La Jolla event will fashion favorite colors into new mural

Roy McMakin stands beside one of his creations in his Seattle studio. He’ll be in La Jolla on Dec. 18 to create “Favorite Color, the next in the series, Murals of La Jolla. Courtesy: McMakin Studio
Roy McMakin stands beside one of his creations in his Seattle studio. He’ll be in La Jolla on Dec. 18 to create “Favorite Color, the next in the series, Murals of La Jolla. Courtesy: McMakin Studio

By Kathy Day

Staff Writer

What’s your favorite color?

People of all ages and interests who answer that simple question will help transform the blank concrete block wall of a La Jolla office building into a colorful mural.

That’s when Seattle artist and UCSD graduate Roy McMakin comes to town to create the second in the Murals of La Jolla, being funded by the La Jolla Community Foundation. And he wants the community’s help during what organizers hope will be a festive community event.

Earlier this year the foundation created the La Jolla Arts Program to promote conversation and connections among residents while enhancing the aesthetic character of the community. Ultimately, there could be 10 to 12 temporary murals around town, all on private buildings that stay up for 12 to 24 months.

This project, following on the heels of Kim MacConnel’s colorful work on the rear of the Lapiz Building at 7724 Girard Ave., will give new look to the side of the building 7596 Eads Ave.

The building is owned by La Jollan Leon Kassell, who said last week that he always thought La Jolla could benefit from having more art in town.

“Why not use the walls?” he said, adding that he offered up his wall and left what happens in the hands of the artist. “That is exactly the way it should be.”

McMakin is known for designing furniture that, in his own words, “blurs the lines between art and applied art,” as well as for his talents as a color consultant. No stranger to La Jolla, he earned his bachelor’s and master of fine arts degrees from UCSD.

Although he says he “doesn’t hang his shingle as a color consultant,” he works with color and on the architectural side of design. He played a key role in the color selections at the Getty Museum in the late 1990s.

“It’s something I’m both good at and fascinated by, with people’s relationships to colors,” he said in an interview last week, adding that he has strong memories of his own favorite colors dating from when he was about 6.

Recently he attended an artists’ residency in Texas, where he was sitting at a table with 15 to 20 others, including three artists. When he asked his color question of one person, he said, the conversation took off.

“It went around the table. Each one literally looked at the next person and without ever asking anyone else, everyone stated their favorite color,” he recalled.

His approach to the La Jolla project is simple and follows that basic interest, he said.

“It’s a pretty straightforward idea with a lot of meaning … Color helps people shape and understand their world.”

This, he added, will be both fun and a unique way to show the diversity of La Jolla.

His hope — and that of Matt Browar, a member of the La Jolla Community Foundation’s arts committee — is that there will be a large crowd throughout the day to make color selections.

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