A community thrives on the interaction of its members in a forum which allows their needs to be met. The local sport icons learned on neighborhood diamonds, fields and courts while others sought out the less traditional forms of entertainment in the ocean or at the local renegade skateboard ditch. Some bypassed athletics for the many stories and adventures crammed in the tall book cases of our local library. The more sensual danced under the bright lights of the stage and others sang in the Christmas choir. For each of these interests, a forum existed where talents were honed and connections were made. For others, a shaky desk and a bright light pushed against the wall of a bedroom served as a playing field. A sharpened pencil and thick pad of paper acted as the equipment. A coach was a comic book or a Saturday morning cartoon and an umpire was the unbiased criticism of your mother. Over time, like the progression of a ballplayer from the schoolyard diamond to the big leagues, the bedroom doodler grew out of their space and sought out a larger forum where they could showcase skills and interact with other creators.
Though coffee shops and galleries existed in Carlsbad, a forum for unrestricted creativity was necessary. The desire to create with unbounded freedom was found at The Pit where the surrounding walls acted as enormous canvases and brightly colored creations grew like wild ivy. The act of expression was motivated by the desire to be known rather than to sell. A piece represented an idea rather than a dollar sign. Space was rarely scarce and ideas would flow as long as materials allowed. Today, the animated faces and goofy characters scream with vulgarity, but whistle with skill. The long center strip of surprisingly smooth concrete serves as a stage for shenanigans and pranks, meticulously arranged with dated props.
Unknown by most, The Pit was frequented by the local artist who sought a canvas and a much needed stage for their ideas. A large amount of the colored doodles are no more than grade school jokes, but among the visual gibberish lies interesting concepts and thought provoking ideas. I have watched the progression of art for a few years now and remain amazed by the longevity of some of the pieces, as well as the location as a whole. For Carlsbad, The Pit has served as a stadium, a court and a stage for the adventurous artists of Carlsbad.
Much of the art seems to be the same as what I first saw years ago. Maybe their is a new location for expression or maybe the creative seen of Carlsbad has simmered like the last quivering ashes of a beach bonfire. The art that has survived has become archived for future inspiration and eagerly awaits the next wave of kids to discover the lonely walls of The Pit.
col·lec·tive (noun) Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision.
Click on the above photos to enlarge!
Click HERE to leave a comment!