Two amazing murals by well known regional artists can be found in a new public plaza located in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.
The murals, designed by artists Rafael Lopez of San Diego and Joel Sotelo of Tijuana, decorate opposing walls in the amphitheater-like space between the UCSD Downtown Center building and the 34-story The Merian apartment tower. Walk north up the sidewalk from the corner of Market Street and Park Boulevard and you’ll find it.
This welcoming new plaza is so remarkable that it earned a San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchid Award!
For many months I’ve been waiting for a construction site fence to come down, and it finally did, allowing entrance to the new plaza.
If you’d like to read more about this unique public plaza’s inspiration, design and construction, here’s a great article.
My first photos are of the Rafael Lopez mural, which was painted by Gran Prestoz. It was completed a couple of summers ago, but not accessible to the public.
Lopez is widely known for his award-winning illustrations in numerous acclaimed children’s books. He has even designed several United States postage stamps!
The next photos are of the mural on the plaza’s east side, by artist Joel Sotelo. The mural’s title is Pulsar Ultra-Marino. According to a plaque I found, “Sotelo’s colorful mural is based on the idea of wonder, from the micro to the macro, from the beauty of nature to the revelations of science.”
(Doing a little research, I was surprised to find out that Joel Sotelo helped conceive of the Tweet Street linear city park with its artistic birdhouses. Tweet Street on Cortez Hill is only a few steps from where I live!)
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