Murals inspire, motivate students in schools!

Thao Huynh and Kolten French of Mindful Murals encourage school kids to #CREATE with a super colorful interactive mural!
Thao Huynh and Kolten French of Mindful Murals encourage school kids to #CREATE with a super colorful interactive mural!

Yesterday during my mural walking adventure I was introduced by Love City Heights to two people who are doing something that is brilliant and inspiring. Thao Huynh and Kolten French have together created Mindful Murals, an enterprise that’s all about engaging young students at schools with large, affirming, fun graphics!

Check out these six interactive murals that were recently completed at Edison Elementary School. They decorate the backstops of outdoor handball courts. Big splashes of color feature short positive messages like BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, BE LOVING, and NEVER GIVE UP. The murals not only encourage positive thoughts and behavior, but they become a motivating part of a student’s outdoor physical activity.

In addition to interactive murals, Mindful Murals creates sensory paths for schools. These pathways invite kids to walk, twist and turn all about, as they head down a colorful path to discover happy emojis and surprises. It’s a cool idea that engages a growing body, mind and spirit!

To learn more about Mindful Murals, check out their Instagram page here!

Two of the Mindful Murals recently painted in the playground of Edison Elementary School in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood.
Several of the Mindful Murals recently painted in the playground of Edison Elementary School, located in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.
PERSEVERE
PERSEVERE
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
EMPATHY
EMPATHY
BE LOVING
BE LOVING
I love how this bold message faces the school's soccer field. NEVER GIVE UP
I love how this bold message faces the school’s soccer field. NEVER GIVE UP

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

New muralist in San Diego makes her debut!

Naomi GonzalezMartinez (to the right) poses by her new mural in City Heights with her artistic mentor Brise Birdsong.
Naomi GonzalezMartinez (to the right) poses by her new mural in City Heights with her artistic mentor Brise Birdsong.

Today I met San Diego’s newest muralist!

Naomi GonzalezMartinez has painted a colorful mural for #theavenuemuralproject on University Avenue in City Heights. Please check out her new Instagram page!

Guided by Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights, I was able to meet Naomi and enjoy her artwork during a tour of several new street murals along University Avenue. Love City Heights is a group of community leaders working to enliven this culturally diverse San Diego neighborhood.

Naomi’s first mural was created with a little help from her mentor Brise Birdsong, a prolific local artist and muralist whose often humorous street art I stumble upon from time to time during my walks around San Diego.

Naomi told me a little about the mural, and the symbolism that it contains. Her family is very important to her, and being of Mayan descent, she incorporated the Mayan logogram that represents a companion spirit. You can see it in the following photograph at the center of the lower tea cup. The next cup up contains elements representing Korea, a place that is special to her. The third cup up contains colors from both the Mexican and American flags.

Other designs in the mural like the flowers and butterfly? Painted just for fun!

A very cool new work of art brightens City Heights!

The colorful mural contains diverse symbols that hold special meaning for the artist.
The colorful mural contains diverse symbols that hold special meaning for the artist.
Naomi GonzalezMartinez poses by her delightful City Heights mural with her family!
Naomi GonzalezMartinez poses by her new City Heights mural with her family!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art exhibition interprets Music in the Key of Blue.

Jim Machacek: Music in the Key of Blue, inside the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library's Joseph Clayes III Gallery
Jim Machacek: Music in the Key of Blue, inside the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library’s beautiful Joseph Clayes III Gallery.

A fantastic exhibition of work by San Diego artist Jim Machacek has recently opened at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Yesterday I headed to La Jolla to have a “listen” with my eyes.

The abstract pieces of Jim Machacek: Music in the Key of Blue are arranged inside the library’s Joseph Clayes III Gallery.

According to the Athenaeum’s description, the exhibition “reflects Jim’s recurring interest in the concept of making music visual. Using his favorite media of printmaking, drawing, collage, and watercolor, he hopes to make YOU see what HE sees when listening to music. He chose favorite musical selections that have the word blue in the titles from a wide variety of musical genres, including classical, jazz, blues, country, rock, folk, and standards.”

Among these emotionally evocative pieces you’ll find a unique visual interpretation of George Gershwin’s timeless Rhapsody in Blue. Seventy mixed-media prints cascade like living notes of music across the north and east walls of the sunlit gallery. Walk along these walls and you’ll feel like you’re moving in rhythm with a beloved American classic.

After you absorb this great art, take a leisurely stroll through the unique and historic Athenaeum. You’ll discover even more art in unexpected corners, and rooms overflowing with beauty wherever you turn.

Jim Machacek: Music in the Key of Blue can be enjoyed at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library through May 4, 2019.

The architecturally handsome Athenaeum Music & Arts Library is freely open to the public in La Jolla. It's a popular venue for art exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events.
The architecturally handsome Athenaeum Music & Arts Library is freely open to the public in La Jolla. It’s a popular venue for art exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events.
Sunlight filters through windows and shines on wood inside the Athenaeum's spacious Joseph Clayes III Gallery.
Sunlight filters through windows and shines on wood inside the Athenaeum’s spacious Joseph Clayes III Gallery.
Blue Wave, 2018, Jim Machacek. Blue Wave was a 1984 song by Eddy Grant, best known for his hit Electric Avenue.
Blue Wave, 2018, Jim Machacek. Blue Wave was a 1984 song by Eddy Grant, best known for his hit Electric Avenue.

Blueberry Hill, 2018, Jim Machacek. The popular hit song by Fats Domino, recorded in 1956, became a rock and roll standard.
Blueberry Hill, 2018, Jim Machacek. The popular hit song by Fats Domino, recorded in 1956, became a rock and roll standard.

Blue Cathedral, 2018, Jim Machacek. Blue Cathedral is a 1999 orchestral piece by American composer Jennifer Higdon, written in memory of her younger brother.
Blue Cathedral, 2018, Jim Machacek. Blue Cathedral is a 1999 orchestral piece by American composer Jennifer Higdon, written in memory of her deceased younger brother.
Lavender Blue, 2019, Jim Machacek. Lavender Blue is an English folk song and nursery rhyme dating from the 17th century.
Lavender Blue, 2019, Jim Machacek. Lavender Blue is an English folk song and nursery rhyme dating from the 17th century.
These mysterious, moody pieces interpreting Rhapsody in Blue are like notes of sheet music flowing across a wall.
These complex, moody pieces interpreting Rhapsody in Blue are like notes of sheet music flowing across a wall.
Fill your eyes with music.
Fill your eyes with music.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Building a permanent concert stage at Petco Park!

A new, permanent concert stage is now being built at Petco Park!

I walked through the Park at the Park today and saw workers erecting the large stage behind the wall-like batter’s eye, where temporary stages have been set up for special events in past years.

A couple mornings ago I walked around Petco Park looking for new banners, graphics and cool stuff in anticipation of the 2019 Padres baseball season. I spoke to a Padres employee who was doing some maintenance, and he indicated that the new stage will be operated by Live Nation, and will be used as a venue for concerts and other fun events throughout the year!

Great idea!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Banner celebrates San Diego’s 250th Anniversary!

Huge banner on sail of Star of India celebrates the 250th Anniversary of San Diego!
Huge banner on sail of Star of India celebrates the 250th Anniversary of San Diego!

The City of San Diego has placed an enormous banner on a sail of the historic tall ship Star of India. Its bold message can be seen from many spots downtown. The banner celebrates San Diego’s 250th Anniversary!

In 1769, on the hill that overlooks what would eventually become Old Town, Spain began its settlement of the region by building El Presidio Reál de San Diego. Attached to the fort, the original Mission San Diego de Alcalá was established by Junípero Serra in the same year.

Back then the land was wide open and mostly wilderness. The mountains, hills, rivers and coast were home to the Native American Kumeyaay. European settlement brought about an abrupt change in the region’s history. For better or worse, 250 years later San Diego is quite a bit different!

What will San Diego look like in another 250 years? As our civilization evolves, and as technological breakthroughs accelerate, can anyone possibly imagine?

Together we sail into the future!

SAN DIEGO 250 - EST. 1769 - WHERE CALIFORNIA BEGAN
SAN DIEGO 250 – EST. 1769 – WHERE CALIFORNIA BEGAN

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Asian arts come to life on museum’s front steps!

A colorful Celebration of Asian Arts enlivens Balboa Park . . . On The Steps of the San Diego Museum of Art.
On the steps of the San Diego Museum of Art, a colorful celebration of Asian arts enlivens Balboa Park.

Every so often the San Diego Museum of Art hosts a fantastic, free outdoor event in Balboa Park. This evening I experienced On the Steps at SDMA: A Celebration of Asian Arts!

There were joyful performances of music and dance, and at several booths in front of the museum’s entrance a variety of arts from diverse Asian cultures were demonstrated.

This is what I saw!

I arrived just in time to catch an amazing, super energetic drumming performance by Naruwan Taiko of San Diego.
I arrived just in time to catch an amazing, super energetic drumming performance by Naruwan Taiko of San Diego.
The San Diego Bonsai Club was demonstrating an ancient Asian art form.
The San Diego Bonsai Club was demonstrating an ancient Asian art form.
Like a small forest of tall, beautiful trees.
Like a small forest of tall, beautiful trees.
Ikebana flower arrangements added even more beauty to the event. The demonstration was hosted by Sharon Bristow at the Japanese booth.
Ikebana flower arrangements added even more beauty to the event. The demonstration was hosted by Sharon Bristow at the Japanese booth.
These amazing Korean ceramics were all created by Yonsoo Chung, representing the House of Korea in Balboa Park.
These amazing Korean ceramics were all created by Yonsoo Chung, representing the House of Korea in Balboa Park.
Korean artist Kim, Eun Jin shows youth how to make jewel-like teapots from colorful strips of paper!
Korean artist Kim, Eun Jin shows youth how to make jewel-like teapots from colorful strips of paper!
These tiny teapots are made with recycled paper by the Artreepaper community with the help of Kim, Eun Jin.
These tiny teapots are made with recycled paper by the Artreepaper community with the help of Kim, Eun Jin.
I was shown by an artist from the Confucius Institute as SDSU how the name Richard appears as a Chinese ink painting!
I was shown by an artist from SDSU’s Confucius Institute how the name Richard appears as a Chinese ink painting!
Even more art was being produced by lots of creative people at this table.
Even more cool art was being produced by lots of creative people at this table.
Kids representing the Confucius Institute perform kung fu fan moves in front of the Timken Museum of Art.
Kids representing the Confucius Institute perform kung fu fan moves in front of the Timken Museum of Art.
These performers from the San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute were hanging out in the Plaza de Panama as they awaited their turn in the spotlight!
These performers from the San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute were hanging out in the Plaza de Panama as they awaited their turn in the spotlight!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Magical light transforms Old Town backyards.

After work I got off the trolley at Old Town, crossed Congress Street, and headed into the State Historic Park. With the recent return to Daylight Saving Time, there’s an extra hour of light for a leisurely walk.

At first I wasn’t sure what I would photograph. Then, minutes before the sun might disappear behind the horizon, I found myself lingering near the backyards of several very early San Diego houses.

It was the golden, almost dreamlike light that caught my eyes.

I walked along a quiet pathway that passes behind a row of historic structures, including Colorado House, La Casa de Machado y Silvas, U.S. House and San Diego House.

These backyards, back porches and gardens always appear a bit timeworn and scraggly, but the late light magically turned them into something wholly new.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!