Three cool murals in a North Park alley!

North Park alley mural by BANDiT.
North Park alley mural by BANDiT.

These three fantastic murals were painted recently in a North Park alley. I happened to be walking down University Avenue just east of 31st Street when I spotted them.

Very cool, huh?

North Park continues to be the home of amazing, ever-changing street art!

North Park alley mural by BANDiT.
North Park alley mural by BANDiT.
North Park alley mural by @JohnnysArtwork.
North Park alley mural by @JohnnysArtwork.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.
North Park alley mural by @kyraaart.

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 exhibition of Japanese washi fiber art.

An amazing exhibition at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park just opened!

As I entered the garden’s Exhibit Hall this afternoon, I and other visitors were welcomed by the smile of accomplished Japanese fiber artist Maki Ishiwata. On display in the nearby glass cases were many of her stunning creations!

Take a look at these photos and you can see how exquisite this art is. Maki told me a little about her craft, and showed me briefly how she assembles washi–traditional Japanese handmade paper–into delicate, subtle pieces that resemble natural flowers and plants. I learned that some of the larger creations can take eight hours to complete.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s website: “…like many crafts, washi is facing a decrease and disappearance of its makers. For washi culture to survive, greater appreciation for the durability, purity, beauty, and versatility of this paper is essential. Through Ishiwata’s art work, she hopes to be able to connect traditional washi and Japanese aesthetic sense to global context and provide a unique experience for people to see an amazing transformation of one sheet of paper through one person`s hands.”

In the following photographs you can see some of the materials that are used, and a poster describing the complex process used to make washi. Kozo (Paper Mulberry) is harvested, the bark is scraped, boiled, snow bleached, wind dried, then soaked and softened…

The beautiful calligraphy in one photo was produced by Maki’s grandmother. Another unusual photo includes a reflection from the glass display case of a tree outside the Exhibit Hall.

This fantastic exhibition at the Japanese Friendship Garden will continue through January 26, 2020.

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!

Discover public art sculptures around San Diego!

Over the years, I’ve photographed many of the public art sculptures that can be found all around San Diego.

Because Cool San Diego Sights is now over six years old, and most readers have seen only a small fraction of my blog, I thought it would be fun to link to some old posts.

The following links don’t include all of the sculptures I’ve photographed, but they do provide a convenient starting point for a journey of discovery!

Click the following links:

Amazing public art is a hidden San Diego gem.

That big bronze pelican in Pacific Beach!

Photos of Donal Hord’s iconic sculpture Aztec.

Fun photos of Sun God bird sculpture at UCSD.

Photos of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle!

Bronze lifeguard watches the surf in Ocean Beach.

The Spirit of Imperial Beach surfer sculpture.

The Pioneers sculpture at Old Poway Park.

Photos of Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

A walk through history in The Village of La Mesa.

The arches of National City’s Morgan Square Plaza.

Art and history at Lemon Grove Trolley Depot!

Giant seashell sculpture is a Growing Home!

A shining Flame of Friendship from Mexico.

300 year old Kannon statue in Balboa Park!

Dr. Seuss and Cat in the Hat sculpture at UCSD.

Photos of The Padre sculpture in Presidio Park.

Two cool sculptures at a National City marina!

Sculpture of Bum, San Diego’s famous town dog.

Shedding the Cloak sculpture inspired by MLK.

New public artwork at Bayside Fire Station!

Pacific Soul by Jaume Plensa rises in San Diego!

The cool sculpture at Humphreys on Shelter Island.

Photos of cool sculptures at Liberty Station.

Terracotta female figures at Heritage Plaza.

Sea Passage sculpture and fountain in Coronado.

A crazy handstand at the edge of a rooftop!

Small bubble bath child: a bronze sculpture.

Creative urban trees add smiles to a San Diego walk.

Here are several links to my other website, Beautiful Balboa Park:

Art of the Open Air in beautiful Balboa Park.

Sculpture and mural in Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer.

The faces of the Panama-California Sculpture Court.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s Grande Step Totem.

One fantastic sculpture by renowned French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle presently stands at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Those who pass by the cultural center on their way up North Escondido Boulevard can’t fail to miss it.

I stopped by to have a look at the monumental sculpture, which is titled Grande Step Totem.

A plaque near its base is weathered and cracked and is difficult to read now. I’ve tried to transcribe the English portion of it accurately:

Grande Step Totem

Based in Native American spirituality, Saint Phalle’s Totem is more solemn than much of her work. With a muted color palette and subject matter, this piece encourages introspection. The Totem returned to Escondido on December 19, 2012 after spending the summer on view with several other Saint Phalle pieces on Park Avenue in New York City.

NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE

2001

Polyurethane foam resin, steel armature, ceramic tiles, stained glass, tumbled stone.

As you can see, some construction work was being done around the base of the sculpture when I visited last weekend. Here are my photos…

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!

Cool murals at Priority Public House!

During my walk through Leucadia on Saturday I stumbled upon a whole bunch of cool murals in one place. They were painted around the parking lot of Priority Public House on North Coast Highway 101.

Check it out!

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!

Art inside the Balboa Park Activity Center.

The Balboa Park Activity Center is a popular destination for San Diego residents who enjoy indoor sports. During a walk last weekend I poked my nose inside to see if anything interesting was going on. What I discovered was a whole lot of art!

A variety of beautiful artwork can be observed both inside and outside the Activity Center. Four years ago I posted photographs of the outdoor installation titled The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story, which is located in the south plaza. To see those photos, click here.

The photos I’m posting today are of the artwork inside the building.

Detailed information from the artist is displayed near the Activity Center’s front door:

Joyce Cutler-Shaw

In 1996, I was invited to be part of the design team for the Balboa Park Activity Center with architects Rob Wellington Quigley, Richard Blackman, landscape architect Martin Poirier and artist Raul Guerrero. It was a most rewarding collaboration. In April 1999, I completed five installations of my work, which are integral to the building. There are twenty-five drawings in terrazzo squares (@ 16″ x 16″), titled The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story in the south plaza (1); leaf “paintings” with shadows etched into the double glass panes of the sliding front doors (2); two terrazzo floor “paintings” in the entrance lobby at the reception desk and window wall (3′ x 20′ and 5′ x 11′) of, respectively, 26 colors and 68 color/chip combinations (3); and seventy-two metal plates at the corner connections of the gymnasium – these are another translation, by flame-cut drawing in steel, of The Circle and the Self: A Picture Story (4).

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!

Cool public art in Middletown that nobody sees.

There’s some very cool public art in Middletown that almost nobody sees. You can find it at the intersection of Kettner Boulevard and West Palm Street, just east of the San Diego Trolley’s Middletown Station. A mosaic welcomes people to the ramp that ascends to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Interstate 5.

Very few people use this pedestrian bridge. They are the only ones who are likely to see this public art. Drivers coming down Kettner might glimpse something, but it requires a good turn of the head at exactly the right moment. The artwork is on a wall tucked in a corner.

I don’t know who created this colorful mosaic. Some names are written on it. The mosaic is composed of tiles, stones, sculpted clay, beads, bits of glass. There are images of surfers, skateboarders, butterflies, flowers… There are wise sayings. It appears to be a community project. I’ve searched the internet but find nothing.

If you know more about this fantastic but mysterious public artwork, please leave a comment!

Thinking is more interesting than knowing but less interesting than looking...
Thinking is more interesting than knowing but less interesting than looking…
You cannot stop the waves but you can learn to surf.
You cannot stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

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!