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.” www.escondidoartassociation.com/
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.