Duality in Chicano Park’s fountain sculpture.

Perhaps you’ve seen the fountain sculpture in Chicano Park. It stands on a colorful tiled base in a splashing basin under the Coronado Bay Bridge, not far from the skatepark. The symbolic public artwork was created by artist Raul Jaquez.

A bit of description can be found here.

It’s hard not to see the duality in this work of abstract art. On one hand, female; on the other, male. On one side, spiritual calaveras (skeletons) holding a sun with the ollin symbol (representing change); on the other, flesh and blood living people holding a baby.

The unifying symbol appears to be a heart-eagle, ready to be released. The eagle is destined to take flight and rise above all, both the living and dead. At least, that’s my interpretation.

There are a few other sculptures in Chicano Park, but this striking work in the fountain, to me, is the most elaborate and artistically interesting. It is quite beautiful.

Back in 2015 the aging sculpture was restored during a major Chicano Park improvement project.

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Archive and Witness sculpture at Liberty Station.

A thought-provoking sculpture can be found at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Created by San Diego artist Trevor Amery in 2021, the wood sculpture, Archive and Witness, stands in front of the Dick Laub NTC Command Center.

A nearby sign explains that Archive and Witness takes the form of…a fallen tree in a forest…Through…decomposition and decay, it…provides a home to animals and insects…The fallen tree is not the end of a life cycle; it is a transformation as well as a beginning

The slab from the dead tree, whose tree rings represent a finished life, seems to pulse outward with abstract rings symbolizing future life. At least, that’s the way I see it.

It was interesting to read that artist Trevor Amery’s father was stationed at the old Naval Training Center San Diego here years ago. The human world, like a forest, is interconnected in surprising ways.

Archive and Witness stands where the Mingei International Museum’s Nikigator sculpture stood while that Balboa Park museum was undergoing its renovation a couple years ago.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Wild beasts invade San Diego Museum of Art!

The Clearing, André Derain, circa 1906. Oil on canvas.

The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park has been invaded by wild beasts!

Les Fauves is French for Wild Beasts, and paintings by early 20th century artists known as the Fauves are running rampant in one amazing gallery!

These particular paintings are part of a wider exhibition titled Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation. I visited the San Diego Museum of Art back in May and blogged about the exhibition here.

During my visit yesterday, my docent friend Catherine took me through several of the museum galleries and explained how Impressionism evolved into Post-Impressionism and other avant-garde movements.

Fauvism was a modern movement that shocked art lovers in France between 1905 and 1908. It was led by Henri Matisse, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck.

Looking at these canvases, museum visitors can see how the Fauves loved strong contrasts, saturated colors and bold brush strokes producing abstract, often weirdly unexpected forms.

Trees can appear as gangly streaks of pure color. Thick smudges and dabs of paint create startling still life images and brilliant landscapes.

In a strange way the dreamlike effect is similar to the gauzy, delicate work of the Impressionists. The viewer feels the momentary impression of a place or object. But these particular dreams are quite vivid!

The more I looked at these unique works, the more I appreciated the artistry and visionary genius of the Wild Beasts.

Head down to the San Diego Museum of Art and experience this famous artwork with your own eyes!

Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation was to end in August, but it has been extended through October 10, 2022.

The Gulf, Henri Manguin, circa 1920. Oil on canvas.

Still Life with Fish, Maurice de Vlaminck. Oil on canvas.

View of Chatou, Maurice de Vlaminck, circa 1907. Oil on canvas.

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!

A walk in the Edwards Sculpture Garden in La Jolla.

There’s a sculpture garden open to the public in La Jolla that’s very easy to miss.

Large numbers of tourists, walking along the Pacific Ocean, south of Children’s Pool near Cuvier Park, pass this sculpture garden without even realizing it.

This park-like space isn’t readily noticed from Coast Boulevard. Curious eyes might observe an unusual sculpture made of many boats mounted on the building behind it. That building is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego!

Look for the gate in my upcoming photographs. Walk through it and up the curving path. You’re now in the museum’s Sue K. and Charles C. Edwards Sculpture Garden. See what your eyes will see.

My own eyes saw these particular sculptures months ago. Yes, these images have been lingering in my computer for much too long. While I’m self-isolating recovering from mild COVID-19, I’m finally getting around to posting them!

Whether these same pieces are on display right now, I don’t know. Over the years, I’ve noticed that some of the outdoor sculptures in MCASD’s collection are shifted from place to place.

Ready for our walk? Here we go!

Niagara, Alexis Smith, 1985. NOTHING IN THE WORLD COULD KEEP IT FROM GOING OVER THE EDGE… (Marilyn Monroe starred in the film Niagara.)

Monument to a Bear, Erika Rothenberg, 2002-2003. Glass-reinforced concrete over steel, bronze plaque.

Froebel’s Blocks, Richard Fleischner, 1983. Limestone.

Spanish Fan, Robert Irwin, 1995. Steel and glass.

If you’re curious about that mural in the distance, you can see more of it here.

Pleasure Point, Nancy Rubins, 2006. Nautical vessels, stainless steel, and stainless steel wire.

Crossroads, originally sited at the border crossing of US/MEXICO in Tijuana/San Diego, Marcos Ramirez ERRE, 2003. Aluminum, automotive paint, wood, and vinyl.

If you want to see quotes by artists written on the opposite side of these directional signs, click here!

Garden Installation (Displaced Person), Vito Acconci, 1987. Concrete, stones, dirt and grass.

Pasta, Mark di Suvero, 1975. COR-TEN steel.

Long Yellow Hose, Gabriel Orozco, 1996. Plastic watering hoses.

Maria Walks Amid the Thorns, Anselm Kiefer, 2008. Lead books and NATO razor wire.

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Linda Vista Messenger of Love and Light!

If you’ve ever driven past the Buggy Bath Car Wash in Linda Vista, you might’ve seen this cool abstract mural that looks like a bird in flight. It’s titled Linda Vista Messenger of Love and Light.

The complex, spiritual artwork was painted in 2014 by San Diego artist Gibran Isaias Lopez, aka Isaias Crow. Over the years, I’ve photographed a variety of his murals. Click here if you’d like to see them again.

Here’s a great local article concerning the Linda Vista Messenger of Love and Light!

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!

Amazing fiber art exhibited in Escondido!

Dance Break Oaxaca, by Linda Anderson. Cotton, bamboo batting, textile paints, thread.

I headed to Escondido today to experience an incredible art exhibition on its final day.

Surface, Substance, Structure featured work by artists who belong to the guild California Fibers. Dozens of amazing pieces filled the galleries at the Museum of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

The thing about fibers is they curl and intersect and tangle and twist and naturally form beautiful complexity, even if you must look closely.

I was completely amazed by the creativity of these regional fiber artists. Innovative quilts, wire sculptures, baskets, fabric portraits and constructions–there seemed no end to the artistry their hands could produce.

Well, the exhibition is now over, so this blog is a bit late in coming. But you might be awed, or even inspired, by some of the pieces I photographed…

Surprising fabric creations awaited around every corner!
Visitors to the museum were encouraged to feel the texture of these fiber art samples.
SoCal Mama, by Kathy Nida. Commercial and hand-dyed fabric.
Earth Vessel, by Brecia Kravolic-Logan. Reed, paper, patinaed copper, beach glass, driftwood stand, twined, glazed, netted.
Small Wonders, by Charlotte Bird. Art quilt. (Microbes remain, even after a good washing!)
Exploring Too, by Peggy Wiedemann. Pine needles, Irish waxed linen.
Styling, by Peggy Wiedemann. Pine needles, waxed linen, rag cordage from India, old metal wheels, glass beads.
Time Warp, by Lydia Tjioe Hall. Steel wire, waxed linen, cast bronze.
LAVAfolds, by Cameron Taylor-Brown. Weaving photographic transfer, quilting, embroidery.
Wandering the City, by Debby Weiss. Cotton, stitching, applique.

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!

Bright landscapes from memory in Balboa Park.

How would you illustrate your own memories?

An exhibition of art at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego’s Balboa Park features the “memories” of graphic designer Shuichi Hashimoto.

Should you walk into the garden’s Exhibit Hall, you’ll discover flowers and mountains and clouds and cities, composed quilt-like from many bright fragments. The exhibit is titled Moisture and Light–Landscape in the Memory.

The inspired creator of this unique beauty, Shuichi Hashimoto, is based in Osaka, Japan. According to the JFG website: Hashimoto believes that the persistent rain combined with the humid environment influenced the diverse culture of Japan.

One can see how streaks of light and drops of water in his artwork seem to shimmer and bubble throughout the bright memories.

As I looked upon these abstract landscapes, it seemed I was peering through windows spattered with sunlit raindrops.

You can experience these fantastic memories, too, at the Japanese Friendship Garden through May 7, 2022.

Enjoy a few examples…

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!

Excalibur rises sharply in downtown San Diego!

A black sculpture rises skyward at the entrance to the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building in downtown San Diego. Composed of triangular steel forms, the sculpture and its sharp edges pierce the space around it. The monumental public artwork is titled Excalibur.

Excalibur was created in 1976 by Beverly Stoll Pepper, whose pieces have been exhibited and collected by major museums around the world. Beverly Pepper passed away two years ago, but her unique artistic vision continues to enrich our lives.

I walked around Excalibur recently and took these photographs. It was interesting how joined triangles, observed from different angles, produce very different images. It’s like how the larger world, composed of basic elemental structures, achieves its complexity.

The sharp, jutting steel seems to have emerged from underground. And doesn’t the sculpture look almost like folded origami?

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Shorelines mosaics at La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Station.

Perceptive people strolling down the boardwalk at La Jolla Shores beach might encounter something both unexpected and wonderful.

Decorating the north and south sides of the La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Station are colorful tile mosaic panels that depict the sun and sea. The public art is titled Shorelines.

Shorelines was installed in 2012, and was created by award-winning San Diego artist Mary Lynn Dominguez.

I really like this beachy artwork! It’s swirly and bubbly and captures the mood of the nearby beach. Looking at the panels is like glimpsing a bright, abstract world through horizonal windows.

You can learn more about Shorelines, which is part of San Diego’s Civic Art Collection, here!

At the front of the lifeguard station, facing the boardwalk, I also noticed a plaque. It remembers Ron Trenton.

The plaque is a bit corroded, as you can see in my photograph. It reads:

RON TRENTON

1945-1997

Gentleman, Scholar, Humorist, Friend, Lifeguard Extraordinare [sic]

“LOST AT SEA”

Now Comes the Lifeguard, Back to the Sea, Where He Found Action, Where He Found Peace, Where He Saved Others With Selfless Devotion and Where He Risked All With a Smile of Emotion

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!

Maxx Moses mural at Massachusetts trolley station!

Check out this incredible new mural in San Diego!

Some very colorful abstract art was spray painted last month on a long wall beside the Massachusetts Avenue trolley station parking lot. The artist is Maxx Moses, whose distinctive work can be found all over San Diego.

The first time I glimpsed this mural I was riding the Orange Line. With sudden surprise and excitement, I jumped off.

I love the murals of Maxx Moses, they are so jammed with creativity and imagination. They often show technology fused with ancient culture, producing unique images of humanity that make you simply stand and stare with wonder. His artwork is simultaneously weird and familiar. All of it is filled with heart.

(Perhaps you recall seeing photos of another phenomenal mural he helped to create at the 62nd Street/Encanto trolley station, which just is a short ride up the Orange Line. If you haven’t, they are here!)

To view more cool art by Maxx Moses, check out his Instagram page here!

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!