Affaire in the Gardens Attracts Artists and Art Lovers

The biannual show features emerging artists and draws crowds from across the county.

Artists from across the nation gathered in this weekend to show their work and mingle with locals during the Affaire in the Gardens art show.

The event takes place twice a year, in the spring and fall, and spans four blocks along Santa Monica Boulevard where exhibitors can showcase their work in painting, sculpture, watercolor, photography, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, drawings and printmaking.

“We’re here to introduce 250 really interesting artists and craftspeople to the public,” said Karen McLean, curator and coordinator of the show.

A team of professionals, including curators, arts academics and critics, handpick the roster of emerging and established artists that exhibit at the show. Artists who are selected get the opportunity not only to show off their work to the public, but to network with other artists and meet gallery owners, McLean said.

“Some artists are snapped up by the galleries and we never see them again,” she said. “But that’s one of our goals—to give these emerging artists the opportunity to shine and be recognized.”

San Diego artist Amos Robinson, who creates sculptures out of stainless steel, is exhibiting at the show for the first time. He was excited about the location he had received, even though it had no shade and was out in the direct sunlight.

“Most people wouldn’t want to be out under the hot sun, but I love the sun. I need it for my artwork to reflect the light,” Robinson said. “I think stainless steel is such a cold metal when it comes out of the mill and I try to bring it to life through motion, through reflections, through color and by bringing it into the light.”

The free show was expected to draw a crowd of 30,000-40,000 people over the weekend. In addition to art, there were wine and beer gardens, food trucks and live music. The was also on hand, selling merchandise such as T-shirts and hats to raise funds for the organization.

“It’s the biggest event that the city does and it’s a chance for the community to really get together and socialize,” McLean said. “We have something for everyone. We have a family art area and our food trucks are a huge hit.”

Sherry Dodge of Santa Monica has visited the show in the past and wanted to come back and bring relatives who were visiting from Michigan.

“It’s a great show and I thought this would be a great opportunity for them to see some local artists,” Dodge said. “It’s just such a nice venue, and the weather is beautiful so it’s a great way to enjoy the day.”

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