Paint is a key ingredient in creating art and beautifying spaces, buildings, and communities. Further, paint — and the art it helps create — can also be a tool for social change.
This October, Dunn-Edwards supported the non-profit Ladies Who Paint and its female artist-only mural festival in San Diego. Dunn-Edwards had the pleasure of supplying paint to the 10 diverse artists who added beauty to San Diego’s East Village in the form of large-scale murals.
The motivation to launch the festival started in 2018 when mural artists Phoebe Cornog and Roxy Prima of Pandr Design Co. took part in a mural painting festival and were dismayed to see very few women artists among their ranks. It wasn’t the first time they noticed a representation gap in the arts between male and female artists. The Ladies Who Paint founders note that — despite the fact that 51 percent of visual artists are female — mural festivals are heavily male-dominated, adding that women working across the arts professions earn almost $20,000 less per year than men.
For the Ladies Who Paint Art Walk in October, artists painted over the course of several days covering walls with a variety of colors and designs. “We let the artists have creative freedom. We didn't want to dictate their designs at all. Everyone has different styles and specialties so they each ran with that,” Cornog said. The mural festival not only showcased the excellent abilities of the artists but it also challenged passersby to think about the work in which women are capable. “We think we made an impression on the community by showcasing 10 female artists doing manual labor. They were out there for a week on scissor lifts and slinging paint. It was a sight you don’t see every day,” Prima said.
Using Dunn-Edwards for the Ladies Who Paint Art Walk gave muralists the opportunity to take their work to the next level. According to Cornog and Prima, the paint’s really high quality meant that most of the time you only have to do one coat of the color — and it goes on really smoothly.
The murals along San Diego’s Park Boulevard, C Street, F Street, 10th Avenue and Market Street have positively impacted the area, helping to enhance a sense of community. “We recently went and talked to a local middle school class and the kids noticed [the neighborhood transformation], too. They even set up a field trip to go check the murals out!” Cornog said.
All photography by Melissa McClure