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People attending an outdoor event in San Diego, CA

5 Exciting Outdoor Art Events in San Diego This Summer 2018

San Diego is a true hotspot for the arts, and is home to a myriad of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and modern art installations. Original artworks are always being showcased in the city, but visitors don’t need to spend hours at a time in stuffy buildings to enjoy them.

People can combine their love of the Southern California sunshine with their love of art by checking out these five exciting outdoor art events in San Diego.

1. Pink Easel Summer Art Session, Balboa Park

Art-lovers can enjoy the work of others and create some art of their own at the annual Pink Easel Summer Art Session in late June. For a small fee, attendees get expert tuition, a pink easel to work on and a full range of paints, brushes and general supplies. This is a great opportunity for people to get involved in the artistic process and meet new friends. There is also a picnic lunch — although everyone is asked to bring their own blanket to sit on.
>Dates & Fees

Dates: Saturday, June 30th
Fee: $5

2. A Ship in the Woods, Escondido

Located in the beautiful Felicita County Park in North County San Diego, A Ship in the Woods is a celebration of art and Californian culture. This outdoor festival features a big line-up of musical performers from genres such as hip-hop, indie-rock, folk and electro-pop. There is also a unique and immersive collection of art installations to enjoy — focusing on ecology, social issues and experimentation.

The festival takes place on June 16 and June 17, and VIP members gain access to a private DJ area, various exclusive amenities and complimentary food and drink.

Dates & Fees

Dates: Saturday, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th
Fee: $40 – $60

3. ArtWalk, Liberty Station

ArtWalk at Liberty Station has been connecting local artists in San Diego with local people for 13 years. A range of visual arts, music and interactive art descend on Ingram Plaza every August — and this year’s event promises to be one of the most popular yet. Attendees can stroll around the beautiful rose garden and peruse a huge range of art.

There’s a covered wine and beer pavilion, as well as a street food zone offering cuisine from around the world. There’s lots of free parking, and admission to the event is completely free too. There’s no better place to talk to local artists about their processes and inspirations.

Dates & Fees

Dates: Saturday, August 11th and Sunday, August 12th
Fee: Free

4. US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Expo

Professional sculptors from around the world congregate at Broadway Pier to create some truly stunning sand sculptures. The US Sand Sculpting Challenge is a fiercely contested competition, so the excitement on the pier is always palpable. You can purchase the works after the judging has taken place, but don’t forget to check out the other pieces on display — made with ceramics, glass, steel and wood. There is usually also a large collection of unique jewelry to choose from.

This isn’t just about the art, however. There will be plenty of gourmet food stalls to choose from, as well as entertainment for people of all ages. This is an all-day event, so make sure you arrive before 10:00 a.m. to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Dates & Fees

Dates: Friday, August 31st to Monday, September 3rd
Fee: Free

5. Arts Park @ Chollas Creek, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation

The Arts Park @ Chollas Creek is a celebration of music, the spoken word and graffiti art. Dozens of renowned singers, artists and poets from California and around the United States come together to tell stories and celebrate cultures from around the world. It is quite something to see live music and performance poetry delivered against the backdrop of original graffiti art, which is why this free festival is so popular.

Expect killer performances this year from DJ Lace, Junkyard Dance Review and TRU7H — as well as some of the most original and innovative graffiti found anywhere in the world.

Dates & Fees

Dates: Saturday, June 23rd
Fee: Free

San Diego is home to a multitude of art festivals, exhibits and installations, and you can enjoy many of them in the sun this summer.

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