Our beautiful city is blessed with nature’s art in many ways. When I take a walk on the beach as the sun is setting, I am always struck by the beauty of where we live! But as an art lover and collector, one of the things I really enjoy about living here is our growing reputation as an arts community, with fine art galleries, the Sculpture Garden, and numerous examples of public art, especially in and around the Village.
The city-owned Walter D. Cannon Art Gallery at the Dove Library complex is a real gem, offering five diverse art exhibitions annually. This is art simply for the joy of experiencing, not for purchase. Some exhibits, like the Juried Biennial and shows featuring works by city employees and their families, are particularly popular. When I can, I enjoy attending Opening Night with a courtyard reception. Each exhibition also features an Open Studio on Saturday after the show opens with hands-on activities for parents and kids, all free!
If you’re in the mood to browse though, and perhaps acquire something that pleases you, there are a number of fine galleries to satisfy your artistic palette. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many I have yet to discover!
In the Village, visit Snyder Art, Viz Art Ink Gallery, the Front Porch Gallery, The Foundry (part of the New Village Arts Theater), the Carlsbad Art and Antiques Mall, and the Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League at the Village Faire. Creative Element on State Street offers a wide range of paintings, accessories, and wearable art from local and international artists, designers, and Fair Trade artisans…a truly unique art gallery! And don’t miss the Seacoast Gallery, with paintings, photographs and glass creations, across from the Premium Outlets Mall.
Public art abounds in and around the Village. You’ve no doubt noticed some of our wall murals – my personal favorite is of three colorful tigers, by artist Michael Summers and sponsored by the New Village Arts Organization, on the north wall of the Witch Creek Winery at the corner of Grand and Carlsbad Boulevard. Another favorite is on the wall by the Choice Juicery on State Street. And the personal family mural on the wall of Lola’s 7 Up Market and Deli in the Barrio is a gem – check it out, and of course Lola’s, too, if you haven’t already. A walk around town will surely reveal wall art you’ve totally missed!
Our public art also includes a wide range of sculptures – the helix at the Rotary at State Street and Coast Road, the Sculpture Garden with its changing exhibits, the Georgina Cole City Library, and the Fire Safety Training Center, with more works coming to several of our public parks. There are also the colorfully painted fire hydrants and utility boxes in the Village!
A favorite piece of public art is the Carlsbad Art Wall, brainchild of local artist Bryan Snyder in cooperation with the owner of the popular Senor Grubby’s on Carlsbad Village Drive. What’s very cool is the art on the wall keeps changing, with a new artist every few months; murals are announced in advance so you can watch the artists in person as they create their public artwork.
By the way, did you know there’s an interactive map on the City of Carlsbad website depicting many public works owned by the city? Find out where they are and learn more about them, it might inspire you to take a tour! CarlsbadCA.gov