A Statement from the Artist: Micaiah Hardison
I spent a lot of time during the last six months thinking about how I would represent my hometown in a way that felt honest to me. I worked for the last three months creating the mural, though the community only saw about one week of activity as it all came together. The mural is a 40ft wide triptych, unified by redwood heart framing. The center image was painted directly on the rough textured stucco wall. It is a simple but iconic Encinitas sunset image with the Self Realization Fellowship temple architecture in the foreground. This image is flanked on both sides by fine art paintings that were produced in my studio on linen, then giclee printed onto 60″ x 96″ aluminum panels.
This part of the mural shows a Mexican fishing panga making a pre-dawn beach landing at Cardiff-by-the-Sea, the southern community of Encinitas. Encinitas beaches are a popular drop spot for drug and human smuggling operations, and a significant percentage of our population are ‘undocumented’. This group of hopeful immigrants are arriving from Northern Baja and are eager to get to work building a better future for themselves and their families. I have always been inspired by the bravery, humility, honesty and work ethic of this segment of our community. For the models, I chose a few friends who had themselves crossed the border illegally and are now productive locals with growing families and businesses. I even built a faux panga in my yard and lured my friends over with Tecate and pizza.
This part of the mural shows two ‘hippies’ enjoying a sunset in front of multi-million dollar homes on the bluff in Leucadia, the northernmost community of Encinitas. Leucadia is marketed as a funky hippy town but in reality most of the hippies got priced out of the community decades ago, and the funk no longer meets the city code. I wanted to show the disparity between the thriving multi-millionaire ‘haves’ and the stubborn ‘have-nots’ that actually can’t afford to live here but still do. These are the locals that I relate to, having myself slept in my truck for a considerable portion of my life just to be able to stick around. The beautiful thing I wanted to convey is that, especially at sunset, we come together to marvel at God’s beauty and are all equals sharing undeserved blessings, connected with nature and appreciating the common reason we are here. My dog Geronimo, my daughter Zahara, and my buddy Matias were my models for this painting. The vantage point is from in front of the home where I was fortunate to grow up in.
Thank you to our Fiscal Sponsors:
Moonlight Beach 7-Eleven, SoulScape, Leichtag Foundation, Freeform Print Marketing Solutions, Tim Turner Landscape Designs, Detour Salon, Encinitas Acupuncture and Massage, D Street Bar & Grill, Surf-fur, ArtPin.
Paint Encinitas needs your help to raise funds to defray the cost of new mural “Encinitas Harmony” in Downtown Encinitas by Micaiah Hardison. Also donation of $50 or more get entered to win this stunning work of art. Drawing is Sunday, February 15th. If you prefer to just donate, we greatly appreciate that too. Thank you so much! Donate at www.beautifyearth.org/donate (Please write in the comment section that you’d like your donation to go to Paint Encinitas).