Summer is just around the corner, but locals on today’s packed beaches thought otherwise.
Artists express their reactions to the world around them through a wide variety of mediums. Free Humanity is no exception. He has sprayed satirical stencils on the side of a liquor stores, wheat pasted mashups of popular culture and implemented installations questioning science for many years.
Free always has a lot to say and has never been shy to shout it. In the early 2010s, Free’s art could be found on every electrical box in Los Angeles, usually heavy with dark political references. In 2011, Free sculpted an apple grenade and hung it from a tree which quickly brought out the bomb squad, climaxing with a inspection by a wheeled robot.
Today politically charged debates can be heard in the streets, threaded online and blanketed across all media. We have all partook in this banter. We have all won some and we have lost some, but in all outcomes, an emerging headache follows us through the day.
Free has made a name for himself through these types of heated conversations, backed by strong iconography, but some of his most poplar pieces have come recently completely void of any political jargon and controversy—and it could not have come at a better time.
Free invites you to abandon this politically fueled discourse and embrace the rhythmic patterns of his thousand colorful hearts painted in his most recent mural on the the Carlsbad Art Wall. He dared onlookers to shut off their mind, exit its all-encompassing stubbornness and voyage through the evolving mural abstractions.
While an assistant hovered nearby with a camera in hand, Free sprayed a vibrant undercoat. Unorthodox to all, Free introduced a new and visually exciting technique. With a quick jab, Free punctured the first spraycan with a screwdriver resulting in a short-lived explosions of color. One after another, Free detonated each can resulting in a cloud of color smoke, gravity pulling drips and awes from each admirer.
The wall immediately transformed into an feathery cloud of color completely engulfing the earlier white buff. Free and his assistant shifted their technique to a flurry of fat-capped hearts, each weightless and floating skyward as many passersby awed at the arrangements of color. Heavy drips puddled in the green grass and paint fumes drifted into the cloudy sky.
Fans from near and far made Carlsbad their weekend destination to meet the artist and experience his creative process. Some purchased artwork straight from the wall where blank canvases caught the wide sprays and uncontrollable drips. Others pocketed stickers exhibiting Free’s portraiture works.
The day grew long as Free and assistant layered the mural. Abstract and unplanned lines intertwined through each heart. Like the rhythmic sounds of a Phillip Glass composition, Free’s mural enticed a comfortably numb and meditative state. No one questioned its meaning. No one asked for a title. Each onlooker simply gazed contently.
Free’s newest style is a welcoming break from politics. It’s an intermission between debates and it’s the calm center of a dizzying twister. Where everything around you antagonizes confrontation, headache and controversy, Free’s newest mural on the Carlsbad Art Wall simply puts your mind on hold—inviting a meditative journey based purely on the visual.
Carlsbad Art Wall creative director Bryan Snyder hosted another street art workshop on Monday, February 20 on the east facing wall at Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village.
The workshop is a collaboration with the Carlsbad Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad with partial funding by a Community Arts Grant from the City of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Office.
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 25 (all day)
WHERE: Señor Grubby’s in Carlsbad Village (map)
After the last mural by a Carlsbad based artist, the Carlsbad Art Wall (CAW) is bringing a Los Angeles muralist to the Village to wrap up the project’s 2nd year. LA based artist Free Humanity is scheduled to begin painting Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village. The artist will be painting all day. Mural to be completed the same day.
Through stencils, wheatpastes and installations, Free Humanity uses his urban and gallery art to express his reactions to the world around him. Critical of politics, religious and science, the artist’s art is fueled by Buddhist principles of egalitarian selflessness and aims to “take back the Humanity stolen from our minds by social manipulation and planting seeds of positivity through art and consciousness.
Free’s work has been a staple in the Los Angeles streets for nearly a decade, but can also be found all over the world.
The Tim Burton-esque model of the Carlsbad Village created by Bryan Snyder for the Carlsbad Magazine cover (Nov.–Dec. 2016) is now part of the Carlsbad Historical Society’s collection of local memorabilia.
You can view the model located in the Shipley Barn by visiting the Magee House located at Magee Park.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11–3 pm.
Private Tours with Tea are given Monday through Thursday BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
More info at:
After gathering in the parking lot outside the electric security gate, a group of interested residents began the highly anticipated tour of the legendary Encina Power Plant in Carlsbad.
The tour began with an hour long photo presentation by NRG safety manager Jonas Jackson on the history, the engineering of the steam cycle and the future of the power plant.
The tour continued out of the presentation and into the facility lounge where we were provided hardhats, gloves and ear plugs, as well as a close view of retired turbine blade.
We were soon led through a variety of wide open halls, staircases and elevators through-out the interior of the power plant periodically stopping at essential posts including control rooms, boilers and turbines.
An opened door high above the plant floor invited us to the exterior roof of the power plant. A rusted rail and pair of chairs separated us from the highway 101 below. A view we only imagined over the past decades greeted us with stormy surf, a cloud scattered sky and the creeping sun.
Jonas led us back into the plant and out the east facing door where we found the base of the nearly 400ft. plant chimney. Emergency communication satellites hung near the bottom as the chimney top receded into the sky.
The future of the Power Plant is limited, but details on the exact date of decommissioning is uncertain due to the complicated logistics of a water intake to the new power plant, which will have to be built if the “old” power plant is removed.
Whether Encina’s future is days or years, we all felt extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to explore the grounds of our local landmark.
Thanks Jonas, Patty and Ryan for all the interesting facts and the highly anticipated tour—and a special thanks to Linda for organizing this opportunity.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for artwork inquiries.
all photos by Bryan Snyder
On Saturday, November 19, legendary skateboarding and emerging urban artist Kris Markovich painted a local tribute to his memories living in Carlsbad on the Carlsbad Art Wall (CAW) located on the east facing wall of Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village.
Markovich had been eyeing the Carlsbad Art Wall for many months. He had driven by it. He had envisioned himself organizing his many supplies around it. He had dreamed of applying layers of paint to it—and he foresaw himself basking in all its triumphant glory.
This mental exercise is not uncommon for Kris. As a teen growing up in Florida, his visualizations often became reality. His canvas had always been a collection of urban obstacles, but in his early days, Kris’ chosen art was skateboarding.
His skating soon took him all over the world competing in contests, earning high profile sponsors and ultimately relocating himself and his family to the mecca of street skating—the Carlsbad Village by the Sea.
The large, intimidating and potentially dejecting Carlsbad Art Wall loomed. Kris approached the blank challenge with the same manner in which he used as a professional skateboarder. As if he and the wall were the only entities on the face of the earth, Kris mused while resurfacing months of visualizations.
Suddenly, like the sharp click of a skateboard’s tail snapping upon the hard concrete, Kris sprung to his feet. Spraycans, brushes and rollers attacked as Kris balanced upon ladders. A palette of pastel colors quickly layered across the wall abstractly placed, but always in harmony. The wall’s entire face was quickly covered. It looked good, but Kris was only warming up with bigger tricks hidden up his tattooed sleeves.
The sun began to set on this first day of painting, but Kris had no plans of stopping. Passersby commented on the beauty of the wall, but Kris immediately responded that it was nowhere near completion and would take on a new and completely different shape once finished.
After a few autographs with some young aspiring skateboarders, Kris decided to switch things up leaving his big, bold and fast repertoire for a more technical bag of tricks. Similar to the difference between a huge backside grab and a precise nollie hardflip, Kris shifted his approach to smooth lines of text. Onlookers cheered as each string of words elegantly glided across the concrete. Street names, phrases and tributes linked together in a poetic line of local pride.
The crowd faded as the night melted in the early morning hours. Kris would have painted all night if it was not for an abrupt storm. As the rain started, Kris continued painting, but was soon forced to stop by a late autumn downpour. Kris hid in a pitched tent at the base of the wall and decided call it a night.
Kris awoke late the following morning to find a full day’s work diluted, dripped and collected in colorful puddles within the muddy base of the wall. Some artists may have been deterred, but Kris had bigger and better tricks lined up. Kris attacked the wall faster and harder than ever, but scattered with long winded breaks.
The following days progressed in quick bursts of creativity with long breaks during the day and passionate onslaughts of creativity throughout the night. The community would awaken to a completely new mural each morning.
Like a kid rolling around at a new skatepark for the first time, Kris did not want to leave. And like that same kid, after hours, no matter how much fun that kid is having, he is going to take some slams, bruise, hurt and leave a piece of himself bloodied upon the concrete. Kris loved each day of painting, but was also feeling his own collection of slams. Time was running out, supplies were low and the pressure to complete the wall and land his final trick was adding up.
A mental strain began to wear on Kris. Accompanied by a week of long cold nights, rain and a lack of sleep, his state drifted toward manic. Under these conditions, the most solid mind would have faltered, but Kris regained composure and refocused on the prize.
Kris had bounced back and forth from bold fast strokes to technical text based thoughts during his week of painting. In the remaining hours, and for the first time, he married the two. Aged text from days prior left ghostly reminiscences and new text danced on beat with colorful faces. Thick black outlines compartmentalized saturations and a homage to Carlsbad flanked the outside.
Before Kris started his mural on the CAW, he imagined himself rolling up to the wall, clicking with his supplies, hurling his body across the obstacle and landing safely and triumphantly upon the ground for all to marvel at. It worked for him throughout his skating career—and it worked for him on this cold and wet week of painting in Carlsbad.
WHAT: Viz Art Ink Gallery Event
WHERE: 2906 State St., Carlsbad Village (map)
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 26 | 5-9pm
Chris Moberg will be playing LIVE and Elissa Gibb will be our featured artist. There will be beer & wine, chocolate treats from the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar, 15% OFF storewide and a chance to win over $300 in art and prizes.
WIN signed Viz Art Ink Disney artwork, prints, calendars, pottery by featured artist Elissa Gibb and much more! Prize drawings will be at 7pm and 9pm. Must be present to win.
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20 (all day)
WHERE: Señor Grubby’s in Carlsbad Village (map)
Professional skateboarding legend and emerging gallery and urban artist Kris Markovich will be painting a mural on the Carlsbad Art Wall on November 19 and 20 located at Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village.
The Making of the Cover
by Wendy Hinman
Carlsbad Magazine: November/December 2016
Carlsbad Magazine Publisher Tim Wrisley first conceived this cover and then found a ready and willing artist in Bryan Snyder. Both grew up here and both have a deep love for all things Carlsbad. Wrisley’s idea: the best of Carlsbad all mashed together Nightmare Before Christmas style. Snyder’s response: everything handcrafted with loving care and great memories.
After he graduated from Carlsbad High School, Snyder briefly studied accounting before switching his major to art after winning two round trip tickets to Europe through a nation wide short film contest. While living homeless in Europe and exploring art museums, two things were existentially clear to Snyder, “I knew I was an artist” and he would come home to Carlsbad.
By day, Snyder works at the National Association of Musical Merchants in marketing. By night, “I create large quantities of art; I have since I was a little kid.”
As a painter, Snyder has a unique style. His paintings are as vibrant as Van Gogh and as wild as Pollock, only with the clean lines and order reminiscent of Banksy’s stencil work. His studio on Jefferson has almost as many pieces of the contemporary artists he admires as his own.
Snyder said of his cover installation, “It will be a memory of yesterday when the village as we know it today—is gone tomorrow.” It is his nod to history as he sees the village changing. “”Culture is currently in jeopardy. Locals are being pushed out and family neighborhoods are replaced with AirBnBs and high density timeshares. This model is my way of preserving yesterday during this transitional period.”.
“The schedule has been the most difficult thing,” Snyder said. “I have been working 8:00 to midnight every night for over a month. It was like Groundhogs Day (the movie), but the progress I saw each morning after a long night kept me excited.”
Snyder had done a lot of models and Claymation, but a mag cover was dauntingly high profile. And then, as magazines are want to do, there was a deadline. Snyder got to work with photo reference and sketches, hand bending the beams of the Carlsbad sign, sculpted foam, lots of toothpicks and “cutting, claying and paper macheing.” We couldn’t be more happy with the result. It’s another way to pay homage to the city we love
There was a bird
that was named Giavanti.
He had colorful feathers
and lived in park with his family.
His kin liked to drink,
laugh and smoke cigars—
They often got into trouble
and thrown behind bars.
These troublesome nights were often,
but one was like no other.
Givanti was thought to be in harm
and was stripped from his mother.
He was taken to a vet
where his life was sent into a twirl.
His name was changed to Giavanta,
because all this time he was not a boy, but a girl.
On Saturday, August 27, prolific street artist and entrepreneur Sand One painted one of her signature “doll” character on the Carlsbad Art Wall (CAW) located on the east facing wall of Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village.
Fans of Sand promptly arrived at the CAW on Saturday, but were surprised to find a blank wall with no sign of the visiting artist. Due to the overwhelming response to a recent product launch on her website, Sand was stuck in her LA based studio fulfilling 1,000+ orders of her newly released art themed air-fresheners.
Sand arrived at the CAW on Sunday as a steady fan base of Latina women trickled in. Before she had time to unpack her supplies, a large crowd had gathered. Sand’s social media audience of 85,000+ followers on Instagram, and just as much on all other social channels, watched Sand’s every move through an ongoing stream of daily updates. They know her favorite foods, her beliefs, her art’s story and a slew of personal stories some might sheepishly share to only the closest of friends. Sand is an open book and her followers read every single word.
Sand, a 5ft. tall Mexican woman from East LA wore short jean shorts and a tight bodysuit showcasing one of her signature “doll” characters, is a personality made for the stage. Her thick Mexican accent can be heard at all times sharing stories, personal beliefs and jokes, all which the growing crowd of loyal fans listen to very closely.
Sand’s art and humor is not the only reason why the growing crowd had a smile throughout the day. Many of Sand’s fans, if not all, have triumphed through difficult times in their lives because of Sand’s empowering message behind her art. Sand encourages women to leave abusive relationships, start their own businesses and take control of their lives. The gratitude behind the dozens of smiles that surrounded Sand even before she sprayed a single color on the bare wall is in itself a piece of art.
Lucky assistants are chosen from the crowd. They celebrate this heightened position from just a fan to a team member and instantly begin organizing the colorful spray cans from the front line. There is an unspoken competition for Sand’s attention. This promotion secures a full day of privileged status—one which Sand will always remember.
While the chosen helpers excitedly worked, Sand inquired about Carlsbad. Within seconds, and without a preliminary sketch, Sand decided on a mermaid. She bounced around the wall in an eruption of creativity while outlining her character. After only minutes and within a cloud of dust and paint fumes, her composition was mapped, her cans were organized, and she was back off the wall in full conversation with the newest arrivals.
Every artist approaches large scale painting in the public space differently. Some put on their headphones diving deep into their own isolated world whiles others acknowledge spectators with a polite nod and short introduction. Sand is an anomaly. She aggressively sought out meaningful conversations, often leaving the wall in the midst of creative outbursts. She continuously worked on memorizing each of the many names that watched her every move and she learned of their backgrounds, their hardships and their personal triumphs—responding quickly with brash advice—all gladly accepted.
The steady flow of fans continued to arrive throughout the day. While Sand made progress on her design, adding hints of shadows and highlights, the crowd thickened. As if Sand had eyes in the back of her head, she twirled away from the wall and identified each of the newest arrivals, many whom awaited with gifts of Sand’s favorite almond milk, flowers and an assortment of food neatly packaged to Sand’s liking. Being called out by Sand is something of a rite of passage—the moment you graduate from an online follower, or even a collector, to a mural assistant who will forever be part of one of Sand’s creations.
Sand grabbed a black spray can and began outlining her character—bringing it to life with exaggerated eyelashes, oversized eyes and bright plump lips. The crowd cheered with each new eyelash, many fans shared that those are their favorite part. The womanly figure came to life in a colorful combination of cartoon and comic aesthetics.
Sand has always been an artists since she was a child. She first found inspiration from Michael Turner comic books on the shelves of the grocery store she would frequent with her family as a young girl. This early inspiration was found in the sexy female characters of Turner’s Fathom and Witchbalde. Her “dolls” including the one that she continued to paint between conversations, reflect these early inspirations, along with influences of her heritage in a Mexican family growing up in East LA.
The mural was completed with a quick signature, the same one that currently dries on the shirts, phones and roller-skates of the many watching fans. Sand proclaimed her finished mural to the crowd, as well a to her SnapChat audience, and was greeted with a loud roar of applause. Each fan got a welcomed opportunity to state their name on Sand’s live social media feed.
Sand is an artist, a rock star, a performer, an entrepreneur and a therapist. She is one of the most prolific artists in LA with murals around every corner and an online store her team can’t keep stocked. She can be credited for empowering woman all over LA, possibly saving lives in the process. She has mastered the art of human interaction producing passionate followers through meaningful conversations. Sand is 100% real and tells it as it is. Her confidence is borderline arrogant; her advice is brash and her forwardness is intimidating—and her army of fans love it!
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 26 and Saturday, Aug 27 (all day)
WHERE: Señor Grubby’s in Carlsbad Village (map)
After the last mural by a San Diego based artist, the Carlsbad Art Wall (CAW) is bringing a Los Angeles muralist to Carlsbad. LA based artist Sand One is scheduled to begin painting Friday, August 26, 2016 at Señor Grubby’s in the Carlsbad Village. Sand will be painting all day. Mural to be completed Saturday, August 27.
Sand One’s cartoony females called “dolls” can be found painted large-scale all over Los Angeles with over-sized eyelashes, acrylic-painted nails, fruity colors and LA-themed tattoos. The “dolls” that Sand paint represent the empowerment of females within the fast-paced hustle of everyday. Her strong “doll” characters remind us that being a woman does not inherently equal being fragile.
Raised by a single mother, graffiti maven Sand is of proud Mexican and Guatemalan ancestry, something that is reflected heavily in her work. Along with being one of the most prolific muralists in Los Angeles, Sand is also a successful fine artists with loyal collectors. She is also an active entrepreneur release clothing, phone accessories and handbags all showcasing her artwork.
Sand’s art has taken her all across the globe, from Miami to Japan, Mexico, Guatemala and Thailand. She has collaborated with some of the biggest companies including Urban Decay, Jeffrey Campbell Shoes, Sheikh Shoes, Red Bull, Levi’s and NBA Cares.
In 2015, the east facing exterior wall of Señor Grubby’s rotated through 5 different CAW murals—each painted by a new Los Angeles street artist. Each artist was curated by Carlsbad village based artist Bryan Snyder with the goal of introducing new urban art to the Carlsbad community, as well as providing an educational setting for aspiring urban artists. In its 2nd year, the CAW will be painted by both local San Diego and Los Angeles artists.