Balboa Park art show astounds locals

by Nicole Sazegar, Staff Writer

For four days from Nov. 5-8, the Balboa Activity Center transformed into the contemporary art show, Art San Diego. Held once a year in Balboa Park, the gallery of astounding art encapsulated the artistic essence of San Diego and inspired an already culture-rich community.

Exhibitors from studios, galleries and publishers were there to represent an artist’s work. For some works, the artists were present.

While most artists were from Southern California, artists from the U.K. and Russia were also featured.

Beach-inspired paintings by Jocelyn Cruz, an artist from Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, were included in the show.

Cruz began her life as a full-time artist after the age of 47. While some may assume life tends to stay static beyond the age of 40, Cruz’s dynamic personality proved life is ever-changing and success comes to those who go after it.

“Regardless of what anyone else says, you say ‘I’m going to do it my way, I’m going to be who I am, I am going to persevere and defeat all odds,’” Cruz said. “Because if you love what you do, it matters.”

Exhibitors genuinely engaged in conversation with every attendee who stood transfixed in front of paintings, creating a sense of community among artists and art fanatics alike. Conversations of the meaning and process behind artworks floated through the air.


Booths separated each artist, and walking around the gallery-style venue was like walking through a maze of artistic culture. Every corner introduced a new surprise of artistic creativity. One booth featured a portrait of Vincent van Gogh made completely out of shell cases by artist David S. Palmer, while around the corner hung a giant hyperrealist painting by up-and-coming artist Darian Rodriguez Mederos.

The featured artwork ranged from fine art casting and design to Conde Contemporary, which featured Cuban artists. The diversity among each artist filled attendees walking through the gallery with revelation and amazement.

“It’s a really good variety of styles and different media,” San Diego State graphic design freshman Morgan Lynch said. “Most of the time you go into an art gallery and everything is the same. There’s a common theme. Everyone here has their own idea, which is what art is about and what it is to be an artist.”

The artistic and welcoming vibe of the entire event captivated even the average attendee who wasn’t a devout art follower.  Business management freshman Amanda Ballinger said although she isn’t a huge art fan, she found the event interesting.

Art San Diego is more than just an art show. It’s an experience. This simplicity of the event gave every San Diegan a chance to fully immerse himself or herself in the art world without being overwhelmed.