Keeping ArtBeat on Main Street beating

Katy Matthews, left, artist-owner of ArtBeat and artists Alice Picado at recent Crazy Christmas Sweater Party.

Vista’s ArtBeat on Main Street isn’t Escondido, but it’s close.

It’s an art gallery, boutique, wine lounge and creative space that has become an important player in downtown Vista’s re-emergence, a happening that many Escondido boosters have tried to emulate.

Unfortunately, it’s also run into trouble of the financing kind. ArtBeat on Main Street is in the midst of a do-or-die fundraising campaign to keep the cutting edge space off desolation row.

A GoFundMe campaign aimed at keeping ArtBeat’s heart beating has proven very successful although the beat goes on. Centered at, the campaign set a goal of $7,000.

The campaign raised $8,447 from 127 people in 17 days beginning Dec. 16, 2015 and continues through the month.

Through the ArtBet looking glass.

Through the ArtBeat looking glass.

While the gallery is reaching out to corporate and private sponsors, it needs continuing funding, given the vicissitudes of fortune, more help is needed. As the gallery has grown, costs have grown as well, starting with rent. The gallery also needs to pay a gallery manager and an accountant.

Situated in a 3,000-square-foot building at historic downtown Vista since June 2012, the gallery hosts over 50 professionally dedicated artists from near and far. It offers on-going adult art classes and workshops, adding a distinctive wine lounge and patio in July 2014.

Also contributing to the space and gallery’s on-the-canvas success of monthly artist receptions, has been an eclectic, always unusual and entertaining, series of musical and comedy nights as well as game nights, celebrations and quirky events.

Kait Matthews painting.

Kait Matthews painting.

Artists rent wall space. They also volunteer in taking care of the gallery before, during, and after business hours. This helps the gallery considerably with covering gallery rent and administrative costs.

ArtBeat offers the community a place to meet, a venue for lectures, workshops, poetry readings, book clubs. It has become a cultural and artistic home for the local community. It’s mission encourages artists to learn, share, create and, most of all, support artistic professionals  on their creative journeys.

Alice Picado painting.

Alice Picado painting.

The gallery also works with non-profit art organizations in the community, partnering with NCAN North County Arts Network (NCAN) and Ubiquitous, a small group of dedicated local musicians who bring music classes to kids via before-school and after-school programs.

ArtBeat on Main Street, as the name implies, is at 330 Main St., Vista 92084. For more information, call (760) 295-31i8 or visit

Patrons at a recent ArtBeat Artists Reception.

Patrons at a recent ArtBeat Artists Reception.

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