Contemporary art sculptures at UTC mall.

I stopped by the UTC mall in University City last Saturday on my way from downtown San Diego to North County.

Laugh if you want, but it’s probably thirty or forty years since I last took a leisurely stroll around what used to be called University Towne Center. (When I was a young man, a friend and I would visit the arcade above the ice skating rink and play pinball, Defender, Galaga, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede…)

Over the past ten years, Westfield UTC has been renovated and enlarged. Today it’s not just a popular outdoor mall, but a major entertainment destination. (And before long the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, the construction of which appears to be making great progress, will terminate at the UTC Transit Center.)

As I wandered randomly about the mall last weekend, I noticed a number of very interesting sculptures along a stretch of its perimeter. Out came my camera. I read on some plaques that the three Beverly Pepper sculptures belong to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

After I got home and did a little research, I found out I’d missed other sculptures scattered throughout the mall. Perhaps I’ll have to make another visit in the future!

Here’s what I saw:

Three Graces (Madam in Bloom, Madam Elegance, Madam Beauty), Yuriy Akopov, 2016/2017…

Octo, Anthony Howe, 2015…

The First Amphitheater, Beverly Pepper, 1965…

West Coast School, Laddie John Dill, 2017…

Severio Column, Beverly Pepper, 1978…

Zeus Triad, Beverly Pepper, 1997-1999…

Radix, Joshua Koffman, 2017…

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!

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Murals behind San Ysidro’s The Front gallery!

An astonishing abstract face painted on the rear of The FRONT art gallery in San Ysidro!
An astonishing abstract face painted on the rear of The FRONT art gallery in San Ysidro!

As you saw in my last blog post, yesterday I enjoyed a tour of the “Walls – Cross Border Urban Art/Muros – Arte Urbano Interfronterizo” outdoor mural exhibition in San Ysidro.

After Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT Arte Cultura, provided a walking tour of the exhibition’s public murals, we took a short walk through The FRONT gallery building itself. When we stepped out back, where there’s a small parking area, my eyes opened wide. More amazing murals!

The dazzling abstract face, which appears to me like a joining of the technological and the spiritual, was painted in 2013 by two popular, well-known artists.

The left half was created by Gibran Isaias Lopez, commonly known as Isaias Crow. His work appears in several places on Cool San Diego Sights. A few weeks ago I posted photos of his incredible mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School here!

The right half of the mural is the creation of Jari “Werc” Alvarez, who was born in Cd. Juárez, Mexico and raised in El Paso, Texas. He spends a lot of time working in New York City. You might have seen a past mural he painted at San Diego International Airport. I took a photo of it four years ago here.

A second, very wonderful mural beside The FRONT’s rear parking area depicts colorful, smiling sea creatures. I learned it was painted years ago by lots of happy kids.

The FRONT Arte Cultura is a very cool gallery operated by the San Ysidro community organization Casa Familiar. The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions, educational programs and community events.

Check out The FRONT’s website here. If you’re a lover of art, music and culture, you should listen to their series of podcasts!

The FRONT Arte Cultura is an art gallery in San Ysidro operated by the community organization Casa Familiar.
The FRONT Arte Cultura is an art gallery in San Ysidro operated by the community organization Casa Familiar.
This extraordinary mural, created in 2013, can be found behind The FRONT art gallery, beside a parking area. The left side was painted by Isaias Crow, the right side by Werc Alvarez.
This extraordinary mural, created in 2013, can be found behind The FRONT art gallery, beside a parking area. The left side was spray painted by Isaias Crow, the right side by Werc Alvarez.
Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT, smiles for a photo by this very cool mural.
Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT, smiles for a photo by this very cool mural.

Another fun mural beside the parking area was painted years ago by happy kids. I've never seen so many smiling sea creatures!
Another fun mural beside the parking area was painted years ago by happy kids. I’ve never seen so many smiling sea creatures!

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!

Amazing mural at Chula Vista Yoga Center!

Check out this amazing mural!

Today I went for a walk through Chula Vista. My camera really started clicking on E Street outside the Chula Vista Yoga Center.

If you recognize the distinctive style of this very colorful, abstract mural, that’s because it’s by local artist Maxx Moses, and you’ve seen other examples of his work on my blog. His artwork, which seems a fusion of familiar forms and strange, layered dreams, produces a feeling that is both cosmic and spiritual. Definitely fitting for a yoga studio!

Very cool!

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!

More murals painted in amazing Hillcrest alley!

Maxx Moses mural in a Hillcrest alley. Son, mommy LOVES YOU.
Maxx Moses mural in a Hillcrest alley. Son, mommy LOVES YOU.

More murals have been painted in an amazing alley in Hillcrest! You can find this alley directly behind The Studio Door on Fourth Avenue, where many local artists exhibit their work.

I last visited the alley a year and a half ago and found two fantastic murals by Fizix, which you can see here. (The second and third murals I photographed in that blog post–the Cigar Cave and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eating pizza.)

Well, now there’s a huge, super cool mural by Maxx Moses, and another equally cool mural across the alley from it by Gloria Muriel. All of this creativity flowed from the hands, minds and hearts of prolific local artists whose street art can be seen all over San Diego!

Continuation of the Maxx Moses mural around the corner.
Continuation of the Maxx Moses mural around the corner.
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.

Gloria Muriel mural in a Hillcrest alley.
Gloria Muriel mural in a Hillcrest alley.

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!

Photos of more sculptures on Shelter Island!

There’s a surprising abundance of public art on Shelter Island. Sculptures seem to be everywhere! I’ve already shared photos of most.

Amazing sculptures along the length of Shelter Island can be seen here and here and here and here and here and here and here!

As you might recall, yesterday’s blog post featured a few photographs from a walk in front of the Silver Gate Yacht Club. I looked skyward at a bronze sailor high on a ship’s mast holding a spyglass. During that same walk along Shelter Island Drive yesterday, I paused to admire three additional sculptures!

The first graces a parking entrance to Humphrey’s world-famous outdoor concert venue. I’m not sure who created the artwork. I could see no plaque, nor find any information. Part of the metal sculpture looks like an electric guitar. Or perhaps it’s an abstract face producing jagged sound waves! I hope someone out there knows more about it.

The next photo is of a small sculpture perched outside the lobby of the Island Palms Hotel.

It appears to have been created by Alber de Matteis, the same artist who created that very first sculpture I linked to. He has a distinctive style.

Lastly, the third sculpture is definitely by Alber de Matteis! According to a nearby plaque, it’s titled Timeless Wave.

Like a blue wave curling in to the earthy shore, the graceful artwork stands between Shelter Island Drive and a hotel parking lot, directly in front of the Island Palms Hotel’s Casa Del Mar Building. It was dedicated June 2009.

The plaque features a short but evocative poem that begins:

The Waves ebb and flow,
they are the breath of the ocean.
Like two hands reaching out for one another…

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Sculptures near the Oceanside train underpass.

The Last Wave of the Day, 2004, by artist Steven L. Rieman. A sculpture in Oceanside, California, two blocks from the beach and pier.
The Last Wave of the Day, 2004, by artist Steven L. Rieman. A sculpture in Oceanside, California, two blocks from the beach and pier.

During my recent walk through Oceanside, I passed two large public sculptures. One stood at either end of the pedestrian railroad underpass at Pier View Way.

The sculpture on the west side of the train tracks, at Myers Street, was created by Steven L. Rieman in 2004 and is titled The Last Wave of the Day. Fashioned from stainless steel, corten steel, and cast concrete panels, the sculpture is an abstract depiction of a surfer.

Head west down Pier View Way and you’ll end up at the foot of the Oceanside Pier.

The artist’s website is here.

Looking west through the abstract surfer toward palm trees above the beach.
Looking west through the abstract surfer toward palm trees above the beach.

The kinetic sculpture east of the railroad underpass, and a bit to the north, at Cleveland Street, was created by Andrew Carson. The artist on his website describes a personal fascination with wind, whirligigs and weather vanes, and you can see it in many of his wind sculpture pieces.

I believe this Oceanside sculpture was created in 2019. Unfortunately, the glass “leaves” and other colorful bits were in the shadow of the SALT building when I took my photographs, so they weren’t shining in sunlight.

A tall, kinetic wind sculpture in Oceanside, California by artist Andrew Carson, in front of the SALT building.
A tall, kinetic wind sculpture in Oceanside, California by artist Andrew Carson. It stands in front of the SALT apartment building.

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!

Del Mar’s sculpted Journey and A River of Time.

During a weekend walk around Del Mar, I paused to look at two bronze sculptures on Camino del Mar.

The first sculpture, by Del Mar artist Maidy Morhous, is titled Journey.

The realistic frame of a “hollow” suitcase was cast in bronze. This public art was installed upon a bench of granite at the corner of 11th Street in February 2020.

Maidy Morhous created another sculpture titled Baby Boomers Google. It depicts a stack of books topped with an apple, and had been placed on the sidewalk in front of the Del Mar Library. Tragically, it appeared to me that someone had stolen that sculpture from its granite slab.

UPDATE!

After doing a little more research, I now see that Baby Boomers Google is presently being repaired after vandals damaged it. I’ll post photos of it here should I run across it in the future!

Journey, 2020, by artist Maidy Morhous.
Journey, 2020, by artist Maidy Morhous.

A River of Time is a beautiful abstract sculpture that stands in the garden at the west entrance to the Del Mar Library. This public art was created by renowned San Diego artist James T. Hubbell.

A River of Time was unveiled in 1999.

You can see more of James Hubbell’s beautiful artwork around San Diego here and here and here and here.

A River of Time, 1999, by artist James T. Hubbell.
A River of Time, 1999, by artist James T. Hubbell.

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!

Music, eating, cycling and flying brains!

There’s a crazy batch of colorful street art painted on electrical boxes at the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 43rd Street.

I see music, eating, cycling and flying brains! And masks, eyeballs, history, culture, art…

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 sculptures around downtown Vista!

There’s so much art to discover around downtown Vista it makes one’s head spin! I don’t think I’ve observed a greater concentration of public art anywhere else in San Diego County.

In addition to many murals (I’ll share photos of those shortly), there are fun, super creative sculptures almost everywhere one turns: on sidewalks, on street corners, on walls, rising from pedestals into the sky!

There are crazy steampunk sculptures, abstract sculptures, healing sculptures along Veterans Memorial Park, joyful sculptures based on the theme Kites Over Vista.

There are so many public sculptures that I only photographed a fraction of them last weekend as I enjoyed a semi-random walk around downtown Vista.

If you follow Cool San Diego Sights, you probably noticed I already posted photographs of two of these sculptures. Wild Horses here, and Love Locks here. (I’ll soon be sharing photos of one additional very special sculpture.)

To discover much more of this amazing public art, visit the City of Vista Public Art Map by clicking here.

Big Blue Kite, by artist Robert Rochin, 2008.
Big Blue Kite, by artist Robert Rochin, 2008.
Into the Current, by artist Janis Selby Jones, 2017.
Into the Current, by artist Janis Selby Jones, 2017. (Represents the swirling Great Pacific Garbage Patch.)
Joy Figure, by artist Josh Bowman, 2008.
Joy Figure, by artist Josh Bowman, 2008.
Healing, by artist Vicki Leon, 2016.
Healing, by artist Vicki Leon, 2016.

Freedom, by artists Jaydon Sterling Randall and Rick Randall, 2016.
Freedom, by artists Jaydon Sterling Randall and Rick Randall, 2016.
Remembrance, by artist Buddy Smith, 2016.
Remembrance, by artist Buddy Smith, 2016.

Plaques set in the Paseo Santa Fe sidewalk contain sculpted avocados.
Plaques set in the Paseo Santa Fe sidewalk contain sculpted avocados.
Prima Vista, by artist Michael Angelo Venturello, 2016.
Prima Vista, by artist Michael Angelo Venturello, 2016.
Bloom in Time, by artists Thomas and Sylvia King.
A View in Bloom, by artists Thomas and Sylvia King, 2006.
Carnival, by artist Rick Randall, 2019.
Carnival, by artist Rick Randall, 2019.

Alley Cat, by artists Rick and Jaydon Sterling Randall.
Alley Cat, by artists Rick and Jaydon Sterling Randall.

Tortuga de Mar, by artist John Meyer, 2018.
Tortuga de Mar, by artist John Meyer, 2018.
Peace Arrow, by artist Alex Gall, 2019.
Peace Arrow, by artist Alex Gall, 2019.

A Flock of Kites, by artist Robert Rochin, 2008.
A Flock of Kites, by artist Robert Rochin, 2008.

Alley Art Man.
Alley Art Man.

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!

Commonplace Abstractions displayed at America Plaza.

Untitled (Yardstick), Eric Snell, 1990.
Untitled (Yardstick), Eric Snell, 1990.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is now displaying some very unique abstract artwork inside the America Plaza office building. One America Plaza, the tallest building in San Diego, stands across Kettner Boulevard from the museum’s downtown location.

This small exhibition of art is titled Commonplace Abstractions. The pieces, on view behind glass, were selected from MCASD’s collection. Each work of art incorporates one or more ordinary objects from everyday human life.

Step into the front entrance of America Plaza, head down the corridor to the left that leads to the nearby trolley station, and you’ll see how contemporary artists can use creativity and ingenuity to rearrange elements in our familiar world, and make it even more mysterious, thought-provoking, and strangely wonderful!

My photos provide a few examples of what you’ll see.

Painting with Coat Hanger, John Armleder, 1984.
Painting with Coat Hanger, John Armleder, 1984.
Office Depot, Mónica Arreola, 2003.
Office Depot, Mónica Arreola, 2003.
Day by day is good day, Peter Dreher, 1990, 2007.
Day by day is good day, Peter Dreher, 1990, 2007.

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!