Bright, colorful butterflies fill National City parks!

Giant butterflies take flight in the blue sky above three National City parks!

Should you visit Butterfly Park, Kimball Park or Las Palmas Park, you’re certain to spot many large butterfly wings! The colorful sculptures were created in 2015 by families throughout the National City community.

Every butterfly is composed of two pieces of cut aluminum, and the separate sides of each butterfly are uniquely decorated with different colors of reflective vinyl tape. I’ve been told that car headlights shining on the butterflies at night reveal bright bursts of life!

The project, led by local artist Roberto Salas, is called Butterfly Path. Its creation was made possible through a commission from the San Diego Museum of Art’s “Open Spaces” program, supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The first time I spotted some of these butterflies–last year at Kimball Park–I didn’t know a thing about them. Comments made by readers provided great information. Revisit that old blog post here.

Since then I’ve seen more of the beautiful sculptures, and have learned more about them, particularly during an amazing tour of Butterfly Park, which you can read about by clicking here.

These artistic butterflies symbolize an ongoing metamorphosis in National City. The transformation is to an even more proud, healthy and environmentally friendly community that shines with greater and greater beauty.

Here are just some of the butterflies you might encounter, in no particular order…

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!

Water is Life mosaic in National City!

At Kimball Park in National City, a beautiful mosaic above a drinking fountain affirms that Water is Life!

This colorful public art provides an interesting contrast to the mosaic in my previous post: the fiery Firewall in front of the Solana Beach Fire Department.

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe these two fantastic Water is Life panels were the work of A Reason To Survive (ARTS) and local youth. Like other mosaics in and around Kimball Park, it was conceived as part of ARTS’ Creating Vibrant Neighborhoods Initiative.

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!

Mural at Escondido Boys and Girls Clubs building.

Does anybody know the history of this old mural in Escondido? It decorates the east side of the Conrad Prebys Escondido Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego.

During a walk through Escondido last weekend, I photographed this colorful mural from the distant sidewalk. It appears to be a mosaic made of small tiles. Youth are depicted reading, playing basketball, and engaged in other activity. The artwork is dated 1976. Tiles spell out two clear signatures: A. Dluhos and T. Pardue.

After some internet searching, I believe the first artist is Andre Dluhos, and the second is Terry Pardue. I’m pretty sure about the second name, because I read this article.

Andre Dluhos was born in 1940 in eastern Czechoslovakia and moved to the United States in 1969.

If anyone out there knows anything about this nearly half century old mural, please leave a comment.

It would be fascinating to learn more about it, and the artists, too!

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 amazing, hidden art alley in Lemon Grove!

There’s an amazing “hidden” art alley in Lemon Grove that few in San Diego know about!

I discovered a magical world of imagination and creativity when I stepped through a passageway that leads north of Broadway into this alley!

Colorful murals painted on the rear and sides of several buildings were created in 2018 by artists Gloria Muriel, Alex Banach, Maxx Moses, KJ Ashley and Beth Emmerich.

This fantastic art alley runs parallel to Broadway, just east of Lemon Grove Avenue.

My first few photos are of the welcoming passageway, which has several outdoor tables and a bench among lemon trees. Then I emerged into the alley and looked all around with surprise and wonder!

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Glass artists exhibition in Spanish Village!

Many pieces of amazing glass art can be enjoyed this weekend in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. The public is invited to view the Art Glass Association of Southern California’s 40th Annual Members’ Exhibition in Gallery 21. Unfortunately it ends much too soon on Monday.

I’ve always had a love for lustrous, luminous glass art. Pieces often appear like liquified light, caught for an instant in time. Like carefully hand-crafted jewels, their appearance changes depending on one’s angle of view. One extraordinary piece, as you’ll see, cleverly uses prism refraction to produce many different bright colors.

I noticed that most of the exhibited pieces are for sale. If I had a million dollars, I’d grab them all.

To me every one is magic.

Sunburst, Diana Griffin.
Abundance, Kathleen Mitchell.
Bellora, Michelle Bohannan Sherer.
Gen Z Redhead, Marti Blair.
Drop Vessel, Krista Heron.
Baby Blue Monk, Tom Marosz.

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!

More colorful faces in National City!

During my long walk through San Diego’s South Bay last weekend, I spotted street art in National City that I hadn’t previously photographed.

Three colorful faces on electrical boxes!

The first happy face, in the above photograph, was discovered near the corner of 8th Street and National City Boulevard. That box used to feature some fun Star Wars artwork. You can see those old photos here!

The next two faces were observed near the intersection of Plaza Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Here they are!

(It appeared there were more painted boxes had I continued north on Highland. I’ll check those out on a future walk!)

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!

Beautiful new mural to debut in National City!

A beautiful new mural is set to make its debut in National City this week. The artwork has been painted on one side of the National City Chamber of Commerce and faces Morgan Square Plaza with its many arches.

I was walking through National City yesterday when I noticed a blue tarp flapping in the wind on the wall. Bright color was peeking out from one corner!

When I got home I found this excellent article.

The mural memorializes “the life of Manuel “Memo” Cavada, a longtime community photographer who passed away in 2020 after having captured 50 years of local history.” It was painted by artists Guillermo Aranda, Sal Barajas and David Avalos.

The mural will make its debut during an unveiling on December 15.

Next time I walk this way, I’ll take pics!

UPDATE!

Two weeks later, I walked past the Chamber of Commerce again, and I took photos of the revealed mural! See it in all its glory 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!

Two fun sculptures at the Central Library!

Downtown San Diego’s Central Library is filled with all sorts of public artwork. Walk around the various floors with your eye on the walls and you’ll make frequent unexpected discoveries!

A couple weekends ago I was walking around the library’s 5th floor when I came upon two abstract sculptures by internationally renowned multimedia artist Italo Scanga. They are titled Music I and Music III. Both were created using oil paint, wood and found objects. And what appears to be symbolic imagery. Much of Scanga’s work incorporates elements of mythology.

Italo Scanga was born in Italy. He lived the later part of his life in San Diego. His pieces can be found in many museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Read a Wikipedia article about Italo Scanga here.

Both of these fun, very colorful sculptures, Music I and Music III, are in the City of San Diego Civic Art Collection.

Enjoy a few photos!

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Painting the beauty of a Japanese garden.

Lower Pond – San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden, by artist Ronald Ray Reekers, oil on canvas.

How does one paint the beauty of a Japanese garden? The answer can be found at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

“Visual Harmony in Japanese Gardens and the Beauty of Bonsai” is the title of the current exhibition in JFG’s Exhibit Hall.

Selected work by Southern California artist Ronald Ray Reekers is displayed, including oils, etchings, pastels and charcoal drawings.

What I found most interesting are written descriptions he provides of how to create bonsai and Japanese garden artwork. His art is driven by curiosity and passion.

If you’re an artist, you can visit his YouTube channel here. There are various technical demonstrations and lessons concerning Bonsai Drawing!

Shizuoka Shrine, by artist Ronald Ray Reekers, etching.
Viewing the art of Ronald Ray Reekers in the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Garden lantern, by artist Ronald Ray Reekers, oil on canvas.

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!

Three large fish painted on 11th Avenue.

Those who sit waiting for a bus on the west side of the City College Transit Center might see three very large fish out of water. They’ve been painted on a wall facing 11th Avenue, a short distance north of Broadway!

I believe this mural was just finished. I see it was created by the prolific local artists of @ladieswhopaint and @pandrdesignco!

Downtown San Diego becomes more colorful every day!

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!