Amazing exhibition of Japanese washi fiber art.

An amazing exhibition at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park just opened!

As I entered the garden’s Exhibit Hall this afternoon, I and other visitors were welcomed by the smile of accomplished Japanese fiber artist Maki Ishiwata. On display in the nearby glass cases were many of her stunning creations!

Take a look at these photos and you can see how exquisite this art is. Maki told me a little about her craft, and showed me briefly how she assembles washi–traditional Japanese handmade paper–into delicate, subtle pieces that resemble natural flowers and plants. I learned that some of the larger creations can take eight hours to complete.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s website: “…like many crafts, washi is facing a decrease and disappearance of its makers. For washi culture to survive, greater appreciation for the durability, purity, beauty, and versatility of this paper is essential. Through Ishiwata’s art work, she hopes to be able to connect traditional washi and Japanese aesthetic sense to global context and provide a unique experience for people to see an amazing transformation of one sheet of paper through one person`s hands.”

In the following photographs you can see some of the materials that are used, and a poster describing the complex process used to make washi. Kozo (Paper Mulberry) is harvested, the bark is scraped, boiled, snow bleached, wind dried, then soaked and softened…

The beautiful calligraphy in one photo was produced by Maki’s grandmother. Another unusual photo includes a reflection from the glass display case of a tree outside the Exhibit Hall.

This fantastic exhibition at the Japanese Friendship Garden will continue through January 26, 2020.

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!

A celebration of life in Balboa Park.

A violin, drums, didgeridoo and belly dancers fill the Plaza de Panama with life.
Violin, drums, didgeridoo and belly dancers fill the Plaza de Panama with life.

Life is celebrated every day in Balboa Park. But today was special. It’s the weekend of Día de Los Muertos.

This is a special time when we remember those who’ve gone before. A time to reflect and be grateful.

As I walked through the park, I could see glowing memories from the past; and new memories that will be cherished in future life.

Walking through green Balboa Park one bright Sunday afternoon in early November.
Walking through green Balboa Park one bright Sunday afternoon in the beginning of November.
The Casa del Prado Theater rises beyond the Natural History Museum.
The dreamlike Casa del Prado Theater rises beyond the Natural History Museum.
The Bard shows me a wise quote about human failings and nobility.
The Bard shows me a wise quote about human failings and nobility.
The smile of a street performer in Balboa Park.
The sudden smile of a street performer in Balboa Park.
Día de Los Muertos scene inside an aquarium at the San Diego Tropical Fish Society show.
Día de Los Muertos scene inside an aquarium at the San Diego Tropical Fish Society show.
Resting with a best friend by the Lily Pond.
Resting with a best friend by the Lily Pond.
Pumpkins add color to the many plants growing inside the Botanical Building.
Pumpkins add seasonal color to the many plants growing inside the Botanical Building.
Enjoying life while hanging out in sunshine at Nate's Point Dog Park.
Enjoying life while hanging out in sunshine at Nate’s Point Dog Park.
Strolling through the beautiful Panama-California Sculpture Court.
Strolling through the beautiful Panama-California Sculpture Court.
Walking and rolling through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Walking and rolling through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
A bird greets people in front of the House of Ireland. I learned this cockatoo knows one word: Hello!
A bird greets people in front of the House of Ireland. I learned this cockatoo knows one word: Hello!
Yummy kababs on the grill during the House of Iran lawn program.
Yummy kababs getting ready on the grill during the House of Iran lawn program.
Looks like a Batmobile coming through the park.
Looks like a Batmobile is coming through the park.
The audience participated with the Spreckels Organ as a fun rendition of the Addams Family theme song was produced with odd instruments!
Audience members participated on stage with the Spreckels Organ. A fun Halloween rendition of the Addams Family theme song was produced with odd instruments!
Your smile is love, is the world, is magical fairies, is contagious, is happiness.
Your smile is love, is the world, is magical fairies, is contagious, is happiness.
Setting up for the Day of the Dead Celebration by the Old Globe.
Setting up for the Day of the Dead Celebration by the Old Globe.
A face is painted to resemble a skull, to honor and remember the departed.
A face is painted to resemble a skull, to honor and remember the departed.
Día de Los Muertos crayon art produced by someone during the Old Globe's festival.
Día de Los Muertos crayon art produced by someone during the Old Globe’s festival.
These musicians were ready to celebrate life!
These musicians were ready to celebrate life!

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!

Public art in Escondido: two female bronzes.

Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.

Two female bronze sculptures welcome visitors to the Plaza Civic Center shopping mall in Escondido. I saw them yesterday as I walked to the California Center for the Arts. The sculptures can be found on North Escondido Boulevard, directly across from the regional cultural complex.

Both fine pieces of public art were created by local sculptor Gale Pruitt. Lorelei depicts a woman summoning with her outstretched arm as she lies on a rock, just as the siren-like figure in German lore. Elation depicts a girl with her head bent skyward in joyful ecstasy.

I took several photos!

Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Lorelei, Gale Pruitt, 2005.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.
Elation, Gale Pruitt, 2006.

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!

Colorful photos of Escondido Tamale Festival!

Here are a few colorful photos taken today during the Escondido Tamale Festival!

This very popular free event is held every year in Grape Day Park, right next to Escondido City Hall and the California Center for the Arts. Tamale making champions from around the region come together to compete for a prized trophy!

A crowd of tamale lovers had lined up on the grass anticipating a treat, and many were at outdoor tables feasting.

There were mariachis and other entertainers performing on the Grande Stage, a big kids zone, and all sorts of vendors. I noticed a few people were dressed up for Día De Los Muertos.

Because I walked about in a zigzag, looking at a wide variety of things in and around the park, I missed the Chihuahua Costume Contest and some cool lowriders that were parked nearby.

Maybe next year!

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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!

Fantastic ikebana exhibitions in Balboa Park!

Today I got lucky!

I stumbled upon two different ikebana exhibitions while strolling about Balboa Park!

The first show I enjoyed was being held inside the Casa del Prado. Sogetsu San Diego Branch had filled a large room with many fantastic Japanese flower arrangements.

The Sogetsu School of ikebana originated in 1927. This school of floral arrangement allows for wider individual expression than traditional ikebana, which adheres to formal rules.

According to what I read in a brochure at the show: Sogetsu Ikebana can be created anytime, anywhere, by anyone in any part of the world, and with any kind of material.

You can see in a few of the upcoming photographs that some rather strange materials are indeed used!

The second show I enjoyed was being held inside the Exhibit Hall at the Japanese Friendship Garden. Fantastic arrangements had been created by the Ohara School of Ikebana, La Jolla Chapter.

A friendly artist explained that the Ohara School often creates a sense of natural landscape with flowers and common plants, like grasses, ferns, holly and even garden vegetables! Wide basins and water can enhance the sense the viewer is hovering above a wild garden or beautiful lake.

The careful design of each arrangement incorporates at least one triangle. You can see several of those triangles in my photos:

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!

Scenes from Without Walls Festival 2019!

This afternoon I headed to Liberty Station in Point Loma to experience some of the La Jolla Playhouse’s annual WOW event!

The Without Walls Festival 2019 features all sorts of cool outdoor performances, many of which are free for the public to enjoy. It continues tomorrow!

The first production I watched, titled Tall Tales of the High Seas, was a very unique visual drama that seemed part circus act, part aerial dance. The athletic performers raised the flexible masts of a rotating Viking longship, then climbed skyward to dip, fly and swerve through the sky! One could sense a bit of a story unfolding as the ship seemed to become lost at sea and the actors hung limp from the crow’s nests without hope; then land is sighted and excitement takes hold!

After that, I walked around the grassy North Promenade of Liberty Station, tried to peer into the intimate little Theatre on the Move, and stood for a few minutes enjoying the Montalban Quintet at the Festival Stage.

Then, as I made my way toward the South Promenade, I paused to watch kids sail in colorful Boats about Legacy Plaza!

Finally, a production titled Peregrinus was ready to begin. The actors marched across the street in a very businesslike way, as you can see in my photos.

At first each individual actor showed a unique personality, but as they put on their corporate attire, ordinary people were transformed into conforming, business suited employees. They could select their own color of tie, but no more.

The actors bowed before their enormous masks, inserted their heads, rose up in a row, and suddenly each head was identically serious, grim, tired and sad. They filed about in a circular hurry, did the corporate dance, bowed to their boss, became jackasses when commanded to do so, engaged in power plays and subterfuge–you know, all that ridiculous, demeaning stuff that pains the heart when people shed their dignity in their desire for power, position or money.

The act was hilarious!

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!

Old Town readies for Dia de los Muertos.

I had a half hour to do whatever I pleased before work yesterday, so I got off the trolley at Old Town and took a short stroll around the State Park.

I noticed some of the shops and restaurants are already getting ready for Dia de los Muertos. A few skeletons and skulls greeted me!

The very popular Day of the Dead event in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will be celebrated on November 1-3, 2019.

That will definitely be a fun weekend!

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!