This project was just the most recent held by Beautify Earth, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit whose mission is to “paint the world in color and bring inspiring artwork to the walls and spaces in the community,” according to the organization’s executive director, Evan Meyer.
“We are in a war against neglect, or war on beige,” Meyer said. “99 percent of the world’s walls look like they need love. And for every one of those walls, there is no reason for them to be neglected.”
Meyer, who is an Ocean Park Association board member, started the initiative as Beautify Lincoln three years ago. Meyer, inspired by the spirit of Burning Man, and the street art of Wynwood, Miami, was looking to prove that anyone is capable of making change and giving back in an artistic way.
“It started when I gathered together a few artist friends at the Novel Café on Lincoln as our first wall, and then turned into a nationwide nonprofit.”
Beautify Earth is now in a variety of cities using proven strategies and value sets to bring caring, art, color and love everywhere.
Heather Rabun, one of Meyer’s earliest partners on Beautify Earth, has surveyed existing businesses with murals and found the work Beautify Earth does on community walls helps attract new revenue to existing businesses (up to 50 percent in some cases), and even new businesses themselves in these areas.
. In total, Rabun said the organization has painted around 50 walls in Santa Monica alone.
“Being the change in your community is important,” Rabun. “We are all capable of making small changes that will have a big impact.”
Beautify Earth volunteer Jessica Alston, who sported a glitter tattoo as she manned the volunteer check in and donation booth, first heard about the organization via social media.
“I was onboard with what they do here, so I signed up for volunteering,” Alston said. “And I think this project, it’s beautiful. And the community coming out and gathering together to bring color to the community is great. Cause there are a lot of neglected walls that are just blank and need a little color. And they are trying to fix that.”
Over the course of the day, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Meyer said there were more than 100 people in attendance donating their time to paint the wall.
Meyer explained that the process behind creating the mural started with an artist, doing an outline of the planned painting, and then volunteers taking on the wall in a “paint by numbers” fashion.
Beautify Earth’s current goal is to make Santa Monica the “first neglect free city.”
To learn more about Beautify Earth, go to http://beautifyearth.org/.