Artist teams with kids for mural project

Artist teams with kids for mural project
Artist and instructor Lynn Adams with a tile mural of South Cardiff Beach made by 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th graders outside the entrance to the Encinitas Boys & Girls Club. The mural is the first of four tile murals depicting the local coastline funded by the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation. Photo by Lillian Cox

ENCINITAS — Fifteen pairs of little hands recently came together to paint the first of four brilliantly-colored tile murals that welcome visitors to the Encinitas Boys & Girls Club. 

The community is invited to view the mural at Art Exhibit 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. April 27 at the Boys & Girls Club, Griset Branch, 1221 Encinitas Blvd. Also on display will be student work completed at the club under the guidance of painter Cheryl Ehlers and ceramic artist Alex Long. The reception is free and includes refreshments and a “Drum Jam” performed by Christie Johnson and her troupe.

The mural, painted by fourth- to seventh-grade students, is part of the Artist Outreach Project funded by a Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation, which awards grants to accomplished visual, performing and literary artists, age 55 and older, in their efforts to give back to their community.

“Lynn Adams was awarded the Artist Outreach grant to work with the Boys & Girls Club because of her talent as an artist, her ability to teach children and her entrepreneurial spirit,” said Victor Nelson, executive director of the Picerne Foundation.

“Lynn’s proposal reflected a clear opportunity for children to develop artistic skills and gain experience working as a team. Her project also provides the children a unique opportunity to use these skills and give back to the club in the form of some very impressive murals.”

The design for the tile project is a replica of a mural painted by artist Kevin Anderson inside the Leucadia Mobil station on Highway 101 near La Costa Avenue.

The first panel depicts South Cardiff Beach in stunning color and detail of beach goers and local flora and fauna. The next panel celebrates Cardiff and San Elijo State Park, and is followed by a third panel showing the area from the Self-Realization Fellowship north through Moonlight Beach. The final panel portrays the Coast Highway in Leucadia north to Ponto with the Coaster train in the foreground.

As each of the last three panels are completed, they will be mounted in order along the wall adjacent to the entrance to the Encinitas Boys & Girls Club. The project started in February and will be completed by December.

Adams is a native of Cardiff who earned a B.A. in art from San Diego State with a triple major in art, home economics/fashion design and industrial arts. She conducted a business, Lynn Adams Designs, for more than 25 years.

She became interested in tile painting several years ago while living part-time in Sayulita near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico where she painted house numbers on oval tiles. When Adams returned to Cardiff, she continued making the tiles and gave them away as gifts to her real estate clients. Eventually, her business grew to include painting house numbers on tiles for homes in Rancho Santa Fe and new residential and commercial projects in Mission Valley.

Later, she studied china painting under La Jolla tile artist Theresa Yianilos.

“I taught myself a bolder, thicker, denser style that looks like Malibu and Catalina tile,” Adams said. This led to an opportunity to paint production tile for Home Depot and, subsequently, custom tile for Encinitas Tile.

Since 1992 she has painted tiles with thousands of children from Laguna Niguel to San Diego for school wall beautification and fundraising projects and to strengthen the community connection.

Adams’ philosophy is to let children learn at their own pace, without pressure. She first teaches them how to paint using a squeeze bottle on individual tiles, which they are able to take home. When they’ve reached a level of proficiency, they are ready to begin work on a tile incorporated into the mural project.

“I like the fact that lots of different children can work on it who may not feel very artistic,” she said. “Once they see the finished product they know they contributed to a great piece of art.”

Since 2007, the Picerne Foundation has invested $177,000 in local artists like Adams through the Artist Outreach Project.

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