CARLSBAD, Calif. — This summer if you see kids with cans of spray paint spraying the side of a building on Grand Avenue in Carlsbad don't call the cops. In this Zevely Zone, I visited the Carlsbad Alley Art Wall.
It's where a Carlsbad artist thought if there are public places for people to shoot hoops and skateboard, there should also be a place for people to paint. It's where we met well known street artist Bryan Snyder asking a group of kids something you don't hear every day. "Who wants to spray paint?" asked Bryan.
Even if you don't know Bryan Snyder, if you've ever visited Carlsbad Village you've seen his work. Bryan grew up in the village where he's made a name for himself as an easy-going mural man. "I was a little village kid I grew up in these streets and I have not stopped playing in these streets my entire life," said Bryan.
As a father, Bryan wants his children to express themselves. "This is my son Henry and my daughter Stella," said Bryan. As an artist, his passion to paint extends to every kid in the county. "Who wants to start with blue?" asked Bryan. "Who wants orange? Red anyone? Who wants green?"
The Alley Art Wall has 17 permanent murals, by 17 different artists. "Where do think, you are not allowed to paint on this wall?" asked Bryan. Right in the middle of those masterpieces, sits a recreation space where anyone is welcome to paint. "It's just different we were never able to do this is other places," said a boy spray painting the wall.
"So, the cool thing about this project is you now have a place where you are allowed to go and practice, I didn't have that when I was a kid, I wish I did," said Bryan who approached the Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad Village hoping they'd want to shake things up. "Really the coolest part is engaging them in the community and it being part of the community," said Abby Snyder (who is not related to Bryan).
Normally, kids with spray paint would get in trouble for this. "It feels great because you are doing something that could inspire other people," said Julio Vazquez-Marquez. He wasn't sure what he was painting which was half the fun. "It's exciting, it's just brings a lot of joy," said Julio.
Bryan told us why he feels every town needs an art wall. "There are kids who love baseball, they have baseball fields, swimmer have community swimming pools, there's even skateboard parks for kids who want to skateboard. There are so many kids who want to paint like this who don't have a place to go," said Bryan.
You don't need a ticket, reservation and certainly no skill. "Does that look like a surfer on a wave?" I asked. Bryan responded, "That's how the wall works it's not about the masterpiece it's all about practice, you are doing great."
Bryan raised $30,000 with local businesses for the project. He really wants to thank the Village Kabob Mediterranean Grill for donating the wall that makes it all work.
Bryan also wants to thank the Boy's and Girls Club of Carlsbad for being the title sponsor.
"Art is always that thing that gets me excited," said Bryan. The children could not agree more. "Thank you, Bryan!" they shouted.
The Carlsbad Alley Art Wall is located at 550 Grand Avenue in Carlsbad. Just bring your own supplies and start painting. For more information click here.
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