Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

  • The Hornet and Inside Fullerton are on summer break and will return on August 26, 2024. Please send any tips or inquiries to Jessica Langlois at [email protected].

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

A weekend in the Heights

Sitting atop a hill on grounds that are beautifully kept with scenic views, artists and art lovers spent February 22-24 viewing the work of more than 200 artists and demonstrators.

The 53rd Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts, hosted by the Hillcrest Congregational Church, also presented the audience all weekend to: live musical performances, dining at the Starving Artist Café, and a boutique where visitors could purchase locally-hand made novelties.

“I enjoy the sense of community […] the festival is one of the oldest and most respected art festivals in Los Angeles and Orange County,” said Roberto Chavez, international photographer, general chairman and judge of the festival.

Local Artist Sandra Grassi Nelipovich was one of the few- featured artists of this year’s event. Nelipovich creates bright- colored, detailed scenes using the ancient Batik style.

The Batik process uses waxes and dyes as color for the canvas. Nelipovich chooses to use a silk canvas as opposed to cotton, which is uncommon for the labor-intensive style.

“I like fanciful things and happy things […] I tend to do things that are more on the primitive side and that tell a story, ” Nelipovich said.

LeRoy Schmaltz was also a featured artist in the festival who specializes in Polynesian artwork, along with other styles and “mixed-up media,” as he calls it. Schmaltz is a local resident who has worked with Disney on projects such as the Pirates of the Caribbean films and The Tiki Room at Disneyland.

“This was my first time attending the festival and I was very impressed by the variety of media and the talent of the artists. […] it was a wonderful experience and I look forward to attending again next year,” said festival attendee Leila Taha.

Chavez encourages art students to attend the festival for exposure to different art and inspiration to create their own.

Kelly Saguini grew up in La Habra Heights and has attended the festival for five years, however this year her original art was on display. Saguini recalled the joy of attending as a spectator, and now an artist. She finds proud in her community for organizing an event that promotes developing the arts.

The driving force behind the festival year after year is that people keep showing up from all over southern California to showcase, appreciate, and experience art. The same philosophy as when it was founded in 1960.

For many families, the festival is a annual tradition for a weekend of fun, and a chance to be inspired by the creativity of artists from different cultures and styles.

“It means a lot to the artists and makes us feel good that we can provide this service, because I strongly believe that art enriches the community and enriches lives,” said Yoshio Nakamura, artist, teacher and festival founder.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Hornet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *