Sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga at UC San Diego.

Yucateca Sentada is a beautiful bronze sculpture slightly off the beaten path at UC San Diego. It can be discovered by observant students passing down the Ridge Walk through Thurgood Marshall College, by the Administration Building. A walkway leads west to a bench that faces the life-size sculpture. (It isn’t far from Sojourner Truth, another bronze sculpture beside the Ridge Walk.)

Yucateca Sentada (Seated Woman of the Yucatan) was created by renowned Costa Rican-born Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga in 1976. It was donated to UC San Diego in 1983 by Elsa Dekking and UCSD physics professor Keith Brueckner. That was back when Marshall College was called Third College.

Here’s a photo taken right after its installation, with Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson providing a few words. There’s also an article in the October 3, 1983 issue of The UCSD Guardian concerning the dedication. You can read that here on page 7.

When I first saw this beautiful piece, so radiant with elemental humanity and silent dignity, I thought it might be a work of famed San Diego artist Donal Hord. It’s similar to two works I’ve seen by Hord, Spring Stirring and Aztec.

Then I realized I’d seen another very fine sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga in San Diego. His Mother and Daughter Seated can be found near the front entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.

I photographed Mother and Daughter Seated back in 2016, as it and various other sculptures were being installed in Balboa Park’s outdoor Plaza de Panama. You can enjoy those photos 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!

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COVID-19, isolation, and bright butterflies.

I tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. It’s relatively mild. I’ve been home self-isolating all week.

Unfortunately, I can’t go out on my walks. It’s a bit depressing.

One thing I can do–when not sleeping or listening to the Padres or reading a book–is scroll through my blog. To me, Cool San Diego Sights is almost like a journal. (A good reason for you to start your own blog!) The thousands of photographs and written descriptions help me to remember all the things I’ve experienced during past walks. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been doing this blogging thing for almost nine years.

So here I am, wondering this Friday morning if there are some old images I could easily repost. Then thinking: there are so many butterfly pics!

How appropriate. Butterflies are symbols of hope, transformation and healing.

These bright butterflies were spotted all over San Diego, from Escondido to Imperial Beach, from Mission Bay to El Cajon, and everywhere in between. How many do you recognize?

Fortunately, I still have many unused photos in my computer. So this weekend don’t be surprised if you see blog posts concerning past walks in La Jolla, Carlsbad, Old Town, Balboa Park, and perhaps elsewhere!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

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Stories, woven and Unwoven at the Timken.

An exhibition of fine tempera paintings created by San Diego artist Marianela de la Hoz is now on view at the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park.

Destejidas – Unwoven showcases the carefully crafted work of the Mexican born painter, who was an artist in residence at the Timken earlier this year. Visitors to the museum had the ability to watch her complete the piece Penelope’s Hands.

Marianela de la Hoz incorporates surprising symbols in her very personal artwork. Figures taken from literature, mythology, fairy tales, world history and religion are often inserted into more contemporary scenes. The many disparate elements can be jolting. They reveal the inner character of her subjects. The strange combinations might make us consider our own lives.

Human experiences in this complex world are cleverly combined with well known stories that were first told long ago. Our own secret stories are unwoven, then rewoven.

Destejidas – Unwoven can be enjoyed at the Timken Museum of Art through September 4, 2022.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad World, 2015.
Lilith, the Other Letter of God, 2019.
Mary Magdalene, 2019.
The Hands of Penelope, 2022.

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!

Peanuts and The Armstrong Project at Comic-Con!

Every Comic-Con, it seems, Peanuts has a heart-warming activation in the Gaslamp outside the San Diego Convention Center.

For 2022, their special offsite supports The Armstrong Project. You can find it by simply walking with the Comic-Con crowds along Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Peanuts fans know that Franklin Armstrong was one of many beloved characters created by Charles Schulz. Visitors to the activation will find displays explaining how the idea of introducing Franklin came about. They’ll also learn how others were inspired by the new character . . . including a future cartoonist also named Armstrong.

I recommend visiting. Read the thoughtful displays and become inspired, yourself.

Here’s a sample…

A Los Angeles school teacher, Harriet Glickman, wrote Schulz shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.. She believed Peanuts could provide a positive message about race. Franklin Armstrong was introduced to the comic strip in 1968.

Franklin has many friends and helps them in class. The comic strip stood against segregation. Franklin is an active, confident kid who is quietly conscientious.

Charlie Brown first meets Franklin at the beach.

Peanuts Worldwide has launched endowments to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Armstrong Project is named after both Franklin Armstrong and cartoonist Robb Armstrong, creator of the strip Jump Start, who was inspired by the character Franklin.

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Hemingway in Comics previewed at Comic-Con Museum!

There’s a modest exhibit at the Comic-Con Museum that previews a much larger exhibition that is coming later this year. Those visiting the museum to see Spider-Man during Comic-Con should head down to the lower level and check out Hemingway in Comics!

I love reading literature, and Hemingway is one of my favorite authors, so I was pleasantly surprised when my curious eyes spied this comic art today.

The styles that are represented are quite varied, and the fictional stories involving the celebrated American author can seem fantastic and implausible, but that is art! And it’s all very cool!

I really look forward to seeing the full exhibition when it opens at the Comic-Con Museum this coming September.

Read the sign below to learn more….

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

The art of Optimus Volts during Comic-Con!

Local artist Optimus Volts can be found during Comic-Con at the Chuck Jones Pop Up Gallery.

I wandered into the pop up gallery yesterday afternoon, where I met Optimus Volts at a table displaying his work.

In addition to creating several really cool sculptures, he’d painted comic book covers and baseball cards, reimagining them using his own unique vision. Many of the superheroes and baseball players were given sugar skulls and surrounded with imagery associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead!

Check it out!

Yes, that’s a baseball card of San Diego Padres hero Tony Gwynn!

Optimus Volts and other artists will be meeting the public and selling pieces of their work inside the Chuck Jones Comic-Con Pop Up Gallery through Sunday! The pop up gallery is located at 530 Sixth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter.

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Audible’s amazing Comic-Con sand sculptures near completion!

The three Audible sand sculptures that are being carved along MLK Promenade for 2022 Comic-Con are nearly complete. And they are beyond amazing!

Check them out!

The artistry is right up there with that of world-class Sand Masters. You know, those internationally famous sand sculptors who’ve come to San Diego to compete many past summers, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The extraordinary Comic-Con sculptures promote three of Audible’s original spoken word shows…

My favorite sand sculpture of the three promotes the Audible original Impact Winter.

A second amazing sculpture promotes The Sandman. (Those figures are definitely sand!)

And lastly, an intricate sand sculpture that promotes the Audible original Moriarty: The Devil’s Game. Looks to me like more sand carving will be done on this one before Comic-Con officially opens tomorrow!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

The Chuck Jones Comic-Con Pop Up Gallery!

If you’re walking up Fifth Avenue during Comic-Con, and you’re wondering what happened to the Chuck Jones Gallery, fear not!

Even though the gallery itself moved some time ago to San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, a pop-up Chuck Jones activation can be found in the Gaslamp Quarter at 530 Sixth Avenue! (A few steps north of the Dungeons & Dragons offsite, inside the Sparks Gallery.)

I previewed The Chuck Jones Comic-Con Pop Up Gallery this afternoon as pieces by popular artists were being arranged for public display and sale. There’s something for everyone, including Star Wars, Marvel, and DC Comics art by well known artists, like Alex Ross.

For 2022 Comic-Con, the Chuck Jones pop up will also present several artists and animators that the public can meet. You can see the lineup at their website here.

The Chuck Jones Gallery Pop Up opens up tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20 during Comic-Con Preview Night!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Painting the windows of Starbucks for Comic-Con!

Isabel Garcia is painting the windows of Starbucks for 2022 Comic-Con! I saw her today as I walked behind the convention center near the Hilton San Diego Bayfront!

Isabel is a local artist and muralist, part of Arte Atolondrada. Her creative partner is Shirish Villaseñor, who paints the windows of nearby Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt during Comic-Con!

If you’d like to check some of their mural work around San Diego, click here or here or here!

In the past few days, I’ve photographed the progress of Shirish’s windows for 2022 Comic-Con. You can see that here and here!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!

Comic-Con materializes by the Convention Center!

What’s this? It looks like 2022 Comic-Con has begun to slowly materialize by the San Diego Convention Center!

Local artist and muralist Shirish Villaseñor (@shirishtheartist) has begun painting the windows of Sweet Things Frozen Yogurt at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. She’ll be working to complete the fun artwork in the coming days.

I’ll swing by to take more photos as these many painted characters assume color and life.

Meanwhile, for the next two weeks Cool San Diego Sights is in full Comic-Con mode! I live downtown, an easy walk from the huge international pop culture event.

Fear not! I’ll return to more “normal” San Diego sights once Comic-Con concludes!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click 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!