Lux Art Institute unveils new education pavilion

By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt

Several years in the making, the new Education Pavilion at Lux Art Institute will celebrate its grand opening with a community open house on April 13.

The 7,000-square-foot building, designed by architect and Lux board member Anne Sneed, is meant to be a true community center. Boasting a sleek, steel-framed glass entrance and a set of finely crafted, reclaimed-wood “barn doors” in its interior, the pavilion features five large and colorful classroom/studio spaces, a wood shop and a digital lounge.

Out back is a one-acre garden area with an amphitheater for concerts and special events. The new venue will allow Lux to expand its programs for children and begin offering others for teens and adults.

Since its opening on an Encinitas hillside off El Camino Real in 2007, Lux has dedicated itself to making art more accessible and meaningful, with an annual artists-in-residence program that allows the public to personally engage with international artists and watch their creative process.

“The reason our children’s programs have been so successful is that the kids are inspired by world-class artists,” said Reesey Shaw, the La Jolla resident who is

Lux’s founding director.

“For our grand opening, we’re showing works by some of our early artists-in-residence, but afterwards, the gallery space will be turned over to the kids.”

Lux’s new educational director is Lisa Davis, who comes from the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. “I went from Smart to Lux,” she said, smiling. “I’ve become enlightened!”

Davis is eager to see the new space filled with people, and ready to receive any suggestions for possible activities. “Yoga in the garden, film screenings, book clubs ... we’re open to new ideas!”

Lux’s current artist-in-residence, Jarmo Mäkilä, will be part of the open house celebration. His mysterious and compelling paintings of his Finnish boyhood will be on view in Lux’s upper gallery, along with the “Clay Boys” he’s been creating each day Lux is open to the public, i.e. three boys a week.


The Lux Community Day open house is noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at Lux Art Institute, 1550 South El Camino Real, Encinitas. There will be hands-on art activities, live music and refreshments. Free. (760) 436-6611.