Student art recognized by the Congressional Institute.

Lady of the Garden, Veronica McFarland, acrylic. San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.
Lady of the Garden, Veronica McFarland, acrylic. San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts.

High school students from the San Diego area have been recognized for outstanding achievement. Their artwork has been displayed inside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC!

Some of that excellent art can now be seen at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

The exhibition is titled An Artistic Discovery. These expressive pieces were created by students who attend schools throughout the 53rd Congressional District, which is represented by Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Check out a few examples that caught my eye during my visit yesterday to the San Diego History Center!

A wall inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park features art created by students in local high schools.
A wall inside the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park features art created by students in local high schools.
An Artistic Discovery is an exhibition that showcases the artwork of students in the 53rd Congressional District. Winning works are displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.
An Artistic Discovery is an exhibition that showcases the artwork of students in the 53rd Congressional District. Winning works are displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building.
Our Future, Chivone Brittney-Dawn Cervantes, oil paint. Diego Hills Central Charter School.
Our Future, Chivone Brittney-Dawn Cervantes, oil paint. Diego Hills Central Charter School.
Deliberate Red, Maryann Lee, watercolor and colored pencils. Bonita Vista High School.
Deliberate Red, Maryann Lee, watercolor and colored pencils. Bonita Vista High School.
Black Woman, Danielle Simone Grimes, acrylic. Morse High School.
Black Woman, Danielle Simone Grimes, acrylic. Morse High School.
Pure Joy, Julianna Pantoja, colored pencil. Otay Ranch High School.
Pure Joy, Julianna Pantoja, colored pencil. Otay Ranch High School.

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!

Students create art for North Park festival!

Fourth and fifth grade students at Jefferson IB STEAM Magnet School created a bunch of cool art for the SDCCU Festival of Arts in North Park!

I spotted their artwork in the windows of the Target store on University Avenue. The theme is love of music…

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!

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen made its very first appearance this evening in San Diego. Mitchell Walker, who plays didgeridoo in Balboa Park and Seaport Village, has completed an epic project that began as a dream almost 40 years ago. He has officially completed The Great Stellarium Project!

Mitchell’s 30-inch Plexiglas cube which contains a three-dimensional star map–his amazing Stellarium–made its debut in Balboa Park near the Fleet Science Center. The Stellarium was admired by curious passersby, and by astronomy lovers who’d gathered for the monthly stargazing “Stars In The Park” event of the San Diego Astronomy Association.

Mitchell has an irrepressible smile and a great sense of humor. One of his biggest passions is science fiction–Star Trek in particular. For much of his life he’s had a strong fascination with astronomy.

Years ago, Mitchell’s dream to recreate a part of our galaxy was inspired by the star map that figures in the film The UFO Incident. His idea was to design a transparent cube that holds an accurate portrayal of the stars nearest to our sun. His first attempt to invent such a marvel resulted in a cube that was 15 inches square. He still uses that smaller cube as a night light.

The impressive 30-inch Stellarium that debuted today displays our “stellar neighborhood” within 50 light years of Sol, the sun. Our tiny corner of the galaxy took Mitchell a little over a year to build. The 166 stars are obviously not to scale, but the distances between them and their relative positions around Sol are accurate. Each tiny star, attached to a filament that is almost invisible, shines with fluorescent paint in the color that matches its spectral classification. In darkness, under the cube’s black light, the effect is extraordinary.

After the sun set this evening, I sat on a nearby park bench and watched as people stopped to peer into the dreamlike Stellarium. Some pressed a button at the cube’s base to listen to Mitchell’s recorded audio narration.

Clouds unfortunately concealed the night sky. For a magical moment or two, members of the San Diego Astronomy Association abandoned their nearby telescopes and joined their friend Mitchell Walker, to gaze into a wondrous cube full of stars.

Please visit Mitchell’s web page that describes his Stellarium 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!

Images from Witches’ Night in San Diego!

It’s April 30. Tonight is Witches’ Night!

Certain witches in San Diego haven’t gathered on a dark mountaintop or in a deep forest to work their magic, however. I know this because I spotted them this evening in Balboa Park’s Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum!

For an enjoyable hour and a half I listened to San Diego State University history professor Elizabeth Pollard and Beth Accomando of KPBS discuss the ancient belief in witchcraft, what distinguishes it from superstition, religion and science, and how witches have been characterized and dealt with by the people of different eras.

Fictional witches discussed ranged from Erichtho and Meroe of ancient Roman literature, to the three witches of Macbeth, to Circe as envisioned by the Pre-Raphaelites, right up to the Wicked Witch of the West, Maleficent, and others we readily recognize today in our popular culture.

Before sitting down in the Comic-Con Museum’s auditorium, those in attendance were able to look at some cultural artifacts, a chilling video loop of Häxan from 1922, and several rare books in the collection of the San Diego State University Library. The main attraction under glass was a scarce early edition of Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches) printed in 1494–only fifty years after the Gutenberg press!

Here are a few images from tonight. But please excuse me–I have to go make sure my door is locked, because it’s getting close to midnight!

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!

Photos of Shakespeare celebration in Balboa Park!

Today I headed into Balboa Park to enjoy a special event celebrating Shakespeare’s 455th birthday!

Many activities were centered in sunny Copley Plaza, the hub of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. There was an outdoor performance of Shakespeare in Exile by Grossmont College Theatre Arts students. There was instrumental musical entertainment, a sonnet writing contest, and even an Elizabethan ruff-making station. Inside the lobby of The Old Globe, costumes from some of their past Shakespearean productions were on display.

A bit after noon high school students from all around San Diego gathered on the steps of the Timken Museum of Art. After a welcome speech, a fantastic parade featuring many Elizabethan costumes began along El Prado. Several students were presented with achievement awards at the foot of the Lily Pond as their classmates shouted approval, then the youth fanned out to perform scenes from Shakespeare and other famous plays on several stages along El Prado.

Here are photos that provide a flavor of this truly awesome annual event!

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!

Learning one’s letters in Old Town San Diego.

In the one room Mason Street School in Old Town San Diego, younger and older children sat together before the teacher and learned their letters.
In the one room Mason Street School in Old Town San Diego, younger and older children sat together before the teacher and learned their letters.

A cool theme developed during my walk through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park yesterday. First I wandered into the 1868 San Diego Union Building and observed ladies in 19th century dress practicing calligraphy. A short time later, as my eyes scanned the walls of the one room 1865 Mason Street Schoolhouse, I noticed a sheet on the wall titled First Lessons in Penmanship.

Turns out it was a great day to relearn the alphabet!

A super nice gentleman in the old print shop provided all sorts of tidbits of information concerning printing, publishing and life in early San Diego. I learned the original Washington hand press that was used by the San Diego Union newspaper is now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. And that setting up the tiny type for a single page of the newspaper took a keen-eyed person about 12 hours!

I posted photos of the old print shop and editor’s office four years ago. I also wrote a little about the San Diego Union’s history. You can revisit that blog post by clicking here.

You can see much more inside the old Mason Street School building and learn more about San Diego’s first school teacher, Mary Chase Walker, by clicking here!

Additional information that I learned yesterday is in my photo captions!

A sheet on the schoolhouse wall contains First Lessons in Penmanship. THE ALPHABET.
A sheet on the schoolhouse wall contains First Lessons in Penmanship. THE ALPHABET.
I'm given a small tour of the print shop inside the historic San Diego Union Building.
I’m given a small tour of the print shop inside the historic San Diego Union Building.
Like wet laundry, hundreds of newspaper sheets would be strung up all around the print shop so that the freshly impressed ink would dry!
Like wet laundry, hundreds of newspaper sheets would be strung up all around the print shop so that the freshly impressed ink would dry!
A demonstration of assembled type and the finished impression.
A demonstration of assembled type and a finished impression.
Part of a large plate in the Washington hand press. Today school students often visit the historic print shop to learn about publishing long before the digital age.
Part of a large plate in the massive Washington hand press. Today school students often visit the historic print shop to learn about publishing long before the digital age.
Those students can rearrange these letters to spell words like SUPER.
Those students can rearrange these letters to spell words like SUPER.
To proof newspaper sheets as type was assembled, this huge heavy roll would be used to make a quick impression.
To proof newspaper sheets as type was assembled, this huge heavy roll would be used to make a quick impression.
In the entrance of the San Diego Union Building, ladies sat at a desk practicing their penmanship.
In the entrance of the San Diego Union Building, ladies sat at a desk practicing their penmanship.
A sample of elegant Copperplate Calligraphy.
A sample of elegant Copperplate Calligraphy.
This beautifully penned text is from Lewis Carroll's humorous Lobster Quadrille in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
This beautifully penned text is from Lewis Carroll’s humorous Lobster Quadrille in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Showing how to write fancy letters with a quill and inkwell!
Showing how to write fancy letters with an old-fashioned pen and inkwell.

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!

Do you love to read?

You can find small, thought-provoking works of fiction at my website Short Stories by Richard.

Student voices visualized in public art.

The voices of local high school students can now be “heard” in the breezeway between the Santa Fe Depot and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

The artwork represents what youth in San Diego observe and are taught. The emphasis is on power. I was glad to observe one young person is thirsty for knowledge.

Rènn (Queen), 2019, Xeviah Jordan. Mount Miguel High School.
Rènn (Queen), 2019, Xeviah Jordan. Mount Miguel High School.
This work is about women's empowerment. It shows how women can be dominant and on top.
This work is about women’s empowerment. It shows how women can be dominant and on top.
Observe and Procure, 2019, Eric Gallegos, Jose Jimenez, Marc Robledo. High Tech High North County.
Observe and Procure, 2019, Eric Gallegos, Jose Jimenez, Marc Robledo. High Tech High North County.
Our artwork is a wall and it represents how everyone is being watched by someone or something.
Our artwork is a wall and it represents how everyone is being watched by someone or something.
Reach, 2019, Vanessa Townsend. Mount Miguel High School.
Reach, 2019, Vanessa Townsend. Mount Miguel High School.
This piece is meant to portray a reach for knowledge and a desire to want to learn more.
This piece is meant to portray a reach for knowledge and a desire to want to learn 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!

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!