Art at Chicano Park Herb Garden and Alchemy.

Whenever I drive off the San Diego–Coronado Bridge into Barrio Logan, I notice two enormous eyes painted on a building below the curving bridge offramp.

During a recent walk, I directed my feet through Chicano Park to the place on Logan Avenue where I’ve seen those eyes. It turns out some very cool art adorns the front of Alchemy Motorcycles, including the face of legendary musician Prince. I believe the two bright sections on the left were painted recently.

The first four photographs you see, however, are of the Chicano Park Herb Garden and its mural, which are located immediately to the left of Alchemy. The very colorful mural is painted on the Coronado Bay Bridge’s ramp to south Interstate 5. A sign among the native plants describes: a collective community herbal garden for healing, restoring, learning, praying, meditating and grounding.

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Six amazing murals in front of the Museum of Art!

Close up of a colorful mural now on display in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Close up of a colorful mural now on display in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.

Many extraordinary artists make San Diego their home. They help our city sparkle with culture and energy.

Amazing works by distinguished local muralists are now on display in Balboa Park, directly in front of the San Diego Museum of Art.

The six colorful murals, painted live a couple weeks ago, are inspired by a world-class exhibition now running inside the museum. Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection is an exhibition of modern Latin masterpieces that no art lover should miss. I blogged about it here.  Go soon. It will be closing in two weeks.

I don’t know how long these murals will be on display outdoors in front of the museum, so swing by Balboa Park soon to enjoy them in person!

To see the murals of Chicano Park, you can click here.

Visitors to Balboa Park check out a couple of the murals temporarily on display in the Plaza de Panama.
Visitors to Balboa Park check out a couple of the murals temporarily on display in the Plaza de Panama.
Sign in front of the San Diego Museum of Art explains the outdoor Local Latin American Masters exhibition. Six murals were painted live in front of the museum.
Sign in front of the San Diego Museum of Art explains the outdoor Local Latin American Masters exhibition. Six murals were painted live in front of the museum.
Art by Victor Ochoa. His work has been widely published. He was one of the original muralists to work in Chicano Park.
Art by Victor Ochoa. His work has been widely published. He was one of the original muralists to work in Chicano Park.
Art by Carmen Kalo. She is a San Diego native who actively leads Chicano Park tours, builds social awareness, and works with at-risk youth and the homeless.
Art by Carmen Kalo. She is a San Diego native who actively leads Chicano Park tours, builds social awareness, and works with at-risk youth and the homeless.
Art by Hector Villegas. He is a teacher who has painted three murals at Chicano Park.
Art by Hector Villegas. He is a teacher who has painted three murals at Chicano Park.
Art by Cesar Castañeda. He owns the Chicano Art Gallery in Barrio Logan.
Art by Cesar Castañeda. He owns the Chicano Art Gallery in Barrio Logan.
Art by Stephanie Cecilia Cervantes. A painter first inspired by Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night, she was a muralist during Chicano Park's 2011 restoration project.
Art by Stephanie Cecilia Cervantes. A painter first inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, she was a muralist during Chicano Park’s 2011 restoration project.
Protecting Our Water and Earth by Mario Torero. He is an artivist and founding member of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
Protecting Our Water and Earth by Mario Torero. He is an artivist and founding member of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park.
Amazing artwork that the public can see close up and in natural sunlight, not unlike the fantastic murals of Chicano Park!
Amazing artwork that the public can see close up and in natural sunlight, just like the many fantastic murals of Chicano Park!

Today I published a new short story. It’s titled One Magic Bubble. I suppose the short piece is about life.

Curious? You can read it here!

Colorful photos of Chicano Park Day celebration!

Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year's Chicano Park Day Celebration. Many of the cars were fitted with hydraulic systems.
Cool graphics on the side of a customized lowrider on display at this year’s Chicano Park Day celebration.

I headed down to Barrio Logan this morning to enjoy a bit of the 47th Annual Chicano Park Day celebration!

The big festival celebrating Mexican and Chicano culture drew huge crowds as usual from all around Southern California. There was traditional folklorico dancing, Aztec indigenous dance, and a huge contingent of lowriders and motorcyclists who converged to enjoy the scene and showcase their cool rides. Families enjoyed great food, the park’s playground, and a look at artwork and unique gifts at the many vendor tents. It was fun to just hang around, absorbing San Diego’s warm sunshine and the lively entertainment. The famous murals of Chicano Park infuse the much-loved event with a sense of history and potent meaning. The murals tell of the hard-fought struggle for civil rights.

Chicano Park Day this year was dedicated to Ramón Chunky Sánchez, a very popular musician and a leader of San Diego’s Chicano community who passed away late last year. Speakers also provided emotional tributes to the four who died last year at the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car tragically plummeted onto the crowd from a ramp to the Coronado Bay Bridge.

On a happier note, I must mention that in January Chicano Park was designated a National Historic Landmark! Chicano Park contains our nation’s largest collection of outdoor murals.

Please enjoy some colorful photos from this morning!

A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
A family heads toward Chicano Park, where a big annual celebration of Latino history and culture took place today.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
The first thing that caught my attention were lots of awesome vehicles. Many were fitted with hydraulics. Southern California lowrider culture is unmatched in the entire world.
Cool cars in a world-famous park.
Cool cars in Barrio Logan’s world-famous park.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
Motorcycles and their proud owners also rode in from far and wide for the event.
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
One corner of one mural. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil porque soy Chicano!
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
Vendor has lots of fun gifts ready for the growing crowd.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park's picnic tables.
These guys were enjoying the lively scene from one of the public park’s picnic tables.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
Some old photos at one booth show Chicano Park being claimed and created by activist community members in 1970.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of Chicano Park.
A variety of images that tell some of the history of San Diego’s unique Chicano Park.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A memorial still remains in Chicano Park, where four were tragically killed last year when a driver veered off the bridge above.
A large crowd had gathered around the pavilion to hear family members remember the deceased and thank the community for its undying love.
A large crowd gathered around the pavilion to hear surviving family members remember the deceased and thank the local community for its undying love.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
A large crowd, and the festival had barely opened.
And then the entertainment began!
And then the entertainment began!
People enjoy Chicano Park Day Celebration among the many expressive murals.
People enjoy Chicano Park Day among the many expressive murals.  A beautiful image of Virgin Mary has a shrine at its base.
Another photo of the festival today.
Another photo of the festival today.
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park's pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple
The folklorico dancing produces smiles, cheers and applause. The park’s pavilion, also called the Kiosko, was designed to look like a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican temple.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Traditional Mexican ballet folklorico is a delightful slice of Latino culture and much loved in San Diego.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
Some bold artwork on display at the festival. I spotted lots of Aztec and Dia de los Muertos designs.
And more cool stuff.
And more cool stuff!
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Photograph at one table shows the late Chicano musician Ramón Chunky Sánchez.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day Celebration wore resplendent Aztec costumes.
Many dancers who would perform at the Chicano Park Day celebration wore resplendent Aztec-inspired costumes.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
Another fantastic sight in culturally rich San Diego.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
The High Class Car Club out of Los Angeles had lots of amazing lowrider vehicles on display at nearby Mercado del Barrio.
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!
A cool design on the side of one very cool car!

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Powerful symbols of love for bridge crash victims.

A large memorial remains in Chicano Park, almost four weeks after a tragic accident here took the lives of four people.
A large memorial remains in Chicano Park, almost four weeks after a tragic accident here took the lives of four people.

Almost a month after a tragic accident in Chicano Park, a large, spontaneously created memorial remains. It was created by many hands and hearts in the Barrio Logan community.

The memorial contains flowers, candles and other tokens of love, along with photographs of the deceased. Four were killed on October 14 when an automobile driven by a drunk driver plummeted from the Coronado Bay Bridge.  Remembered are Annamarie Contreras, Cruz Elias Contreras, Andre Christopher Banks and Francine Denise Jimenez. Also remembered is Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez, who recently passed away. He was a beloved musician and inspiring leader in the local Chicano community.

Many candles are kept lit.

Candles, flowers and other expressions of love stand beside a Chicano Park mural. They memorialize Cruz Elias Contreras, Andre Christopher Banks and Francine Denise Jimenez.
Candles, flowers and other powerful expressions of love stand beside a Chicano Park mural. They memorialize Annamarie Contreras, Cruz Elias Contreras, Andre Christopher Banks, Francine Denise Jimenez and Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez.
Potent symbols of love, grief and memory.
Traditional symbols of love, grief and memory.

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

New Barrio Logan mural honors four lost lives.

A long mural painted on a building at the corner of National Avenue and Evans Street honors four lives that were lost during a tragic accident in Chicano Park on October 15, 2016.
A long mural painted on a building at the corner of National Avenue and Evans Street honors four lives that were lost during a tragic accident in Chicano Park on October 15, 2016.

Here are photos of the new mural in Barrio Logan that honors the lives of four people who died tragically last month in Chicano Park under the Coronado Bay Bridge. On October 14, the four–Annamarie Contreras, Cruz Elias Contreras, Andre Christopher Banks and Francine Denise Jimenez–were attending the annual La Raza Run motorcycle festival in Chicano Park when a car driven by a drunk driver suddenly plummeted from the bridge onto the crowd below. The news that four were killed and eight were injured was shocking. Many were shaken. So many hearts were broken.

The new artwork, which includes a tribute to the four victims, can be found at the corner of National Avenue and Evans Street, a block southeast of Chicano Park. Chicano Park is famous for its many colorful murals that depict the civil rights struggles of Mexican Americans and immigrants.

On Saturday, October 16, the day we started our mural, four members of the annual Raza Run lost their lives in the tragic accident at Chicano Park.
On Saturday, October 16, the day we started our mural, four members of the annual Raza Run lost their lives in the tragic accident at Chicano Park.
The mural is titled Que Viva Barrio Logan, by artist Mario Torero. It's painted on the side of Diego and Son Printing. Making a difference in our community.
The mural is titled Que Viva Barrio Logan, by artist Mario Torero. It’s painted on the side of Diego and Son Printing. Words proclaim: Making a difference in our community.
The mural transmits great emotion. Many in the Barrio Logan community oppose gentrification.
The mural transmits great emotion. Many in the Barrio Logan community oppose gentrification.
The mural also includes a message opposing the building of a new stadium downtown.
The mural also includes a message opposing the building of a new stadium downtown.
Working under the Coronado Bay Bridge, home of Chicano Park.
Working under the Coronado Bay Bridge, home of Chicano Park.
A few of the many images in the mural. Breaking a chain of bondage. Music and pride. Protect the water.
A few of the images in the mural. Breaking a chain of bondage. Music and pride. Protect the water.
A bold face in Barrio Logan.
The face of Bob Dylan in Barrio Logan.
Skeletons on bicycles. Symbols, I believe, of past loved ones.
Skeletons on bicycles. Symbols, I believe, of past loved ones.
Withstanding with Standing Rock.
Withstanding with Standing Rock.
The face of a migrant worker.
The face of a migrant worker.
Walking down the National Avenue sidewalk, past a new mural that celebrates life, memory and history in Barrio Logan.
Walking down the National Avenue sidewalk, past a new mural that celebrates life, memory and history in Barrio Logan.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Expressive faces painted in Chicano Park.

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This morning I walked through Chicano Park. It had been a while since I last wandered among the park’s many famous murals. My camera was searching for no one thing in particular. But I couldn’t stop admiring the many expressive faces that have been artfully painted: faces from our Hispanic community that contain a whole range of emotions, including pride, hope and resolve. The expressive faces reflect humanity and inner beauty.

I’ve blogged about this amazing collection of outdoor murals (the largest in the country) on several occasions, providing a little more information. Today, I simply present a few photos of painted human expression.

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Mind-blowing Ancestors mural near Chicano Park.

Mind-blowing street art uses a whole spectrum of finely painted colors.
Mind-blowing street art uses a whole spectrum of finely painted colors.

Wow! Check out this mind-blowing street mural, which caught my eye just across Dewey Street from Chicano Park. Titled Ancestors, it was spray-painted on a Barrio Logan building in 2013 by artist Maxx Moses. A little online research reveals that Ancestors replaced another damaged mural on the same wall, which was titled Synergy. Maxx Moses likes to use spontaneity in his creative productions, and calls his unique art movement Concrete Alchemy. I just call it awesome!

This dazzling urban art is directly across the street from world-famous Chicano Park.
This dazzling urban art is directly across the street from world-famous Chicano Park.
Such amazing detail. You could just stand and lose yourself in this artwork.
Such amazing detail. You could just stand and lose yourself in this cool artwork.
Close look at one portion of the Ancestors mural in Barrio Logan.
Closer look at one portion of the Ancestors mural in Barrio Logan.
Ancestors street mural celebrates the lives of those who built community.
Ancestors street mural celebrates the lives of those who built community.
Small tree on the wall is enfolded by softly curved rich colors.
Small tree on the wall is enfolded by softly curved rich colors.
The intricate image is alive with astounding vibrancy.
The intricate image is alive with astounding vibrancy.
This astonishing face is composed of many slivers of beaming light.
This astonishing face is composed of many slivers of beaming light.

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