Should you ever drive to Shelter Island, you’ll probably see a large, very unusual gazebo between the central traffic circle and San Diego Bay. It’s just one part of the large collection of public art lining the narrow island.
The Pacific Portal is a sculptural gazebo made of sprayed, reinforced concrete. It was erected eight years ago, replacing an old, more traditional Rotary Club pavilion. Nearby you’ll also find a small trellis structure and an interesting sculpture made of wrought iron.
The artist, James T. Hubbell, also designed the Pearl of the Pacific, the colorful public artwork featured in Pacific Rim Park at the southern end of Shelter Island.
While Pacific Portal is officially said to be a community gathering place, it’s located off the beaten track where few people walk, and offers few places to sit and relax. It seems to be more ostentatious than functional. Which strikes me as rather unfortunate.
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I was surprised to discover this polished bit of street art in a place where few venture in Mission Valley: in the darkness under Highway 163, along Camino de la Reina, among graffiti and windblown litter. Joggers and the homeless pass through here, but not very often. Who was the artist? Why did they paint a stylish image in this location? It’s a mystery!
This morning, February 5th, exactly one day after the first photo was taken, I walked to work again and the street art and graffiti were painted over! I don’t know if this is pure coincidence, or the result of my blog yesterday…
Artists abound along the Embarcadero near Seaport Village. They’ll paint a quick portrait for a modest donation. Today during my walk, I stopped for a bit to chat with Steve Mac.
Steve uses his talent to capture the essence of his subjects. He has a philosophical outlook on life, shunning the material and the ego for the beautiful essence found everywhere around, and within us. About a year and a half ago he had a profound spiritual experience not far from where we spoke, and he woke up from a state of worry and confusion to a spirit-filled life in the now.
Here are a few of his works he had out on display: