Arts Alive event set for Oct. 6 in Solana Beach


By Claire Harlin

If you have strolled along the Solana Beach Coastal Rail Trail, you’ve likely noticed the large, round Sunburst of Color stained glass installation that’s permanently situated there. Created by Amber Irwin, the piece is one of many indicators around town that Solana Beach loves the arts.

On Oct. 6, noon-4 p.m., the city will hold its biggest art festival of the year — Arts Alive — and Irwin, as she has every year, will be presenting a temporary installation as part of a group exhibition that defines the event each year with a new theme. Irwin illustrated this year’s “Urban Gardens” theme with a large, mosaic “Arbol de Vida” — meaning “tree of life” — which she installed Sept. 19 on the fence of the Coastal Rail Trail. Twelve other Southern California artists, many from Solana Beach, join her in the project.

“This event is so unique compared to any other art event I’ve seen,” said Irwin, adding that the performing arts component really makes it stand out.

Eventgoers will get to see six musical acts, two theater performances, a troupe of stilt walkers, and two dance groups at the event, which will start at Lomas Santa Fe and travel north to the San Elijo Lagoon.

The event always features a “creation station” in which kids and adults can take part in a hands-on art project. In light of Solana Beach’s recent plastic bag ban, this year’s project will be reusable grocery bag decorating. The Bag Monster (

) will also make an appearance in his costume made of 500 plastic bags, an environmental statement showing the average amount of bags a person uses each year.

Food trucks will also be present at the event, which attracts hundreds each year.

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