You may be out one day, going about your business—getting a haircut, perhaps, or picking up some imported olive oil from a gourmet food store—and suddenly you see it. Rows and rows of small, colorful canvases that invariably draw you in for a moment of art appreciation, and the artists who painted them stand at the ready to talk about their work. It’s as if an art show opening has sprung up out of nowhere.
What you have come across is Gallery on the Go!, the brainstorm of a group of female painters that meets every Tuesday in Leucadia. This traveling art exhibit is held at a different venue each month, and the paintings change at each show, with a theme to match that month’s location. Since the first show in February in North Park, Gallery on the Go! has been held at Sbicca in Del Mar and the Encinitas Garden Festival; this month, “Savor the Flavors” will be installed at the Baker & Olive food emporium in Encinitas on May 28.
“It’s a different environment than your typical gallery,” says artist Carole Mayne. “When people look at our artwork through our eyes, they see it differently. Once you tell them about your intention with the subject, they look at it and do get more enjoyment out of it.”
Mayne hosts the Tuesday gatherings in the cozy studio behind her Leucadia home. The eight women in the group also put out the Daily Painters Project, in which each of them take turns blogging about their work. The challenges of blogging and producing work for the monthly Gallery on the Go! shows (each member ideally contributes four works to each exhibit) help keep the artists focused and fresh.
“This is a solitary profession, and I can get distracted by life,” says Betsy Blodgett. “It’s so nice to have deadlines—it pulls me out of that isolation.”
The artists welcome the companionship they find within their group, as well as the chance to articulate their passion for painting with attendees at the shows. “People like to gather and talk. They are there to see the art, but also for the sense of community,” says member Jill Treadwell.
“It’s fascinating to have someone look at one of your paintings and say you did something that moved them,” says Darlene Katz. “You get a lot of feedback; it’s interesting to figure out why people like what you do.”
Once a venue is selected for a show, the artists settle on a theme and get busy painting on 6-inch canvases. A portion of sales from Gallery on the Go! are earmarked for a different charity each month. Mayne—who credits her daughter, Chelsea, with helping bring the concept to life—would like to see the project keep going and growing, mentioning the Helen Woodward Animal Center and ArtWalk on the Bay as goals for future venues.
“It’s very accessible,” adds Katz. “People can be intimidated by art, but we do this in a way that makes it more fun.”
Upcoming Gallery on the Go! shows: “Savor the Flavors” from 5 to 8 p.m. May 28 at Olive & Baker, 165 S. El Camino Real, #A; “Let Them Eat Cake” from 5 to 9 p.m. June 24 at Detour Salon, 594 S. Coast Highway 101; and “Five Courses of Love” at 6 p.m. July 20 at North Coast Repertory, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Suite D, Solana Beach. For more information, visit dailypaintersproject.com.
Public Works Goes Public
Get a look at how the city runs during an open house of the public works facility from noon to 2 p.m. May 20, as part of National Public Works Week. The free Public Works Day event includes a tree-planting dedication for Arbor Day, a tour of the facility, and demonstrations from members of the Encinitas Public Works Department and San Dieguito Water District on topics such as cleaning defaced street signs, environmental conservation, and how rainwater moves through the city’s drainage system. The facility is located at 160 Calle Magdalena. For more information, call 760-633-2657.
Culture on the Cheap
and are among the seven participants offering half-off admission in the first North County Arts & Culture in June initiative. Print out a free passport at northcountyartsandculture.org, pick one up at any participating institution, or display it on your smart phone—you’ll get half-off entry for up to four people, and it’s valid for one visit to each museum during June. The other participants are California Center for the Arts, Escondido; ; Oceanside Museum of Art; San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum; and events sponsored by the Museum of Making Music.