Statue of Frankie Laine in Little Italy.

Statue of Frankie Laine, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, on India Street in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood.
Statue of Frankie Laine, legendary singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, on India Street in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood.

A life-size bronze statue of legendary entertainer Frankie Laine (born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio) was dedicated this summer in Little Italy. It now stands in front of Nonna, an Italian restaurant owned by Frankie’s long-time friend Joe Busalacchi. You can learn a little more about this statue at the Team Frankie Laine blog here.

Frankie Lane lived the latter part of his life in San Diego’s Point Loma community and frequently visited Little Italy.

The popular singer scored many big hits in the United States and internationally. Some of his best known songs include That’s My Desire, That Lucky Old Sun, Mule Train, Jezebel, High Noon, Save Your Sorrow, I Believe, Cool Water and Rawhide. Western movie theme songs he recorded include 3:10 To Yuma, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and Blazing Saddles. His rock, jazz, folk and blues recordings made him one of the most popular entertainers in the 1940’s and 1950’s. His hits continued right into the 1970’s.

A small plaque can be found on the outside wall of Nonna next to the bronze sculpture. A larger plaque, depicting Frankie Laine with uplifted arms, is also nearby.

I took a photo of the larger plaque six years ago, when it was located elsewhere on India Street, and I transcribed the words written on it here.

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Standing woman sculpture at UC San Diego.

There’s an unusual sculpture at UC San Diego rising high in the air between the Medical Teaching Facility and the Basic Sciences Building. I say it’s unusual because it doesn’t feature a “usual” depiction of the human form and I’m not sure how it affects me.

The piece’s title is Standing, and its creator is artist Kiki Smith. The public art was added to UCSD’s Stuart Collection in 1998.

Gazing up at the small, vulnerable figure you’ll notice what appear to be nails sticking out from her upper body. It looks like an example of a surgical procedure in a medical textbook. It makes her look like a passive, punctured thing, not a vibrant human. The form appears tired, aged, fragile, resigned to her inescapable condition. It strikes me the sculpture depicts a confrontation with our human mortality. She stands atop a severed tree trunk. Her face seems to ask: Why me? When the fountain feature is on (it wasn’t when I walked by), water drips from her hands. I almost wonder if the dripping water makes one think of draining blood.

Yet, to me, the sculpture isn’t really that morbid. It’s simply seems a clear-eyed observation of the material human condition.

An interpretation from the website that describes the piece emphasizes certain dualities: “Cast from a live model, the female figure atop Standing calls forth thoughts of human strength and frailty, and both the power and the limits of medicine. Serene and ageless, she stands in a Madonna-like pose that is both vulnerable and generous. Ribbons of water – the source of life – flow from her hands into the rock-lined pond below, with a soothing, mellifluous sound.”

Perhaps my own interpretation is too bleak. It’s hard to see past those nails. They remind me of an earthworm dissection I performed using a square of cardboard and pins in high school. Perhaps if clear bright water was flowing from her hands my feelings would change.

If there is strength and generosity in this sculpture, it comes from within the form, from a place unseen–an organ those sharp painful nails cannot reach. And the water’s sound must be the gentle sound of present living. A sonorous whisper from a human standing.

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!

Future Champion at San Diego Yacht Club.

Another excellent sculpture by Encinitas-based artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson can be seen beside the entrance to the San Diego Yacht Club in Point Loma. The public artwork, created in collaboration with Brian Thomas of Thomas Marine, is titled Future Champion. It was dedicated in 2010.

A bronze young sailor, wearing sunglasses, appears to be piloting a sailboat in solo competition. It’s a fantastic sculpture that really captures the essence of being out on the water, one hand holding the rudder while eyes carefully watch the wind in the sails.

The artists’ work includes another similar sculpture I recently blogged about–the sailor high on a mast holding a spyglass in front of the Silver Gate Yacht Club. See that great sculpture 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!

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!

Sculpted sailor on mast at Silver Gate Yacht Club.

A fantastic sculpture rises into the sky in front of the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island.

The artwork, by renowned Encinitas-based artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, depicts a sailor high atop a ship’s mast holding a spyglass, searching for land. On a plaque at the sculpture’s base is a poem titled Homecoming by John Alger.

I’ve transcribed the first stanza:

When sailors set for distant shore, with songs upon their ears
They dream of seas both fair and strong, to leave behind the tears
Of loves and those who dwell on land, and ne’er know the sea
Or ports o’ call in distant land, this yearning to be free…

The sculpture–mast and figure–is made of steel and bronze. The sculpture was created in collaboration with Brian Thomas of Thomas Marine. It was dedicated in 2011.

I’ve photographed other great sculptures by T.J. Dixon and James Nelson all around San Diego. You can see them here and here and here and here and here!

Plaque at base of the Silver Gate Yacht Club sculpture includes the poem Homecoming by John Alger.
Plaque at base of the Silver Gate Yacht Club sculpture includes the poem Homecoming by John Alger. (Click this photo and it will enlarge for easier reading.)

Sculpture of sailor on mast with spyglass, by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, at San Diego's Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island.
Sculpture of sailor on mast with spyglass, by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, at San Diego’s Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island.

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!

Del Mar’s sculpted Journey and A River of Time.

During a weekend walk around Del Mar, I paused to look at two bronze sculptures on Camino del Mar.

The first sculpture, by Del Mar artist Maidy Morhous, is titled Journey.

The realistic frame of a “hollow” suitcase was cast in bronze. This public art was installed upon a bench of granite at the corner of 11th Street in February 2020.

Maidy Morhous created another sculpture titled Baby Boomers Google. It depicts a stack of books topped with an apple, and had been placed on the sidewalk in front of the Del Mar Library. Tragically, it appeared to me that someone had stolen that sculpture from its granite slab.

UPDATE!

After doing a little more research, I now see that Baby Boomers Google is presently being repaired after vandals damaged it. I’ll post photos of it here should I run across it in the future!

Journey, 2020, by artist Maidy Morhous.
Journey, 2020, by artist Maidy Morhous.

A River of Time is a beautiful abstract sculpture that stands in the garden at the west entrance to the Del Mar Library. This public art was created by renowned San Diego artist James T. Hubbell.

A River of Time was unveiled in 1999.

You can see more of James Hubbell’s beautiful artwork around San Diego here and here and here and here.

A River of Time, 1999, by artist James T. Hubbell.
A River of Time, 1999, by artist James T. Hubbell.

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 bronze topiary sphere cast from live flora.

An amazing bronze sculpture can be found in downtown San Diego, on Ash Street beside the new Carte Hotel. It’s titled Global Proportion.

Created by artist Beverly Penn in 2019, the bronze “topiary sphere” is described as “a journey and destination created from individual bronze leaves cast from live flora at Balboa Park.”

The diverse leaves seem to represent many beautiful lives, joined together in one organic Earth-like object.

Below the amazing bronze topiary sphere, inlaid plaza tiles represent fallen leaves, scattered by the wind.

Whenever I walk by this very unique sculpture I like to pause for a moment and look up. It’s like a small, perfectly beautiful planet that hovers almost within reach.

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!

Beautiful public art near Escondido City Hall.

As I walked around Escondido on Saturday, I happened upon some beautiful public art near City Hall.

My first photos show an installation called Circle of Music. The four sculptures, fitted with speakers that play soft music, are part of the larger Monuments to Time in the Corridor of Life, Art and Culture, a series of interactive pieces created in 1998 that extend from the Great Green near City Hall south into Escondido’s city core.

The bright, colorful Circle of Music sculptures were designed by artists Sandra Rowe and Nancy Mooslin. They stand beside the small parking lot directly west of the Escondido City Hall, east of the California Center for the Arts. Approach each sculpture and you’ll hear the unique music that was composed by Steven Stucky.

Two water-like columns are also part of Monuments to Time in the Corridor of Life, Art and Culture, and were created by the same artists. The columns stand like a gateway at the south edge of the Great Green.

A nearby plaque reads: From light flows the sustenance of life…creativity.

Finally, I came upon the Military Tribute.

This memorial completed in 2007 is located north of City Hall, in a spot between the Great Green and Grape Day Park.

A beautiful Wall of Courage, containing plaques that honor those who served, provides a backdrop to three life-size bronze sculptures created by artist Gale Pruitt. The statues are titled Past, Present, Future.

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.

Public art in Escondido: two female bronzes.

Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.

Two female bronze sculptures welcome visitors to the Plaza Civic Center shopping mall in Escondido. I saw them yesterday as I walked to the California Center for the Arts. The sculptures can be found on North Escondido Boulevard, directly across from the regional cultural complex.

Both fine pieces of public art were created by local sculptor Gale Pruitt. Lorelei depicts a woman summoning with her outstretched arm as she lies on a rock, just as the siren-like figure in German lore. Elation depicts a girl with her head bent skyward in joyful ecstasy.

I took several photos!

Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.

Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.

Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.

Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.

Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.

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.

The Pioneers sculpture at Old Poway Park.

Last weekend I walked all around Old Poway Park. During my visit I took a look at the park’s many historic structures and interesting sights. When I approached the front of the 1886 Templars Hall, I noticed a large bronze sculpture standing near the foot of the front steps.

The Pioneers is a seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture by renowned local artist Richard Becker. It was commissioned in 2006 by the City of Poway. The gentle figures of a mother, child and faithful dog provide a beautiful tribute to Poway’s early pioneer founders.

Plaque reads: The Pioneers. Sculptor Richard Becker, 2007. Mother and child welcoming families to Poway. A tribute to the pioneers who settled in Poway at the turn of the 19th century.
Plaque reads: The Pioneers. Sculptor Richard Becker, 2007. Mother and child welcoming families to Poway. A tribute to the pioneers who settled in Poway at the turn of the 19th century.

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!