Murals in Oceanside
Oceanside’s makeup goes far beyond just beautiful sandy beaches, O’side is an inventive town whose community thrives on a unique combination of creativity and flair. This inherent creativity that seems to exist in the hearts of O’siders everywhere, combined with the love for the arts, has propelled Oceanside into being one of fourteen state-recognized cultural districts as defined by the California Arts Council. The manifestation of this strong creative foundation built by our local art institutions, talented local artists, and supportive local community goes beyond just the art-based events that frequent our Event Calendar. It also culminates in the stunning and vibrant murals painted up and down Oceanside’s downtown streets. With around thirty murals already in existence and an additional nine curated murals in the pipeline over the next three years, Oceanside is continuing to build its reputation as the place to go for great weather, large sandy beaches, fantastic small businesses, and now more than ever a hub for the arts.
These murals are a great way to not only beautify the city, but also make it more welcoming, inviting, and ultimately walk-able. They give the community a voice, and help to build a bridge between local expressions and the visitors that come to take in all that Oceanside has to offer. Walk the streets throughout Oceanside and you will find numerous murals that transform otherwise ordinary buildings into public works of art.
One such mural located on the side of local favorite Masters Kitchen & Cocktail features a detailed portrayal of early twentieth century bootleggers playing ukuleles and bongos along with their moonshine-still, Model-T flatbed truck and period red longboards at the water’s edge. The “beachbillies” are decked out in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops ready for a dip in the ocean. This theme is befitting of Masters Kitchen and Cocktail’s focus on elevated California cuisine in a kickback casual environment. Artist John Lamb, the creator of this mural, first became interested in art as a toddler after he picked up a crayon and pinstriped his parents entire home. He draws inspiration from early Disney cartoons, sunsets, cars, and his two driving passions surfing and skateboarding. He has created trendsetting, animated films of these topics and amazingly won an academy award for Scientific and Technical Achievement in Animation at age 27!
Oceanside native BB Bastidas is another mural artist whose work can be seen throughout Oceanside. BB first became interested in painting while on a skate trip at age 17 which eventually led to him becoming a world famous painter, sculptor, film, mural and installation artist that pushes the boundaries of mythical, spiritual imagery. His work often includes religious iconography, Egyptian symbols and cosmic patterns pieced together with a dreamy quality that evokes different types of interpretations by those who view it. BB has traveled the world and painted murals in Paris, London and several other cities in addition to Oceanside. A few of his iconic Oceanside murals include the stunning joint ballerina and shark piece bestowed on the side of Cadence Dance Project, the emotive woman’s face at the corner of Wisconsin Ave and South Tremont St, his newest at the Flying Pig Pub and Kitchen, and his enchanting outdoor wall mural at The Pour House off South Coast Highway. Like BB’s other work, the latter mural blends symbolic images such as a galloping white horse, ascending angel and floating skull.
Another uniquely “O’side” mural can be found on the side of famed restaurant Wrench and the Rodent/The Whet Noodle. Created by accomplished artist and professional skateboarder Kris Markovich, this mural features extremely stylized characters with bright colors and graphic, edgy imagery that seems to ebb and flow along the side of the building. Visible directly off of South Coast Highway, this mural is an attention grabber that begs for a closer look.
With so many beautiful and striking murals, and new ones popping up all the time, we’ve created a mural map that lists every major Oceanside mural including its specific location and a preview picture. Use this map to go on your very own mural hunt in Oceanside so that you can see these works of art up close and personal to appreciate their unique character and powerful visuals. Be sure to photograph your favorites along the way and tag them with #oceansidemurals!
Click on the top, left map icon to expand specific mural location information
Click on the top, right icon to open in Google Maps application
Content contributed by Jolee Pink, an Oceanside-based writer, designer and artist that runs the popular Eat Drink SD Facebook group and the Wabisabi Green lifestyle blog focusing on art, design, food and travel.