ESCONDIDO — Local artist Julia Anthony has recently finished a sprawling and colorful mural showcasing Escondido’s unique beauty on the west exterior wall of the city’s Public Library on Kalmia Street.
The final image depicts a young girl reading on the grass, surrounded by flora and fauna native to Escondido, with rolling hills and vineyards laid out behind her. Just to the girl’s right, is an image of the historic Escondido Library that dates back to the 1890s.
The massive work, “Escondido’s Vision,” was commissioned by the Escondido Public Library Foundation back in May.
“It’s about embracing the beauty that makes Escondido what it is,” Anthony said. “But also, to me, the main focus of the mural is actually the girl reading, and to me personally the mural is about knowledge is power,” Anthony said. “If I could send a message to the community, it would be that knowledge is power and we gain our knowledge from reading, hence why the library is such an important feature in any city, but especially in Escondido.”
The recently completed mural is very colorful and vibrant, as Anthony was hoping for from the start.
“The community’s response has just been wonderful,” Anthony said. “There are so many people, especially this past weekend, who would actually pull in with their cars and stop to talk to me and thank me for creating something so beautiful for the community. That’s always really rewarding when you’re creating something and it actually makes an impact.”
Anthony also previously created the Wild Beauty of the Savannahs mural in the Escondido Library’s children’s area in May 2010, as well as a fresh and saltwater ocean mural at Oceanside Public Library in April 2011.
Anthony, who lived in Escondido for 30 years, said she took the project on because it had a personal connection for her. She also had some help from a few local artists who volunteered their time to assist.
When the mural was first commissioned six months ago, two designs were up for consideration. In a poll that was active from May 26 to June 7, Escondido residents were able to share their input and expressed their opinions on which of the two designs they want to see at the library. Ultimately, Anthony’s work was chosen.
Jack Anderson, the president of the Escondido Library Foundation, said that the mural will serve as a landmark for the library and for the City of Escondido.