Artists’ Alley continues to shape OB community’s love of art
by Bart Mendoza
Jun 21, 2013 | 1674 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Artists’ Alley is one of the more popular components of the street fair where visitors can immerse themselves in artwork spanning the spectrum, from jewelry to paintings.                                                                                                                                 Photo by Maria Epsten I The Beacon
Artists’ Alley is one of the more popular components of the street fair where visitors can immerse themselves in artwork spanning the spectrum, from jewelry to paintings. Photo by Maria Epsten I The Beacon
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One of the more popular sections of the Ocean Beach Street Fair is Artists’ Alley, where artisans display and sell their creations. Over the last two years, this once small part of the street fair has become a mini-festival within a festival, expanding to take in two blocks of Cable Street at Newport Avenue.

A particularly colorful and vibrant area, it’s the perfect place to get unique handmade gifts. Visitors will find everything from jewelry to paintings, clothing to musical instruments — all of them handcrafted. Guests will encounter something for every taste at the booths along Cable Street.

Faron Shear has been organizing Artists’ Alley for 10 years.

“I actually helped out the people who ran it before me, so I kind of inherited it,” Shear said.

With 75 vendors taking part this year, there is plenty to check out at the street fair.

“There are so many [media] out there, you want to get variety of artisans so that it’s not all just one thing,” she said.

In the decade she has run Artists’ Alley, she said she’s seen many trends come and go, but she’s particularly happy to see more young people becoming involved.

“The group of artists that are in their 20s and 30s are really coming up with some interesting stuff,” she said, noting more men have begun to take part now.

For this year’s event, she has grouped many of the newer artists in the parking lot at Newport Avenue and Cable Street.

As a prime opportunity to get one’s wares in front of a large group of potential customers, spots in Artists’ Alley are coveted and go quickly once online registration opens.

“We have up to a 50 percent return rate,” Shear said. “We have a lot of San Diego people and quite a few from Ocean Beach, but they come from all over California. Some of these artists have been coming to this longer than I’ve been here.”

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