd Saturday Stroll is scheduled for Oct. 19.