Somehow, I keep falling into this role. I never intend to be an event organizer but what else can be done when a good idea comes around and nobody else is going to take charge? So I find myself once again attempting to gather a dozen surfing artists from both coasts of the US and corralling them on the beach in Carlsbad.
On the morning of May 12, they’ll all gather to show off their surf-inspired art in a unique way. Rather than hanging their work in a gallery, they’ll actually be creating it on the beach immediately after catching waves. It’s all part of an informal competition hosted by the San Diego Film Festival. This year’s event will take place along the shores of Carlsbad State Beach with the main surfing portion taking place from 8-9 am, followed by an open-air art session until 1 pm where each artist will create one work of art from start to finish on the sand. In keeping with tradition, the official artist of the San Diego Surf Film Festival, Wade Koniakowsky, has been nominated (and agreed) to be the judge for this year’s event. “I’m really looking for art that tells the story of this gathering… or good bribes, it’s not like they pay me for this gig,” Koniakowsky says.
This will be the third year that I’ve been organizing these semi-competitive events, in conjunction with the San Diego Surf Film Festival. Art shows featuring surf-themed art have become commonplace all over the world, but they are often held indoors and sometimes nowhere near the ocean. In settings like these, the words “surf” and “art” are presented as these unmovable concrete nouns, instead of the verbs that they really are. The artists and public alike stand around at these events wearing things like…shoes. So the Expression Session Invitational was created to remedy that artistic gap.
Some of this year’s participating artist’s include Jeremy Harper (Santa Barbara, CA), Jesse Miller (Laguna, CA), Jeff Yeomans (San Diego, CA), Colleen Gnos (Avila Beach, CA), and Jon Baker (Atlantic City, NJ). A complete list of artists and more information about this year’s event, as well as event highlights and photos from previous years can be found here.