Art and history at the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

People walk along Broadway near the entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.
People walk along Broadway near the entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

One of the sites that I visited this weekend during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017 was the SDSU Downtown Gallery. I’d never stepped into the small art gallery before. Rotating exhibits feature the work of faculty and students at SDSU.

The building in which the gallery is housed, located at the corner of Kettner Boulevard and Broadway, served as the 1911 Station B power plant of the San Diego Electric Railway. The historic railway, which served a large area of early San Diego, was established by John D. Spreckels.

According to a short tour and handout I was given, a circa 1900 building at this location served as an earlier San Diego Electric Railway power house, railcar barn and paint shop. Some enormous doors still exist in the building today where train cars would enter and exit. I also learned the extravagant 1897 Los Banos bathhouse stood at the building’s northwest corner–but there remains no trace of that historic old structure.

In 1921, San Diego Consolidated Gas and Electric Company purchased Station B, and two additions to the building were subsequently made. The additions were designed by famed architect William Templeton Johnson.

Today the original Station B power plant contains powerful works of art, and forms a section of the base of the skyscraping Electra Building, a modern residential development built in 2008.

Please enjoy some photos of the gallery and the historic building.

If you love art and find yourself downtown while the gallery is open, swing on by!

I took this photo at another time. Now part of the high-rise Electra Building, this used to be the 1911 Station B power plant of the San Diego Electric Railway.
Now part of the high-rise Electra Building, this originally was the 1911 Station B power plant of the San Diego Electric Railway.
Historical ornamentation above the front entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.
Historical ornamentation above the front entrance of the SDSU Downtown Gallery.
Walk through these beads to enjoy a small but dynamic art gallery in downtown San Diego.
Walk through these beads to enjoy a small but dynamic art gallery in downtown San Diego.
Works on the gallery walls were produced by faculty and students at San Diego State University. Exhibits change every few months.
Works on the gallery walls were produced by faculty and students at San Diego State University. Exhibits change every few months.
Description of current gallery exhibit by faculty and students of San Diego State University. Every Which Way investigates artistic experience and human movement.
Description of current gallery exhibit by faculty and students of San Diego State University. Every Which Way investigates artistic experience and human movement.
Visitor to the gallery checks out thought-provoking artwork.
Visitor to the gallery checks out thought-provoking artwork.
Fear/Less, 2016, by Troy Guard.
Fear/Less, 2016, by Troy Guard.
Works of human imagination along one wall.
Works of human imagination along one wall.
The serigraphs on this wall were made by students in the SDSU Graphic Design program. Imagery depicts ocean and desert ecosystems as migratory environments.
The serigraphs on this wall were made by students in the SDSU Graphic Design program. Imagery depicts ocean and desert ecosystems as migratory environments.
More eye-catching works of art.
More eye-catching works of art.
Some of the pieces are quite unusual and creative.
Some of the pieces are quite unusual and creative.
A short talk begins in the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Just one fascinating tour during the San Diego Architectural Foundation's OPEN HOUSE 2017.
A short tour begins in the SDSU Downtown Gallery–Just one fascinating tour during the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s OPEN HOUSE 2017.
We are shown various photos, including Station B behind Santa Fe Depot in the 1960s. The smokestacks were removed in the 1980s.
We are shown various photos, including Station B behind Santa Fe Depot in the 1960s. The smokestacks were removed in the 1980s.
Old photo of Los Banos, a bathhouse which was located just south of Santa Fe Depot. The neo-Moorish structure designed by William S. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill opened in 1897.
Old photo of Los Banos, a bathhouse which was located just south of Santa Fe Depot. The neo-Moorish structure designed by William S. Hebbard and Irving J. Gill opened in 1897.
One of the enormous, heavy doors is opened from inside the historic building. I was told these were used for a railcar barn. Was coal for the power plant unloaded here? I don't know.
One of the enormous, heavy doors is opened from inside the historic building. I was told these were used for a railcar barn.
Our tour walks along Broadway side of the SDSU Downtown Gallery building.
Our small tour group walks down the sidewalk along the Broadway side of the SDSU Downtown Gallery building.
Now we are at the southeast corner of the large Electra Building, which rises above the historic San Diego Gas and Electric building.
Now we are at the southeast corner of the large Electra Building, which rises above the historic San Diego Gas and Electric building.
A symbolic painting inside the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Waves Inside, 2016, by Alison Zuniga.
A symbolic painting inside the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Waves Inside, 2016, by Alison Zuniga.

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!

Student posters celebrate United States Constitution.

A young student's very creative poster demonstrates the principal of equal rights for all citizens in the United States Constitution. Equality for all. We the people.
A young student’s colorful poster celebrates equal rights and protections. These are established by the United States Constitution. Equality for all. We the people.

Please enjoy a few photos that I took yesterday as I walked down Broadway past the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse. My eye was attracted by happy, colorful artwork created by children on display in some windows.

These posters were designed by young students last year for 2016 Law Week. They celebrate principles that are enshrined in the United States Constitution.

(I have many blog posts coming up pertaining to this weekend’s San Diego Architectural Foundation OPEN HOUSE 2017 event. A couple of the locations will probably be featured on my Beautiful Balboa Park blog. And it might take me some time to prepare everything. Stay tuned!)

2016 Law Week Poster Contest winners in window of San Diego's downtown Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse. Students from a variety of local schools participated.
2016 Law Week Poster Contest winners in a window of San Diego’s downtown Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse. Students from a variety of local schools participated.
...insure domestic Tranquility... We get along with each other.
…insure domestic Tranquility… We get along with each other.
...in Order to form a more perfect Union... Make things better for all who live here.
…in Order to form a more perfect Union… Make things better for all who live here.
...Secure the Blessings of Liberty... We have freedom.
…Secure the Blessings of Liberty… We have freedom.
We the People of the United States...
We the People of the United States…

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!

Japanese flower arrangement show in Balboa Park!

This weekend's annual show in Balboa Park by Ikebana International features beautiful Japanese flower arrangements.
This weekend’s annual flower show in Balboa Park by Ikebana International features beautiful Japanese floral arrangements.

I know almost nothing about ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese flower arrangement. But I do recognize stunning beauty and appreciate human creativity!

Check out these photos of amazing works of art at the annual Ikebana International flower show in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado. The show continues through the weekend!

Exquisite displays of ikebana--the art of Japanese flower arrangement--can be seen inside the Casa del Prado.
Exquisite displays of ikebana–the art of Japanese flower arrangement–can be seen inside the Casa del Prado.
One of many stunning works of floral art that one can see this weekend in Balboa Park.
One of many stunning works of floral art that one can see this weekend in Balboa Park.
Freestyle arrangement by Mitsuko Takeya. Materials include fig branch, protea, palm leaves and leather fern.
Freestyle arrangement by Mitsuko Takeya. Materials include fig branch, protea, palm leaves and leather fern.
Arrangement by Noriko McDaniel. The Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include magnolia, veronica, purple-crest aeonium, wisteria vine and philodendron.
Arrangement by Noriko McDaniel. The Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include magnolia, veronica, purple-crest aeonium, wisteria vine and philodendron.
Freestyle arrangement by Patricia Fuchs. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include anthurium, dogwood, pom pom mum, japanese rope.
Freestyle arrangement by Patricia Fuchs. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include anthurium, dogwood, pom pom mum, Japanese rope.
Landscape style arrangement by Cris Bugarin. Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia, camellia, parsley, iris leaves.
Landscape style arrangement by Cris Bugarin. Ohara School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia, camellia, parsley, iris leaves.
Freestyle arrangement by Judy Cliffton. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include red bud, white cherry, ranunculus.
Freestyle arrangement by Judy Cliffton. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include red bud, white cherry, ranunculus.
Freestyle arrangement by Sue Elsayeh. Ichiyo School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia and daffodils.
Freestyle arrangement by Sue Elsayeh. Ichiyo School of Ikebana. Materials include forsythia and daffodils.
Freestyle tropical arrangement by Inge Johansen. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include heliconia, ginger, gladiolus, white orchid, variegated ti leaf.
Freestyle tropical arrangement by Inge Johansen. Sogetsu School of Ikebana. Materials include heliconia, ginger, gladiolus, white orchid, variegated ti leaf.
A beautiful, complex work of art composed entirely of horsetail by Hiroko Szechinski.
A beautiful, complex work of art composed entirely of horsetail by Hiroko Szechinski.
Exquisitely arranged beauty, made from elements of the natural world.
Exquisitely arranged beauty, made from elements of the natural world.
A delight to the eye.
A delight to the eye. Gorgeous symmetry.
A bouquet of delicate beauty.
A bouquet of delicate beauty.
A small garden of colorful bursts and delights.
A small garden of colorful bursts and delights.
Intertwining flowers and leaves like a small, magical arch.
Intertwining flowers and leaves like a small, magical arch.
Many eyes at the ikebana show took in the jewel-like creations.
Many eyes at the annual ikebana show took delight in the perfect jewel-like creations.
A pink arrangement that seems to have materialized from a fairy tale.
A pink arrangement that seems to have materialized from a fairy tale.
Stunning colors and contrasts.
Stunning colors and contrasts.
A fantastic arrangement by Rumi Rice. Human creativity and natural materials combine to bring one dream to life.
A fantastic arrangement by Rumi Rice. Human creativity and natural materials combine to bring a dream to life.
A spectacular arrangement by ikebana Grandmaster Akiko Bourland. Materials include loquat, rose, rush.
A spectacular arrangement by ikebana Grandmaster Akiko Bourland. Materials include loquat, rose, rush.
Beauty designed by Keiko Schneider, President of Ikebana International 119.
Lavish beauty designed by Keiko Schneider, President of Ikebana International #119.
A fine vase containing orchids, palm leaves and dry branch.
A fine vase containing orchids, palm leaves and dry branch.
A vertical style arrangement by Barbara Adams. Materials include Mediterranean fan palm and mums.
A vertical style arrangement by Barbara Adams. Materials include Mediterranean fan palm and mums.
Another work of great beauty, by ikebana instructor Debbie Garofalo.
Another work of great beauty, by ikebana instructor Debbie Garofalo.
Pat Schneider combined a simple orchid, peacock feather and palm leaf.
Pat Schneider combined a simple orchid, peacock feather and palm leaf.
Tulips, like colorful fireworks!
Tulips, like colorful fireworks!

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!

I’ve written a very short story about delicate cherry blossoms, and the passage of time. It’s titled A Short Bloom. Click to read it!

Happy environmental art in a city park!

Lots of colorful tile art with happy environmental themes decorates this trash can in downtown San Diego's Pantoja Park.
Lots of tiles painted with happy environmental themes.  Together they form a mosaic that decorates this trash can in downtown San Diego’s Pantoja Park.

I love mosaics that are composed of ceramic tiles painted by ordinary people–young people in particular. It’s like a patchwork of inner visions, expressed from many hearts.

The Envirocan in downtown San Diego’s Pantoja Park is a special trashcan that is decorated with tiles that were hand-painted by young artists. Most of the colorful images express environmental themes. Clean air, clean water . . . plus lots of smiles. Smiles are good for the environment, right? Of course they are.

ESI Art Corps San Diego. Envirocan, donated by Dick Butler. "One Who Cares"
ESI Art Corps San Diego. Envirocan – Donated by Dick Butler. “One Who Cares”
One side of the Envirocan features a female face. Perhaps it is Mother Earth.
One side of the Envirocan features a female face. Perhaps it is Mother Earth.
Colorful tiles painted by many creative hands form a mosaic on the Envirocan's other three sides. Here's the face of a happy critter in a tree, and some flowers.
Colorful tiles painted by many creative hands form a mosaic on the Envirocan’s other three sides. Here’s a happy face in a tree, and some flowers.
Keep our Earth clean!
Keep our Earth clean!
A house in a beautiful pristine landscape.
A house in a beautiful pristine landscape.
Flower Power
Flower Power
A human eye. A smudge of dirt looks like a tear.
A human eye. A smudge of something looks like a tear.
Fish enjoy a clean blue ocean.
Fish enjoy a clean blue ocean.
I'm not sure what this is, but it looks pretty cool!
I’m not sure what this is, but it looks pretty cool!
Someone is poking their nose over a fence.
Someone is poking their nose over a fence.
One tile on the Envirocan features the Enviro-can!
One tile on the Envirocan features the Enviro-can!
A happy face of many colors.
A happy face of many colors.
Another lively underwater scene.
Another lively underwater scene.
And another face!
And another beautiful face!
A clean river flows down from green hills between trees.
A clean river flows down from green hills between trees.
Wisdom is often found in a balance. Yin and yang. All things are connected.
Wisdom is often found in a balance. Yin and yang. All things are connected.
Looks like a weird underwater image. Not sure about the cube with tentacles.
Looks like a weird underwater scene. Not sure about the cube with tentacles.
Birds in a clear blue sky under a golden sun.
Birds in a clear blue sky under a golden sun.
Lots more smiley faces! They almost look like leaves to me.
Lots more smiley faces! They almost look like leaves to me.
A red heart on patchwork colors. Love.
A red heart on patchwork colors. Love.

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!

Two cool sculptures at a National City marina!

This old rusty steel skeleton of a ship is actually one of two cool sculptures near the Pier 32 Marina in National City.
This old rusty steel skeleton of a ship is actually one of two cool sculptures near the Pier 32 Marina in National City.

Check out these two very cool sculptures! I spotted them as I walked from a National City trolley station to Pepper Park yesterday, on my way to the big International Mariachi Festival.

Both of these sculptures are located at the Pier 32 Marina. And both are a lot of fun!

This huge metal sculpture by the marina flags is called Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, 2008.
This huge metal sculpture by the marina flags is called Le Bateau Ivre, by artist Alber De Matteis, 2008.
Close look at a work of very cool nautical art!
More detailed photo of this work of awesome nautical art! Looks like a ghost ship!
The second sculpture, just down a pathway, is School of Blue Bottle Noses, by artist David Boyer, 2008. It was part of an Urban Trees exhibition on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The second sculpture, just down a pathway, is School of Blue Bottle Noses, by artist David Boyer, 2008. It was part of an Urban Trees exhibition on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Those blue Bottlenoses are actually bottles! Like a pod of turning dolphins, they shift direction in the wind!
Those blue Bottlenoses are actually bottles! Like a pod of turning dolphins, they shift direction in the wind!

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!

More short stories about light and darkness.

My writing blog Short Stories by Richard continues to grow. It now features 17 short works of fiction.

Many of the stories concern magic–or elements in life that seem to be magic. Most of the pieces contain both light and darkness.

I already posted a summary of my first six short stories here.

These are the next eleven:

One Strange, Shimmering Dream follows one man’s fantastic pursuit.

A Small Fountain in Green Park is about love and cherished moments in our brief life.

Irresistible Gravity is about futility and self-questioning.

A Dance in the Lightning takes a dangerous peek at ultimate reality.

Waterfall Tears interprets a moment of grieving.

An Old Man on a Bus demonstrates undying human defiance.

Dew on the Grass is about keen perception.

How to Paint Angels tells a story of despair, then sudden miraculous inspiration.

Final Real Magic is about youth and the uncertain nature of magic.

The Piano Player Sat Down produces a bit of strange, musical magic.

The Child and the Koi is a short fable about opposing primal powers.

Thank you for following my blog! Today I’m going to a Mariachi Festival in San Diego’s South Bay. Photos should be coming later!

Have a fine Sunday and keep on smiling!

Richard

Cool street art in a Mission Beach alley!

Cool street art faces in a Mission Beach alley peer from behind trash bins.
Faces in a Mission Beach alley peer from behind trash bins.

During my walk down Mission Boulevard through Mission Beach, I discovered an alley just south of Pismo Court that’s overflowing with super creative street art! A friendly dude named Vinny told me he created the scrap metal sculptures, and his buddy painted the walls. Check it out!

Some awesome street art can be seen in an alley off Mission Boulevard just south of Pismo Court. Local guys have painted walls and created cool metal sculptures.
Awesome street art can be seen in an alley off Mission Boulevard just south of Pismo Court. Local guys have painted walls and created cool metal sculptures.
A spray painted sea lion near a door in the alley.
A spray painted sea lion near a door in the alley.
A sea turtle and dolphin swim across a wall.
A sea turtle and dolphin swim across a wall.
The sculpture with American flag was created by Vinny after 911, who used scrap metal that he found discarded in the neighborhood.
The sculpture with American flag was created by Vinny after 911, who used scrap metal that he found discarded in the neighborhood.
Loads of creative art and fun beachy stuff in front of Vinny's place, an example of the cool Mission Beach vibe.
Loads of creative art and fun beachy stuff in front of Vinny’s place, an example of the happy, laid-back Mission Beach vibe.
This alley is like a treasure chest full of street art gold!
This alley is like a treasure chest full of street art gold!

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!