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‘Ocean Front Property in Arizona’: New mural in La Jolla offers viewers an ‘immersive space’

"Ocean Front Property in Arizona" by Rosson Crow is the latest Murals of La Jolla installation. It's at 925 Silverado St.
“Ocean Front Property in Arizona” by Rosson Crow is the latest Murals of La Jolla installation. It’s on a wall of Silverado Cleaners at 925 Silverado St.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Immersing passersby in a space that doesn’t “yet exist,” artist Rosson Crow’s new mural, “Ocean Front Property in Arizona,” was installed March 22 as the latest in the Murals of La Jolla program.

Murals of La Jolla, which commissions public art projects on private property around town, was founded by the La Jolla Community Foundation and is now a project of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.

The new mural, at Silverado Cleaners at 925 Silverado St. in The Village, is Murals of La Jolla’s 39th installation, but it deviates from the program’s usual methods in three ways: Its vinyl panels were applied directly to the wall; it’s a rare eye-level image; and the artist soon will return to hand-paint more on top of it.

“Ocean Front Property in Arizona” depicts a “beautiful, joyful beachside scene, with all the trappings of the beach,” Crow said. “It has a boardwalk vibe to it … but it’s completely abandoned.”

Crow said much of her work represents “nature reclaiming its territory after humankind has … gone, [with a] slightly dark undertone of humanity not existing in this space, although all of the detritus and ephemera has been left behind.”

The mural, sponsored by Sheryl and Bob Scarano, is so named to emphasize “a fictional space that does not yet exist,” Crow said, though she wonders if there might someday be oceanfront property in Arizona.

The Silverado Street mural is an adaptation of beach scenes Crow has done before and thought would be perfect for La Jolla, “being a coastal town [and considering] rising sea levels and the idea of how do we live with nature, specifically on the coast.”

"Ocean Front Property in Arizona" by artist Rosson Crow
“Ocean Front Property in Arizona” depicts “a fictional space that does not yet exist,” artist Rosson Crow says, though she wonders whether it might someday.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The ground-level location, Crow said, means her mural functions as an “immersive space that people could walk up to and experience like they’re standing in it.”

Murals of La Jolla Executive Director Lynda Forsha said the mural’s location is in “a pretty high-energy zone,” matching Crow’s imagery, which Forsha said contains “so much energy and … rich content.”

Crow, who is originally from Dallas but now is based in Los Angeles, said she usually paints interior spaces — this is her second mural — and shifted a few years ago to “exploring landscapes and thinking about the way humans interact with the landscape and what we leave behind.”

This is the program’s second consecutive mural to explore the interaction between humans and nature. “Time” by Gabriella Sanchez, installed in November on Fay Avenue, contemplates industry within La Jolla’s seascapes.

Forsha said the parallels between the two most recent murals weren’t intentional but “those connections are really, really powerful.”

Crow’s mural is printed on vinyl and applied right to the wall, a departure from Murals of La Jolla’s usual method of printing a mural, fitting it in a frame and mounting the entire thing.

Only a few of the murals have been painted directly onto the wall.

Forsha said Crow’s mural was installed the way it was because of the ground-level location and she was concerned that with a frame, “people could walk along and kind of poke into it.”

“When the material is applied directly to the building, it won’t be vulnerable in that way,” Forsha said. “I think [there] will be other walls in the future where this technique could be used again. It’s good for us to be kind of doing something new.”

Crow said she will return on an as-yet-undecided date to add some “painterly flair” to the mural by hand.

Three more murals are planned for installation in 2022, Forsha said. Learn more at muralsoflajolla.com.