On March 18, 2023, the Mission San Luis Rey held their first-ever art festival in celebration of their 225th anniversary. The event was attended by hundreds of people with many activities for all to enjoy. The festival was held on the mission’s grounds and featured different food booths, an art contest from local Oceanside schools, live entertainment, plein art artists, and street chalk artists.
The diverse entertainment line up showcased The Kings of La Jolla band with Mel Vernon, Aki Drumming, Ballet Folklorico, and Irish Dancers. There also were several art activities for all to enjoy, such as basket weaving with Diania Caudell, sand art with Studio ACE, gourd painting with Helena Hazelton, and mural painting.
Joanne Tawfilis, owner of the Muramid Museum, provided a 225-foot mural for attendees to paint. The mural is designed in three 75-foot sections with the themes of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The center section, today, is being painted by professional artists and was on display while they worked on it during the event. The artists included P.J. Fosselman, Cheryl Elders, Sergio Solomon, and Angel Garcia. The past section features a Luiseno village scene. The tomorrow section features the mission with a multitude of people from all different cultures. It will take a few months to complete and will be brought back out for the public to paint on again on June 16-18 during the return of the fiesta.
Other upcoming events at the mission will be the Heritage Ball in August, the St. Francis Festival in October, art lectures in November, and a Christmas concert in December. Gwyn Grimes, director of the mission has been working with committees and the community for months pulling all the events together. As stated earlier, the art festival was well-attended, and everyone had a wonderful time.