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San Diego artist gives historic building a sizzling splash of color

Artist and designer Sarah Stieber might just be San Diego's most colorful character.

SAN DIEGO — A well-known San Diego artist painted her first rainbow at the age of two and never looked back. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Bankers Hill where the Casa Blanca building is getting a colorful makeover. 

When the historic apartment complex needed a splash of color, the building's owner knew just who to call. "I've been obsessed with color my whole life. It's always been big bright colors," said artist Sara Stieber who might just be San Diego's most colorful character. 

She has a real thing for color. Who else would pull an all-nighter to tie die a jump suit for her colorful TV close-up. "I couldn't just use the plain white Dickies I got in the mail," laughed Sarah. "Was that my close up? Hello!"

Credit: sarahstieber.com

Sarah told us about a video her mother shot of her when she was just two years old, when she decided to become an artist forever. We found the footage. "You did? I was so small. I was painting a rainbow," said Sarah. "Looking at that early footage, I don't think I was quite as specific with my lines as I am now." 

After studying art at Boston College, Sarah became a professional. We found more video of Sarah as an adult painting walls inside a home with very vibrant colors. "Yes, that is my house," said Sarah who thought why should art be confined to a canvas? She became an interior designer too. She transformed beige walls into a kaleidoscope of color. "I don't like beige," laughed Sarah.  

Credit: sarahstieber.com

Which leads us to 4th Avenue on Bankers Hill. "This is Casa Blanca which I find the name very ironic because as you can see it is a lot less Blanca," said Sarah. Casa Blanca is an apartment complex built in the early 1900's to house the workers who built the Panama-California Expo. When the building's current owner, F and F Properties needed a little pizazz, Sarah was ready to go up, up and away. "Welcome to my office so high off the ground, it even has an ocean view," said Sarah from up high in her boom lift.

Credit: sarahstieber.com

"It is my largest mural I have ever done. You can see it expands a full city block, yeah, I'm so excited about it," said Sarah. Her project is part of a series of paintings, she's calling Rainbow Ribbon Magic. "A year ago, I never would have thought I would have been up 60 feet on a boom lift painting," said Sarah. "I have all of my paint and studio furniture with me and it's like my studio in the sky."

Casa Blanca may just be her masterpiece. Here's looking at you kid. "I feel like I get to pursue my wildest dreams, and this is it," said Sarah. If you'd like to see Sarah's finished product, the Casa Blanca is located in Bankers Hill at 2241 Fourth Avenue.  For more information about Sarah's art and design click here.

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