Multitalented Encinitas artist feature sculptures in local exhibit


Since she was young, Encinitas resident Sholeh Ashtiani has been active in the arts.

“I started drawing when I was a little kid,” she recalled. “My mom gave me a little notebook and I just loved it. I drew so much that one of the art instructors I had in school took notice and asked if I liked to start coming in early to draw, so I did.”

From those early days as a young budding artist, Ashtiani has since spread her wings to become a multitalented force who’s dabbled in almost every creative field, from painting to photography. From now until March 12, Ashtiani will showcase her passion for bronze work in an exhibit of her talents at the Encinitas Civic Center. (A reception will be held Feb. 19 from 5-7 p.m. at the Encinitas Civic Center.)

“I didn’t start working on sculptures until college,” explained Ashtiani, who attended Ohio’s Columbus College of Art and Design and takes inspiration for her sculptures from yet another art form. “When you see them, you’ll notice a lot of sculptures are dance-related, which I also have a passion for.”

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Ashtiani also has a passion for acting and singing. In the acting realm, she most notably appeared the 2011 film “Leave” starring Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame. She is also a regular in the North County theater scene, starring in productions as varied as “Peter Pan” and “Inherit the Wind” at various theaters across the San Diego area.

As a singer, Ashtiani was inspired by repeat viewings of “The Sound of Music” as a child to pursue the craft. She recently collaborated with David Stern, a composer for the former Fox reality competition series “The X Factor,” on a variety of original songs, a few of which Ashtiani plans to sing at the reception for her bronze exhibit.

“The reception is only two hours, so I don’t know I’ll have time for,” she said. “I’d love to sing at least three songs.”

As for what the songs are about, that’s a no-brainer. “I asked him to write a song about an artist,” said Ashtiani, whose songs will also be featured in the local reality television show “The Romance,” which airs on San Diego’s Cox Channel 4 this month.

“One of the songs tells the story about who I am and what my art is about.”

A constant drive to be creative has carried Ashtiani throughout her life, which stretches to her Persian roots. (Her lineage can be traced to a famed painter of the same name.)

Moving from Europe to Ohio, and then to Encinitas, Ashtiani said she could never focus on just one discipline — drawing, painting, or sculpture — preferring to try them all.

“Answering which is my favorite is a very hard question for me,” she said. “I love putting my fullest effort to create everything I can. I enjoy all of these disciplines. If I’m working on sculptures for awhile, I’ll want to switch to drawing. I can’t choose one over the other.”

Visit Ashtiani at