Murals inspire, motivate students in schools!

Thao Huynh and Kolten French of Mindful Murals encourage school kids to #CREATE with a super colorful interactive mural!
Thao Huynh and Kolten French of Mindful Murals encourage school kids to #CREATE with a super colorful interactive mural!

Yesterday during my mural walking adventure I was introduced by Love City Heights to two people who are doing something that is brilliant and inspiring. Thao Huynh and Kolten French have together created Mindful Murals, an enterprise that’s all about engaging young students at schools with large, affirming, fun graphics!

Check out these six interactive murals that were recently completed at Edison Elementary School. They decorate the backstops of outdoor handball courts. Big splashes of color feature short positive messages like BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, BE LOVING, and NEVER GIVE UP. The murals not only encourage positive thoughts and behavior, but they become a motivating part of a student’s outdoor physical activity.

In addition to interactive murals, Mindful Murals creates sensory paths for schools. These pathways invite kids to walk, twist and turn all about, as they head down a colorful path to discover happy emojis and surprises. It’s a cool idea that engages a growing body, mind and spirit!

To learn more about Mindful Murals, check out their Instagram page here!

Two of the Mindful Murals recently painted in the playground of Edison Elementary School in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood.
Two of the Mindful Murals recently painted in the playground of Edison Elementary School, located in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.
PERSEVERE
PERSEVERE
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
EMPATHY
EMPATHY
BE LOVING
BE LOVING
I love how this bold message faces the school's soccer field. NEVER GIVE UP
I love how this bold message faces the school’s soccer field. NEVER GIVE UP

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!

New muralist in San Diego makes her debut!

Naomi GonzalezMartinez (to the right) poses by her new mural in City Heights with her artistic mentor Brise Birdsong.
Naomi GonzalezMartinez (to the right) poses by her new mural in City Heights with her artistic mentor Brise Birdsong.

Today I met San Diego’s newest muralist!

Naomi GonzalezMartinez has painted a colorful mural for #theavenuemuralproject on University Avenue in City Heights. Please check out her new Instagram page!

Guided by Carlos Quezada of Love City Heights, I was able to meet Naomi and enjoy her artwork during a tour of several new street murals along University Avenue. Love City Heights is a group of community leaders working to enliven this culturally diverse San Diego neighborhood.

Naomi’s first mural was created with a little help from her mentor Brise Birdsong, a prolific local artist and muralist whose often humorous street art I stumble upon from time to time during my walks around San Diego.

Naomi told me a little about the mural, and the symbolism that it contains. Her family is very important to her, and being of Mayan descent, she incorporated the Mayan logogram that represents a companion spirit. You can see it in the following photograph at the center of the lower tea cup. The next cup up contains elements representing Korea, a place that is special to her. The third cup up contains colors from both the Mexican and American flags.

Other designs in the mural like the flowers and butterfly? Painted just for fun!

A very cool new work of art brightens City Heights!

The colorful mural contains diverse symbols that hold special meaning for the artist.
The colorful mural contains diverse symbols that hold special meaning for the artist.
Naomi GonzalezMartinez poses by her delightful City Heights mural with her family!
Naomi GonzalezMartinez poses by her new City Heights mural with her family!

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!

San Diego’s drive-through art gallery expands!

The right half of one wall at University Avenue and Laverne Place has been painted by artist Matthew Perdoni.
The right half of one wall at University Avenue and Laverne Place has been painted by artist Matthew Perdoni.

On Sunday I enjoyed another walk through San Diego’s expanding “drive-through” art gallery in City Heights. And I spotted more murals!

The first time I checked out the murals of #theavenuemuralproject was four months ago. I was given a tour by members of Love City Heights, and learned about their ambitious plan to create an outdoor, drive-through art gallery along University Avenue from I-805 to I-15. To see those first murals and learn much more, you can read my original blog post here.

These murals provide proof that good people can make a huge positive difference in their community. Many wonderful artists, students and neighbors are coming together to make this amazing vision a reality!

The left half of the wall was painted by San Diego muralist Gloria Muriel.
The left half of the wall was painted by San Diego muralist Gloria Muriel.
Students from an Experimental Processes in Art class at SDSU painted a mural on the wall of 7-Eleven. The design was inspired by the nonprofit United Women of East Africa Support Team.
Students from an Experimental Processes in Art class at SDSU painted a mural on the wall of 7-Eleven. The design was inspired by the nonprofit United Women of East Africa Support Team.
Left half of the colorful mural depicts female members of the East African community in San Diego.
Left half of the colorful mural. which depicts female members of the East African community in San Diego.
The right half of the mural. Joyful art created by students at San Diego State University adds life to City Heights.
The right half of the mural. Joyful art created by students at San Diego State University adds life to City Heights.
Fun artwork on the wall of Fruteria Disfrutalas at University Avenue and Cherokee Street.
Fun artwork on the wall of Fruteria Disfrutalas at University Avenue and Cherokee Street.
More fun artwork on another side of Fruteria Disfrutalas.
More fun artwork on another side of Fruteria Disfrutalas.
All these happy images were created by Isaias Crow and his 14 year old apprentice Andrew, who designed the fun artwork.
All these happy images were created by Isaias Crow and his 14 year old apprentice Andrew, who designed the fun artwork.
Silly, creative public art produces smiles in City Heights!
Silly, creative public art produces smiles in City Heights!
A beautiful new graphic on the wall of Sunset Kava in City Heights.
A beautiful graphic on the wall of Sunset Kava in City Heights, by artist Zuzana Vass.
On the same Sunset Kava wall a very cool abstract design was painted by artist Mary Jhun.
On the same Sunset Kava wall a very cool abstract design was recently painted by artist Mary Jhun.

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!

Even more colorful street art in City Heights!

Here’s even more colorful street art in City Heights!

I took these photographs before, during and after my recent walking tour of San Diego’s rapidly growing outdoor art gallery. I spotted this artwork along University Avenue, between I-80 and I-15. It’s an extremely diverse neighborhood, where many languages are spoken and many life experiences move together down shared streets.

If you’re unaware that San Diego has a drive-through art gallery, I urge you to check it out 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!

San Diego’s outdoor, drive-through art gallery!

A large, welcoming Love City Heights mural greets people along University Avenue near Interstate 15.
A large, welcoming Love City Heights mural greets people along University Avenue near Interstate 15.

There’s a surprising, rapidly expanding outdoor art gallery in San Diego that anybody can freely enjoy. The huge canvases of this unique gallery are the walls of buildings in City Heights, on the stretch of University Avenue between I-805 and I-15.

Eye-catching works of art by noted San Diego and Southern California muralists have recently been painted all along this “drive-through” gallery. And many more will be appearing soon!

I recently enjoyed a walking tour of the colorful murals, led by Carlos Quezada and Edwin Lohr, two members of Love City Heights, an association affiliated with the City Heights Town Council. Carlos and Edwin are both visionaries who are working with local residents, community leaders and businesses to bring new life to this extraordinarily diverse San Diego neighborhood.

An important part of their effort is #theavenuemuralproject. The Avenue Mural Project is using the magic of art to transform University Avenue, which contains City Heights’ Business District, into a vibrant place full of culture, creativity and community pride.

I learned that Carlos has a definite goal. He’d like to have one new street mural painted every month. His hope is that eventually three works of public art will be easily seen from any random spot along “The Avenue”.

I also learned that Love City Heights is collaborating with the City Heights Development Corporation and Mid-City CAN (Community Advocacy Network) to create even more murals east of I-15 through their youth program.

In addition to filling the streets with cool art, Love City Heights is working with business and property owners to transform their historic San Diego neighborhood into a dynamic place where people from all over will come to dine, shop and enjoy themselves. City Heights is the most diverse community in all of San Diego, and is centrally located, with many unique ethnic restaurants that can be found nowhere else. City Heights is uniquely qualified to be an authentic cultural attraction in San Diego.

Would you like to learn more about San Diego’s colorful, rapidly growing “drive-through” art gallery?

Are you an artist, resident or local business owner who’d like to participate in the revitalization of City Heights?

These are some links that you can check out:

Love City Heights on Facebook

#theavenuemuralproject tag on Instagram

TheAvenueSD.com

video about the mural project on YouTube

Do you live in San Diego and want something fun to do? Hop in your car or put on your walking shoes, then embark on a voyage of discovery along University Avenue between I-805 and I-15, where you will enjoy an ever-growing gallery of murals!

Here are a few . . .

The first mural painted by The Avenue Mural Project in City Heights contains joyful swirls of many colors! Endless Summer was designed by artist Erin Bowman.
The first mural painted by The Avenue Mural Project in City Heights contains joyful swirls of many colors! Endless Summer was designed by artist Erin Bowman.
A beautiful sun shines above stylized waves.
The warm San Diego sun shines above stylized waves.
The Endless Summer mural was painted by local school children, whose names appear in one corner, along with many positive messages.
The Endless Summer mural was painted by local school children, whose names appear in one corner, along with many positive messages.
Earlier this year I posted a photo of this mural on my blog. I hadn't realized at the time it's part of a cool outdoor drive-through art gallery in City Heights!
Earlier this year I posted a photo of this mural on my blog. I hadn’t realized it’s part of a cool outdoor drive-through art gallery in City Heights!
I was told this compassionate Amor mural, by @inkpaint and @fabianafoca is a work in progress.
Compassion in a City Heights alley. I was told this Amor mural, by @inkpaint and @fabianafoca, is a work in progress.
The beautiful tile mosaic A is not quite completed.
The beautiful tile mosaic “A” is not quite completed.
VISUAL painted the wall of a MetroPCS store with a cool image of kids communicating with tin cans and a string.
VISUAL painted the wall of a MetroPCS store with a cool image of kids communicating with tin cans and a string.
One business along University Avenue had their building painted with a wonderful mural with images of nature.
One business along University Avenue had their building painted with a pleasing mural containing elements of nature.
Another local store has happy, inviting murals painted on a side of their building.
Another local store now has happy, inviting murals painted on a side of their building.
This fun image depicts kids breaking open a piñata.
This fun image depicts kids breaking open a piñata.
A mural titled The Garden Party by artists Althea Rose Neff, Gilbert Cota and Alex Malone.
A mural titled The Garden Party by artists Althea Rose Neff, Gilbert Cota and Alex Malone.
A closer photo of The Garden Party mural, on the wall of popular Mexican restaurant Super Cocina.
A closer photo of The Garden Party mural, on the wall of popular Mexican restaurant Super Cocina.
Los Angeles muralist Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth, painted LOVE on the side of 7-Eleven in City Heights.
Los Angeles muralist Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth, painted LOVE on the side of 7-Eleven in City Heights.

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 colorful street art in City Heights!

A funky face spray painted on a utility box on El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights.
A funky face has been spray painted on a utility box on El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights.

I recently walked through several blocks of City Heights, along a short stretch of El Cajon Boulevard from 35th Street to Interstate 15. I remained on the south side of San Diego’s historic boulevard, where I saw many examples of colorful street art.

Enjoy these photos!

Another side of the cool box.
Another side of the cool box.
And another!
And another!
This utility box is decorated with unusual fast food street art. A lady with crossed out eyes speaks pizza.
This utility box is decorated with unusual fast food street art. A lady with crossed out eyes speaks pizza.
Drinking through a straw on the sidewalk.
Drinking through a straw on a seemingly littered sidewalk.
Bunches of odd, globular faces make for some unique street art.
Bunches of odd, globular faces make for some unique street art.
All sorts of humanish expressions.
All sorts of humanish expressions.
Now I'm walking east along El Cajon Boulevard approaching the Soda Bar.
Now I’m walking east along El Cajon Boulevard approaching the Soda Bar.
Fun emoji-like faces on the wall of the Soda Bar in City Heights.
Fun emoji-like faces on the wall of the Soda Bar in City Heights.
Cool art in a window of Allegory Tattoo.
Cool art in a window of Allegory Tattoo.
Bees in a hive on this eye-catching electrical box.
Bees in a hive on this eye-catching electrical box.
Trashcans on the sidewalk feature the Boulevard graphics.
Trashcans on the sidewalk feature iconic the Boulevard graphics.
Beautiful flowers painted on a transformer box.
Beautiful flowers painted on a transformer box.
A child reaches out to touch a bright green essence.
A child reaches out to touch a bright green essence.
Surprising street art on El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights.
Surprising street art on El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights.

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!

Super cool street art in City Heights!

One side of a electrical box on University Avenue at Interstate 805. This particular art resembles other examples I once photographed in National City.
One side of an electrical box on University Avenue at Interstate 805. This particular art closely resembles other examples I once photographed in National City.

Check out a whole bunch of super cool photos! All this awesome street art was encountered during a short walk in City Heights.

I began on University Avenue near I-805, walking east along the sidewalk on the south side. Then I crossed at 35th Street and headed back west down the sidewalk on University Avenue’s north side.

Enjoy!

A second side. Weird humanoid figures seem composed of fluid ink.
Another side of the same box. Weird humanoid figures seem composed of fluid ink.
Urban art that seems both ancient and futuristic. Strange geometric patterns in these figures appear symbolic.
Urban artwork that seems both ancient and futuristic. Strange geometric patterns in these figures appear symbolic.
The fourth side of the same box.
The fourth side of the box.
Cool mural in City Heights on the side of a gallery. Journey Within Through the Sea of Soul, by Celeste Byers and Aaron Glasson, depicts the gallery owner riding a Chihuahua ship on a distant planet upstream into herself!
Cool mural in City Heights on the side of the Teros Gallery. Journey Within Through the Sea of Soul, by Celeste Byers and Aaron Glasson, depicts the gallery owner riding a Chihuahua ship on a distant planet upstream into herself!
Walking east down University Avenue I spied more street art on electrical boxes.
Walking east down University Avenue I spied more street art on electrical boxes.
A young girl, and a young boy with binoculars.
A young girl, and a young boy with binoculars.
A man and small child together ride a motorcycle.
A man and small child together ride a motorcycle.
A face looks upward.
A face looks upward.
Another young face, and a sitting girl.
Another young face, and a sitting girl reaching for what appears to be a pencil.
This trash can at a bus stop was brightly decorated by a street artist.
This trash can at a bus stop was brightly decorated by a street artist.
More fun street art, near the corner of University Avenue and 35th Street.
More fun street art, near the corner of University Avenue and 35th Street.
A funny dog appears to be assailed by a crazy bird.
A funny dog appears to be assailed by a crazy bird.
More humorous faces and birds.
More humorous faces and birds.
I've crossed the street and am heading back west. I noticed this colorful tower to the south features references to both City Heights and Cherokee Point, a neighborhood south of University Avenue.
I’ve crossed the street and am heading back west. I noticed this colorful tower to the south features references to both City Heights and Cherokee Point, a neighborhood south of University Avenue.
Before crossing this street I spied this fun street mural near another bus stop.
Before crossing the street I spied this fun street mural near another bus stop.
Now that I'm walking next to it, I can really enjoy this sun and pink flamingo. Both are wearing sunglasses. By artist Gilly Bee, created for #TheAvenueMuralProject.
Now that I’m walking next to it, I can really enjoy this sun and pink flamingo. Both are wearing sunglasses. By artist Gilly Bee, created for #TheAvenueMuralProject.
I found another cool mural on the side of The Kings Barbershop.
I found another super cool mural on the side of The Kings Barbershop.
The front of The Kings Barbershop was painted by DyseOne and Hasler.
The front of The Kings Barbershop was painted by DyseOne and Hasler.
A very colorful mural on University Avenue in City Heights! I believe this spray paint art is fairly new.
A very colorful mural on University Avenue in City Heights! I believe this bold spray paint art is fairly new.
It's the Tooth Fairy on the side of North Park Dental! By artist Sand One, a Latina street artist from East Los Angeles.
It’s the Tooth Fairy on the wall of North Park Dental! By artist Sand One, a Latina street artist from East Los Angeles.

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!