Art in the Park

WRITTEN BY: SARAH MCALEAR

STROKES OF PAINT GLIDE ON PAPER, GLASSES CLINK, & BEATS VIBRATE THROUGH THE BACK ROOM OF BLUEFOOT BAR & LOUNGE DURING ART IN THE PARK.

The back room of Bluefoot plays host to more than just weekend dance parties. It has served as a gallery space and venue for live art, modern dance, fashion and trunk shows, percussion concerts, and even been a set on a Hollywood film.

Each month new artists are invited to hang their work and have an opening, in a tradition going back to the bar’s beginnings ten years ago. “When we first opened we knew that the arts were going to be very important in North Park,” co-owner Adam Cook tells me over a beer. “Back then, Ray Street was having something of a renaissance, with new galleries opening and Ray at Night taking off. We had a real synergy with Gustaf Rooth, one of the Ray at Night founders and Planet Rooth Design Haus owner. He volunteered his time to schedule artist shows in our back room and really treated it like a mini-gallery.”

LIVE ART & ARTIST SHOWCASES
One of the longest-running Bluefoot traditions is Art in the Park (AITP), the brainchild of Soulection co-founder Andre Power. For six years, Power has carefully curated this unique audio and visual experience that brings local and trans-border artists and musicians into the thick of North Park.

Power and his team have been killing it. Soulection has grown into a record label and radio station with a global following, but he continues to have a soft spot in his heart for this night. He was pulling back into San Diego from New York just as the last AITP was setting up. “It’s always nice to get back here and see people coming together to share ideas, inspiration and cultivate relationships.” When AITP was finding its legs, “there weren’t many spaces where you could set up a regular night like this. I tried a few different venues before this, but the first night at Bluefoot it just clicked. This space provides an inviting, intimate environment for artists to interact with the local community, and everyone loves it.”