Lux to open doors for afternoon of family art fun

For parents and children who enjoy the visual arts, “Free Saturday,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, is the best deal in town.

Guests will be treated to a complimentary afternoon of highbrow fun for all ages, which will include an open house with studio tours, refreshments and music by jazz guitarist Daniele Spadavecchia. Visitors will also have an opportunity to work on a collaborative painting project in the Lux Classroom.

And there’s more!

Artist Adam Belt (co-curator of SPECIMEN, the store project at Lux) will launch an experiment for all to view. Called “Operation Astronot,” the experiment is based on a similar project two MIT students developed to create a low-cost alternative to other do-it-yourself weather balloon projects.

Belt’s plan will consist of a typical hand-held digital camera housed in a Styrofoam cooler attached to a weather balloon. His DIY space capsule will travel between 90,000 and 111,000 feet into the stratosphere to the edge of space while the camera, set on auto, incrementally takes pictures of the flight.

Lux Liaisons will also guide guests through the studio, where they will be able to view resident artist Iva Gueorguieva’s exhibit of large-scale abstract paintings, along with the 100- by 150-inch work she created during her recent stay.

Born in Bulgaria, Gueorguieva immigrated to the United States in 1990 and now lives and works in Los Angeles. She teaches drawing and painting at UCLA. Gueorguieva’s exhibit features her tumultuous, acrylic-laden canvases where dizzying brush strokes, loud colors, complex spatial configurations and frenetic energy abound.

“Having Iva with us for four weeks, creating one of the largest paintings of her career, is a magical experience for all of us,” said Reesey Shaw, Lux director. “The roiling power and energy sweeping through the layered imagery the artist pulls out of her abstract landscapes are spectacular at this scale.”

Lux, an interactive art destination, is dedicated to encouraging the artistic curiosity in guests of all ages. Programs include the Kids-in-Residence (after-school art classes), “Studio Series” (guest speakers sharing their perspective on exhibits through commentary and discussion), Luxcursions (classroom field trips), the Valise Project (portable museums to schools throughout San Diego), Summer Art Camp, Lux@Night and Free Saturday.

Parking for “Free Saturday” is available in the Sanderling-Waldorf School lot and in posted parking zones along El Camino Real.

Lux Art Institute

  • 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas
  • Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Admission: $10 for two visits
  • Contact:, (760) 436-6611