A secret, magic bench in Balboa Park!

There’s a secret bench in Balboa Park that works magic. Very few visitors to the park ever see it.

Sit on this bench, look down, and suddenly before your feet colorful stars, planets and creatures appear!

This magic bench is in an out-of-the-way corner of Balboa Park, just north of Spanish Village Art Center, at the east edge of the small parking lot. In the above photo you can see the green grass of the nearby Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.

Should you sit on this magic bench, what might you see?

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 short story about planting a tree.

Looking up through the leaves of the live oak trees at blue sky and clouds.

Have you ever planted a tree and realized it will probably outlive you?

That thought occurred to me a couple days ago as I helped to plant a few young oak trees in Balboa Park.

Yesterday, as I sat gazing out at San Diego Bay, I recalled how the larger oak trees in the grove had seemed so very . . . old. How they were bent and cast dark, spidery shadows. And a bittersweet story came to me.

It’s titled Dale’s Tree. There aren’t many words. I published it here.

Passion, stories, and love of life in art.

True art flows from an artist’s passion to create.

That passion is now being celebrated at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The exhibition is called This is Our Story.

The artists in this exhibition were not professionally trained. Their works used to be called folk art. Today’s experts call it vernacular art. It is art by ordinary people.

The art of This is Our Story has personality. It is unashamed, happy, in no way conceited. It comes from personal experience, imagination, and hands that love to be moving. It is art that loves to be alive.

You won’t find a Rembrandt in this exhibition. But you will enjoy glimpses of many unique stories.

This is Our Story concludes on February 26, 2023.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Kimonos reimagined by Mesa College students!

Human creativity is limitless. That was apparent today when I stepped into the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

An exhibition in the pavilion is titled The Kimono Reimagined. Reimagined, indeed! The extent to which the traditional Japanese kimono can be transformed by fashion students into something completely new might surprise you!

Students from the San Diego Mesa College Fashion Program teamed up with the Visions Museum of Textile Arts in Liberty Station to create this brilliant clothing. They used upcycled kimonos and accessory garments that had been donated to Mesa College.

I don’t claim to know much about fashion, but my eyes beheld all this rampant creativity with wonder!

You can admire these inspired works of art at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park through February 24, 2023.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Filipino Artists of South Bay exhibition.

An exhibition by Filipino artists who reside in the South Bay is now on display in Chula Vista. Their works can be viewed inside Chula Vista’s two libraries and the City Hall lobby.

Yesterday I enjoyed looking at some of these pieces while visiting the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.

I found the artwork on several library walls. Many of the beautiful creations seemed like glimpses of larger stories, emerging from an artist’s memory and heart.

Filipino Artists of South Bay continues through January 2023.

These photos provide an example of what you might see…

Family Dinner, Primo Gallanosa.
the luckiest cat, Nadine Tan Saldaña.
The Kiddos, Vince Alvendia.
Pag-uwi (Returning Home), Clarissa Tong.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Another beautiful face in Normal Heights!

Over the years, several beautiful female faces have been spray painted on this wall in Normal Heights.

The wall is to one side of a tiny parking lot on Adams Avenue, between Adams Avenue Tattoo and the El Zarape restaurant. I noticed the date on this mural is 2022.

Back in 2019, I photographed another face on this same wall. See it here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Sewing Dr Jekyll. Carving Mr Hyde.

There’s a mysterious cabinet in downtown San Diego.

This seemingly ordinary cabinet is designed to hold both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I saw the cabinet today when I stepped into the studio of artist James Watts (@jewattso). And I was shown bits of both Jekyll and Hyde.

I was shown how the cabinet, painted pitch black inside, has a sliding door. Dr Jekyll will stand inside the cabinet on one side. Mr Hyde will stand on the other side. For a surprising revelation, slide the door open in either direction!

You can see the cabinet here…

(To the right of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde cabinet stands Frankenstein’s monster. Perhaps you saw that monstrous creation displayed at the Oceanside Museum of Art last year!)

In the next photo, James Watts is carving Mr Hyde’s bones out of basswood.

He has already hand-sewn parts of Dr Jekyll together. Here’s his face…

James Watts explained that every stitch of the canvas Dr Jekyll is by hand. And that’s important.

I first met James Watts almost five years ago when I stumbled into his utterly fantastic downtown studio. You can see the blog I posted that day here.

As the Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cabinet progresses, I’ll provide updates!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Seven master printmakers in Balboa Park.

If you’re interested in printmaking or the production of visual art, don’t miss 7 PRINTMAKERS in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

Tomorrow, January 2, 2023, is the special exhibition’s final day!

When you step into Spanish Village’s Gallery 21, you’ll enjoy the very fine work of seven master printmakers: Raymond Brownfield, Jacqueline Dotson, Igor Koutsenko, Kathleen McCord, Sfona Pelah, Julianne Ricksecker and Angelika Villagrana.

You’ll also learn a good deal about the art of printmaking. As I wandered about the gallery, artist Angelika Villagrana explained to other visitors several printmaking processes. In the past I’ve worked at a print shop, so I had to eavesdrop!

This is the 26th Annual Exhibition by these amazing printmakers. If you’re in San Diego and need something to do tomorrow, you might consider heading to Balboa Park!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Fine exhibition by the La Jolla Art Association!

Old Town Candle Shop, by Ernest Alvarez.

As we step into another year, a free exhibition of fine art can be enjoyed by those who step into the La Jolla Community Center.

Celebrate the Old Year, Welcome in the New Year features the work of La Jolla Art Association members.

I had never visited the La Jolla Community Center before, and I was glad that I finally did! Wall after wall of really great art attracted my eyes.

I saw a variety of styles and subject matter. Many of the pieces made me pause for a long moment, just to drink in the artistry. I also noticed the pieces are for sale, in case you’re looking for some ready-to-hang art.

I was told the La Jolla Community Center regularly hosts new exhibitions. I guess I’ll have to visit again! Meanwhile, Celebrate the Old Year, Welcome in the New Year will continue through January 27, 2023.

Just a few examples…

Sandpiper Bold, Psalm 139, by Julie A. Sanderson.
Clear Waters, by Hooshang Yashar.
The Farm House, by Victoria Gist-Towner.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Huge graffiti mural completed at UC San Diego!

A huge 10,000-square-foot mural has just been completed at UC San Diego! You can’t possibly miss the super colorful artwork on the east side of the UCSD Visual Arts Facility, facing the new Epstein Family Amphitheater.

I spied the giant mural from the San Diego Trolley as it pulled into the UC San Diego Central Campus station. I rapidly jumped off!

A gentleman on a cherry picker informed me the mural is now finished. I couldn’t distinguish his name above the roar of nearby machinery, but this web page explains much about its creation, and how the artwork depicts authentic wild-style and contemporary graffiti styles that are rooted in Southern California, and was developed with the guidance of a committee comprised of Department of Visual Arts faculty and representatives of the campus community...

(The other mural referred to in the article can be found here. A bit of it is visible in the next photo, taken from the elevated trolley station.)

Construction fences limited what I could see. But still, check it out!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!