The Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee’s effort to highlight local artists is exemplified through Made on the Coast, the subcommittee that gives juried arts and crafts an exclusive platform in front of thousands during the festival. It began in 2012 and in a typical year roughly 20 photographers, potters, painters fabric artists and jewelers are selected for the Locals Block during the second day of the festival.

“We’ve now lost that opportunity,” said Alison Williams, chairwoman of Made on the Coast. Williams, who has organized the event for three years, understands the need to prioritize public safety but acknowledged the decision as a big loss for local artists who have relied for months on virtual events to sell their work. The nearly 60 artists confirmed for this year’s festival won’t get the interaction so critical to selling their work.

“People really need to have a one-on-one with the customer when they’re selling their art,” Williams said. “It makes such a difference. That was really missing last year.”

Last year, Made on the Coast waived all application fees, boosted its online advertising and opened up its virtual doors so any coastal artist could get a portfolio linked on the website. About 50 people signed on last year, said Williams. She noted the subcommittee will go virtual again with the artists already confirmed for this year’s festival. Williams plans to pursue other opportunities to highlight the creative individuals on the Coastside and said some artists might make their own pop-ups on Main Street the weekend that would have brought the festival.

“They had no festivals, they had no way of showcasing their art,” Williams said. “Everything was online for everyone last year, so they lost out on a lot of sales.”

— August Howell

August Howell is a staff writer for the Review covering city government and public safety. Previously, he was the Review’s community, arts and sports reporter. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

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