Pastels on the Plaza

PastelSmallFirst Saturday in October
On the Plaza, Arcata, California

Each year Northcoast Children’s Services partners with local businesses and artists to transform the sidewalks of the Arcata Plaza into a colorful art gallery. Pastels on the Plaza is a benefit for Northcoast Children’s Services where businesses are invited to purchase a square of sidewalk to be transformed into a work of art by local artists willing to donate their time and creativity to this unique community event.   Proceeds from this event help fund our Preschool and Family Services that extend to over 1000 children and families in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties annually.

The way it works…

Businesses or Sponsors “buy” a square of sidewalk for $125 or $225.

Artists sign up for the event.

Please mail the registration form to: Or–Bring the registration form to the office located at
Northcoast Children’s Services
Pastels on the Plaza
PO Box 1165
Arcata, Ca  95518
1266 Ninth Street
Arcata, CA  95521

We provide the pastels – there is no cost for artists to participate!

Some businesses and artists will agree to work together and coordinate the art work or we can match up artists and businesses a few days before the event.  Please note – If a sponsoring business has special requests for artwork, they need to coordinate with an artist well in advance of the event.

Artists arrive on the plaza in between 8 and 9 a.m. on the first Saturday in October to check in and begin the creative venture. By mid-day, the Arcata Plaza comes alive with the completed vibrant works of art.   Artists and Business Sponsors are invited to join us in celebration of the event at the Plaza Grill from 11am to 1pm.

Though the October weather is sometimes a consideration—wind, rain, drizzle, fog or sunshine—the artists endure and the event goes on. The Farmer’s Market continues on the surrounding streets; the live music and the harvest bounty create a wonderful back drop for the art and shoppers alike. Throughout the weekend and into the coming week, thousands of art lovers come to stroll around the plaza and enjoy the colorful display before rain and time turn the sidewalks back to their usual grey.

For additional information regarding Pastels on the Plaza, please call:

Kathy Montagne                                                      Lindsey Jones Ziegler
Executive Director                                                   Event Coordinator
707-825-1302                                                           707-825-1326

Pastels-on-the-Plaza-2014-Poster2

The History of Pastels on the Plaza:

In 1987, on the first Saturday in October, a handful of artists met on the Arcata Plaza for a one-time morning of “Sidewalk” art.  Local businesses made a donation to Northcoast Children’s Services for each of the 29 squares.  The art was scattered along the spokes of the Plaza cement.  The City of Arcata staff was dubious about such an event.  Those “one time” artists and businesses had such a good time it was continued every year until Pastels on the Plaza became the largest art event on the Northcoast and a major fundraiser for Northcoast Children’s Services. These days, the entire Plaza square is encased in rich colorful displays of art created by local artists.