A skateboarder rolls past the ‘What happens in PB, stays in PB’ mural on the boardwalk in front of the Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel on Reed Avenue. THOMAS MELVILLE/BEACH & BAY PRESS
The mural on the side of Pueblo restaurant on Hornblend Street. THOMAS MELVILLE/BEACH & BAY PRESS
The John Lennon mural on the side of Five Guys restaurant on Garnet Avenue.
To promote public art and community beautification, beautifulPB recently sponsored a contest offering the winner a public mural painted by internationally-renowned artist Aaron Glasson.
“This is a program I created to bring more art to the community, said Lola Victor, creative director of Art In Place, a beautifulPB project. “Murals, and the mural give away, are a part of this project.”
Added Victor: “In September, we completed mapping digitally all the murals in the PB area and now have them on an art map with all the locations on beautifulpb.com. We also are starting a walking and biking art tour and walk on Feb. 22.”
BeautifulPB is an all-volunteer, public nonprofit charity formed by a group of PB residents, businesses and property owners, collaborating with the local community, to create a sustainably beautiful Pacific Beach EcoDistrict prototypic model to be used in neighborhoods citywide.
The winner of beautifulPB’s art contest, chosen by an eight-member panel of San Diego art, building, and urban planning experts, was Red Dragon Martial Arts at 1603 Garnet Ave.
Red Dragon owner Ted Guerrero said he was “stoked” to win the public mural contest.
“I’m super excited, I wasn’t expecting it,” Guerrero said. “The mural will be on the outside of our building right on the corner, on the entire main wall that is about 70 feet wide and 10 or 12 feet high, facing west looking at the gas station. This wall is so prominent, everyone will see it.”
Aaron Glasson is an artist and creative director from New Zealand now living and working in the United States. His practice includes illustration, painting, and muralism. He favors acrylic, gouache, and aerosol as tools.
Glasson’s themes of nature, biology, and botany are featured throughout his work tying into his life as the creative director of an international conservation organization called PangeaSeed. PangeaSeed brings together artists, environmentalists, and activists to raise awareness around ecology.
A global traveler, Glasson’s work consists of vibrant murals and mystic paintings and drawings, as well as installations and films presenting alternate realities, the intersection and coexistence of enigmatic worlds, unfolding at a subconscious level.
Art in Place is a community art initiative that works to consciously integrate art into the Pacific Beach community. The PB Murals program includes murals, sculptures, historical landmarks and utility box art in Pacific Beach.
The current focus for beautifulPB is on pedestrian crosswalk murals. The first such mural was painted by 120 community volunteers in September 2014 at Pacific Beach Middle School. That mural marks the starting point of PB Pathways, a network of safe neighborhood routes for walking, biking and skating to schools and other community destinations.
Victor's completed project on all the existing murals in PB appears on a digital map at beautifulpb.com. She said there are three “tiers” to the Art In Place program.
“One tier is public art,” said Victor. “There are also private art and educational components.”
Victor said the evolving public art program is a response “to feedback we received through a survey we created, which showed residents value art in PB. Data from that survey indicated people wanted murals.”
Victor said the ultimate goal is to “form an arts district in Pacific Beach continuing to create opportunities for artists by allocating places for art in the community.”