Activities for the Art Lover

Published Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 by Linda Woods

It’s often said that "art is all around us." That’s definitely the case in Escondido!  We hope that you’ll visit each of the websites listed to learn more about the many activities and opportunities that await you.

California Center for the Arts, Escondido

An Escondido landmark, the CCAE offers many unique opportunities for artful souls of all ages. Plus, the beautiful CCAE campus combined with city hall and Grape Day Park make for a great and scenic walk in a setting that some have compared to a "miniature Balboa Park." Please visit to learn all about the Center and its many performances, events, and educational opportunities. If you’ve not visited them in person, we encourage you to do so!

Art Walk

Grand Avenue galleries come alive the second Saturday of every month with the very enjoyable 'Art Walk.' This provides a unique opportunity for folks to feast their eyes on some unique artwork, while socializing with other art enthusiasts.

The Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery

The Escondido Arts Partnership is a non-profit agency dedicated to promoting the arts, and arts education, in Escondido. Not only do they proudly exhibit the works of many local artists in their Municipal Gallery, they also offer lectures, demonstrations and hands-on workshops throughout the year. Please visit their web site at to learn more.

Distinction Art Gallery

Located at 317 E. Grand, the Distinction Art Gallery is home to both some cutting edge artwork exhibitions as well as numerous working artists' studios. Please visit their web site at to learn more about them and their recent conversion to becoming a non-profit known as ArtHatch.

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden

Kit Carson Park is home to the only American Sculpture Garden by internationally acclaimed artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Many interesting facts about this magical place can be found on the City’s web site at

Community Theater Opportunities

In addition to professional performances at the Center, both the Patio Playhouse and Arts Off Broadway provide wonderful opportunities for many talented ‘locals’ to participate in Community and Youth Theater productions. Please visit them at and to learn more about them and their upcoming performances.

Music Lovers, 'Take Note'...

The Escondido Public Library frequently offers 2nd Saturday Concerts in the Turrentine Room. Please check out their web site at for a schedule of these wonderful free performances.

In addition to their great coffee and food, Escondido Joe’s in downtown Escondido serves up some great music on Friday nights. Please check out their website at

We hope we’ve 'framed' the beginning of some neat discussion relative to arts opportunities in Escondido. We now encourage those of you who have 'art in your heart' to share some of your favorites!

Join the discussion! 2 comments so far...

  1. Don't forget 2nd Saturday art receptions at the Municipal Gallery on Grand Avenue - next one November 12th. Also how about finding art pieces throughout Escondido whether Joan Irving's work on East Valley Parkway, the art pillars on South Escondido Blvd, or the bronze lady on the bench on Grand Avenue - we could make it a game.

    Comment by Jan Bourgeois on November 2, 2011 at 1:19 PM

  2. Escondido seems to want to identify itself as an arts, or artists community. I love that concept and support it. I just wish Escondido would do more to promote the concept.

    Obviously, there are many artists in the area and a lot of art activities. Unfortunately, other than a few (very few) store front galleries downtown, there's very little apparent to the passer by rto support this persona.

    I wish and suggest that Escondido take advantage of our local artists and turn this community, not into an artist community, but into a community of art. Make Escondido itself, a work of art.

    I suggest allowing artists to volunteer to design and paint every power pole, every street side electrical box, fire hydrant, sidewalk, and whatever else is in the public throughway, so that they themselves become a work of art.

    Driving around downtown, I counted something like 5 tall, wide, plain sides of buildings or concrete walls that should become murals. We could realistically become a community of murals which in and of themselves could make us a tourist destination. I know of one wall in South Carolina that borders a parking lot, which has been painted into a highway and tunnel. It looks like you can drive right through it and is so real that they've had to put up signs and guard rails alerting people to the fact that it is not real. It's amazing and there's no reason not to do something just as dramatic over and over again here. Why should this community of artist have any bare walls?

    Likewise, every bus bench, lamp post, door front, rooftop, could be and should be a work of art. We have the talent to do it, and I'm sure among the talent and the beneficiaries we could find the means to get this done. Likewise, something accordingly should be done to demonstrate Escondido's relevance as an art community on each entry way to Escondido, Center City Parkway, the end of the 78, north end of the 15 and El Norte Parkway....why shouldn't we have a sculpture or art works letting people know they've entered Escondido and in turn have entered a very special place.

    I can't think of any reason not to do this. We need to be progressive and forward thinking. Along this line, we need to build the ball park, and attract the Chargers and develop attractions with an appeal far beyond our borders. Let's get up and do it and make people forget whatever negative impressions they may have had or heard about Escondido.

    Pardon me for slipping that in, but I wanted to say it somewhere...we need to think beyond our small town viewpoints. Enough!

    I recognize that turning artists or wannabe artists loose with buckets of paint to go paint Grand Ave. could result in something between Candyland and a psychedelic circus. I'm not suggesting that.

    But we do have the Center for Performing Arts with competent staff, we have various arts partnerships with capable people or even the library has competent staff sufficient to know what looks good or is tasteful, who could serve as the reviewers of designs and projects submitted for installation in our community.

    Notice I'm not suggesting City Council or local government be involved, even though at times they may have to give permission to paint a street lamp post or something. They have enough to do without taking on more, and this is an idea that shouldn't suffer the challenges of a political arena. Let City Council give the project its blessing in a motion, which hopefully could be considered overall permission to allow the screening committee, or whoever to accept and approve projects at will without having to go back and forth for approval of individual projects.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could drive Escondido and rather than having to get out of our car to go see art, if art instead came to us in the form of piece by piece along the blocks! Do we want the reputation as a haven for the arts? Through this idea, we can prove it!!!

    Comment by Manny Arts on November 4, 2011 at 2:27 AM

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