When art mirrors our ecosystem

Next time you are near the Village, take a drive along Eureka Place and you’ll be greeted by a stunning view of Carlsbad’s newest mural. The women-owned Studio Tutto recently installed an over 200-foot mural on the west-facing wall at the city’s Library Learning Center, located at 3368 Eureka Place, adjacent to Holiday Community Park.  

The artist team of Hennessy Christophel and Sofia Laçin took on this project and welcomed the challenge of transforming this city facility which opened in 2008. After multiple focus groups and a community workshop, artists Hennessy and Sofia listened intently to participants who spoke passionately about Library Learning Center services and why Carlsbad is such a special place. The artists had all they needed to develop a design concept based on Carlsbad’s ecosystem.

The city’s Community Outreach Supervisor Carrie Scott refers to “the Library Learning Center as an ecosystem; an environment where all of the pieces are interrelated and interconnected” and how they work in unison to support the goals of each individual, at all stages in their life. This statement resonated with the artists on how to make the outside of the building mirror the inside space with its welcoming and dedicated staff and the robust resources and services. 

As the facilitator of the project, I was in awe of the finished artwork, titled “The Sun & The Egret.” I was intrigued by specific color palette and how it relates to the architectural elements. The design creates a subtle sense of movement, as well as depth and dimension to the exterior. While onsite, I met Carlsbad resident, John Dale, who shared “This building was very sterile looking. The new mural makes the building come to life and makes me want to go inside.” 

Studio Tutto remarked, “We looked for parallel stories from the surrounding nature that embody this resource rich, caring environment. The lagoons of Carlsbad are a strikingly beautiful and unique feature of the local landscape, and a perfect allegory. We wanted this mural to feel like opening a storybook, connecting to the library inside. The illustrated style of the artwork, painted over paper-like smooth, cream-colored stucco creates a story that unfolds across the building facade.” 

The city’s Library Learning Center is an educational resource, meeting community members’ needs with literacy and learning in English and Spanish. Just like our natural ecosystem, The Library Learning Center cultivates the emergence and growth of individuals. Ultimately, these temporary public art projects honor Carlsbad’s distinct heritage and cultural identity and deepen the city’s commitment to artists, the arts, and broadens its value to the quality of life in alignment with the city’s Arts & Culture Master Plan.