House of Norway’s celebration in Balboa Park!

Today the House of Norway celebrated their country’s Constitution Day a bit early with a lawn program in Balboa Park!

Norway’s proud history, democratic ideals and culture were showcased at the center of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.

There was food (including waffles!), and folk song, and friendly folk in traditional costume, and speeches made by local dignitaries. And beautiful Norwegian crafts, like Hardanger embroidery, wood carving, and knitting. And Norwegian Elkhounds were on hand, too!

I checked out the festive event a couple of times as I walked about Balboa Park and took these photographs…

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!

Amazing art glass show in Balboa Park!

If you love art–glass art in particular–you must absolutely head over to Balboa Park this weekend to check out a spectacular show and sale in Spanish Village Art Center!

The big Art Glass Guild’s Spring Patio Show features numerous skilled glass artists and their amazingly creative and beautiful pieces. Some of the glass is functional, other works are purely decorative. All are for sale!

You can see in my photos how extraordinary this annual show is. Even if you have no plans to purchase art, you’ll pause repeatedly to admire all the glasswork, and wonder how some of the more unusual or exquisite pieces were made!

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!

Linda Vista students create Mexican coconut masks!

Check out this awesome art made by 5th grade students! It appears that some very creative kids attend San Diego Cooperative Charter School in Linda Vista! I noticed this display while visiting today’s 37th Annual Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair and Parade.

These colorful masks were actually made using cleverly wrapped balloons, instead of coconut shells, to simulate the fun, imaginative Mascaras de Coco faces that are popular in parts of Mexico.

I love the various personalities!

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!

Amazing fiber art exhibited in Escondido!

Dance Break Oaxaca, by Linda Anderson. Cotton, bamboo batting, textile paints, thread.

I headed to Escondido today to experience an incredible art exhibition on its final day.

Surface, Substance, Structure featured work by artists who belong to the guild California Fibers. Dozens of amazing pieces filled the galleries at the Museum of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

The thing about fibers is they curl and intersect and tangle and twist and naturally form beautiful complexity, even if you must look closely.

I was completely amazed by the creativity of these regional fiber artists. Innovative quilts, wire sculptures, baskets, fabric portraits and constructions–there seemed no end to the artistry their hands could produce.

Well, the exhibition is now over, so this blog is a bit late in coming. But you might be awed, or even inspired, by some of the pieces I photographed…

Surprising fabric creations awaited around every corner!
Visitors to the museum were encouraged to feel the texture of these fiber art samples.
SoCal Mama, by Kathy Nida. Commercial and hand-dyed fabric.
Earth Vessel, by Brecia Kravolic-Logan. Reed, paper, patinaed copper, beach glass, driftwood stand, twined, glazed, netted.
Small Wonders, by Charlotte Bird. Art quilt. (Microbes remain, even after a good washing!)
Exploring Too, by Peggy Wiedemann. Pine needles, Irish waxed linen.
Styling, by Peggy Wiedemann. Pine needles, waxed linen, rag cordage from India, old metal wheels, glass beads.
Time Warp, by Lydia Tjioe Hall. Steel wire, waxed linen, cast bronze.
LAVAfolds, by Cameron Taylor-Brown. Weaving photographic transfer, quilting, embroidery.
Wandering the City, by Debby Weiss. Cotton, stitching, applique.

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!

Holiday Bazaar helps refugees, immigrant owned business!

A very cool San Diego holiday event is coming up this Saturday in North Park!

A Holiday Bazaar will be held December 4, 2021 from 10 am to 1 pm at the urban farm at 3745 30th Street. Look for the outdoor space just north of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. According to the event website, you’ll be able to shop from “local refugee and immigrant owned business, explore global street food, and listen to live music.”

I came upon this urban farm four years ago and described my experience here. As you can see in the above photo, I met friendly refugee students whose new home was San Diego. They were gaining confidence and learning job skills!

The 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar is put on by MAKE Projects and International Rescue Committee’s Small Business Development Center.

Why not swing by and find some unique Christmas gifts? Vendors will be selling clothing, art, crafts, jewelry and much more!

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 storytelling blocks of artist James Watts!

One of the most wonderfully creative artists in San Diego has a little-known studio downtown. His name is James Watts.

I blogged about my first visit to his amazing studio several years ago here.

Today I was walking home after a long adventure (many blogs coming up) when I saw his studio door was open. And there he was working away! Hammering at flat pieces of printed aluminum, making colorful storytelling blocks!

What are storytelling blocks? They feature images from human experience on different sides–such as night on one side and day on the other. You can flip them any which way, then insert them into a wooden box with fixed compartments! These visual stories are like small treasures or keepsakes. Dreamlike, they are open to interpretation.

He also showed me his Box of Yes and No (that uses words from different languages and a couple of eyeballs) and a shelf full of storytelling cubes. Plus lots of other cool artwork!

His fantastic Frankenstein monster that debuted earlier this year is so cool it’s coming up separately on my next blog post!

I love the unlimited energy and joy of life that flows from James Watts’ hands. His art is primarily about storytelling. His studio is also filled with large sculptures based on Japanese kokeshi. The sculptures creatively depict Don Quixote, Prometheus, Jonah, Pandora, Joan of Arc, and a whole host of diverse characters from literature.

He told me some of his storytelling pieces will be in a future exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art. So you might be getting a little bit of a preview 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!

A fun Harvest Fair in Balboa Park!

A very fun Harvest Fair and Marketplace could be enjoyed today in Balboa Park!

The San Diego Floral Association hosted this annual event–which they call Birds, Bees, Flowers and Trees–at the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyards.

During my walk through Balboa Park, I lingered at this autumn festival to look about and meet some cool people.

This is what I discovered…

The family friendly event provided many educational opportunities.
Vendors had all sorts of unique crafts and art for sale.
Representatives from the organization Senior Gleaners pose for a photo. They’ll pick your fruit and donate to local agencies that feed the hungry. Or you can volunteer and help pick fruit!
Ikebana International had a table with some beautiful flower arrangements.
The San Diego Audubon Society was present. We talked about local estuaries, lagoons and feral parrots in my Cortez Hill neighborhood!
I learned there’s a College Area Community Garden in a canyon near San Diego State University.
These cool folks in costume were representing the San Diego Costume Guild!
The San Diego Beekeeping Society was showing this hive of bees. Hundreds of people around San Diego County keep bees. Many are hobbyists.
If you happen to come upon an injured parrot, call these friendly ladies at SoCalParrot.org. They perform urban wild parrot rescues.
The San Diego Floral Association had lots of helpful and interesting information on display.
The colorful Harvest Fair included a “Flower Power” floral design competition!

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!

A cool Car and Bike Show in City Heights!

A very cool Car and Bike Show was held this afternoon in City Heights!

The event took place in the outdoor community gathering place on University Avenue just east of Interstate 15. If you’ve ever driven by, you’ve probably noticed all the sculptures and murals and the circus tent. Yes, that place!

My friends at Love City Heights put on this show, which featured not only amazing cars and bikes, but vendors and artists and food and music and a bunch of great people!

I took photos as I walked around enjoying myself. Read the captions!

Perfect day for a car show in City Heights! (Okay, the weather was a bit hot.)
Cool cars parked near some outdoor sculptures that were created earlier this year by City Heights residents.
Check out the awesome new mural on a shipping container painted yesterday by GMONIK!
One of my favorites!
Are these the coolest bikes you’ve ever seen, or what?
The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition was present, fixing up bikes! They have workshop in a corner of this City Heights lot.
Smiles appear at the KNSJ radio table!
All sort of crafts were for sale by vendors under the outdoor Fern Street Circus tent.
You see that beautiful blue pillow by The Urban Art Shop? It’s mine now! (According to their website, they are located at 4201 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92105, United States, Northern American Continent, Earth, Solar System, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Virgo Supercluster, Universe, Third Dimension.)
These smiling faces belong to the Speeding Crow Pressing Co. They make custom apparel and goods!
Artwork created by Andrew Greyeyes. He has also painted murals in City Heights!

If you want to see two fun, very colorful City Heights murals painted by Andrew Greyeyes, click here and here!

A cool Car and Bike Show (and a new GMONIK mural) comes to 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!

The extraordinary reopening of the Mingei Museum!

Three years of construction at Balboa Park’s House of Charm is completed. The reimagined, redesigned, greatly enlarged Mingei International Museum, which occupies most of the historic building, has finally reopened!

The multicultural Mingei Museum, whose focus is crafts and design, opened its doors to the public yesterday. To celebrate, admission to the upstairs galleries will be free during Labor Day weekend through Monday, September 6.

I slowly walked through the new spacious indoor pavilion that occupies the ground level. The ground floor will always be free to the public.

A big seating area invites visitors to relax. Several large glass cases display colorful museum pieces. There’s a nearby gift shop and café, too. Through one door anybody can go outside to sit in a beautiful courtyard at tables under shady umbrellas. (That might become a favorite place to read and write!)

The second floor’s main galleries are approached up stairs through the House of Charm’s tower. As you head up the steps, look up. You’ll be wowed by renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture chandelier! (Lights in the stairwell walls cast intricate shadows, which one guide at the museum said he really likes!)

I walked about the upstairs galleries and admired the many exhibits. I particularly like folk art. I laughed at some pieces, stood in wonder before others.

Artwork handcrafted by “ordinary” folk from all around the world often feels more powerful and authentic than so-called fine art. Because its creation typically flows from human experiences that are unique but universal. Folk art represents what day-to-day people consider desirous or meaningful in life.

By the way, if you’re an artist in San Diego seeking inspiration, or if you want to do some art research, there’s a huge library on the second floor! The Frances Hamilton White Art Reference Library features a specialized collection of over 12,000 books!

I took some photos to provide a taste of the new, more-extraordinary-than-ever Mingei International Museum.

Next time you’re in Balboa Park, you definitely need to check it out! And make sure to venture outside on the second floor, to enjoy amazing views of the Plaza de Panama!

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!

Valentine’s Day love in Balboa Park!

Love could be seen everywhere in Balboa Park today!

On signs, on banners, on balloons, on surprising canvases, even on hands! But mostly on the faces of those passing through the park on a sunny Sunday in February.

Perhaps that’s because today is Valentine’s Day…

Many vendors set up in the Plaza de Balboa near the Bea Evenson Fountain had love-themed crafts and goodies for sale.
Two love birds on a banner, beside the Balboa Park Visitors Center front door.
A heart-shaped balloon in colorful Spanish Village.
Artist Susan Mae Hull of Studio 23 was creating beautiful Valentine’s Day cards in Spanish Village Art Center. I noticed her delicately brushed images include animals from the Chinese Zodiac.
A henna tattoo artist on El Prado could put your heart on your hand. (Or maybe you can wear your heart on your sleeve.)
Artist Jean Pierre made all sorts of colorful hearts and had them for sale near the International Cottages.
One of Jean Pierre’s many bright hearts.
Love balloons could be found everywhere!

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!