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Painting messages of hope San Diego artists hope to lift spirits during pandemic

Murals in Gaslamp
Posted at 5:03 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 20:56:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Downtown several huge murals cover plywood boards that protect businesses shuttered during the pandemic, as they reopen, those murals are coming down.

"It was definitely, I don't know, surreal." The Tipsy Crow Director of Operations Nathan Colonero said it was surreal seeing a familiar place always packed with friends completely empty.

As the pandemic wore on, Colonero noticed a change.

"You could slowly see the shadow work its way over downtown," Colonero said.

Then he got a call from the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

"I said well we aren't looking to spend too much money right now while we're closed. He said, 'No no no, we just want to beautify downtown and put a whole different spin on it for anyone walking around." It was an idea he could get behind.

The partnership recruited local artists, including Pandr Design Co., to paint seven murals downtown between April 27th and mid-May.

Some had inspirational messages, like " Stay Strong" and "Things will be okay".

Neighbors are loving it.

"It was exciting to see this art in the city," Two-year-resident MJ Hasoneh said.

"It was a very beautiful thing that they did and I'm grateful for that," Neighbor Juan Gonzalez said.

"Honestly it's so nice to see the artwork, obviously all these places have to be closed right now," Ali Calder said while walking her dog.

Now that businesses are reopening, the artwork is coming down.

"I mean they were doing so much beautiful work on them, of course I'm glad that they're taking them down, but it was very good to see because it lifted a lot of people's spirits," Gonzalez said.

Colonero shared the same sentiment, "it was kind of sad taking them down, but obviously very excited to open up have people look in and see all the renovations we've done."

He and other downtown businesses hope to make up some of their losses during this trying time.

The partnership is storing the murals for future use as temporary displays or if needed on other buildings.