Sheila Sharpe | 15th Street
Sandpiper editor and author is able to bring her interest in architecture and art to her committee work. She was appointed to the
Photo Elizabeth Zusev.
Design Review Board in January and is the secretary of the City’s Arts Advisory Committee. In accord with the Committee, Julie’s hope is to bring outstanding art works in various media to Del Mar. Her background in real estate sales in Manhattan adds knowledge about construction and development to DRB considerations. She notes that the Design Review Guidelines help clarity issues for both developers and neighbors.
A life-long art lover, Julie’s artistic sensibility can be seen in her renovation of the Edelweiss House, an old wreck of a beach cottage bought in 1972 with her husband, David Maxey, who was Editor of the new magazine Psychology Today that was started in Del Mar. “Those were very exciting times,” Julie said. David died in 1984 when the couple lived in New York City and Julie wrote for the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, the Washingtonian, and others, and sold residential cooperative and condominium apartments. Now Edelweiss is shared with her husband Brad Allison.
I’d only seen pictures of this house in Julie’s book Edelweiss: Chronicle of a Del Mar Beach House 1885 to Now (2016). But yesterday, I saw it for real, nestled among California pepper trees and a majestic Torrey pine on 10th Street. With its steep, curly-trimmed peaked roof and diamond-shaped cut-outs in the porch’s white trim, the house emanates an enchanted, story-book quality. It might be taken for a remarkable public art work. Inside, the original, rough-sawn redwood walls are brightened with paintings, prints, photographs, historical documents, and a dramatic cut-out of white paper flowers.
In the lovely backyard garden of native plants and raised vegetable beds, we drank tea, ate cookies and Julie spoke about her hopes of seeing Del Mar become a leader in public art. This active committee of eight has identified the places in Del Mar where public art can be placed, creating a Public Art Opportunity Map. Donations of art are no longer automatically accepted but will now go through the Art Approval Process the committee has formulated for the selection of art works. Now the acquisition of art pieces can begin. City funding would be helpful, Julie remarked: the committee has no budget. Even without money this impassioned group has energized the Del Mar art scene by presenting the paintings of local adult and children artists in two very successful Town Hall shows.
Before we parted, I had the honor of meeting the chickens. Three of these magnificent creatures—Golden Laced Wyandotte hens—looked hand-painted in feathers of gold, blue, tan, and black. Only at Julie Maxey-Allison’s home would you find works of art in the chicken coop.