Paint-slinging artists and a printmaking steamroller will entertain art lovers this Saturday in downtown Paso Robles as part of Paso Artsfest.
About 7,000 people are expected to attend Saturday’s free Festival in the Park, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Downtown City Park.
Now in its seventh year, the annual arts festival was originally called the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts. Organizers changed the name to Paso Artsfest in 2014 to better reflect the event’s focus on fun and accessibility.
“When we started this festival, I don’t think we had any idea how it would grow,” said festival director Sasha Irving, executive director of Studios on the Park in downtown Paso Robles. “It’s really captured the energy and the interest of the community.”
Paso Artsfest kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Friday with an artmaker dinner at Paso Robles’ Park Ballroom, followed by an after-party at Studios on the Park. Keynote speaker Michael Pearce, an associate art professor at California Lutheran University, will talk about “Art in the Age of Emergence.”
On Saturday, Festival in the Park features live music, dancers, sand sculptors, stilt walkers and art activities for children, teens and adults hosted by Studios on the Park and SLO MakerSpace.
Studios on the Park printmakers will create prints using a steamroller. And eight street artists from The Do Lab, the Los Angeles-based company behind Bradley’s Lightning in a Bottle music and art festival, will create live paintings.
For serious art lovers, the event offers the Signature Exhibition, Outdoor Fine Art Show and Sale and Wet Painting Sale and Auction — as well as the Local Stars Quick Draw, which features San Luis Obispo County painters creating artworks on the spot.
Other Paso Artsfest highlights include Sunday’s sold-out reception and art tour at Hearst Castle in San Simeon and plein air painting workshops led by Richard Robinson and Camille Przewodek at Studios on the Park.
Although Saturday’s event is free, Friday’s dinner costs $85 and the workshops are $237 to $737.
Paso Artsfest raises funds for Studios on the Park programs as well as future festivals. The festival brought in $34,000 in 2014, $19,000 in 2013 and $34,000 the previous year, Irving said.
For information, call (888) 988-7276 or visit http://pasoartsfest.com.