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Calendar >  3th Alley Art Festival Brings Love to Vista

3th Alley Art Festival Brings Love to Vista

By   /  September 6, 2016  /  1 Comment


Pat Murphy

Pat Murphy….What a fun event for people of all ages! I saw babies and ninety year olds having a good time at this year’s Alley Art Festival. The Artist market opened at 10 am and the big parade started at 11:00 from the building that was once the Kings and Queen  Salon at Citrus and Broadway. At the same time the Parade started the group HELLNOTE was starting their performance on the Honeymoon Stage. The two other stages, Alley Cat stage and ROOG Stage had their performances starting at 11:00 am and 11:30 am respectively.

With a white drone buzzing overhead, the parade wove it’s way down Broadway from Citrus and past the Recycled Art Show, the interactive Art, and the XXL Art to the Yellow Deli restaurant where it hopped onto the sidewalk and colorfully made its way over the cross walk at S. Indiana and past Edward Jones Investments towards Hanes Place where it made a right turn. It was a celebration on the move as it continued past Allen’s Alley Café and made another right turn into the alley now designated “Alley Art Man Way”. Along the way it passed by the Live Art area, the Caterpillar Art, the Alley cat stage, the Origami Graffiti and the “Before I Die” wall that people were inscribing with their sometimes very touching feelings.

The parade then turned left on S. Indiana and at Main Street made another right turn before spilling into the parking lot behind the vine covered gazebo. Across the parking lot on the Honeymoon Stage the group, Zochi was playing. As the parade participants filed into the parking lot, the belly dancers filled the middle of the lot and started to do what belly dancers do. The music was loud and the belly dancers were tireless. One of their party had traversed the parade lot in a wheel chair. She introduced herself as Jean the Belly Dancer Momma.

Girls on roller skates wearing tank tops with the letters HCDG replaced the belly dancers. They told me the HCDG stands for Hidden City Derby Girls. They are from the Martin Luther King Skate Park in Oceanside. They are North County’s first and only all women’s flat track roller derby team. Their on-line roster lists just less than 50 of these very robust women that come from all walks of life. While the Honeymoon Stage music continued, they performed a very realistic mock derby as bystanders cheered. However, today the air was full of love and no one was bruised.

Yes, love was definitely in the air and at the Main Street edge of this parking lot that sits across Main Street from Wavelength Brewery, was the newly installed “Love Locks” sculpture. Creator Rick Randall told me that this sculpture was designed to be the only interactive art sculpture of its kind. He said “People like to be part of public art” and was he ever right! People of all ages quickly lined up to put a padlock on the wire mesh in the center of the tall double heart sculpture. Where the two hearts join are two heart shaped containers. Couples were either buying keyed padlocks from Rick or bringing their own. After securing their lock to the mesh, the couples would place the keys in one or both of the heart shaped containers. Putting your padlock keys in the heart shaped containers is a very important part of your participation. It symbolizes that you can never take back the love you feel for each other… (unless you own a bolt cutter).

Then suddenly, it was time for a giant group photo. It made for quite a sight with all the Steampunk costumes as they spontaneously lined up curbside on the sidewalk along Main Street. Photographers with cameras and spectators with cellphones quickly assembled across the street. Even the drone was hovering on the West side of Main Street for this once-in-a-lifetime photo. Shutters clicked, the drone whirred and cars coming down Main Street had to brake as people ran into the street to take their photos. For a brief minute there was chaos until two security guards rushed into the street to separate pedestrians from automobiles.

Across the street in front of Twice on Main Street, Alley Art Woman silently watched the commotion. She had been on the corner since Friday morning when workers hoisted her from Rick Randal’s truck bed and bolted her to the sidewalk. She has now joined the Alley Art man and Alley Cat sculptures in their duties as Vista’s downtown sentinels. Her silver hair was sparkling as people lined up to take their photos and selfies with her. Even Tom Fleming was anxious to have his photo taken with Alley Art Woman.

Pushing a decorated cart that held a waste basket and a sign that read “Only Losers Litter” was Rosemary. New to North County she saw the event posted on social media. She noticed that they were looking for volunteers and here she was. She was furnished a golden cape and the cart. She was a very happy volunteer. Also volunteering and working with children was Miss Teen Pride of Vista, Aleena Record with Princesses Tiffany Kaiser and Auri Bigbey.

At the AVO Theater, the Poetry Slam started at 12:00 noon followed at 3:00 pm by a puppetry show performed by Twisted Heart puppet works. The puppet show was called “The Invention” and it was, of course, a twisted love story. Out in the street and under the gazebo Tempest Freerunners and Tea Dueling were respectfully taking place. Stage performances were on-going as Festival attendees wandered through all the art shows and vendor booths. Groups like School of Rock, Millionaire Beach Bums, Fake Tides, Runs Deep, Angela and Hanna, LOOM, Grand Nova, No Service, The Monsoon and more filled the downtown streets of Vista with continuous music.

Still over on the corner, but never alone, stood Alley Art Woman. For a young woman to stand on a street corner at all times of the day or night is not in best standing for her reputation. The constant attention of young men and City Council hopefuls doesn’t help either. But this situation was going to be remedied before the day was over. In the meantime Alley Art Woman stared wistfully through the “Love Locks” at Alley Art Man. As I said before, “Love was in the Air”.

The Recycled Art was inspiring. I learned I could make a turtle out of an old wheel barrel. The XXL Art featured a giant toothbrush and painting the size of a garage door. It was over in the Interactive Art area that I met the famous Janis Jones, a school teacher who had gotten fame for her beach clean-up efforts and her campaign to spread awareness of the plastic pollution on our beaches. She had a couple of dozed discarded sunglasses that she had glued together with retrieved plastic beach litter. People could put the glasses on and take a selfie or have her take their photo. I talked our photographer Philippe into wearing a pair of these glasses while I took his photo with my cell phone.

What the heck is Freerunning I wondered, so I went to check it out. When I found them I saw another word I wasn’t familiar with… Parkour. I met James Paugh and I learned that Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements. It must also include sweating! It is a training discipline using movement that was developed from military obstacle course training. The aim is to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Tempest Freerunning Academy is California’s first and only training facility located here in Vista and solely dedicated to the growth and spread of freerunning and parkour. Here is where you can learn to move like a ninja.

Nearby the Freerunning booth I saw some wild imaginative art hung in a booth manned by Trevor. One painting was captioned “Don’t be Afraid to Be Yourself”. I admired the words but the picture was a little out there if you know what I mean. Trevor said the words were “Words I live by”. Nice, Trevor, very nice.
One of the biggest attractions today was the Steampunk Fashion Show. It was held in the AVO Theater and was hosted by “Ladi Mari” a Steampunk Vampire. She told the audience “It is not Steampunk to say, it is not Steampunk”. Steampunk is defined by Wikipedia as a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. This leaves the door wide open.

One of our local Vista gals, Robin Satori, was a “Woman of the Waves”, an ancient Mermaid named “The Marianas” after the famous Marianas Trench. She claimed to be one of the sirens that lured sailors to watery graves. Another Gal, Kelly Varner, was “The Mechanic” and there was a “Steampunk Alice” by Cathy Appleton, “A French Foreign Legionnaire”, a “Beast Hunter”, A “Jester”, A “Blue Bird” by Rebecca Rowan, and a Twitchy “Bunny time”. The gal that tends the succulent garden adjacent to Alley Art man, Wendy Courtney- Walkoe, wearing a red top hat, was another one of the fashion models. Her Victorian style dress was made from original Victorian fabrics. A young Juliana Olivera was wearing a Harry Potter Choker with her Victorian gown. Of course, the notorious Dr. Artimus Peepers was part of the show. Beautiful Victorian inspired costumes that were either made or assembled by each model were paraded across the stage by over a dozen Steampunkers.

But, back to the “Love in Vista” part of my story. Heart designs of various sizes and shapes were hanging from a tree next to Lush Coffee. People, (including Joe and Jennifer Green, Kent and Brenda Shuman), were lined up to snap their locks on “Love Locks”. Couples were walking around downtown Vista holding hands. Yes, in broad daylight, too. Now it was time for the wedding ceremony. You see, Alley Art Woman and Alley Art Man were to be united in holy metal.

Officiating at the ceremony was Dr. Peepers who stated, among other things, “Til Rust do they part”. Stand-ins were used for the couple and the very popular “Dude Vader”, blowing bubbles as he went, escorted the Alley Art Woman stand-in to an arch set up near the gazebo. While hundreds of Steampunkers and festival goers stood by, Dr. Peepers pronounced them Husband and Wife and introduced them as he suggested that they go forth and make lots of Alley Art Babies. A cake was cut and Little Cupcakes were then passed out to the cheering wedding party.

Thanks to Chad & Sarah Spinks, Jaydon Sterling, Maureen Barrack, Corinna Goodwin, Scott Prior, Rick Randall, Rachel Beld, The San Diego Steampunk movement and the Vista Art Foundation, the 3th annual Alley Art Man festival was a great success. If you weren’t there you missed a lot of family fun. However, it’s still not too late to grab your sweetheart and put a padlock on the “Love Locks”. BYOP or you may still purchase a padlock by going into Twice, Vista’s “upscale resale”, located at 248 Main Street and tell them that Alley Art Woman sent you. (She’s right out front). Rick Randall said he would leave some locks there. You can also get selfies with the newlyweds only you’ll have to take them separately because this married couple lives apart. They just look longingly and lovingly at one another through “Love Locks”.

I just Love Vista… Don’t you?



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1 Comment

  1. Yes, Pat Murphy, I just love Vista.
    Your amazing story keeps the history of Alley Art Alive!
    Thanks Philippe Carre for the awesome collection of photos. Wow!
    VAF, Kait, Tonya, Sarah, Maureen – this is a wonderful event that shows the reach of social media.
    Fun WAS had by all!

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