Escondido, CA

Artists get creative with k-rails

Painted k-rails in front of the Flying Toad.

As Escondido restaurateurs on Grand Avenue have been allowed to expand their seating outdoors onto the sidewalk and even into one lane of traffic, creativity has blossomed among local artists.

Some artists from the Escondido Art Association had the idea of painting the k-rail barriers in front of some of the eateries. The movement started with the volunteer artists painting the k-rails in front of the Grand Tea Room with picket fences and flowers. Others at Maple and Grand were decorated with “Visit Escondido” on them.  

Louisa Magoon of the Grand Tea Room told The Times-Advocate, “Several of the business are now asking them to paint their k-rails too.  It’s becoming a community project.  They’re all volunteers so we really appreciate their hard work and talent.” She added,  “They accept donations and have beautiful art in their gallery for sale.  Their gallery is located at 121 W. Grand Avenue.”

Most of the k-rail murals were done by the Escondido Art Association Gallery Suzanne Nicolaisen is one of the artists but she’s had some others helping her.  They are not charging anything but the local merchants are giving them donations.  The Downtown Business Association (DBA) gave them a $500 donation.  

Mrs. Magoon added, “They’ve been struggling just like everyone else.  They wanted to do this for our downtown community which is really nice.”

Alex MacLachlan of the DBA commented, “Suzanne and the other artists at the Escondido Art Association are doing a beautiful job taking the vision of the individual business owners and transferring that vision to a concrete canvas in a personalized way. I’m seeing a lot of positive responses on social media to what they are doing, the art seems to bring out a certain amount of community pride.” 

He added, “Just last night we had dinner with a couple from Fallbrook. Without solicitation, they told us about their recent trip to downtown Escondido and how they felt like they were dining outside in Europe. That was a very satisfying anecdote to hear.”

MacLachlan concluded, “The Downtown Business Association recently made a financial commitment to the Escondido Art Association in appreciation for all they are doing to beautify downtown Escondido with public art displays on these safety barriers. We highly encourage our fellow civic organizations, business owners, and citizens to make any donations they can to this worthy nonprofit who is keeping art alive in downtown Escondido.”

Artists who took part in the beautification effort included, Bin Davis and her children, Pri, Sariah and Veena; Missy Davis and her children, Starlee, Bella and Mazzy; Art Association members Amy Walls, Stephanie Ware, Tammy Corbo, Olivia Delletorri, Jinx Lennon, Suzanne Nicolaisen and Eliyana, Hadley and Adrienne.

6 responses to “Artists get creative with k-rails”

  1. Byron Marler says:

    It’s a thing of beauty! Volunteers stepping up to have positive impact on the community! What they give brings smiles to faces and community pride to our hearts. Their art adds a cheerfulness to our lives – especially now in these stressful times. We are fortunate to have these artists and their kind, sharing ways in our town.

  2. Karen S. Holmes says:

    I first recognized Suzanne’s trademark flare of painting on the cover of the Escondido magazine. Then I saw her on Fox 5 news. I said. ” I know her !!”. In between, I have been downtown watching our progress and beautification unfold. We are setting a significant example to other towns on how to rise up in the worst of times. As a photographer and card creator affiliated with Gallery 121 since 2017, I have never felt more pride in being such!! Karen S. Holmes. What can I do to help? I have more time than I do money. Haha.

  3. Sharri Sedlock says:

    Go Escondido artists!!!

  4. Duane H. says:

    Had dinner outside last Friday in Escondido and noticed the artwork right away…really nice to see this happening. Wonderful to get out and enjoy the great weather.

  5. says:

    Great article about Suzanne and the Escondido Art Association. It motivated me to finally subscribe to the Times Advocate. Suzanne is a wonderful person and amazing artist. Thanks to all who helped with this project!

  6. Sandi Koetter says:

    My husband and I met Suzanne at the San Diego Fair last year. She was painting a beautiful picture with an Hibiscus in it. We sat and watched and commented on it now and then.
    When we left, we felt like we were old friends with Suzanne and I have kept in touch with her over the last year.
    Now my husband and I are the very proud owners of the beautiful picture that is one of the pictures in one of the magazines showing
    Suzanne’s artwork. She is standing behind the picture and we are so proud to have it.
    Thank you, Suzanne.

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