CARLSBAD — Local artist Bryan Snyder’s latest public art project combines space for several muralists and a blank wall for budding young artists to hone their craft.
Snyder, a Carlsbad resident, unveiled the Alley Art Wall, 550 Grand Ave., on Feb. 26 in Carlsbad featuring an interactive session with several kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad.
And just like that, Snyder’s 20-year vision for a grander art wall became a reality.
Snyder partnered with the nonprofit as a way to draw kids to the open space of the wall, which is 15-feet high and 54-feet wide, including a 10-foot-by-12-foot space dedicated to anyone wanting to learn or practice painting.
“It was an emotional day for me,” Snyder said. “To see that group of kids working together, a lot of kids who didn’t know each other, painting together, collaborating, and even creating friendships. It checked every box I had in my mind. It was the ideal scenario.”
Snyder, who also started the Carlsbad Art Wall on the east wall of Señor Grubby’s, knew he found a permanent home for the new art wall about four years ago. After putting up a small mural of his own character, “Doodle,” he received permission to go forward with his larger vision.
Over the past several months, Snyder secured commitments from 17 muralists who previously worked on the Grubby’s wall to paint permanent installations at the Grand Avenue location. Snyder also went on the fundraising circuit securing $30,000 in donations from 38 organizations and individuals to pay the artists, signage, supplies, a security camera and a donation to the Boys & Girls Club. Snyder also plans to raise funds for a dedicated website and has launched an Instagram page, the “Carlsbad Alley Art Wall.”
But further down the alley is what Snyder is really proud, the interactive component to entice beginners, especially kids, to express their creative side. Snyder kept the space blank for anyone to paint on and over, thus giving people their own public area.
As for the public wall, Snyder said people can bring their own paint and paint to their heart’s content. However, kids under 18 who use spray paint must do so with an adult present, per a city ordinance.
“No one really has to worry about weather-resistant paint,” Snyder added. “If it can make a mark on the wall and it’s an art supply, it’s good.”
As for the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad, Abby Snyder (no relation) and Brince Washington said the opening of the wall is exciting and will be a compliment to the club’s programming. Abby Snyder said for years the kids at the club have gone to Grubby’s with Snyder, who held workshops and encourages kids to get into art.
Washington said art is the core of the club, which encourages the kids to be expressive and creative.
“We’ve been working with Bryan for years,” Abby Snyder said. “Our kids have really benefited from it. It’s been a long process and it’s amazing. Our kids really do benefit from being connected to the community.”