Arts Alive banners hand-painted by local artists

The environment-themed, hand-painted banners that lined Highway 101 and Lomas Santa Fe Drive for the first half of the year will be up for sale at the 8th annual Arts Alive Banner Auction.

The family-friendly event is hosted by the city’s Public Arts Advisory Commission (PAAC) and will feature a live auction, entertainment, raffle and Solana Beach cuisine. All proceeds from the evening support public art in Solana Beach.

This year’s Arts Alive theme “Our Earth - Our Chance” inspired artists of all ages, from students and residents to professional artists, to paint 60 banners that raise awareness about climate change and caring for the planet.

“The PAAC wanted to have a theme that would be not only interesting for artists, but maybe produce some work that would send a message,” said Anita Edman, the city’s community services coordinator, who oversees the banner program.

Some banners depict specific subjects like water conservation and recycling, while others take a more global view and convey a need for collective action.

Solana Beach resident Julia Hermann painted trees with an Earth in the background to express “the importance of nature and keeping the world clean around us so it will keep on living on that way,” she said.

Hermann is a budding artist who seems to have a knack for global images. The 13-year-old recently won Pier 1 Imports’ greeting card contest. Her card, which features Santa atop a globe wrapped up in Christmas lights, will be on sale at Pier 1 stores this holiday season to support the nonprofit Unicef.

Jennifer Luce is an art teacher at two Carmel Valley elementary schools. She designed two banners and sixth grade students at Ocean Air and Sycamore Ridge volunteered several lunch breaks to help paint them.

One banner features a moon, sun and an Earth with a perplexed expression, unsure of the future. The other features a tribal mask with the Earth as one of the eyes, which tied into the student’s study of global cultures.

“We talked about how ancient people took care of their resources and the environment and lived closer to the earth,” Luce said. “The students had a lot of fun painting it.”

Some banners convey a foreboding sense of destruction, many of which came from younger artists, Edman said.

“They’re really concerned about what’s happening to the planet,” Edman said. “As adults, I think we need to pay more attention to how they feel about it.”

Banners can be purchased in advance of the auction for $300 by calling (858) 523-0058.

For more information about the banner auction, call (858) 720-2400.

Banner Auction

  • 6 to 9 p.m. July 15
  • 202 N. Cedros Ave.