By Kristina Houck
Artwork will once again line the Coastal Rail Trail, and musicians, dancers and theatre performers will transform Highway 101 into a stage during Arts Alive Sept. 22 in Solana Beach. Winner of “Best Event in San Diego County” for 2010, this is the first time the annual event will span both sides of the highway to celebrate the arts and the grand reopening of the revitalized route.
“The two events were coming together around the same time, so it was a natural choice to have a big event on the east and west side of the 101,” said Solana Beach resident Allie Dixon, a member of the city’s Public Arts Advisory Commission, which organized the event along with the city of Solana Beach and the Chamber of Commerce. “It brings everybody out for one event. We hope people will come out and enjoy the trail, the 101, local businesses, arts and entertainment, and have a great time.”
“Artopia,” artwork displayed along the Coastal Rail Trail fence, is set to be the highlight of the event.
Former San Diego artist Pat Cranor is among the featured artists. Although this is Cranor’s first time participating in Arts Alive, his 12-foot-high sculpture “A Tree for All Seasons” was temporarily installed in 2011 at the corner of Highland Drive and Sun Valley Road.
“I’m always trying to do new things,” said Cranor of Pomona, who will display an abstract, 12-panel painting of the ocean at Arts Alive. “This is one thing that will hopefully help the community. It brings art to the town, and as an artist, I’m always appreciative when cities do that and support the art community.”
In addition to “Artopia,” Arts Alive will feature live music, entertainment and an arts and crafts station headed by the Solana Beach Arts Association. The event will kick off with a short ceremony at Lomas Santa Fe and Plaza Avenue to celebrate the reopening of the 101, followed by other activities including a classic car show, a raffle and an open house of the businesses along the highway.
“With both sides of the trail being open, and the 101 being part of it, it will be nice,” Dixon said. “This is exciting! We’ve never done this before.”
“Discover Arts Alive and the Grand Reopening of the 101” takes place from 11:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 22.
“It’s going to be a really fun event,” Dixon said. “It’s an event the whole community can enjoy. There will be something for everyone.”
For more information about the event, visit www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us.