A walk down the streets of Little Italy is usually a vibrant San Diego experience but, this weekend, a beloved arts festival will fill the community with even more colors and creativity.
The 35th annual Mission Federal ArtWalk returns to Little Italy this Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, between Ash and Grape streets.
The free festival will showcase more than 350 artists from around the globe, displaying and selling their works along the streets. Organizers say the artworks will span every medium – from paintings and sculptures to glass work, photography, fine jewelry and more.
The festival will also feature live music, dance performances, interactive art experiences (one of these will take place at Artist & Craftsman Supply), street food vendors, family-friendly art projects and a zone just for the kiddos dubbed “KidsWalk.”
New this year will be the “Surfboard Art Auction,” which celebrates San Diego’s beach vibes and deep-rooted surf culture via art – fittingly, on surfboards. The event has partnered with the nonprofit, Rerip, which specializes in repurposing surfboards.
Artists will use 35 surfboards as their canvases, adding paint, mosaic and woodwork to create unique pieces. The surfboard art will be auctioned off at the Piazza della Famiglia, with proceeds benefitting ArtReach, a nonprofit that provides free art classes to over 20,000 students who wouldn’t normally have access to art programs in San Diego County.
If you want to bid on one of those surfboards, visit this website before the festival.
The festival will also see the return of eight featured artists that represent a strong dedication to the arts. This year, those artists are: Bart Aldrich; Tania Bolin; Chris Dellorco; Yves Goyatton; Michael Rumsey; Kara Unland; Jennifer Hannaford (represented by Adelman Fine Art); Ruth Fromstein.
Organizers expect about 120,000 visitors to pass through the two-day ArtWalk. Parking will be at a premium, so if you’re heading to the event, consider taking public transit or using a ride-sharing service. The San Diego MTS trolley schedule is available here; all three trolley lines can get you pretty close to Little Italy.
For more details on the Mission Federal ArtWalk, click here.