When I introduced our Meeting of the Minds event that warm night in Little Italy a few months ago, I mentioned a common refrain among the artist-and-art-interested types in my life: There’s nothing going on in San Diego.

If you still think that, you’ve got to get out this weekend.

The organizers of the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, in its third year this year, don’t want the buzz of their conference to stay within hotel walls. Some of the best art fairs in cities worldwide spark a cornucopia of art pieces and parties put on by the artists who live in those cities, said Art San Diego co-founder Ann Berchtold.

Until those start popping up on their own, the San Diego art fair organizers want to make sure they happen. They asked local artists to propose ideas — for dance pieces, murals, musical performances, gallery shows, — relating to a facet of San Diego’s identity.

Starting Thursday and running with varying schedules through Sunday, 18 ArtLabs will unfold around the region, involving at least 150 artists. We’ll be featuring some of the artists and projects involved in guest blogs this week.

Check out the index of the ArtLabs and an interactive map and let me know which ones you’re hoping to check out. I’ve heard people are already starting to contact the sites so they can figure out how to get from spot to spot and see as much as they can.

Berchtold told me one of the pieces she’s really excited about is a picnic blanket made of 1,000 feet of fabric spread out on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront lawn on Sunday. Artist Alexander Jarman, along with Savannah Jarman and Zoe Crenshaw will be unfurling the blanket, made of fabric they found and stitched together, and inviting people to bring their lunch and talk about the future of San Diego.

At the same time, a giant puppet parade will be marching past the lawn, also midday Sunday.

Berchtold’s been a big proponent of making the San Diego waterfront more people-friendly. So she loves this concept of the picnic and puppet parade on the Hilton’s lawn.

“This is what a waterfront looks like when people can go up to it,” she said. “We’re activating a space that’s typically privatized.”

Check back for more stories of these projects in the coming days. In the meantime, let me know which ones pique your interest. You can leave a comment below or on Facebook.

I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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