San Diego artist Alli Bautista remembers how nervous she was to show her work for the first time.
“It’s a vulnerability thing for artists—exposing a part of yourself to the public eye and receiving criticism, but that’s the first thing your mind goes to,” Bautista says. “But it's also exposing you to praise and possible jobs, so it’s a risk that, I think, some artists are afraid to take, but should take because it helps you grow as an artist.”
This time around, she'll be joined by other local artists at Thumbprint Gallery (920 Kline St. in La Jolla) for Kindred Spirits, opening Saturday, March 9, from to 5 to 10 p.m.
“There’s no theme really,” says curator Paul Ecdao. “'Kindred spirits' describe the artists themselves and the common thread is that they’re all creative.”
Ecdao sees this exhibition as a way to encourage local artists to push through the nerves and share their work, even if they don’t feel gallery-ready. It's even a guideline that each artist involved promote their work and the show.
“We always mention, ‘You put all this work into your artwork, so what’s the point if you’re not promoting the art?’” Ecdao says. “These are opportunities for artists that don’t feel they’re ready for a gallery, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”
With 20 artists showing their work, the styles on display are expansive, ranging from Bautista's intricate mandalas to graffiti, to illustrations to tattoo flash. Some of the artists featured in Kindred Spirits—Exist1981, Dave Persue and Jordan Josafat—also participated in last month’s Parachute Factory exhibition, which drew more than a thousand visitors to a Downtown loft space.
“Parachute Factory set the tone for the rest of the year, so I hope it picks up momentum, but I have a really good feeling about 2013,” Bautista says. “I think Kindred Spirits will pull a good crowd because the artists are little high quality, and I’m excited to be in it.”
Kristine Tran, another artists participating in Kindred Spirits, says shows like this help folks get to know the local art scene.
“The coolest thing about doing art shows in San Diego is that it’s not big right now," she says. "It’s on it’s way to becoming and people are starting to notice it more.”