By: Vanessa Boon
If you were to look around it is easy to see the growth that has occurred in Oceanside within the last year. There are new bustling restaurants, breweries, events and more spread throughout the city and especially in the downtown region. In addition the culture of the city is growing and spreading and one core value at the center of this is: Art.
Art has been a prevalent aspect of Oceanside for years, especially with the opening of the Oceanside Museum of Art in 1997 and on through its renovation in 2008. Artist’s Alley, the block-long pedestrian promenade that is located between Pier View Way and Mission Ave behind the building that faces Coast Highway, has also been great in helping to cultivate and foster the idea of art importance in Oceanside. For the past six months a new art event has been steadily growing and that is the Oceanside First Friday Art Walk.
Oceanside Art Walk takes place on every First Friday of the month in downtown Oceanside. Each month is themed and features at least 15 artists at multiple venues throughout downtown. Approaching Mission Avenue on one of these Fridays will provide you with a complete sensory overload of amazing smells, sounds and sights. There is live music in front of venues; special deals at restaurants and of course plenty of art.
Each month a map is handed out that lists the location of the venues participating in Art Month. Artists Alley is always full of fresh art and fun music and often times an artist is often composing something right there on the promenade. The Oceanside Museum of Art is free for the evening, has live art from Artist Alliance and often includes an activity led by Studio O. The real fun begins when places not usually known for housing “art” feature artists as well. This includes Plethora Galleria, a clothing store on Mission Avenue, who always has great refreshments. Mission Avenue Bar and Grill have art on their walls and have even featured live painting. Sole Lab, a premium street wear store, juxtapositions interesting fine art with shoes and tunes. Oceanside staples such as the Public Library and Main Street Oceanside trade in their usual activities for an art show on these evenings and the Oceanside historical society manages to combine art with history and tie it all back to this wonderful town that is at the center of this event.
Art Walk is free for anybody and runs from 6:00-9:00 pm on the first Friday of every month. More information can be found at http://www.oceansideartwalk.org. This includes artist info, location info and each month’s set theme as well as ways to further get involved in the art walk. The next art walk is March 6th and themed “Zen of a Woman.” See you there!