Mind-blowing Ancestors mural near Chicano Park.

Mind-blowing street art uses a whole spectrum of finely painted colors.
Mind-blowing street art uses a whole spectrum of finely painted colors.

Wow! Check out this mind-blowing street mural, which caught my eye just across Dewey Street from Chicano Park. Titled Ancestors, it was spray-painted on a Barrio Logan building in 2013 by artist Maxx Moses. A little online research reveals that Ancestors replaced another damaged mural on the same wall, which was titled Synergy. Maxx Moses likes to use spontaneity in his creative productions, and calls his unique art movement Concrete Alchemy. I just call it awesome!

This dazzling urban art is directly across the street from world-famous Chicano Park.
This dazzling urban art is directly across the street from world-famous Chicano Park.
Such amazing detail. You could just stand and lose yourself in this artwork.
Such amazing detail. You could just stand and lose yourself in this cool artwork.
Close look at one portion of the Ancestors mural in Barrio Logan.
Closer look at one portion of the Ancestors mural in Barrio Logan.
Ancestors street mural celebrates the lives of those who built community.
Ancestors street mural celebrates the lives of those who built community.
Small tree on the wall is enfolded by softly curved rich colors.
Small tree on the wall is enfolded by softly curved rich colors.
The intricate image is alive with astounding vibrancy.
The intricate image is alive with astounding vibrancy.
This astonishing face is composed of many slivers of beaming light.
This astonishing face is composed of many slivers of beaming light.

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Symbolism in Barrio Logan’s new gateway sign.

The colorful new Barrio Logan gateway sign arches over Cesar Chavez Parkway.
The colorful new Barrio Logan gateway sign arches over Cesar Chavez Parkway.

A little over a week ago, the new Barrio Logan gateway sign had a dedication ceremony. The welcoming sign, arching over Cesar Chavez Parkway between Harbor Drive and Interstate 5, is similar to others that can be spotted in various communities around San Diego. Its design, however, is notably different. The cornice contains a variety of symbolic elements inspired by this neighborhood’s complex history.

The cornice contains a variety of combined symbols that represent the community.
The cornice contains a variety of combined symbols that represent the community.
One of two displays on either column that explains the design.
One of two displays on either column that explains the design.

Small displays near the base of each column can be read from either sidewalk. They explain the significance of the cornice design:

“This Barrio Logan sign was created with input from the local community. Their ideas resulted in this unique and relevant design, representative of one of San Diego’s oldest and most culturally rich urban neighborhoods.

The design pays homage to Kumeyaay, Aztec, Mayan and all other cultures, representing many concepts including creation, the cycle of life, and evolution into the modern world. The pyramids symbolize cultures coming together as one society. The fish and corn symbols refer to the reliance on the sea as a food source, and fertility of the lands.

The designs on the columns honor the kiosk in Chicano Park. The columns are also adorned with the Conch, Sky and Earth symbols, which were inspired by indigenous cultures.”

View of the gateway sign as one approaches from the Barrio Logan trolley station.
View of the gateway sign as one approaches from the Barrio Logan trolley station.

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Cool mural at Restaurant Depot in Barrio Logan.

Super cool artwork depicts local community, history and sea life themes.
Super cool artwork depicts local community, history and sea life themes.

I don’t know much about this mural, apart from the fact that it’s huge, colorful and super cool. For years, it seems, scaffolding has stood against the long portion along Harbor Drive. Just recently the scaffolding vanished, and the brilliant, dynamic street art is fully visible in all its glory!

You can find this urban art at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Parkway and Harbor Drive, just south of downtown in Barrio Logan. It decorates the high wall that encloses the parking lot at Restaurant Depot.

I took these photos as I walked south to north along Harbor Drive, then turned west at the intersection for a little more fun artwork.

Enjoy!

Long wall along Harbor Drive is the canvas for this very large street mural.
Long wall along Harbor Drive is the canvas for this very large street mural.
Proximity to San Diego Bay inspires painted marine animals.
Proximity to San Diego Bay inspires painted marine animals.
This big fish seems to be watching for pedestrians on the Barrio Logan sidewalk.
This big fish seems to be watching for pedestrians on the Barrio Logan sidewalk.
A scuba diver seems unaware a large hungry shark looms just behind!
A scuba diver seems unaware a large hungry shark looms just behind!
Mother with young child gazes out at the blue Pacific Ocean.
Mother with young child gazes out at the blue Pacific Ocean.
People from all walks of life populate this very human work of art.
People from all walks of life populate this very human work of art.
San Diego Trolley travels through a scene similar to those found in nearby Chicano Park.
San Diego Trolley travels through a scene similar to those found in nearby Chicano Park.
Painted passengers on a trolley seem visible through a window.
Painted passengers on a trolley seem visible through a window.
Aztec warrior in elaborate costume blows on a ceremonial conch.
Aztec warrior in elaborate costume blows on a ceremonial conch.
Nearby Chicano Park's pavilion is shown with lots of folks dancing.
Nearby Chicano Park’s pavilion is shown with lots of folks dancing.
Young man and lady dance on the festive outdoor mural.
Young man and lady dance on the festive outdoor mural.
Musicians play instruments adding flavor to the celebration.
Musicians play instruments adding flavor to the celebration.
History of Our Community includes the once vital tuna fishing industry.
History of Our Community includes the once vital tuna fishing industry.
The lives of past and present residents provide generations of stories.
The lives of past and present residents provide generations of stories.
Fish caught in local waters just off San Diego.
Fish caught in local waters just off San Diego.
The end of Harbor Drive section, and now we'll turn west for a bit more...
The end of Harbor Drive section, and now we’ll turn west for a bit more…
Walking around the mural on the high wall at Restaurant Depot.
Walking around the mural on the high wall at Restaurant Depot.
This north-facing wall contains lots of bright aquatic life!
This north-facing wall contains lots of bright aquatic life!
Beautifully painted fish, a seahorse, jellyfish and starfish.
Beautifully painted fish, a seahorse, jellyfish and starfish.
An orange Garibaldi just above the sparkling ocean bottom.
An orange Garibaldi just above the sparkling ocean bottom.
Kelp frames the end of this long, amazing mural in Barrio Logan.
Kelp frames the end of this long, amazing mural in Barrio Logan.
This super fun street art is a landmark that is very hard to miss!
This super fun street art is a landmark that is very hard to miss!

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Iconic downtown sculpture changes color again!

Fountain of Two Oceans sculpture in front of Wells Fargo building in downtown San Diego.
Fountain of Two Oceans sculpture in front of Wells Fargo building in downtown San Diego.

Perhaps you recall my blog post from early in the summer, where I was astonished at how the Fountain of Two Oceans sculpture in front of downtown’s Wells Fargo building had suddenly turned white! Well, yesterday I saw it has changed colors once again!

I’m guessing a number of people found the weird, mottled white color unattractive.  (Personally, I thought it was ghastly.)  Today, the human figures appear bronze again, but much darker than before, without the heavily tarnished surface. In my opinion, this is a big improvement.  What do you think?

Before the figures were painted white:

Bronze nudes of Sergio Benvenuti’s Fountain of Two Oceans.
Bronze nudes of Sergio Benvenuti’s Fountain of Two Oceans.

Painted white, possibly to resemble marble:

Fountain of Two Oceans sculpture suddenly becomes white!
Fountain of Two Oceans sculpture suddenly becomes white!

Now much darker, matching the fountain’s base:

The reclining human figures today have a very dark bronze appearance!
The reclining human figures today have a dark, new bronze appearance!

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A big city painted with small brushstrokes.

Young man with skateboard paints for donations on a San Diego sidewalk.
Young man with skateboard paints for donations on a San Diego sidewalk.

Once in a while my walks around San Diego take me past artists painting scenes from the big city. The artists might be working outside alone in a scenic or interesting place; or I might stumble upon a small crowd of art students working on many easels in a row. I love to pause and look over a shoulder for a few moments. I’m awed by human creativity.

Here are just a few pics that you might enjoy…

An artist in Balboa Park's Spanish Village works on a canvas in the colorful courtyard.
Artist in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village works on a canvas in the colorful courtyard.
A painted guitarist seems to emerge from sunny San Diego dappled brightness.
A painted guitarist seems to emerge from the sunny San Diego dappled brightness.
An artist works next to Tuna Harbor as many people stroll past.
An artist works next to Tuna Harbor as many people stroll past.
Painter on the Embarcadero inspired by Tuna Harbor boats and reflections.
Painter on the Embarcadero inspired by picturesque boats and reflections.
Small painted boat seems to float in the nearby rippled water.
Small painted boat seems to float in the nearby rippled water.

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Millions of city doors, beckoning restless people.

Decorative doors to La Granada Ballroom at the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park.
Decorative doors to La Granada Ballroom at the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park.

How many doors are waiting to be opened in one ordinary city? In San Diego, with a population that exceeds one million, there must be many millions of doors.

We take doors for granted, pushing through them like nothing, and yet there is something magical and transformational about each one. Doors represent movement through space and time, from this amazing present to a future, amazing present. As we’re propelled forward in life we pass through many doors, and like the choices we face they are found on every side. Where do we turn our feet? Which doors do we try? Every chosen door leads our restless feet into a beckoning and wonderful unknown.

So, anyway, I just love looking at endless doors. And each unique invitation they present to the eye, while concealing unseen places beyond.

Here’s a variety of doors that I’ve photographed during many walks…

Colorful front door to a small residence in San Diego's Little Italy.
Colorful front door to a small residence in San Diego’s Little Italy.
Colors of the Italian flag frame this unusual door on India Street.
Colors of the Italian flag frame this unusual door on India Street.
Imperial Beach surf shop has a door plastered with beach-themed decals and signs.
Imperial Beach surf shop has a door plastered with beach-themed decals and signs.
Caged lion in the Gaslamp guards the Hard Rock Cafe, and a door with electric guitar handle.
Caged lion in the Gaslamp guards the Hard Rock Cafe, and a door with electric guitar handle.
Funky west entrance to the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.
Funky west entrance to the House of Blues in downtown San Diego.
Walking past distinctive front of Our Lady of the Rosary church in Little Italy.
Walking past distinctive front of Our Lady of the Rosary church in Little Italy.
St. Paul's Cathedral in Bankers Hill and an elegant red door behind rows of columns.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in Bankers Hill and an elegant red door behind rows of columns.
A little shop in Sherman Heights has a plain door invitingly open beside fun pinatas.
A little shop in Sherman Heights has a plain door invitingly open beside fun pinatas.
Artist studio door is wide open and welcoming in Balboa Park's colorful Spanish Village.
Artist studio door is wide open and welcoming in Balboa Park’s colorful Spanish Village.
International Travelers House has a door that welcomes one and all.
International Travelers House has a door that welcomes one and all.
Is that a swinging saloon door in Old Town, or a painted version on an ordinary door?
Is that a swinging saloon door in Old Town, or a painted version on an ordinary door?
This rusted door makes a fashionable statement in downtown San Diego.
This rusted door makes a fashionable statement in downtown San Diego.
Just a cheerful orange and bright green door in East Village!
Just a cheerful orange and bright green door in East Village!

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San Diego Library exhibit: Lincoln and Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln, slavery, the Constitution, dissent, the Civil War, and lingering questions.
Abraham Lincoln, slavery, the Constitution, dissent, the Civil War, and lingering questions.

A thought-provoking historical exhibit is currently on display in downtown San Diego’s Central Library. Titled “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” the large multi-paneled exhibit outlines and discusses a number of controversial issues that arose during the time of America’s Civil War. The exhibit, which has visited a number of different libraries, was created by the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center.

Old photos and texts help visitors to understand the election of Abraham Lincoln, the secession of the southern states, and the Civil War itself; complex topics that are explored include slavery and the plight of African Americans, the Constitution and state sovereignty, and civil liberties.

If you happen to find yourself in East Village, pop into the library. The large display is on the ground floor and very difficult to miss. The traveling exhibit will remain at this location through January 9, 2015.

Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War is on display in San Diego's Central Library.
Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War is on display in San Diego’s Central Library.
Meet Mr. Lincoln. The new American president was viewed by some with uncertainty or distrust.
Meet Mr. Lincoln. The new American president was viewed by some with uncertainty or distrust.
People at San Diego's new downtown public library check out a provocative historical exhibit.
People at San Diego’s new downtown public library check out a provocative historical exhibit.
The Confederacy attacked Fort Sumter after Lincoln decided to resupply the fortification.
The Confederacy attacked Fort Sumter after Lincoln decided to resupply the fortification.
Old envelope depicts a boxing match between Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.
Old envelope depicts a boxing match between Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.
The Civil War, fought for complex reasons, effectively ended slavery in America.
The Civil War, fought for complex reasons, effectively ended slavery in America.
The original Constitution didn't abolish slavery. It left the matter to the states.
The original Constitution didn’t abolish slavery. It left the matter to the states.
Exhibit examines dissent, and Lincoln's choice to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
Exhibit examines dissent, and Lincoln’s choice to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.
Traveling library exhibit asks about the state of equality, freedom and democracy today.
Traveling library exhibit asks about the state of equality, freedom and democracy today.
It is for us the living...to be dedicated here to the unfinished work.
It is for us the living…to be dedicated here to the unfinished work.

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