De Colores: 17th annual Arts Festival returns to Santa Paula September 5

August 25, 2010
Santa Paula News

September will mark a significant anniversary and the whole community is invited to the 17th Annual De Colores Arts Festival, an event that is returning to its roots.

The 17th De Colores Arts Festival will be held Sunday, September 5 (Labor Day Weekend) at Santa Paula Art Museum, 117 N. 10th St., from noon to 9 p.m.

De Colores Founder Xavier “Big X” Montes said the festival will feature art, music, vendors, food, and even dancing in the courtyard of the art museum as well a wider area of outdoor space shared with the Santa Paula California Oil Museum, located at the corner of 10th and East Main streets. Montes, an acclaimed artist and musician, said De Colores’ longevity is a surprise.

“No I did not think it would last this long... I thought I would die of an attack or burn out,” and he added with a laugh, “I almost did a few times.... But when the Santa Paula Art Museum started up I thought this would be the perfect chance” to return the celebration to Santa Paula.

Montes is a SPAM Board director, and “I thought this is working out perfectly, it’s all falling into place” to offer a venue for the festival as well as to highlight the city’s two major museums. A $5,000 Arts Live in Ventura cultural grant from the Ventura County Community Foundation sealed the deal, as the funds are meant to promote folk arts through art organizations.

“Without them we probably would not have a full De Colores,” an event that also pays tribute to the late labor leader Cesar Chavez who acted on behalf of farmworker rights. Montes hopes De Colores will start a tradition of cultural celebrations at the newly opened art museum shared with the oil museum.

“For the first time we’ll have an event like this between the two museums,” where parking lots will be turned into a fiesta area “where we will be encircled by the museums, have a stage and sound system and steer people towards visiting both museums.” And, noted Montes, “Through my shout outs and email blasts I’m reminding people to visit the new Farmworker Monument” dedicated in recent weeks, the first of its kind in the nation that honors those in the agricultural industry. “De Colores was first established to honor Chavez, and people that come to the festival can visit the new monument... it’s all within walking distance.

Among De Colores’ all day entertainment are some performers especially close to Montes’ heart: “I’m going to slip in some new musical artists, protégés of mine, and half I’ve known since they were eight years old.” The group Limore plays reggae-infused as well as original material: “I’m proud of them,” said Montes, as “they managed to stay out of trouble and work hard and well as a band.”

In all there will be more than 30 artists, arts and crafts booths, food vendors, a Kid’s Corner and more at the 17th Annual De Colores Arts Festival. Admission to the festival is free, and the museums each charge nominal entry fees.

“We’ll have Under the Sun Gallery, La Catrina, Crafts by Amistad, Margot Palacios, Maribel Hernandez, Sergio & Diane Hernandez, Lalo Garcia and more” offering goods an art. Montes said kids will also enjoy artistic pursuits, as “Sada Bolanos with her beads and Betty Juarez and her mask making” will be featured.

Booths and the museum will open for business at noon and the program will follow. Featured at 1:30 p.m. is the Aztec blessing by Danza Tonantzin (Luzmaria Espinosa). Introductions are at 2 p.m., followed by Angels on Harps with Conjunto Callejon and “The Big X” (Montes), Conjunto Xi Huasteco at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m. Conjunto Hueyapan Jarocho will perform, and there will be a short presentation of The Poetry of Luzmaria Espinosa, followed by Mariachi Los Arrieros at 5 p.m., Limore at 6 p.m. and lively salsa music by Orquesta Charangoa starting at 7 p.m.

“We know Santa Paulans have missed De Colores and now it’s back,” and, noted Montes, “right around the corner!”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.