Mission Federal ArtWalk Returns to Little Italy to Celebrate 33 Years!

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As the San Diego weather warms up, outdoor festivals are the place to be this spring! If you’re looking to get outside, check out Mission Federal ArtWalk in San Diego’s Little Italy on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 for its 33rd year as San Diego’s premier arts and cultural event and the largest fine art festival in Southern California. The arts festival will span 17 blocks of Little Italy and the streets will be filled with artwork, live entertainment, food, drinks and more.

The event is free all weekend long and attracts thousands of visitors each year to San Diego’s Little Italy. Locals and visitors alike can stroll the seaside neighborhood and view and purchase work from over 350 local, national and international artists showcasing every medium, including painting, sculpture, glass work, photography, fine jewelry and more. Mission Federal ArtWalk also includes live music and dance performances, interactive art activities, street food and family-friendly craft projects at KidsWalk.

“Mission Federal ArtWalk is for everyone—serious collectors, first-time art buyers, families and visitors to San Diego,” said Sandi Cottrell, Director of Mission Federal ArtWalk. “Each year, one of our goals is to ensure attendees feel like they can be a part of the art. That’s why bringing interactive art activities and family-friendly art projects to the event are so important to us. We encourage attendees to express themselves throughout the weekend and find their inner artist, which exists in all of us.”

Every year Mission Federal ArtWalk works to bring something new to the table with outstanding interactive art that anyone can participate in. New to this year’s event will be the live mural work of famous local muralists Mario Torero and Maxx Moses. Attendees will be able to participate in mural-making alongside these well-known mural masters and bring the 2017 Mission Federal ArtWalk theme “Vivid Expression” to life.

“Each year we work closely with our sponsors, vendors, featured artists, entertainment, community and local non-profit organizations to bring an extraordinary art experience to San Diego,” said Cottrell.

The sponsors of Mission Federal ArtWalk also get in the creative mood and bring fresh entertainment to the festival. Some sponsors include Cirque du Soleil’s family-friendly show, Mystere, that will have an interactive mural located near KidsWalk on Beech Street for families and attendees to participate in. Cox Communications will provide a virtual reality experience where attendees can paint in 3D using the interactive technology tilt brush that allows attendees to create their own world using virtual reality goggles. Among the many interactive art experiences, one can also participate in a printmaking project with our official art materials partner, Artist & Craftsman Supply.

After enjoying the interactive elements of Mission Federal ArtWalk, attendees can try and spot one of the eight featured artists at the festival! Each year eight artists are selected as Mission Federal ArtWalk’s featured artists out of 350 other local, regional and international artists at the festival. These artists represent the unique and inspiring passion that Mission Federal ArtWalk supports. The 2017 Mission Federal ArtWalk featured artists include Moni Blom, Franco Forte, Mildred Gil Parada, Matthew Grabelsky, Jason Humphrey, Iris Scott, Ivano Stocco and Michael Summers.

Mission Federal ArtWalk also teams up with non-profit partner, ArtReach, which creates arts programs for local San Diego K – 6 schools that have no resources for visual art education. ArtReach works with Knockaround Sunglasses, a popular Southern California sunglass company for their Class Acts campaign that supports art education by donating money, resources and supplies to local elementary schools with limited budgets. Knockaround will release this year’s winning design by a fifth grade student. These shades with a colorful peacock feather design will be revealed and available for purchase at Mission Federal ArtWalk and all proceeds will be donated to participating elementary schools and ArtReach.

The yearly art festival is brought to San Diego by the same team that brings ArtWalk @ Liberty Station to the Arts District in Liberty Station every August. Mission Federal ArtWalk attracts over 100,000 art collectors and visitors from all over the country to purchase art from established and emerging artists during the two-day festival.

“Visitors are inspired at Mission Federal ArtWalk because there are over 350 artists showcasing a variety of art displayed in one central, beautiful location. Browsing for art at this event is rewarding because you have an opportunity to meet the artists that created the work and learn about their story. The festival environment surrounds you with live music and dance, rich culture and interactive art activities—all in the heart of one of San Diego’s most vibrant neighborhoods, Little Italy,” said Cottrell.

There is going to be a lot of street closures for Mission Federal ArtWalk, so event organizers encourage attendees to use the trolley or use the limited time offer Lyft code: ARTWALKSD to get 30 percent off their Lyft ride to the event.

Mission Federal ArtWalk will be located between Ash and Grape Streets in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30. Attendance is free. For more information about Mission Federal ArtWalk, visit Watch last year’s wrap up video to get excited for the event!



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