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Local artist creates labyrinth to usher in New Year

ENCINITAS — The combination of beautiful weather, decent waves and curiosity made Grandview Beach a popular destination for locals and visitors alike on New Year’s Day.
A large crowd gathered throughout the day to watch Kirk Van Allyn, also know as Kirkos, create a labyrinth on the sand. With his two golf bags full of homemade tools, Kirkos began outlining the 120-foot meditative maze in the early afternoon as the tide receded.
“I’m placing a convex mirror in the center to give it a wide angle perspective,” Kirkos said. “It’s a place to reflect on yourself when you reach the middle.”
The Leucadia artist began creating art in the sand over a decade ago. This is the fifth year he has made a New Year’s Day labyrinth. “This is mathematical poetry,” Kirkos said, as he rummaged through his bag to find a stainless steel angle attached with pipefitters. “It’s so much different than a diagram on paper.”
Joan Stabenau, a Carlsbad resident, has watched the process once before. “What’s fun is to see all the things he decorates it with,” she said. Participants were encouraged to bring biodegradable decorations. Leslie Torence of Oceanside brought flowers and salt to add to the design. “It’s very peaceful just being here, being in the midst of all of these people and in this spectacular weather,” she said.
Marlene Krutz stood next to Stabenau on the perimeter as Kirkos began sketching the outline of
the labyrinth. “You get intrigued as you watch him,” she said. “It’s hypnotizing in a way.”
Even the excited children who happened upon the tall, slender man drawing in the sand stood quiet for a few moments to watch the creation unfold. “It looks like just a bunch of lines until you see how he makes a pattern,” said Shannon Peters, 9. “I wish we could stay until he finishes it,” the Encinitas resident said as her parents packed up to leave the beach.
Because of the high tide, Kirkos got a late start. “The tides were more cooperative two years ago,” Stabenau remarked. But the timing didn’t seem to bother the multitude of onlookers. “I’m sure it’s going to be amazing when it’s done,” Jerry Abernathy said, as he watched the labyrinth come together from the steps leading to the beach.
After a few hours of twisting and turning Kirkos put away his tools and declared the labyrinth complete. People began to walk the maze on cue. “It’s exciting watching all of these people participate,” he said.
“Walking this labyrinth is symbolic of walking through life,” Abernathy said. “You don’t know the how the road is laid out in front of you or where exactly you’ll end up but you keep on walking.”