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Local artist Bryan Snyder (pictured), along with Senõr Grubby’s co-founder Justin Jachura, started the Carlsbad Art Wall nearly five years ago. Now, Snyder is fundraising for another year of murals at the iconic spot. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Carlsbad Art Wall gears up for fifth year

CARLSBAD — Over the past four-plus years, the Carlsbad Art Wall has become what many believe is an iconic symbol of the city.

A massive wall on the side of Senõr Grubby’s, 377 Carlsbad Village Drive, is an artists’ playground, which is the vision of local artist Bryan Snyder. Every two months, new artists bring to life a new form of public art in just two days of work, delivering another must-see mural to the city’s burgeoning art scene.

Now, as the wall is entering its fifth year, Snyder is pounding the pavement, so to speak, to raise funds for the wall to better compensate the artists, who are a mix of local and regional talent, through a GoFundMe campaign.

“It was this undiscovered canvass,” Snyder said. “Every day I’m surprised how big the project has become and how supportive the community is of the project. I’m looking to bring more progressive art to the Village … and get people thinking.”

The history of the art wall dates back to about six years ago when the adjacent property to Senõr Grubby’s had to remove several trees, according to Senõr Grubby’s co-founder Justin Jachura. Once the trees were cleared, he dialed up his friend, Snyder, to drum up ideas for the wall.

Jachura knew he wanted some sort of artwork, but Snyder successfully pitched Jachura on his vision for the Carlsbad Art Wall.

Since then, it has exploded in popularity, becoming a staple for residents and tourists alike. However, he also has another vision for the art wall, to expand to other locations across the city.

“I really wanted to do something artistic and always want to get the community involved,” Jachura said. “He had this idea… it would bring traveling artists through, bring attention to the Village and people down to the Village. It’s hard to believe five years has gone by.”

These “satellite” walls would feature a variety of artists, but also draw attention and, perhaps like with Senõr Grubby’s, positively influence business. But first the obstacle is the financial burden associated with operating the walls.

Currently, Jachura and Snyder fund the wall, although Snyder did receive a $5,000 grant from the city of Carlsbad three years ago. He was awarded a second grant one year later but had to return the money as he was appointed to the Carlsbad Arts Commission.

He is now in fundraising mode for the fifth year of the art wall with a modest goal of $2,000 but would like to reach $25,000 so he could pay the artists more in line with what they should be compensated, Snyder said.

In addition, he is looking at creating a website or other items such as postcards or calendars of previous murals to sell and fund the project.

“I really like the idea of the community supporting because of how it looks, and because they’ve invested and feel much more a part of it,” Snyder said. “This is happening because of me (the donors), is what I want them to think.”

The wall has become so beloved, Jachura said, and looking back he called it a “trendsetter.” It opened eyes to other businesses and the city by presenting art in a colorful and meaningful way.

Although art is subjective, he said, the wall has livened up the “so-called sleepy Village,” putting it and the city on another level.

“Since we started this project, other permanent murals have sprouted up all over the place,” Jachura said. “It seemed like our project was ahead of our time.”