Visitors at a Mission Federal ArtWalk
Visitors at a prior Mission Federal ArtWalk. Courtesy ArtWalk San Diego

Mission Federal ArtWalk, the arts and culture event that draws over 100,000 people annually to Little Italy, returns next Saturday and Sunday for its 35th year.

Art lovers will be able to stroll the streets of the downtown neighborhood and meet more than 350 local, national and international artists while enjoying live music, dance performances and street food.

It’s the largest and longest running arts festival in Southern California, showcasing virtually every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, glass work, photography, fine jewelry and more.

The art is available for purchase art directly from the artists. Sandi Cottrell, director of ArtWalk San Diego, explained that the festival “encourages everyone to explore different facets of artistic expression and enjoy a friendly environment whether you are a consummate collector or just beginning to purchase original art.”

New this year are an auction of 35 surfboards transformed into original art, an interactive art project that everyone can join and ArtMoves, one-of-a-kind performances on India Street near Grape Street. Rebekah Brown, San Diego Dance Theater’s performing arts coordinator, and Ian Isles, a San Diego based choreographer and dancer, will produce the spectacular acts.

“Mission Federal ArtWalk creates an environment that’s truly inspiring,” said Debra Schwartz, president and CEO of Mission Federal Credit Union. “At Mission Fed, we believe that arts and culture are critical to the health and vibrancy of San Diego, and this free cultural festival is the perfect event to enjoy the talents of more than 350 visual and performing artists all assembled in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood in a unique open-air setting.”

ArtWalk takes place between Ash and Grape Streets from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. Attendance is free.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.