Otis College will hold its first annual Kite Festival directly north of the Santa Monica Pier this weekend from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The event was created as a celebration of all kites for families and communities throughout Los Angeles.
Children from Urban Compass, the Junior Blind of America, and St Jude Children’s Hospital will create and fly their own lightweight kites.
Tom Van Sant (MFA ’57), world-renowned artist and creator of this event, will fly many of his famous kites.
“Getting your bare toes in the sand and holding onto the wind is a very pleasing and healing experience,” Van Sant said.
Van Sant said he started making kites in 1975.
“I was the first one to use nylon ripstop and fiberglass tubing and the new materials,” he said. “Now all these years later, I have the pleasure of getting together with kite flyers from all over the western part of the country to fly kites on the beach in Santa Monica celebrating the first annual Otis College Kite Festival.”
The festival came about after the College invited Van Sant to teach a course in kite construction.
Van Sant said the college students saw his beautiful kites as flying sculptures.
“I was happy to do teach the course and I suggested that we have a festival at the end of the course and they agreed to that,” he said. “I’ve invited about 10 of the finest kite designers and flyers from the western United States. Some are coming from Seattle, from Colorado, and from Las Vegas and San Diego. They’re coming to share their kites in this festival.”
Van Sant said he will personally bring a few dozen kites – and there will be plenty for members of the public to fly if they choose.
“We’ll also have some of the students from Otis who made kites in our class,” he said. “The general public is invited to bring any kites they have and since we make these kites we’ll be happy to hand them over to folks for them to fly.”
Entrance to the Kite Festival is free and parking at the Pier lot is $8.
Otis is the oldest private art institution in Los Angeles that enrolls 1200 undergraduate and graduate students annually.
Otis’ mission is to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, their skill, and their vision.