Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Art Students Make Art a Place for Community

Art Students Make Art a Place for Community

The School of Art and Design is helping bring the San Diego community together through art.

The school joined forces with the El Cajon Boulevard Business Association to complete a local placemaking project. In fall 2014, art students designed and painted a parking lot in the 2800 block of El Cajon Boulevard.

“Art can make public spaces into places,” said director of the School of Art and Design Kotaro Nakamura. “It’s a bridge between the academic art and also the community.”

Placemaking

Nakamura explained that there were two main goals of the project. The first goal was to turn an ordinary space into a place that the community will enjoy, and the second goal was to bring student art into the community.

“People can really experience art this way, it brings the art out to more people,” said Nakamura.

The painting of the parking lot took place over the course of one weekend with the hard work of faculty and several student volunteers. While the school provided the labor and design, the association and property owner put money together to fund the painting.

Community and Student Impact

The art is already making an impact as the El Cajon Boulevard Business Association has begun hosting a monthly food court in the newly painted parking lot. The food court is called “BLVD Market” and takes place on the third Friday of every month.

“There is art you can put on the wall and then there is art you can do that really matters to all people,” said Nakamura. “A food court in a parking lot without the art would be boring but this really energizes that space.”

Their work has paid off and helped make “BLVD Market” a success with over 10 food vendors and positive community interaction during each event. Nakamura hopes to continue working with the association to bring more art into the community.

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