The artists are in: San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour to return to La Jolla and Pacific Beach

Artist Dottie Stanley paints in her La Jolla home, which will be on the 2023 San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour.
(San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour)

Four homes will feature works by 32 artists in a multitude of media Saturday, Sept. 16.


For the third year, local artists will open their homes and gardens for the San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour at two locations in La Jolla and two more in Pacific Beach.

More than 30 professional artists who create in a multitude of media will display their pieces during the tour, which allows patrons to browse art for sale while visiting where some of the artists live and work.

The tour is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, and will include 1213 Skylark Drive and 5783 La Jolla Corona Drive in La Jolla and 1228 Beryl St. and 1686 Los Altos Road in Pacific Beach.

Admission to the self-guided tour is free. All the homes are within a 3-mile radius, and guests can visit them in any order. Dogs are not allowed on the tour.

Art pieces will be offered for sale for $5 to $5,000, according to tour co-organizer and painter Leah Higgins, whose home is on the tour and will host the most artists.

In addition, donations will be accepted at each location for the nonprofit Promises2Kids, which provides support for foster children.

The San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour will return to La Jolla and Pacific Beach on Saturday, Sept. 16.
(Leah Higgins)

Of the 32 artists, 20 are new to the tour, which this year was pared from the previous six homes to four to enable visitors to more easily see all the locations within the allotted time.

Last year, more than 1,500 people went through the tour, Higgins said.

Krista Heron's La Jolla home, where she makes glass art, has been added to the San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour this year.
Krista Heron’s La Jolla home, where she makes high-end glass art, has been added to the San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour this year.
(San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour)

New on the tour this year is 1213 Skylark Drive in La Jolla, which glass artist Krista Heron bought in 2021. It previously was owned by Samuel Wang, a retired architect who redesigned and rebuilt the house in 2010.

“The house has unobstructed, sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean,” said tour co-organizer and artist Dot Renshaw.

“The home is an art museum in itself,” Higgins added. “Not only does Krista have her own abstract and contemporary pieces but she is also a collector.”

Heron has been creating glass art full time for seven years. She originally started taking local classes as a way to vent the stress of managing her family’s La Jolla businesses. Once free of those obligations, Heron learned from glass artists around the world.

Heron will be exhibiting abroad for the first time when she shows her work during Italy’s annual Venice Glass Week in September.

The other La Jolla home on the tour is owned by Dave and Dottie Stanley at 5783 La Jolla Corona Drive. The house has a Spanish flair, with arched doorways, a tile roof and wrought-iron railings, with views of San Diego from nearly every room.

Dottie Stanley has been painting for more than 50 years, including florals, still lifes, seascapes and landscapes.

Artist Leah Higgins stands in her home studio in Pacific Beach.
(San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour)

In Pacific Beach, Higgins’ home at 1686 Los Altos Road was built in 1926 by renowned architect Irving Gill. It was the first custom home of famed San Diego horticulturist Kate Sessions.

Higgins was born and raised in the house, which her father purchased in 1947. She and her husband, Patrick, moved in in 1982 after trading homes with her mother.

Highlights of the 2-acre property include Higgins’ detached art studio and the renovated grounds, which contain many plants and mature trees from Sessions’ original garden.

Higgins’ artwork specializes in homes, landscapes and portraits.

Renshaw and her husband, Zack, bought their 1920s Pacific Beach home at 1228 Beryl St. more than 40 years ago. Its original Moorish architecture remains.

Renshaw’s 20-foot-tall art studio overlooks a garden filled with fruit trees, flowers and huge staghorn ferns. When the home was enlarged from 1,050 to 2,500 square feet, Del Mar architect Don Adams was consulted to ensure it matched the original style.

A unique feature of the house is Renshaw’s addition of a 21-step custom spiral staircase patterned after the one in the movie “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” A gap was left between floors to allow for ocean views.

Renshaw often chooses small trails, camping spots and neighborhood canyons for her coastal art in oils, pastels and plein air.

These bird sculptures by Steven McGovney were displayed during the 2022 San Diego Coastal Art Studios Tour.
(Milan Kovacevic)

The tour asked the participating artists — who pay a fee to be included — to donate an item to the event’s online auction, which has been going on since July 1 and will end at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 16.

The auction is a new component this year. Items will be on display during the tour at the Skylark Drive location, with bids collected online. Items include fabrics, glass, mosaics, stained glass, sculptures, gourds, wood and metal. To view them, visit

Higgins and Renshaw have been organizing the tour since 2021. They wanted a tour in La Jolla and Pacific Beach modeled after others in North County and other parts of the state.

Most people who attend are “just so enthusiastic to meet the artists” and ask them questions about their work and creative processes, Higgins said. “It’s one thing to see the artwork on the wall. But then when you meet the artists and you get to talk to them, it’s better.”

For a complete list of the participating artists, including bios and samples of their work, visit ◆