Art teacher and musician create a sanctuary


By the time Carmel Del Mar art teacher Paula Intravaia received her preliminary pink slip last spring, she and her musician husband Marc “Twang” Intravaia already had their “crazy and creative” idea in the works to open up their own art studio. The pink slip just put a rush on things.

The Del Mar Union School District community ended up raising enough funds to save the Extended Studies Curriculum and Intravaia’s job but the couple already had their minds made up. They wanted to create the Sanctuary Art and Music Studio, a place for children and adults to be inspired in their art of choice.

In July, they moved into their new home on 15th Street in Del Mar, which came equipped with a cozy backyard studio with beautiful views - not short on inspiration.

“We love this place; we love the community,” said Paula. “The parents of Del Mar and Carmel Valley just embrace the arts and we feel very grateful to do what we love to do. We’re so lucky.”

“The way the community rallied around the ESC teachers last year was really inspiring and touched our hearts,” Marc said.

Paula said she has always been an artist. She started teaching in Del Mar at the district’s Children’s Creative Workshop in printmaking, cartooning and clownology - the clowning a reflection of her years as a professional clown under the name of Polly Pigtails.

She has been at Carmel Del Mar since 1997 and this year she also teaches art at Sage Canyon on Fridays.

In teaching, Paula said, she enjoys helping a child make a connection through art. She likes the “sense of wonderment” children have when they are able to create or master an artistic skill.

Marc has been a professional musician since he was 13 and has performed with the Eve Selis Band for 18 years. He has spent many years teaching private guitar lessons in Carmel Valley.

“As I got older I have transitioned from the joy of performing to the joy of teaching,” said Marc. “I ever thought I would feel that way.”

An accomplished songwriter, he’s also penned some songs for Carmel Del Mar Christmas programs - “It Never Snows in San Diego” is a favorite.

Marc teaches acoustic and electric guitar, catering to students’ interests - whether the want to learn to sight-read sheet music or learn the latest Green Day song.

On the music side, Sanctuary is offering an eight-week workshop exploring the world of Neil Young starting Oct. 14, meeting every Wednesday night from 6:30-8 p.m. Future workshops will feature The Beatles, blues guitar and slide techniques.

On Friday’s, Sanctuary hosts an acoustic jam session at 7 p.m. on the Intravaia’s lawn, with the backdrop of the sun setting over the ocean.

Plans are in the works to have a “rock n’ roll recital” for his students.

On the art side, Intravaia offers a tranquil studio for work on drawing basics, painting, cartooning, mixed media and printmaking. They have hosted art-themed birthday parties and on Monday mornings, there is an art class for 3- to 6-year olds.

On Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., Sanctuary will host an evening art event. Adults can bring a project they want to finish or “order one” off the Art Bar.

Paula also plans to host local artists to teach disciplines like ceramics and photo weaving.

For more information, visit sanctuaryartandmusic