CARLSBAD — Public art has a way of beautifying and adding charm and charisma to a city.
And Carlsbad is no exception with its popular Art Wall at Señor Grubby’s, 377 Carlsbad Village Drive. However, the wall is in need of financial support, which is why the founder, Bryan Snyder, is leading a campaign to raise more funds.
The wall is repainted every other month, but the artists Snyder recruits are paid, but it’s just enough money to cover supplies.
“That first year was kind of learning what the community wanted and how the project would run,” Snyder said. “It was funded completely by me with some help by Señor Grubby’s.”
He applied for a grant through the Carlsbad Community Arts program netting about $1,700 in 2016-2017.
However, Snyder returned the 2018 Community Arts grant for $1,700 from the city as he is applying for a seat on the Carlsbad Arts Commission, a position he says would help benefit public art throughout the city, and the Village and Barrio, in greater ways. The returned funds were to avoid any possible conflicts of interest.
“The funding is really the only obstacle,” Snyder said. “Everyone loves it and I have a wide network of artists who want to paint the wall. But it’s about paying the artists what they deserve. I currently pay them nowhere near what they deserve.”
So, in order to allow for artists to make some profit off their work, Snyder began a GoFundMe page with a goal of $1,700. The total is now more than $2,580 (as of March 7) and is expected to climb as engaged residents and fellow artists donate more to continue the three-year tradition.
As for the Art Wall, Snyder said, he can only afford “a couple hundred dollars” compared to other murals in the city or elsewhere, that take in several thousand.
Nevertheless, Snyder’s goodwill and building one of the city’s most unique attractions is gathering support. Local artist Skye Walker, who painted the Art Wall in 2015, said he will do whatever he can to help financially support Snyder’s mission.
“I think it’s important and I think what he’s doing is important,” Walker said of Snyder. “Public art needs to be saved. The beauty of public art is it just inspires other people, other artists and people in the community. For the most part, any art that is adding to the community is good art.”
Snyder started the wall in 2015 after years of attempting other public murals. He said the city has finally embraced the art, and more murals have popped up throughout the Village. Currently, there are 30 murals throughout the area and 15 different artists have painted the wall.
The wall has added another dynamic to the Village with tours, residents and tourists gathering at Señor Grubby’s during the bi-monthly paintings. Snyder said he is careful to make sure the art is in good taste, as art is a subjective expression.
On Feb. 11, 40 residents through the BikeWalk Carlsbad group toured the murals and art wall with Snyder acting as the tour guide.
“There is a blossoming mural culture in Carlsbad Village as well,” Snyder said. “Ten years ago I started out on this adventure to kind of encourage more of an artistic culture. One of the biggest parts of that was to put more art in streets.”