There’s just something refreshing about stumbling onto art. Sure, you could go to an art gallery or visit a museum if you wanted to see fine artwork, but it’s another experience entirely to be driving along and suddenly see a whole wall full of color and fresh artistic expression. Several cities throughout the country have begun to commission public art projects on walls of old buildings, parking lots, and bridges, as a way to combat vandalism while giving burgeoning artists an outlet. La Jolla is one of those cities, and the murals you find here add bright character to the community. Here are just a few you might see:
Raymond Chandler at the Whaling Bar
A fairly recent mural painted by Raul Guerrero, this classic bar scene was painted in homage to a late, great author who lived in La Jolla for the latter part of his life and used it as inspiration for his last novel, Playback. In the novel, the community was called Esmerelda, and you can see the word scrawled in whimsical cursive above the scene, as well as a cover of the novel. The vibrant red walls and wistful expressions stand out in this mural, which you can find just half a block from La Valencia Hotel (the home of aforementioned Whaling Bar), at 1162 Prospect Street.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Once Upon a Time in the West, by contrast, uses cooler and more muted colors. There’s a thin blue line surrounded by shades of gray — shadows of nearby buildings and the overlapping silhouette of a pensive man with a finger to his lips in thought. The man is La Jolla architect Louis Kahn, and the mural is a tribute to the many great minds of science and architecture that La Jolla has known. It’s not for nothing that the Salk Institute for Biological Studies can be found here, and has been making breakthroughs in the field of biology since its opening in 1960. The architect behind the building was Louis Kahn himself. You can find this mural, painted by Kota Ezawa, at 7905 Herschel Avenue.
Playing La Jolla (For All It’s Worth)
While the first two murals were paintings, Playing La Jolla (For All It’s Worth) by Terry Allen is actually a photographic collage. The top half of the image displays the deep blues of the ocean. The bottom half is a piano keyboard with the words “Playing La Jolla” written across the keys. Stretching across both are a pair of hands resting on the keys. It’s a work of art clearly done by someone who loves music as much as the visual arts, and that makes sense, because Terry Allen is a musician as well as an artist. It hangs across the street from a sunny courtyard at 7611 Fay Avenue.
These are just a few of the many murals you’ll find on the streets of La Jolla. For more information, check out the official website for Murals of La Jolla, or visit La Jolla to see them for yourself. Don’t forget, when you book direct with The Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla, we’ll price match plus a 5% discount.