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New mural in La Jolla shares artist’s ‘Quarantine Dreams’

Artist Hanna Daly's new mural, "Quarantine Dreams" at 627 Pearl St., shows a surfboard, baseball, suitcase and images of other currently off-limit activities.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Adding pops of color to an alley-facing wall on Pearl Street in La Jolla, mural artist Hanna Daly has created a large-scale public art piece dubbed “Quarantine Dreams,” a compilation of images against a blue, purple and pink background representing what we’ve been missing while sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I knew I wanted this mural to have something to do with the quarantine, but I wanted it to be positive, and it was so hard to come up with something,” she said minutes after completing the mural April 22. “I thought about doing a giant ‘Hang in there, baby’ cat poster, but when we got to work, I just started doodling little images to represent what we all miss. Everyone misses the beach, sports, school, traveling and being with friends. So I wanted to show that shared suffering, but with a positive message.”

Included in the mural are a surfboard, baseball, suitcase and images of other currently off-limit activities.

Mural artist Hanna Daly puts the finishing touches on "Quarantine Dreams" at Fresheria restaurant at 627 Pearl St.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The mural, at the Fresheria restaurant at 627 Pearl St., was created in partnership with the eatery’s owner, Nancy Juarez, as part of a plan that predates stay-at-home orders. (“Quarantine Dreams” is not affiliated with the Murals of La Jolla public art program.)

“Nancy wanted something fun and vibrant here several weeks ago,” Daly said, but once stay-at-home hit, she put the project on hold to preserve funds.

Daly, however, isn’t one to stay home with nothing to do, so she offered to do the mural for free, with the understanding that it would be painted over when the shelter-in-place order is lifted.

Using leftover paint from her garage, Daly and friend Carli Mitchell arrived onsite and “threw the colors up on the wall,” not knowing what the final product would be. The two brainstormed and came up with the “Quarantine Dreams” images.

Response was immediate. During Daly’s interview with the Light, a passer-by stopped to applaud her design.

“This is very current, something we are all going through. But people are so excited to see something colorful, it’s so enlivening,” Daly said. “It amazes me when I paint outdoor murals how many people stop and talk to you or talk about it. Art is necessary. Especially now, we are realizing we need art and music in our life.”

"Quarantine Dreams" artist Hanna Daly says "people are so excited to see something colorful, it’s so enlivening.”
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The plan still is to have a more permanent mural at the site, but what the image will be remains to be seen.

“Maybe this mural is something we need now but we won’t need for long,” Daly said. “I think it has a shelf life and then we will paint something else over it. It’s ephemeral.”

As for her own quarantine dream, Daly said that as an open-water swimmer, she can’t wait to get back in the ocean. “And have people over!” ◆