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Carlsbad artist Bryan Snyder has a new art exhibit featuring his “Doodle” creation, like the one in the background, at Vinaka Cafe. The exhibit will also a feature an art hunt, where patrons can find “Doodles” throughout the community. Photo by Tony Cagala
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Exhibit encourages more exploration of urban areas

CARLSBAD — “It’s an art show, but it also encourages people to explore in their urban environment,” said Carlsbad artist Bryan Snyder. 

Snyder is the initiator of many “community-based projects,” starting back in 2007 with Easter egg hunts and an annual Christmas ornament hunt.

Earlier this year, Snyder closed his art studio due to rising rent. He said he’d always known that he was going to have to close his studio at some point, and it was something that he had accepted, but once the reactions from the community starting coming in, it became difficult for him to close.

Snyder, 31, remains a fixture in the community with his newest art show and art hunt featuring his creation “Doodle,” a character he’s been drawing since he was 8-years-old.

“Doodle” comes directly from Snyder’s memories. In each of the pieces, there’s an indictable smirk on his or her face that gives a hint that they may be up to something — a shenanigan even.

Snyder has become well known for his shenanigans throughout the community.

“When I say shenanigans, it’s all about just putting art in the streets, whether it’s a sanctioned piece or kind of in that gray area. I’m hiding art in the streets,” he said. “It’s just doing things without maybe (the) OK from whoever’s in charge at the city.”

For his show at Vinaka Café, Snyder wants people to be able to experience the art in a gallery setting at the beginning, but then venture out. And that’s where the clues come in.

“So all the ‘Doodles’ in the streets will be hidden extremely hard, so you almost need a clue to narrow it down into a certain area and then start looking under trash cans or behind fences. They’re definitely not visible to the naked eye,” he said.

When and how he hides the artworks remains a mystery — something that he prefers stay that way, but would say that when he does hide the art (in this case, about 10 to 12 pieces), he tries to do so without looking suspicious.

The exhibition is also the signaling of a new direction on his future shows. Snyder said he’ll be exploring a branch of pop-art using recognizable icons from pop-culture. “The difference,” he added, “is I’m trying to use recognizable memories from childhood.”

Many of the scenes depicted in the “Doodle” pieces, whether it’s the memory of your first hamburger, or bad experience with gum, are represented and that gives people a chance to relate to the images, he said.

Instead of throwing away the cardboard canvasses that he practiced painting the impish character on, he would place them in the streets and in newspaper stands. Once people started finding the pieces they’d ask when the new “Doodle” would be hidden, and that’s how “Doodle” got his name, Snyder explained.

“The community gave ‘Doodle’ its name,” he said. “That’s actually where the whole putting ‘Doodle’ in the streets came from, me just putting art in the streets, because I don’t like to throw away art.”

For the show, Snyder’s been creating a “Doodle”-a-day for the past 30 days. Patrons who find the pieces during the art hunt get to keep the art they find.

Snyder typically sells original “Doodle” drawings anywhere from $40 to $100. Starting in August, Snyder will take personalized “Doodle” commissions.

Bryan Snyder Art Show & Art Hunt

Where: Vinaka Café, 300 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad
When: Begins Aug. 4 at 9 a.m.