Murals of La Jolla provides ‘Time’ for reflection in new artwork

"Time" is a new mural by Gabriella Sanchez, commissioned by Murals of La Jolla at 7611 Fay Ave.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Artist Gabriella Sanchez’s mural on Fay Avenue is a composition of collaged images from photos she took in La Jolla this summer.


Timing is everything, and much of that depends on nature and industry, as represented in a new mural installed Dec. 3 in La Jolla.

The mural, part of the Murals of La Jolla program, is the design of Los Angeles-based artist Gabriella Sanchez. It is a composition of collaged images from photographs Sanchez took in La Jolla this summer.

Called “Time,” the 18-by-54-foot mural at The Lot La Jolla at 7611 Fay Ave. represents “thinking a lot about time and in terms of how we relate to time through nature,” Sanchez said.

Nature “has its own timekeeping through growth of trees or plants or the cycle of the ocean, which always is subject to changes throughout the seasons and through the moon,” she said.

Sanchez said the mural “connects the old tradition of marking time through nature” but juxtaposes that with “marking time through our relationship with labor.”

“Time now is 9-to-5, on the clock,” she said. Using elements of both work and leisure, the mural explores “the rigidity of our relationship to time when it’s compressed through labor.”

Sanchez said the mural invites viewers to contemplate scenes in La Jolla, “where you have so much industry but also nature at the same time and finding space for rest.”

“Time” is the 37th installation of Murals of La Jolla, a project of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. It was begun in 2010 to commission public art on private property throughout La Jolla.

Murals of La Jolla Executive Director Lynda Forsha said the selection committee “loved the content, vibrancy and immediacy of Gabriella’s work.”

Sanchez graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University, Forsha added, “so it was exciting to us that she would also have an understanding of our community and its unique culture and character.”

Once Murals of La Jolla commissioned Sanchez for the site, “we didn’t know what Gabriella would propose, but we knew it would be rich in imagery and content, and it certainly is,” Forsha said. “Her background in graphic design and her unique collage style, which combines photography, typography and a heightened palette, work well for our digitally printed format.”

Creating the mural was a familiar but novel process for Sanchez, who said she has incorporated her photos in her work, “but never for such a specific site.” This is the first project she’s built entirely around her photos, she said.

“La Jolla was easy to work with because it’s so beautiful,” she said. “It was nice to see some people from out of town and vacationing and other people … working or living there or just taking their kids out or going for a walk. I really liked being able to work with all of that dynamic.”

Sanchez, who grew up in Pasadena, said the color palette of Southern California influences her work, though she thinks “that could relate to a lot of different places.”

Sanchez has created murals before and shown her work in spaces including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, along with several international art fairs.

She said she hopes those who view her new La Jolla mural “will take time out of their day to just spend time with it ... just have their own agency over that moment in time.”

Forsha said that “if [people] choose to engage with her imagery, their experience of it should be authentic and meaningful. The title, which appears front and center, gives a clue to some of the rich content embedded in her web of images — shells arranged in a spiral pattern, for instance.”

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