I am told that a new mural has been added to Lucky Penny restaurant at 127 Anacapa Street. Here is a press release I received about it:

Lucky Penny, and Artist DJ Javier, in partnership with the Santa Barbara High School VADA Program (Visual Arts and Design), Santa Barbara

Lucky Penny, Santa Barbara’s most talked about landmark with an exterior tiled in real pennies, has recently unveiled a new large-scale mural in the restaurant’s outdoor patio by local artist DJ Javier. Javier, born and raised in Santa Barbara, received a degree in graphic arts from Azusa Pacific University.

DJ Javier is a first-generation Filipino-American artist and designer known for his creative explorations of his Filipino heritage and SoCal culture. He has established himself as a prominent figure in the art scene, creating murals, posters, apparel, and fine art pieces through his studio, Bayan Surf Club. Javier’s work extends beyond Santa Barbara, collaborating with major brands and institutions like Amazon and the Los Angeles Rams. Embracing his cultural identity, Javier has overcome feelings of alienation to incorporate his rich Filipino heritage into his artistic endeavors. He is dedicated to community impact, supporting local businesses and nonprofits while embodying the spirit of “bayanihan,” a Filipino communal practice. Additionally, Javier is an avid surfer who supports programs introducing youth of color to ocean sports. His work reflects a blend of cultural pride, creativity, and community engagement.

Javier is thrilled about the opportunity to partner with Lucky Penny. He states, “This partnership allowed me to not only mentor the art students from VADA on the process of mural painting but also educate them on the business side of being an artist, including the pitch and design process before painting begins. The students can feel ownership in something they created that will be enjoyed by our locals and travelers visiting Lucky Penny and the Funk Zone for years to come.”

VADA is also pleased with the results. VADA Program Director Dan Barnett says, “Since the VADA mission centers on preparing creative youth for their future, our work with DJ Javier was a perfect collaboration.” Barnett continues, stating, “DJ presented to VADA seniors on both design and business processes that he’s learned through hard work and perseverance. Then, students stepped out of the talk and utilized their art skills by executing the mural with DJ. The learning couldn’t have been more tangible. The path is not always easy, but we want to inspire our students to believe that a creative future is viable and that their skills are in demand in the marketplace. “

The Visual Arts & Design Academy is a program offered at Santa Barbara High School to engage creative students in the process of preparing for college and careers while integrating art and design into core academic classes. A smaller, family-like environment, field trips, intern and mentorship opportunities, access to supplies and technology, and a supportive team of teachers are distinctive features of the VADA program.

An ideal way to experience the mural is to visit the new SB Funk Zone Live, a series of bimonthly “arts, wine, dine and shop events” launching on March 29, 2024. Like the popular Downtown Santa Barbara 1st Thursday monthly events, Funk Zone venues will open their doors late from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on the last Fridays of every other month (November will be swapped for Dec due to the holiday). In addition to Lucky Penny, 18 other local businesses are on board for the first event.

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