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5 Powerful Ways San Diego Local Artists Nourish Community Culture

Jon Koehler portrait
Local Artist & Sculptor, Jon Koehler

As a community, we often take for granted the role that art and local artists play in our lives. Whether it’s the murals that enliven our streetscapes or the public sculptures that add character to our parks, art is all around us, reflecting and reinforcing the values that we hold dear. But what happens when the local artists who create this art are no longer able to make a living from their craft?

All too often, we see stories in the news about artists struggling to make ends meet, forced to choose between pursuing their passion or paying their rent. This is not only tragic for the artists involved, but it also has a real impact on our communities. When artists are able to thrive, they nourish our communities culture by the way they help to drive economic development, promote diversity, and create a sense of pride and belonging. They document our history and nourish our culture. In short, artists make our communities better places to live.

So how do local artists enrich and nourish our lives throughout our community? Here are 5 ways:

1) They Give Back to the Community Often

In our community, there are often auctions and charitable events that benefit local causes. Donations are given by our local artists for their amazing artwork which is some of the most popular items at these events. 

2) Their Art Represents Our Community

In every culture or community in the world, artistic expression has emerged to provide an outlet for thoughts, feelings, traditions, history, and beliefs. Local artists strive to root themselves in their community’s environment, history, and beauty. They emerge themselves in our communities culture, needs, and practices which helps continue the tradition and consistently contributes to the nourishment of our culture in the community. 

3) They Fuel the Passion for the Community

Local Artists have a true passion for making their own communities a better place to live through their artwork. Whether they paint the scenery of their community or build sculptures to elevate an area of their environment, they are continuously elevating their community by building a better environment for their neighbors.

4) Artists are an Essential Impact on their Community in the 21st Century

Arts and culture can create opportunities for political expression, community dialogue, shared cultural experiences, and civic work. Art, essentially, influences society by forming opinions, instilling values, and unraveling experiences in the real world. Artists who are connected to the community can lift up unheard voices and channel them into equitable policymaking which directly enhances our community’s political impact.

5) Local Artists Help the Community Economically

Galleries, museums, and art events constantly occurring and staying in business throughout our community hold special pieces of art from local artists. Their art contributes to small businesses and their economic standings. Local businesses not only pay their employees, but they also spend money at other local businesses. That means by buying locally you help create jobs for friends, and neighbors, contribute to improved public infrastructure and invest in your community both socially and economically.

There are many significant ways local artists sustain the community. Sharing their work on social media, writing a review, or talking to others about their art are all great ways to get the word out and help them reach a wider audience. You can also attend their exhibitions and events, or even have a conversation with them about their work. By engaging with their work and showing your interest, you’re letting them know that what they do matters and that they are valued members of the community. So next time you’re considering buying a piece of art, or just want to show your support for the arts in general, remember to look local first.

At La Playa Art Gallery, we believe in the importance of supporting local artists as they are the ones that constantly fuel and nourish our community here in San Diego. By doing so, you are supporting your home, your community, your environment, and your dedication to connection. Locally made art helps us empathize with one another and cultivate a sense of cultural identity in our community. Our current exhibition, “Blossoms and Breeze”, highlights three local artists and their undeniably beautiful craft. We are proud to showcase the talent of these artists and encourage others to support local artists as well.

Here is a link to information regarding the local artists we have in the gallery: https://www.laplayagallery.com/artists/

Here are links to the social media pages of the artists who are currently a part of our ‘Blossoms and Breeze’ Exhibition

Cathy Carey : https://www.instagram.com/careyartstudio/

Rebecca Noelle : https://www.instagram.com/divine_punk/

Cate Dudley : https://www.instagram.com/cateskydudleyart/

Here is a link to an article highlighting the work of 5 San Diego artists and a link to their social media pages to help support them:


At-home installation by a Local Artists, Rebecca Noelle

La Playa Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and by appointment on weekends. Go to www.laplayagallery.com to learn more. La Playa Gallery is located at 2226 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037. Phone 858-454-6903. Commissioned works and all purchase decisions can be arranged through Nicole. Local delivery is available.

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