Victor Ochoa’s Tree of Life in San Ysidro!

Victor Ochoa is a world-famous muralist, activist and pioneer of the Chicano art movement whose work can be found throughout San Diego, particularly in Chicano Park. You can learn more about him here.

Should you stroll through San Ysidro Park, between West and East Park Avenue, just north of the San Ysidro Civic Center, you’ll probably see what appears to be a raised square platform in the middle of the grass. As you move closer this colorful public art, titled Arbol de la Vida (Tree of Life), comes into focus. It’s a tile mosaic planter and bench that surrounds a tree!

I can find almost nothing about this public art when I search the internet. Written on the tiles is the following:

Arbol de la Vida by Victor Ochoa, 1995. Commissioned for the community of San Ysidro and the citizens of San Diego through the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. Tree of Life.

It appears the overall design was created by Victor Ochoa and the tiles were painted by local children.

Do you know more about his wonderful public artwork? If you do, leave a comment!

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 cool new murals at Quartyard!

I was told these murals inside Quartyard were painted this year.
I was told these murals inside East Village’s cool Quartyard were painted this year.

Quartyard, an urban park, eatery and event venue in downtown San Diego’s East Village, is constantly changing. As months and years roll by, cool new murals keep appearing!

I wandered into Quartyard yesterday and saw a bunch of murals that were new to me. I learned most of these were painted this year. The artists are all local muralists–you’ve seen many examples of their work over the years on Cool San Diego Sights.

I took photos…

A look at Quartyard from across the intersection of Market Street and 13th Street.
A look at the colorful Quartyard from across the intersection of Market Street and 13th Street.
Colorfully painted shipping container by picnic benches indicates Quartyard is Your City Block.
Creatively painted shipping container by picnic benches indicates Quartyard is Your City Block.
Mural at Quartyard by Nicholas Danger.
Mural at Quartyard by Nicholas Danger.
Mural at Quartyard by España Garcia Feucht.
Mural at Quartyard by España Garcia Feucht.
Mural at Quartyard by Brise Birdsong.
Mural at Quartyard by Brise Birdsong.
The mural on the right with the two dogs was painted last week. You can find it behind Quartyard's fenced dog area.
The mural on the right with the two dogs was painted last week. You can find it behind Quartyard’s fenced dog run.
Eyes on a container outside Quartyard painted by Carly Ealey.
Eyes on a container outside Quartyard painted by Carly Ealey.

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!

A Time Machine, and three fantastic dreams.

In downtown Vista, California, at the intersection of S. Indiana Avenue and E. Broadway, you’ll discover a Time Machine and three fantastic dreams.

Or perhaps I should say, you’ll discover four sculptures, one at each corner. I happened upon this very unique public art while walking today!

You might remember I took photos of other cool sculptures around downtown Vista a couple months ago. See them here.

After I finished that earlier walk, I learned to my chagrin that I’d missed a lot of other nearby artwork, so I returned!

(And I found even more amazing art during today’s adventure. So stay tuned!)

Time Machine, by Randall Art Ranch, 2017.
Time Machine, by Randall Art Ranch, 2017.
Shall we visit three dreams? Pull the lever to GO.
Shall we now visit three dreams? Pull the lever to GO.
Beacon, by artist Kellan Shanahan.
Beacon, by artist Kellan Shanahan.

Aeolian Butterfly, by artists David Terrell and Dave Weaver.
Aeolian Butterfly, by artists David Terrell and Dave Weaver.

Sea Life, by artist Noe Estrada.
Sea Life, by artist Noe Estrada.
What takes us back to the past are the memories. What brings us forward is our dreams.
What takes us back to the past are the memories. What brings us forward is our dreams.
Hop aboard and move forward.
Time to dream. Hop aboard, strap yourself in and forward we go!

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

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Point Loma Garden Club floral street art.

At the corner of Cañon Street and Anchorage Lane in Point Loma, less than a block from the San Diego Yacht Club, you’ll find four large electrical boxes in a row painted with floral street art. The artwork is sponsored by the Point Loma Garden Club.

I’ve added a good deal of contrast to these photos to enhance the beautiful flowers–bring out more detail and color.

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!

Santee street art shows kids by the river.

This afternoon I went for a walk by the beautiful San Diego River in Santee.

As I headed up Cuyamaca Street approaching the river and a sign indicating Mission Creek Trail, I noticed a large electrical box painted with faded street art. Its sides depict kids by the river playing, fishing or skipping stones.

Part of the image on the box’s street side is blotted out; another side was jammed against some bushes, making photography without scratched arms problematic.

I hope you enjoy these two photos that I was able to capture!

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!

Messages of love, optimism in La Mesa.

Love is the solution.
Love is the solution.

This weekend I walked a little around La Mesa. I hadn’t been out that way since January of last year.

My heart was warmed to see many messages of love and optimism decorating the chain link fence surrounding property that was destroyed during the late May riot, which was fueled by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis that same month.

The community–mostly young people–produced idealistic artwork full of hope. I saw the heartfelt desire for equality, peace, understanding, and the end of racism. Love and kindness were in most of the messages.

The result of arson during a riot in La Mesa, California.
The result of arson during a riot in La Mesa, California.
Unity in the community.
Unity in the community.
Positive messages of love and equality on a fence in La Mesa.
Positive messages of love and equality on a fence in La Mesa.
Paintings donated by Pink Rose Cafe with support of the La Mesa community.
Paintings donated by Pink Rose Cafe with support of the La Mesa community.
Love sees no color. End racism.
Love sees no color. End racism.
Hopeful images painted by a young person.
Hopeful images painted by a young person.
We are all under the same sun.
We are all under the same sun.
All we need is love.
All we need is love.
Strong. Hope. Heartbeat. Heartfelt.
Strong. Hope. Heartbeat. Heartfelt.
A wise quote about improving the world from Dr. Seuss.
A wise quote about improving the world from Dr. Seuss.
Step into the daylight.
Step into the daylight.
Be positive.
Be positive.
Let us embrace all the colors.
Let us embrace all the colors.
Artwork along the fence represents the optimism of La Mesa residents.
Artwork along the fence represents the optimism of La Mesa residents.
Together friends.
Together friends.
La Mesa kids stand for change, unity, hope, love.
La Mesa kids stand for change, unity, hope, love.
There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill.
There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.
What I'm looking for is not out there, it is in me.
What I’m looking for is not out there, it is in me.
Do justice. Walk humbly.
Do justice. Walk humbly.
We're in this together.
We’re in this together.
A hopeful vision.
A hopeful vision.
Fight for what's right.
Fight for what’s right.
Be kind.
Be kind.
More heartfelt sentiments along the fence.
More heartfelt sentiments along the fence.
Be you. Shine bright.
Be you. Shine bright.
Be the change.
Be the change.
Love and respect for your neighbor.
Love and respect for your neighbor.
We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
Listen.
Listen.
Grow through what you go through.
Grow through what you go through.
Love one another.
Love one another.
Fine artwork full of humanity.
Fine artwork full of humanity.
Make the world a better place.
Make the world a better place.
Love wins.
Love wins.
Peace and love. Love will win.
Peace and love. Love will win.
When you focus on good, the good gets better.
When you focus on good, the good gets better.
Shine like stars.
Shine like stars.
Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr. Hate cannot drive out hate--only love can.
Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr. Hate cannot drive out hate–only love can.
Love not hate makes America great.
Love not hate makes America great.
Peace. Love. Hope.
Peace. Love. Hope.
Believe there is good.
Believe there is good.
Kindness is the sunshine in which everything and everyone can grow.
Kindness is the sunshine in which everything and everyone can grow.
Kindness matters.
Kindness matters.
All black lives matter.
All black lives matter.
The dove of peace.
The dove of peace.
Love. United we stand.
Love. United we stand.
Love grows here.
Love grows 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!

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…

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

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Hidden art in alleys around San Diego!

Over the years, I’ve walked through a variety of “art alleys” around San Diego. Some of these art-filled alleys are well known to those who live in the community; others are not.

It’s exciting to stumble upon this “hidden” street art by pure chance!

Walking into an otherwise unremarkable alley, suddenly surrounded by murals, graffiti and other fantastic artwork, can be like entering a dazzling world of pure imagination! The degree of creativity and devoted artistry can really amaze.

Let’s revisit some of this very cool alley art!

To see lots of colorful photographs, click the following links. I’ve grouped these past blog posts by location in San Diego County:

Vista

Murals in and around Alley Art Man Way!

El Cajon

Step into El Cajon’s super cool Arts Alley!

Logan Heights

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles street art!

Bold urban art in a Logan Heights alley.

Barrio Logan

Cool street art in two alleys on National Avenue.

Cool street art: The Nest Murals near Chicano Park.

Another very colorful mural in Barrio Logan!

Mission Beach

Cool street art in a Mission Beach alley!

Normal Heights

The fantastic graffiti of Flash Alley!

North Park

Three cool murals in a North Park alley!

More fun photos of street murals in North Park.

La Mesa

Murals in urban park celebrate La Mesa volunteers.

Ocean Beach

Two cool murals in an Ocean Beach alley.

City Heights

San Diego’s drive-through art gallery expands!

Painting cool new murals in City Heights!

Old Town

Murals of San Diego history in an Old Town alley.

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

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Star Streams at the Center for the Arts.

As you approach the front entrance of the Museum at California Center for the Arts, Escondido, you might think you’re flying through the coronas of two fiery stars. Looking down, you see beautiful Star Streams beneath your feet!

Star Streams/THRESHOLD TESSELATION is the name of some very cool artwork that was installed in front of the Museum in 2017.

The 128-square foot LithoMosaic was created by artists Robin Brailsford, Wick Alexander and Doris Bittar. It’s the first of a series titled COLD CALL/ Museum as Muse, which involves the creation of LithoMosaic plaza public artwork for six museums across the United States.

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!

Murals in and around Alley Art Man Way!

Long Live Vista! ¡Viva Vista!, by artist Kim Maria Cruz, 2019.
Long Live Vista! ¡Viva Vista!, by artist Kim Maria Cruz, 2019.

Public art thrives in Vista, California!

In addition to dozens of amazing sculptures, which I recently blogged about here, numerous colorful murals can be found throughout town!

Last weekend I walked randomly around downtown Vista and came upon an alley with an unusual name: Alley Art Man Way. It’s located between Main Street and East Broadway, South Citrus Avenue and Hanes Place.

As I wandered through and around the alley, I discovered many walls painted with fantastic artwork!

As you can see on the City of Vista Public Art Map, which you can check out here, there are many additional murals out there to be discovered. One day I’ll return to find more!

I’ve captioned my photographs using information obtained from the interactive map.

Alley Art Man Way in downtown Vista, California is home to many colorful murals!
Alley Art Man Way in downtown Vista, California is home to many colorful murals!
Vista Fire Department 1929, by artist Doug Davis, 2000.
Vista Fire Department 1929, by artist Doug Davis, 2000.
Water World, by artist Doug Davis, 2016.
Water World, by artist Doug Davis, 2016.

Tribute to Margarita, by artist Daniel Toledo, 2018.
Tribute to Margarita, by artist Daniel Toledo, 2018.
Crazy, colorful mural by front door of Backfence Society, where North County artists gather and create.
Crazy, colorful graphic by front door of Backfence Society, where North County artists gather and create.
Boogie Birds, by artist Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey.
Boogie Birds, by artist Chor Boogie, a.k.a. Joaquin Lamar Hailey.

Space Coyote, by artist Sarah Spinks et al.
Space Coyote, by artist Sarah Spinks et al.

Delpy's, Vista Mercantile, Beattie and Travis, by artist Chuck Rose, 2001.
Delpy’s, Vista Mercantile, Beattie and Travis, by artist Chuck Rose, 2001.
Trees painted on either side of the door to Visions In Art.
Trees painted on either side of the entrance to Visions In Art.
Lilac Cat on the Hunt, by artist Sarah Spinks and friends.
Lilac Cat on the Hunt, by artist Sarah Spinks and friends.

Vista Avocados, by artist Art Mortimer, 2011.
Vista Avocados, by artist Art Mortimer, 2011.

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!