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April 23rd, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
South Pasadena’s Mission West Spring Art Festival This Weekend
Craft shows, fairs and festivals brighten the landscape in tough economic times. Last Spring, community festivals benefited local economies bringing in an estimated $4.1 billion to United States neighborhoods, according to the Craft Organization Directors Association (CODA). Such events not only bring much needed dollars, they also rekindle the foundation that supported societies for decades: local arts and crafts.
The 12th Annual Mission West Spring Art Festival is a one-stop, boutique-type outdoor mall adventure that offers browsing and buying advantages to save money in this tight economy and the best way to help stimulate the arts community.
The featured juried artworks for sale are all hand-made and many are one-of-a-kind collectibles encompassing a mix of medias and styles, from whimsical to contemporary conversation pieces intermixed with traditional art festival favorites — fine art and photography, clothing and accessories, jewelry, sculptures, stained glass, hand-blown glass, porcelain and ceramics, paper and textile art, potpourri, soaps, candles, flowers and bonsai trees, children’s toys, furniture, and more.
Great for a family outing, the festivities also include live musical entertainment, a fun zone for children of all ages and an international food court.
The two-day street festival is set for April 25 and 26 (Saturday and Sunday), from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. along Mission Street, starting at the Gold Line’s Mission Station (905 Meridian Avenue) and running 3 blocks east to Fremont Avenue, in South Pasadena. Admission to the event is FREE and ample convenient parking is available. For more information visit the South Pasadena Mission West Association’s website: www.Mission-West.com or call the del Mano Productions’ Hotline, (626) 797-6803.
A few of this year’s juried artisans include:
Photography – Bart Everett (Bart Everett Fine Art Photography), Los Angeles
Hand-Blown Glass– David Tate (Hand-blown by Davis Tate), Romoland
Sterling Silver Spoon Jewelry – Jennifer Northrup (Sterling Silver Spoon Jewelry, Inc.), Signal Hill
Painting (Acrylic Canvas on Wood) – Siun McGahan, Glendale
Lathe Turned Wood – Art Majerus, (Sawdust Man), Hemet
Soaps – Carol Lightwood (Pasadena Soaps), Pasadena
Jewelry – Gina Davis (Bejeweled by Gina), Pasadena
Sandy Taylor, owner of South Pasadena’s Tah Gallery and coordinator for the Mission West Spring Art Festival explains, “South Pasadena is the perfect community to present this kind of event. It’s friendly, conveniently located, and offers an eclectic group of artists and performers to compliment this small town’s charm and welcoming atmosphere.”
“We have officially canceled the recession in South Pasadena for the weekend,” smiles Tah. “Enough doom and gloom. People love art shows! Art is both passionate and positive, and we all need to see it and embrace it – it’s uplifting and refreshing. Sure, people are being more cautious with their money, but art lovers buy art and one-of-a-kind collectibles no matter what.”
Mission West Spring Art Festival producer Ray Leier agrees. “People often look at fine art and crafts pieces as a treat or release, and in tough times they may feel an even stronger need to buy something meaningful, something lasting that adds a sense of value and worth to their life experience. And the artists are hurting too. Community support is essential to the continuation of local arts and craft events. I encourage everyone to support the artist entrepreneurs, the talented musicians, and the local retailers in the area. I have taken the pledge to support hand-made, hopefully you will too!”
“Every year I work very hard to make all of our events successful for each participant and the surrounding retail and residential community. For the enjoyment of our visitors we bring the best-of-the-best, rejecting hundreds of applications because the work doesn’t meet our high standards. We continue to look for artists that create the most unique and interesting handmade items, and selecting the artists for the biannual event is one of the best parts of my job!”
The annual Festival is supported by the South Pasadena Mission West Association, a non-profit organization of member businesses in the district with the sole purpose of promoting, preserving, revitalizing, and enhancing the historic and culturally significant uniqueness of the business district. The Association strives to promote its member’s business activities, arts and tourism within the district.
Ray Leier, CEO of Altadena-based del Mano Productions, has produced art shows and festivals throughout Southern California. A long-time supporter of local non-profit and community-based organizations, the company has donated over $150,000 to programs that provide arts enrichment, education, mentoring, and scholarships.
Leier is also co-owner of Brentwood’s award-winning del Mano Gallery. According to the New York Times and Fodor’s, the gallery is “considered one of the best sources for wood turnings, this store also carries fiber arts, ceramics, jewelry, and hand-blown glass by top contemporary American and international artisans.” The Gallery has earned a world-class distinction of exhibiting museum quality work by representing artists from 14 nations around the world, and regularly exhibits artist’s work around the country, including the world-famous SOFA New York: The International Expositions of Sculptural Objects and Functional Art. Co-author of several books on wood, baskets and glass, Leier was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in the field of wood art by the Collectors of Wood Art organization.