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Describing the matchless power of art, writer and poet Thomas Merton observed that “art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” 

On June 5, a throng of delighted Dana Point residents and visitors experienced that mesmerizing feeling on two blocks of Del Prado at the city’s ArtFest 2022.

This annual event has evolved steadily over the past decade or so, as the city has worked to elevate its arts and culture profile, but it really turned the corner this year in terms of quality and impact. 

The wide variety and stunning excellence of creative work on display by the 65 competitively selected artists showed that Dana Point is moving to a different level in its promotion and support of arts and culture to enrich the lives of our residents and visitors. 

In addition to events like ArtFest, in the past 10 years, we have also seen two editions of the adorable Elephant Parade grace our streets, sidewalks and parks; we have watched inspiring statuary emerge in prominent public spaces of our town; and we have witnessed the transformation of utility boxes from drab metal cubes into little gems of art sprinkled throughout our coastal village. 

It is not an easy task, and special thanks go out to City Councilmembers Jamey Federico and Michael Frost, Arts and Culture Commissioners Nancy Jenkins and Karin Schnell, and the legion of volunteers and charitable donors who have contributed so much to bringing our city to this point. 

While there is much work still to be done, we are heading in the right direction.

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