Rancho Santa Fe artist’s steampunk jewelry featured at SD Festival of Arts


Rancho Santa Fe jewelry artist Susan Horvitz Perez will be one of nearly 200 artists featured in the San Diego Festival of the Arts at downtown’s Waterfront Park June 10-11.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, artists will display diverse works of painting, sculpture, photography, glass, jewelry, ceramics, wood, fiber and mixed-media. In addition to the artwork, there will be live music, outdoor games, live art, silk painting, a craft beer and wine garden, and a variety of cuisine from San Diego’s top restaurants.

This will be Horvitz Perez’s seventh year participating in the festival and the second year that the event will be held at the Waterfront Park after 29 years in La Jolla.

“I have to tell you I forget I’m working because it’s so gorgeous,” said Horvitz Perez, noting last year her booth faced toward the scenic bay. “It’s one of the best venues that I’ve ever worked at.”

She said she loves that the park is located in a spot where people can walk from their high-rise homes or the nearby Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market and tourists can wander over from the cruise ships.

“We had such an incredible response from artists, guests and the community after the move from La Jolla to downtown San Diego’s Waterfront Park for the 2016 event ,” said Don Ludwig, co-director of the 2017 festival. “We are thrilled to have so many wonderful artists committed to this year’s festival set in such a stunning venue to showcase their work.”

The event is hosted by the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Foundation and proceeds go toward charities benefitting adaptive sports programs for San Diegans with disabilities. To date, the festival has raised more than $2 million in support of more than 30 programs such as Wheelchair Lacrosse, Helen Woodward Animal Center’s therapeutic riding program, Sharp Rehabilitation Center adaptive sailing and quad rugby, and the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Horvitz Perez’s work will go toward Operation Game On, which helps rebuild the lives of combat-injured troops through the game of golf. As Horvitz Perez has been making jewelry for over 30 years she said she’s “winding down now” and enjoys giving back to such a worthy cause.

Horvitz Perez got her start making safety pin bracelets for friends and eventually grew to selling her jewelry and participating in art shows. She carved a studio into the corner of the spare bedroom of her home and changes styles with the seasons and year by year as different trends come into focus.

“With jewelry, you have to keep changing what you do, I’m always evolving,” she said.

Her latest line of jewelry is steampunk style, what she calls a cross between science fiction and the Victorian era. Her earrings, necklaces and a few bracelets feature a lot of gears, vintage hardware and gadgets. She hunts for vintage treasures in stores and online and incorporates the pieces into her designs.

“It’s a fun and fascinating style because there’s a lot of moving parts,” Horvitz Perez said. “If you’re wearing my earrings, they’re always moving.”

Right now she has a line of necklaces she calls “The Key to Time” as they feature a lot of gears and old watch parts with antique keys.

Her pieces range in price from $20 to $30 so she is busy making a lot of pieces to bring to the show.

“My creativity comes out when I get to crunch time, all of the ideas just start coming,” Horvitz Perez said. “I get in my little room and I’m just making, making, making.”

Most of the San Diego Festival of the Art 2016’s Best of Show winners will be back this year, including Dorothee Naumburg, a celebrated jewelry designer who spent three years apprenticing under a master goldsmith in Germany before coming to the U.S. and building a career in sculptural and understated jewelry.

The Textile Best of Show winner MOA (Marvin Obasogie) Aimiuwu will also return, showcasing his unique batik dyed textile work in custom-designed, individually hard-carved frames.

Tickets for the festival start at $12. To learn more, visit Waterfront Park is located at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, 92101. (North Harbor Drive entrance.)