In 2018, beautifulPB launched a community art initiative — Art in Place — to integrate more art into the Pacific Beach community. To raise awareness for the program, beautifulPB held a contest last year for a business or individual to win a free mural for their location. The winner, announced Jan. 6, is Red Dragon Championship Martial Arts studio at 1603 Garnet Ave. It was chosen by a panel of San Diego art and urban planning experts.
This mural will kick off the Art in Place initiative and will be painted by Aaron Glasson.
Glasson, who hails from New Zealand and has lived in San Diego for about five years, is known for his community-centric murals and public art installations. His work can be found in OB and Bird Rock, in Mexico and Sri Lanka, but this will be his first PB mural.
Glasson told PB Monthly he does not have an image in mind for what he will paint, but knows it will be consistent with what is relevant in the community and something that will speak to both locals and tourists. He will begin painting the mural in February or March, and expects the project to take him seven to 10 days to complete.
For Glasson, part of the enjoyment of public art and mural painting is the opportunity to interact with people on the street he wouldn’t typically get to talk with.
“It’s kind of interesting because when you’re painting a mural — because of how you’re dressed, you’re often covered in paint — people don’t really have any preconceived notions of you other than you’re an artist painting a mural,” Glasson explained. “It seems like anyone and everyone will talk to me … as a painter on the street, homeless people will come and talk to me, but then well-to-do people will come and talk to me… it’s that level playing field. You become very approachable.”
In celebration of the upcoming mural, beautifulPB will host a free, guided walking tour of PB art and murals at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning at Randall’s Sandals, 1033 Garnet Ave. Brick and Bell Café, Yerba Mate Bar & Empanadas, and Koffee Kat will provide tour participants with energy stops along the way.
For those who prefer to enjoy PB’s art at their own pace, the new PB Art Map at bit.ly/artinplace (select the link “PB Art Map”) gives the location of each public mural.
During and immediately following the tour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a kick-a-thon will take place at Red Dragon Championship Martial Arts studio with proceeds going to the Art in Place project. Participants will aim to perform 100 to 1,000 sponsored kicks within their session period (45 minutes) to raise money for beautifulPB. The more kicks an individual performs, the more entries they will receive for various raffle prizes.
Additionally, each participant who donates a minimum of $5 for future murals will receive a free month of classes at Red Dragon Championship Martial Arts ($174 value). To reserve a spot (each session is open to all ages and skill levels), visit bit.ly/reddragonmartialarts, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (858) 263-4212.