Foundation offers free admission to annual Art in the Park

Courtesy photo The four hour La Mesa Art in The Park: Celebrating Community Through Artistic Expression at the La Mesa Community Garden is currently accepting applications for vendors, artists and performers.

The La Mesa Park & Recreation Foundation is holding its annual La Mesa Art in The Park: Celebrating Community Through Artistic Expression at the La Mesa Community Garden at MacArthur Park on May 18, from 2-6 p.m. For the first time, this event will be free to the public.

Foundation Executive Director Misty Thompson said this is a family-friendly community event and free to all.

“Right now, we have applications,” she said. “We are looking for art vendors. It is $100 a booth and they can bring their art and sell. They do have to have a business license. We are going to provide canopy, tables, and chairs. We are trying to promote La Mesa artists and give them a low-cost place to promote their art.”

Thompson said there will also be an art show with different pieces of donated art.

“We display those throughout the garden, so it is a nice backdrop, and everybody can walk through the community garden and view these artists’ artwork. We are going to have entertainment. A jazz band and different guitarists, a couple of food trucks, activities for the kids.”

There will be a sketch artist on site doing sketches that will be auctioned off later in the evening, she said. And there will be opportunity drawings.

“This year, one of the things we are doing is a little different. It is a four-hour event so there are three opportunities for performing artists to perform,” she said. “We have entertainment, so while they take a break, we have a stage. Right now, we have artists, and they can fill out an application and we will pay them a small stipend to perform on the stage for 30 minutes. It is an opportunity for La Mesa performing artists to showcase their art also.”

Thompson said they are also always looking for sponsors.

“It is a free event, but we are offering an early-bird special. If they buy tickets online, it is a 30% discount. They will get a food voucher, a bracelet for their drink, and tickets for the drawing at $35. There are no tickets to enter, it is still a free event. Tickets are for the opportunity drawings for the art-work displayed in the garden.”

Thompson said the Foundation is trying to open more events to the public for free. She said although this event does cost to participate in the opportunity drawings, they want the public to come and enjoy the event as well. Attendees can still purchase opportunity drawings at the event.

“The Foundation did the Art in the Park as a paid event the past couple of years,” she said. “It was a fundraiser only. This year, allowing people in for free will be new and fun and bring more exposure to the event.”

For more information, applications, and early-bird tickets, visit www.cityoflamesa. us/1729/Art-in-the-Park