Judy Montague is one of the biggest champions of the arts in Encinitas. A longtime local—she’s lived in Cardiff since 1996, and in the greater Encinitas area since 1981—Montague enhances the city’s cultural profile as director of the Encinitas Theatre Consortium. The nonprofit was founded in 2008 to “encourage artists and groom audiences,” she says, adding that it adapts to the needs of the city. The organization currently sponsors play readings the first Monday of every month at the Encinitas Library; coming in April is the inaugural Festival of the Arts. When she’s not working on her theater-related projects—she has also had her own plays produced, including a presentation of “The Galt Regency” this year—she enjoys deep-sea fishing.
SOURCE OF ARTISTIC INSPIRATION: Books, family, the complexities and joys of life, friends, other artists. Inspiration is everywhere. The tough part about being an artist has always been the seat of the pants to the chair part.
FAVORITE MEAL AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT: Lasagna at Giovanni’s.
FAVORITE ENCINITAS ACTIVITY: Swimming in Swami’s bay.
LAST CULTURAL EVENT SHE ATTENDED: “Sleeping Beauty” at the La Jolla Playhouse. Also, five plays at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where my play was featured in the New American Play Festival.
LAST PURCHASE MADE IN ENCINITAS: Jewelry at the Encinitas Coin Shop.
FAVORITE “SECRET SPOT” IN TOWN: It wouldn’t be secret if I told you.
HER IDEAL ENCINITAS DAY: Sometime in the spring or fall when the sun comes through all day so I can work in my garden, write, take a walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, then eat at one of our city’s fine restaurants. If it wasn’t too late I’d head over to the La Paloma theater to catch a film or event.
FAVORITE CIVIC ORGANIZATION: Encinitas Arts Administration.
LAST PLACE SHE WENT DEEP-SEA FISHING: Homer, Alaska.
MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING THE CITY: A lot of the “green business” going on here is populist rot. I appreciate the sentiment, but too often it’s based on shallow science and impractical application. Let’s find something that works.
FAVORITE LOCAL BUSINESS: Seaside Market.
BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN ENCINITAS: In Cardiff, it’s the proximity to the ocean. The lagoon, Swami’s and the campground have preserved the coast for all its citizens.
THE ONE THING SHE WOULD CHANGE ABOUT THE CITY: There’s more than one thing, but I’m not going to mention it.
DESCRIBE THE PLANS FOR THE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS: I’m a firm believer in precedent. So I would study some other festivals up and down the coast to determine what works and what doesn’t. The Festival of the Arts is using the Encinitas Theatre Consortium’s nonprofit status to launch its first program. Ultimately, the festival belongs to all of Encinitas’ cultural, educational, business, and philanthropic organizations. We will all be working together to promote the best of our city’s artists and art groups—that means theater, music, dance, visual art. I’m up for whatever comes forward.
The next playwright forum is Sept. 12, featuring David Wiener’s “The Master Forger.” It begins at 6 p.m. at the library, 540 Cornish Drive. Admission is free. etcinfo.net.
Encinitas has a rich visual arts community, which is on view in exhibits showcasing two of our local artists. Oil painter Wendy Gauntlett-Shaw, who is well known for her local landscapes and popular “Dog Beach” series, has a show of new work opening Aug. 31 at the Encinitas Library. “Relevant Women: Painting Women’s Spirit of Hope…A Global Project” consists of portraits of women throughout the world accompanied by Gauntlett-Shaw’s journal descriptions about how each of her subjects moved and inspired her. A reception takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 3, and the exhibit runs through Oct. 16. For more information, call the library at 760-753-7376 or visit Gauntlett-Shaw’s website, artnsol.com.
Also opening on Aug. 31 is “The View from Here,” featuring woodblock monoprints from Fritz Rothman. The Cardiff resident is inspired by the coastal terrain and this series focuses on works that incorporate nature’s colors and textures. The exhibit runs through Oct. 18, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 21, in the Civic Center Gallery in Encinitas City Hall, 505 S. Vulcan Ave. 760-633-2746, cityofencinitas.org.