The “Beautify Escondido” Mural project along the Grand Avenue barriers is moving along! Leading the way in the beautification effort is the Escondido Art Association. The activities are being coordinated with the City of Escondido, Amber V. Tarrac, Deputy Director of Economic Development Office of the City Manager | City of Escondido
Brenda Townsend of EAA told The Times-Advocate, “We love sharing some of the magic that is happening there with you!”
Mayor Paul McNamara commented, “The paintings have added vibrancy to the downtown. It is really great what everyone is doing.”
Responding to the social restrictions in connection with the pandemic, the City of Escondido narrowed Grand Avenue to two traffic lanes and made the former parking lane available to businesses. This was accomplished to placing about 100 gray, dull looking concrete barriers (K-rails) to mark the boundary to the new parking lane.
The Escondido Art Association (EAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts and the community since 1956. The BE-project emerged when a handful of EAA-members decided to add color and life to the new cityscape.
After the first two barriers in front of the EAA’s Artists Gallery, located at 121 W. Grand Ave., were decorated, and businesses owners such as the Grand Tearoom and Design Moe Kitchen and Bath asked if their barriers could be decorated as well. Passers-by asked if they could participate and the BE-project took off. At the time, it was uncertain how long the barriers would be in place, but it did not deter the volunteers from completing their mission of changing the look of Grand Avenue, Escondido.
With the decoration of the concrete barriers commencing and the results showing, several organizations have participated as supporters and donors:
• The Downtown Business Association
• The Chamber of Commerce
• The Rotary Club of Escondido
• Escondido Shines
According to a statement from the EAA, “The City of Escondido has been incredibly supportive of the project and city employees have provided practical assistance.”
The project has also been supported by: Sculpt Nouveau, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Home Depot, MAGEC, The Grand Tea Room, Design Moe Kitchen and Bath, the Patio Playhouse, Sign Post Studios and Mandala Creative.
Decoration of the concrete barriers is now nearing completion. It has been accomplished by unpaid volunteers under the guidance of Suzanne Nicolaisen. The participating volunteers were divided into four teams led by a facilitator, each assigned several barriers to decorate.
• Yellow Team – Carrie Foster
• Red Team – Brenda Townsend
• Green Team – Cindy Peters
• Blue Team – Jinx Lennon and Suzanne Nicolaisen
The completion of the project will be celebrated in connection with The Second Saturday Art Walk on November 14, noon– 6 p.m. Two unpainted barriers, located at 150 West Grand Ave. have been reserved for decorations by supporters and donors, and the Mayor of Escondido along with assisting city employees will be invited.