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One mural finished, more in the works

Paint Encinitas putting newest marks on EUSD learning lab

ENCINITAS — The large, steel grey, sentry-like electric box in the front of the Encinitas Union School District Farm Lab is now abloom with art, telling the story of day and night.

Paint Encinitas was at it again.

On Sept. 27, the rapidly growing public-art group completed its second mural in the city, this one adorning the aforementioned electrical box at the Encinitas Union School District’s agricultural and horticultural learning laboratory.

“The electrical box was a complete success,” said Jacqueline “Jax” Meyers, the founder of Paint Encinitas. “We are making strides to paint Encinitas, beautify buildings and unite the community so that we have something to celebrate.”

The weekend’s “celebration” was a joint effort between Paint Encinitas, the school district and Healthy Day Partners, which partners with the school district to promote school gardens, wellness and environmental education.

Paint Encinitas held an open call for muralists to submit concepts for the box art, and the chosen muralist was Fallbrook artist Taylor Gallegos, whose submission, “Natural Rhythms and Cycles,” depicted the interplay between night and day.

Gallegos said that murals are the “flowers of society,” a colorful sign of a healthy and vibrant community.

“Mural arts is important in education because it tells the story and sometimes can tell a bigger story that we can’t through words,” Gallegos said. “We can paint a wider picture than sometimes we can describe. It inspires pictures that are organic in someone’s head. You can dictate a lesson whereas art is less literal and more organic.”

Meyers said the mural is the first in a series that will include four more murals at the farm lab. So far, concepts for the next murals include an educational mural about the local watershed and another that depicts the importance of bees to the environment.

“We were pleased to collaborate with Paint Encinitas in bringing vibrant artwork to our community,” said Dr. Timothy Baird, superintendent of the Encinitas Union School District. “It is fitting that our first mural installation depicts the very essence of EUSD’s Farm Lab, where environmental, nutrition and science education come to life.”

Paint Encinitas, which started in January, has the mission of bringing public art to the forefront, Meyers said. Many times, public murals appear unannounced, when they should be heralded throughout the community.

“We are looking for artists and businesses to step up and join this community movement to have an outdoor art gallery in Encinitas,” the energetic leader said. “We want to make art accessible to everyone in the community, regardless of their age, their race and how much money you make. Art needs to be accessible.”

Meyers said the group would need to do fundraising to help defray the cost of the four murals currently in the works, which will cost about $30,000. She said fundraising opportunities would include mural sponsorships and pay-to-paint projects.

“A lot of times, no one wants to pay for visual artists, they just want to provide a wall and say, ‘go ahead and do this,’” Meyers said. “There is a lot of time, energy and skill that goes into creating a mural. It makes a mark, and we need to start valuing our public artists, because their work is so important.”

So far, Meyers said, businesses from each of Encinitas’ unique communities are stepping up to join the Paint Encinitas movement.

“It is really exciting, there are a lot of people stepping up; they want murals in Cardiff, they want murals in downtown, they want more murals in Leucadia, they want murals in Olivenhain, they want murals in New Encinitas,” Meyers said. “It shows that we are growing and being successful in the mission to beautify our town and bring people together and give them something to celebrate.”

This story has been corrected since its original posting to show that Paint Encinitas is not a nonprofit.

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