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Thought Provokers: Balboa Park & Hillcrest

San Diego has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists and creative professionals from in and around Balboa Park & Hillcrest that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Carina Fleckner

I’m a photographer, and I love working with people. I do weddings, portraits, graduation, events, and live music. My goal is to capture people’s special moments so they can just enjoy whatever they’re celebrating while I make sure I get beautiful shots and present my clients with images that will last a lifetime and beyond. Read more>>

Holly Hofmann

It is essential to understand the history of jazz (actually any type of music) before one can develop a vision and style of one’s own. I suppose my message would be that once you’ve attained a certain understanding of your music, it is important to keep on learning and discovering, and also sharing that understanding with young artists, and audiences. Read more>>

Astra Kelly

I’ve remained fiercely (though sometimes reluctantly) independent, releasing nine records on my own label, touring the country extensively, and building a career that could support itself. I battled with the “starving artist’ mentality and the concept of “making it.” I struggled to make peace with an industry that seemed more often cold and unaccepting than opportunistic and inviting. Read more>>

Levi Giafaglione

My inspiration is always to do better than the day before. I have built a reputation where people expect to see me moving. I love being a local fixture and making people smile. It gives me a chance to share my story of hope, and pass on my knowledge to others. One thing I want the readers to know is that if you see me. Read more>>

Cristina Zuniga

This path ties back to my love of worldbuilding and storytelling, channeling it in a visual way that people can pick up on. I’m only a year or so away from graduation and I still have so much to learn, but I’m hoping my determination to keep pushing on despite life’s challenges will pay off with success. Read more>>


Formed in 2018 and released our first album March 2019, We have quickly started performing shows as much as possible and even managed to be featured as Brew Rebellions featured Band of the month with a beer bottle in our honor. We cannot wait for what the future holds. Read more>>

Siri Elena

When I came back to San Diego in 2017, I enjoyed being able to focus my work back into fine art photography and the individual experience of the world. I’m currently trying to push my series of self-portraiture and mental health-related images to the abstract the concepts I’m exploring. Read more>>

Frank Casciani

I attempted to make a Kaleidoscope out of pieces that I was able to collect from my local home depot. I took quite a few Kaleidoscopes apart to figure out the inside. I successfully made a Kaleidoscope and thought wow I could sell these. I made one for a Gallery that was at the time in Orange County. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Alfaro

I started selling my paintings to friends and family through social media. It gave me such a warm feeling knowing that someone enjoyed this part of me enough to hang it on their walls and give it to their friends as gifts. Read more>>

Raechel Denise

I use my mom’s film camera. There was an event I was shooting, and I captured this great candid of one of my classmates with whip cream all over his face. I still remember it clearly till this day. It ended up being blown up and framed and hung at school and landed on one of the front pages of the yearbook. Read more>>

Kathleen Conover

Focusing on Watermedia over the next few years, I traveled to study with the masters and heroes in my field and painted, painted, painted! Techniques, history, communication, etc. can be taught academically, but an artist must put their time in at the easel to truly learn their craft, find their voice and travel their personal journey. Read more>>

Chris Stell

Then I discovered advertising art in college and found a great way to use my creative skills, drawing ability and ideas for an adventure that has spanned over 45 years in San Diego. I was a graphic designer way before computers all art was done by hand Read more>>

Steven Galle

For the last two years, I have attended a music festival called Lightning in a Bottle, and my favorite part about the festival is how everyone contributes something to the experience. Some people are amazing dancers, some spin fire, and some people just bring their awesome energy. Read more>>

Ruth Fromstein

I’ve had a close relationship with art since picking up a brush and canvas while a child in small-town Wisconsin. One of my favorite childhood memories was when my father took me to the only local art store (Sherwin Williams) and simply said: “pick something out.” The dilemma of choice has stuck with me all these days and is perhaps the reason why my art takes inspiration from such a variety of styles and techniques. Read more>>


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