Meet Aaron Chang – A San Diego Guide to the Good Stuff


For artist and surfer Aaron Chang, San Diego is perfect fit. With access to incredible waves all year-round, a vibrant and engaging art scene, and great family activities, as Aaron would say, “I would defy you to be bored in San Diego!”

Both a photographer and gallery owner, Aaron has enjoyed watching the art scene in San Diego evolve and grow and sees a bright future for the arts in San Diego. But that’s not the only reason why he loves San Diego. Check out Aaron’s picks for what makes San Diego paradise for art and surf lovers alike!

Aaron Chang Guides to the Good Stuff

Aaron Chang behind the scenes filming San Diego’s Guides to the Good Stuff

Aaron Chang’s Favorite Artsy Endeavors

  • Mission Federal ArtWalk: the largest art event in San Diego showcases fine art in many mediums alongside live musical performances, food and beverage booths and activities for kids and families.
  • Cedros Design District: running the length of Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, this district is home to a bevy of luxury home décor and design boutiques as well as great art galleries and a live music venue.
  • Museum of Photographic Arts: dedicated to all forms of photography and film, this small but innovative museum has been bringing world-class photography to San Diego for more than 30 years.
  • The Headquarters at Seaport District: this former police station turned retail center offers tremendous restaurants and unique, shops. Plus, it’s home to one of Aaron’s gallery locations!

Aaron Chang’s Perfect Day

How would Aaron spend a perfect day in San Diego? Try a few of his favorite San Diego activities:

Check out more of Aaron’s tips for art lovers, from the best galleries to his favorite spots to snap photos in San Diego, at


Mission Federal ArtWalk 2013 – 17 Blocks of Arts & Culture in Little Italy


Enjoy art? Next weekend, Little Italy is the place you’ll want to be.

White tents and an array of booths are taking over 17 blocks of Little Italy for the 29th annual Mission Federal ArtWalk. More than 350 artists will exhibit and sell their work -and tens of thousands of art lovers will be buying.  Admission is free – but festival goers will spend about $1 million during the event.

Visitors will find a wide range of visual arts – from pottery to jewelry, sculpture to basketry, art glass to digital media, photography to oil paintings. And we’re not talking schlock. A selection committee reviews artists’ works before participation is permitted.

The two-day event has become the city’s largest art festival – with live music and dance performances on six stages, a wide selection of food vendors and lots of artsy hands-on fun. Youngsters will even have the opportunity to create their own art to take home at the Kidswalk in Amici Park.

Where: India, Kettner and Columbia streets between Beech and Grape
When: April 27-28, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2013 Mission Federal ArtWalk

Getting to the Mission Federal ArtWalk

By Car

Parking in Little Italy and the surrounding area is at a premium and can be full before the event even starts. Aladdin Airport Parking is offering a discount with coupon and will have free shuttle service every ten minutes.

By Public Transportation

Consider saving yourself the hassle and taking public transportation. Just hop on the Green Trolley Line and get off at the County Center/Little Italy stop. Walk east to the festival – which stretches along India, Kettner and Columbia streets between Beech and Grape. There are plenty of free parking options at Green Line trolley stations.

> Discover more arts and culture in San Diego

Robert Arends

February Fun in San Diego’s East County!

Each winter, visitors – especially “snowbirds” – flock to San Diego’s East County to explore our desert oasis of Borrego Springs and charming mountain towns like Ramona and Julian, famous for its gold mines and apple pies.

February brings a few fun East County events and activities that are sure to make for a memorable backcountry visit.

Following are 3 that really piqued my interest:

1. Borrego Springs ARTWALK

Beautiful new Borrego Art Institute.

Beautiful new Borrego Art Institute.

Borrego Springs ARTWALK paints an eye-catching kaleidoscope of color over our desert landscape on February 1, 2013, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.  Start your stroll at the beautiful *NEW* Borrego Art Institute, featuring their BIG. BOLD. BEAUTIFUL. exhibition of paintings, sculpture and other artworks. Then head up the street to check out other fantastic exhibits at Matson Gallery, Liesel Paris Arts Studio, Tumbleweed Gallery, The Galleria at The Palms at Indian Head and House of Borrego Springs.

2. Valentine’s Day in Julian

Loving the Orchard Hill Country Inn!

Loving the Orchard Hill Country Inn!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Treat your sweetie to a gourmet, candlelit four-course dinner in the dining room of the Craftsman-style Orchard Hill Country Inn in Julian. As you swoon over the mountaintop views of the town below, your loved one also receives a box of chocolate truffles and a rose. Cost is $45 per person (and worth every dime! 😉 ).

3. HawkWatch

Harri Hawk -  one of the raptors you may spot at HawkWatch!

Harri Hawk – one of the raptors you might spot at HawkWatch!

Spread your wings and fly to the big annual (FREE) HawkWatch at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona, happening each Saturday, February 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Bring your binoculars and cameras to spot magnificent wintering and resident raptors, including Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Prairie Falcons and Red-shouldered Hawks, to name a few. While you’re there, say hello to the herd of bison that call this “raptor hotspot” home!

Happy exploring! 🙂


5 to Try This Weekend

San Diego Asian Film Festival

1. San Diego Asian Film Festival: From October 20-28, International film fanatics will have the opportunity to partake in one of the largest exhibitions of Asian international and Asian American cinema in North America. Along with narrative features, the Festival also showcases documentaries, short films and animation.

Harvest Festival

2. Harvest Festival: The 39th Annual Harvest Festival is kicking off of at the Del Mar Fairgrounds October 21 and running through the 23rd. The festival features more than 300 artists and craftspeople showcasing unique American handmade works, including Halloween and Christmas decor, handmade wearable art, photography, garden decorations, hand-turned wood, ceramics, jewelry, children’s toys and more!

La Jolla Gallery Wine Walk and Taste

3. La Jolla Gallery, Wine Walk and Taste: On Thursday, October 20th, experience an evening of breathtaking coastal views, exquisite art, fresh cuisine and savory wines as you stroll through the beautiful La Jolla Village and visit over 15 of La Jolla’s most prominent galleries showcasing internationally celebrated art, while enjoying various samples of crisp white and bold red wines at each gallery. As you stroll along the streets of downtown La Jolla you will satisfy your appetite with tastings of flavorful cuisine from over 20 of La Jolla Village’s finest restaurants. Tickets to the La Jolla Gallery, Wine Walk & Taste are $40 in advance and $45 on the day of the event.

Broadway San Diego: Hair

4. Hair: From October 18-23, Broadway San Diego brings the Tony-winning musical Hair to the Civic Theatre. This exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time has struck a resonant chord with audiences young and old. HAIR features an extraordinary cast and dozens of unforgettable songs, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine” and “Easy To Be Hard.”

Borrego Springs

5. Borrego Days Desert Festival: The 46th Annual Borrego Days Desert Festival is a three-day local tradition that is just abounding with colorful attractions, family fun and exciting events. This free festival takes place on Friday, October 21 and continues through Sunday, October 22. Activities include a parade, local artists, food court, mini-carnival, games, rides and much more. A fun way to enjoy the picturesque desert landscape!


Arts Month San Diego: Little Italy

This week, Arts Month San Diego is highlighting the cultural neighborhood of Little Italy.

Little Italy, located on the northern edge of the San Diego bay, is a vibrant neighborhood steeped in history and tradition. The area is well-known for authentic Italian restaurants and shops that stock Italian imports, but also boasts a nascent art and design district centered around galleries, design showrooms, and marquee arts and culture events.


With galleries, antique shops, and home accessory stores Little Italy North (North of Grape Street) has been dubbed San Diego’s newest Art & Design District.

The Art and Design District of San Diego’s Little Italy was modeled after New York City’s trendy SoHo and Chelsea districts

Two popular galleries are Meyer Fine Art and The Andrews Gallery. Meyer Fine Art specializes in limited-edition prints and works on paper, ranging from pieces by Miró and Chagall to vintage Italian posters. The Andrews Gallery is an artist space that combines the roles of art gallery, creative studio and performance venue in one interactive environment. The Gallery focuses on solo-exhibitions of emerging and mid-career artists, as well as hosts musical performances, poetry readings, and other creative happenings.

Insider Tip:  Many of the art galleries in Little Italy have limited business hours, but will open by appointment only. Kettner Nights is a great time to explore the area and get a lay of the land.


Little Italy hosts Kettner Nights and Festa, two signature arts events that offer fun for the whole family.

  • Kettner Nights (Sept. 9): Discover the art, design and antiques on display and for sale in Little Italy during Kettner Nights, an art walk held the second Friday of every other month from 6pm to 9pm.

Authentic chalk art at Little Italy Festa

  • 17th Annual Little Italy Festa (Oct. 9): Celebrate the romance of Italian culture with authentic music, fine foods and specialty crafts. Don’t miss the Gesso Italiano chalk art painting exhibition created by more than 150 artists in two days.