Faces of INSIDE OUT still smile in Chula Vista!

A harsh winter with rain and wind, and an occasional prankster, but dozens of optimistic faces still smile in Chula Vista!

Last weekend, as I walked down H Street east of Fourth Avenue, my eyes were surprised to see a row of large, smiling faces in an alley. They looked out at the world from a long, low wall. I turned into the alley to have a closer look.

What I discovered were faces photographed and turned into public art by the international INSIDE OUT project. INSIDE OUT had come to San Diego’s South Bay in September 2018 to encourage people to express their unique identity and viewpoint, and vote in the upcoming election.

The INSIDE OUT project is the brainchild of an anonymous artist named JR. Large‐format images of individuals in a community are pasted on buildings and along streets. Activist messages are conveyed visually, with personality and a smile!

This global “people’s art project” has achieved enormous reach. By late September 2018 over 260,000 people had participated in 129 countries!

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Art raises awareness about bird trafficking.

Public art now on display in Seaport Village aims to raise awareness about the impact of illegal bird trafficking.

Birds Without Paradise (Pajaros sin Paraiso) was created by Oaxacan artist Manuel Molina with the assistance of volunteers and school children in both the United States and Mexico. Many life-size birds made of corn husks and wood take flight overhead, reminding us of the harm caused by illegal bird trafficking.

The freedom themed art, which has been displayed at various locations in both nations, strengthens cross-border cultural connections and is a delightful bond between diverse people.

These colorful birds will be flocking above Seaport Village, just west of the central fountain, through April!

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Artwork next to 25th and Commercial trolley station.

Metal artwork at the 25th and Commercial trolley station honors labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
Metal artwork at the 25th and Commercial trolley station honors labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

While riding the Orange Line of the San Diego Trolley, I noticed several works of cool art in and around the 25th and Commercial station. So I jumped off, walked around and took photos!

The metalwork that honors Cesar Chavez can be found at the westbound platform. The 25th and Commercial trolley station is dedicated to the civil rights leader.

You might recall that both platforms of the split station also feature amazing tile mosaic benches. I posted those photos here.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. --Cesar E. Chavez
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. –Cesar E. Chavez
A sign at the trolley station points to various locations of interest, including Villa Montezuma and Chicano Park.
A sign at the trolley station points to various locations of interest, including Villa Montezuma and Chicano Park.
A metal Don Quixote stands guard by a muffler shop.
A metal Don Quixote stands guard at a nearby muffler shop.
Colorful artwork on the back of the San Diego Police Department Central Division parking garage.
Colorful artwork on the back of the San Diego Police Department Central Division parking garage.
Cool street art on a corner utility box.
Mesoamerican iconography becomes street art on a corner utility box.
A fun heart in a mural on a neighborhood wall.
A fun heart in a mural on a nearby wall.
A cool car painted on a fence along Commercial Street in Logan Heights.
A cool car painted on a fence along Commercial Street in Logan Heights.

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!

Faces of civil rights leaders on Imperial Avenue.

A street mural in San Diego that features many famous faces. Martin Luther King, Jr. is joined by others who have worked to advance civil rights.
A street mural in San Diego that features many famous faces. Martin Luther King, Jr. is joined by others who have worked to advance civil rights.

A long mural at the corner of 32nd Street and Imperial Avenue celebrates many of history’s most recognized civil rights leaders. Among them are those who have fought to empower the poor, advocates for democracy, human equality and social justice, and peacemakers.

Originally painted in 1986 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., the mural was restored and augmented in 2002 by internationally renowned muralist and activist Mario Torero with the help of the local community. The mural now includes faces from around the world, as you can see in these photographs.

The colorful mural spans two walls near the border of two neighborhoods east of downtown San Diego: Logan Heights and Stockton. The images have again faded with time, but the idealism represented remains timeless and powerful.

The face of Cesar Chavez.
The face of Cesar Chavez.
The face of the Dalai Lama.
The face of the Dalai Lama.
The face of Óscar Romero.
The face of Óscar Romero.
The face of Corazon Aquino.
The face of Corazon Aquino.
The face of Desmond Tutu.
The face of Desmond Tutu.
The face of Nelson Mandela.
The face of Nelson Mandela.
The face of Mother Teresa.
The face of Mother Teresa.
The face of Chief Joseph.
The face of Chief Joseph.
The face of Mahatma Gandhi.
The face of Mahatma Gandhi.

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!

Contemporary art program for students in San Diego.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has a special Extended School Partnership (ESP) program for local 6-12th-grade students. Teachers have the opportunity to expose their students to contemporary art in partnership with the museum.

Students are taught about art making, collaboration and, according to a new sign posted near MCASD’s downtown location, their own identity, solidarity and activism. (As someone who is passionate about writing, I hope there’s an emphasis on personal freedom, truth-seeking and authentic creativity–not politics or propaganda.)

Yesterday I took a photograph of this sign in the breezeway between downtown’s Santa Fe Depot and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The two art panels were created by local students at Valhalla High School.

Read the sign if you’d like to learn more about this program.

(Click this photo to enlarge for easy reading.)
(Click this photo to enlarge for easy reading.)

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!

Tile mosaics show Hispanic life, culture and history.

Scenes of Hispanic life, culture and history decorate benches and seats at a San Diego Trolley station.
Mosaic scenes of Hispanic life, culture and history decorate benches and seats at a San Diego Trolley station.

In Logan Heights, the 25th and Commercial Street station of the San Diego Trolley’s Orange Line features public art at both it’s east and west platforms. A week or so ago, I enjoyed looking at colorful mosaics made of tiles on the base of various concrete seats and curving benches. The small mosaics depict Hispanic life, culture and history. There are abstract scenes of immigrants working in fields or in construction, of family at home, and of organized activism.

I took these photos at the eastbound platform. The mosaics are part of a project titled Achievement / Progress / Community: In the Spirit of Cesar E. Chavez that was completed in 2006. The mosaics were created by artist John Hiemstra. The trolley stop is dedicated to civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

Photo along length of 25th and Commercial Street trolley station of the Orange Line. This is the eastbound platform.
Photo along length of 25th and Commercial Street trolley station of the Orange Line. This is the eastbound platform.
This small tile mosaic scene features a red trolley in front of downtown's Santa Fe Depot.
A small tile mosaic scene features a red trolley in front of downtown’s Santa Fe Depot.
Hispanic family at home around a table laden with food.
A family at home around a table laden with food.
Migrant workers appear to be planting seeds in a field.
Migrant workers planting seeds in a field.
Mosaic shows a ranch in a Southern California landscape.
Mosaic shows what appears to be a ranch in a Southern California landscape.
Farm worker seems to be harvesting tomatoes or strawberries.
Farm worker is harvesting tomatoes or strawberries.
Saguaro cacti in a Southwestern scene.
Saguaro cacti in a Southwestern scene.
Beautiful abstract mosaic. Tiles of different colors, sizes and shapes.
Beautiful abstract mosaic. Tiles of different colors, sizes and shapes.
Hispanic workers build a wall.
Hispanic workers build a wall.
A laborer hard at work.
A laborer hard at work.
Two figures stand near automobiles on a highway.
Two figures stand near automobiles on a highway.
A diverse group appears to hold up signs in a protest.
A diverse group appears to hold up signs in a protest.
A priest and an activist.
A priest and an activist.
Hispanic youth together, perhaps students. Another scene of life, learning, hope, struggle.
Hispanic youth together, perhaps students. Another scene of life, learning, hope, struggle.

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 share and enjoy!

Street art fights domestic violence, sexual abuse.

No means no.
No means no.

Many panels of street art can be seen on a construction site fence in East Village. They address diverse issues, promote civil rights, condemn social wrongs. They all speak to the human heart. They all concern love. Real love.

I don’t know who painted these panels. All are simple, but extremely powerful.

Most of the artwork opposes domestic violence, sexual exploitation and abuse.

Domestic violence is horrific.  It’s a hidden crime that damages too many lives.

San Diego has a terrible sex trafficking problem. It’s an issue some of our city leaders are trying to address.

Here are a few photos.

There's nothing super about domestic violence.
There’s nothing super about domestic violence.
Stop human trafficking.
Stop human trafficking.
Not all monsters are in the dark.
Not all monsters are in the dark.
Sometimes people wipe away their tears so you can't see them.
Sometimes people wipe away their tears so you can’t see them.

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!