When a good friend with a compromised immune system, who was tired of staring out of her window at her blank fence during COVID lockdown, asked local artist Janice Reich if she would brighten it up with a mural, Reich was thrilled.
“She sent me some photos and ideas, then we talked and came up with a sunflower theme,” Reich said. “It took about a week of working three hours a day when it’s cooler. I posted it on Facebook and people like it a lot and started reaching out asking if I’d do a mural for them, too.”
Former secretary of the Ramona Art guild is no stranger to painting murals—you can see her work around town. She painted the utility box at 7th and Main Streets in front of the Circle K, which features a rabbit and a gopher coming out of a mound on the other side, a butterfly and lizard, and a “psychedelic turkey on top,” Reich laughs.
“It’s whimsical animals, which are kinda my thing, although I’m transitioning to doing flowers.”
After doing the sunflower mural, Reich painted a lotus flower mural fence for a retired judge on 11th St who is also immune compromised due to multiple sclerosis and was spending a lot of time in her yard. “She has a lotus pond with koi fish in the back, so her mural reflects her yard.”
Another friend has a utility box on her property and commissioned her to paint it featuring her pet pug and florals. “Then a friend who lives off Highland Valley Road asked me to do her mailbox, and another coming up is a big utility box in front of the Montessori School on 9th Street.”
Reich is also a yoga instructor and has been teaching socially distanced yoga and art therapy at Changing Option residential facility and holding ‘Zoom yoga’ on Saturdays after her regular yoga classes had to stop during COVID.
Now she’s thrilled that her mural painting is developing into a new business outlet.
“Doing ‘quarantine murals’ is becoming a business that I love doing—it’s very energizing and creative,” Reich enthused. “It’s a great release for me and I get to know the people I paint for, chatting with them from 10 feet away while I’m painting, of course. It brightens the life of the people who live there and brings joy into both my world and theirs.”
You can see more of Reich’s murals and artwork at JanArt on Facebook.