Take a closer look at the New Village mural

Have some extra time? Or already headed to one of Carlsbad’s libraries? Visit the mural “Cultural Arts Okapi” by Adonna Khare upstairs in the Dove Library or “The Whale” mural by Jason Markow in the Cole Library. All of these murals are site-specific, with the overall goal is to provide a greater awareness of local, regional and nationally recognized artists and heighten the visibility of artists and the arts in Carlsbad.

We’re fortunate to live, work and enjoy a distinctive array of creativity throughout Carlsbad. There are many wonderful creative sector businesses that embrace a spirit to enliven daily life like Barrio Glassworks, North Coastal Art Gallery, and Carlsbad Music Festival, along with many murals activating dynamic visual experiences in the Village. 

There’s an exciting art element that brings a new face to the Village through a stunning mural titled “Passengers” at the newly renovated Dea Hurston New Village Arts Center. New Village Arts has a long history in the City of Carlsbad, and the city has supported its development including the recent renovations.

The city’s Cultural Arts staff, led by Cultural Arts Manager Richard Schultz, collaborated with New Village Arts, Carlsbad Village Association and the North County Transit District to select an artist and a design concept for this large-scale mural project. Inspired by the spirit of innovation in the city’s Arts & Culture Master Plan, the mural started with an idea of a creating a truly Carlsbad-centric arts experience. The design and fabrication of the mural was completed by Arizona-based artist Clyde as a nod to New Village Arts Center, the Carlsbad beach culture, movement and travel by spanning the approximately 97 feet wide and 16 feet high west-facing wall.

Clyde’s mural, titled “Passengers,” was finished in November 2022 and unveiled last month. Clyde commented, “The glass vases are a metaphor for vessels and the ranunculus are the life, traveling together through time.” Clyde believes the common denominator between the ocean, the Village Coaster Station, and the New Arts Village Theatre were all unique characters that work in unison. He added, “The hundreds of fish that travel together in the flow of a current, the hundreds of unique individuals that come together to travel in the same vessel, and the many characters that work together to put on a show for the Theatre.”

Like the Coaster moving people from one place to another, the figure is posed in a theatrical stance, as guiding theatre goers to the entrance. Clyde has a very unique and distinctive color palette and incorporative hyper-realistic figurative work in a fine art-style. He is intrigued how the architecture of the building will interact with his design. His palette of neutral tones evokes energy and movement, creating an inviting and welcoming environment. This is perfect for visitors new to Carlsbad, avid theatre goers, restaurant enthusiasts or locals taking a stroll in the Village. Clyde’s design is interactive. Here’s an idea for a photo opportunity for social media: A person can stand near the mural, and act as if they are holding up the glass bottle with a reflection of the Carlsbad Village Coaster Stop and the surrounding palm tree, capturing the perfect moment in time in Carlsbad.

Clyde’s mural is part of the Cultural Arts’ Pop Up Art series, featuring temporary art installations throughout the community. These unexpected aesthetic experiences are created to enliven the community by sparking conversations and connecting to local businesses with creative placemaking while supporting economic vitality through The Arts: Everyday, Everywhere.