50th Annual Celebrate the Arts this weekend in Monrovia

Celebrate the Arts poster
Celebrate the Arts poster, click to embiggen

This weekend, October 12 and 13,  marks the 50th Anniversary of Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) annual show, Celebrate the Arts.  Celebrate the Arts is a fine art event that has artists representing many media, from oil/acrylics, metal sculpture to photography/digital art it s all there.  This is a juried event where you can rest assured there are no simple bead stringers, but fine artists at the top of their craft.  But, have no fear, read a bit further and you will quickly realize this is more than some stuffy museum show, as we have our eccentric and unusual coming from the community to spice things up and keep it different.

The event will be held in Library Park in the heart of historic Old Town Monrovia right on Myrtle Avenue. There is ample FREE parking, something Monrovia still believes in providing visitors, all around Library Park.  Celebrate the arts is in the Eastern portion of Library Park on Myrtle Avenue between Palm and Lime avenues.  The show will run both days from 10AM-6PM

There are more activities, artists and community organizations present than I can outline here. Suffice to say I do have a few favorites to share.

Painting by Rick Kess - click to embiggen
  • Bill Hyatt, Featured Artist, metal scuplture that does real to surreal work.  Very fun stuff and subject of a separate post later this morning.
  • Rick Kess Artist and sculpture. Does incredible whimsical paintings and sculptures.  Rick does much of it with a Tiki theme that simply makes it fun.
  • Ron Husband. He is an illustrator who does the most amazing pen and ink drawings.  He is one not to miss.
  • Steve and Marianne McCarthy – photography and authors of “Road Trippin'” and “Old Farts Spy Club”
  • Stephen Coleman – Photographer with a heavily L.A. themed collection
  • Janie Duncan/Monrovia Rock Hounds. This community organization and jewelry maker just add fun to the event.  Check out the anything for a buck grab bags full of rocks for the kids, silly yes, but keeps them entertained for hours.
  • Jen Havens/Beans the Whippet Yup an artist and her dog will both be there painting and selling their art.  fun stuff. Don’t forget to bring some dog food to donate to her cause.  All proceeds and food donations will go to the Foothill Unity Centers Pet Food Bank.

There is ample stuff to see within the park. Saturday afternoon from 2-5  Monrovia’s Canyon High School students will be doing Urban Art demonstrations.  There will be an interactive kids art spot where kids with their parents can work on art projects on Sunday afternoon.

There will be a tribute to MAFA artist and member extraordinaire Doug Gordon who recently passed away.  His work will be for sale with proceeds benefitting the art education and projects of MAFA.  On Sunday only there will be an exhibit of custom VW’s presented by Der Kleiner Panzer VW Club, an organization that Doug was also active in.

Food, whats an Art Festival without great food.  Old Town Monrovia has you covered.  A few of my favorites starting at the south end of Old Town working your way towards Library Park:

South Myrtle/Olive

  • J B Burgers – 627 S Myrtle, good honest burger, inexpensive.  Limited outdoor dining, convenient walk up window.
  • Jakes Road House, 622 S Myrtle, Terrific BBQ and Breakfasts.  The mushroom burger is pretty awesome, ample outdoor, indoor and patio seating .

Middle South Myrtle

  • The Monrovian, 534 S Myrtle, classic American Diner food done well. Very family and kid friendly.  Massive indoor restaurant and sidewalk dining.  Affordable and great service.
  • Cafe Massilia 110 E Lemon (1/2 block east of Myrtle), I absolutely adore this place, their crepe lunches are divine. This is a tiny joint, a dozen tables inside and a few sidewalk.  Reservations are recommended.  626-471-3588

North end – Myrtle/Palm/Libary Park area

  • Caffe Opera, 402 S Myrtle Ave, A very nice high end restaurant, real table cloths, great food and service, but you do pay for it.  Moderate price but oh so worth it.  Its my wifes and my favorite place for “Date Day”.  Ample indoor seating and sidewalk dining.  Want great libations try their Bar O, 1 door down from Caffe Opera for great drinks and elevated bar food…another favorite of mine.

Details.  Celebrate the Arts, Library Park, 321 S Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016.  MAP HERE.  Saturday 10/12 10AM-6PM, Sunday 10/13 10AM-6PM.  Der Kleiner Panzers Volkswagen tribute to Doug Gordon, Sunday 10/13 ONLY 10AM.

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