Loving life at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival!

A huge crowd turned out today for the 2022 Escondido Street Festival along Grand Avenue!

After a two years’ absence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event in downtown Escondido is back bigger and better than ever!

In addition to numerous vendors lining several blocks of Grand Avenue, I observed a fun art show, tons of food, and multiple stages featuring diverse entertainment. I listened to both rock and roll and mariachi music! I saw colorful baile folklórico dancing!

Folks working to improve the Escondido community were also out greeting people. That first photo is of a smile from Love Esco, an organization that cares for neighbors through simple acts of kindness and tangible means of love.

A also got a smile from the Escondido Education Foundation, but I declined their offer of a free Escondido poster. (I got enough stuff already!) The foundation is a community driven fundraising organization which provides funding for essential resources, and programs that empower teachers, inspire learning, and promote innovation and academic excellence in EUSD.

Also, thanks to the Helen’s Book Mark used bookstore for the amazing deal on half a dozen books! If you haven’t seen their cool mural on the back side of the store, click 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!

Sunflowers in Escondido help Ukrainian refugees!

An effort is underway in Escondido to help refugees who’ve fled Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

I saw numerous beautiful paintings of sunflowers on display at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival today. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

The bright, optimistic paintings were created by artists who belong to the Escondido Art Association. Their project is called Sunflowers for Ukraine. Purchases and donations go to World Central Kitchen, which is feeding displaced Ukrainians.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Escondido Art Association’s website by clicking here! They’ve already raised ten thousand dollars!

Feeling inspired by this project? But you don’t live in Escondido? Certainly there are many artists who can paint sunflowers where you live! You can grow sunflowers like these, too!

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!

Would you like to read a happy short story about sunflowers and spreading kindness? Then click here!

Makers, dreamers, inventors come together in San Diego!

After a long pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego Makers Guild is looking to reenergize. Innovators and fun-loving creators are welcome to join!

I stumbled upon the San Diego Makers Guild tent at the Escondido Street Festival today. They are seeking cool new ideas and pathways to follow as makers move into a technology driven, ever evolving future. Interested? Hook up with them!

I was surprised to hear Dexter explain he’d helped build those awesome Cupcake Cars that have roamed around Balboa Park during past Maker Faires!

You can learn more about the San Diego Makers Guild by visiting their website 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!

San Diego college faculty art exhibition.

Selected works by artists teaching at colleges around San Diego County are now on display at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Campus Creatives: Featuring San Diego’s Fine Art Faculty showcases pieces created by 49 teaching artists from 14 local institutions, ranging from smaller community colleges to San Diego State University, University of San Diego, and UC San Diego.

I headed up to Escondido today to experience this mostly contemporary art.

The museum galleries contain many unusual and experimental pieces that utilize a surprising variety of materials. As one might expect from college faculty, certain social, environmental and political themes were plentiful. I also saw examples of arresting beauty and art for art’s sake.

Some of the pieces obviously required a good deal of time and effort. I was stunned by a couple of large, very complex woven tapestries. You’ll see one in the upcoming photographs.

I asked the friendly gentleman at the museum’s front counter what he liked best about the exhibition. The variety, he told me.

I concur one hundred percent!

Go check it out!

Meanwhile, enjoy a few examples.

Campus Creatives: Featuring San Diego’s Fine Art Faculty will be on public view through May 15, 2022.

Corvid: Suspicion, 2021, Joanne Hayakawa. Graphite on mylar with steel frame.
Explanation of Colors, 2019, Leslie Nemour. Oil, mm on found map.
Petals to the Metal, 2019, Joshua Eggleton. Charcoal.
Albedo, 2021, Bill Mosley. Oil on canvas.
The Creation of the Virus, 2021, Carlos Castro. Woven tapestry.
Maintaining Bearings, 2022, Stephanie Bedwell. Wood, fiber.
Cactus Transformation, 2019, YC Kim. Porcelain and light.
Yuri-Tobabay, Japan 1932, 2017, Julie Goldstein. Woodcut, graphite, recycled fabric.
Masquerade, 2021, Serena Potter. Oil on canvas.

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!

Books rise into the Escondido sky!

How could I not share these photos?

I was walking near the Escondido Public Library, after checking out the library’s huge new mural, when I glimpsed distant books flying into the sky!

I’d discovered a mural painted in the alley behind Helen’s Book Mark, a used book store on Grand Avenue.

I headed directly to the artwork to see the rising books. (Or are they descending from a lofty place?)

The mural has two signatures. RWBrown, 2000, and Hanna’s Murals, 2021.

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Huge, amazing mural at Escondido Library!

Wow! Have you seen the huge mural that was recently painted on the side of the Escondido Public Library, facing the new mini park?

I heard about it and had to go see for myself!

The amazing mural, presented by the Escondido Library Foundation and the City of Escondido, is titled Escondido’s Vision. It was painted by Julia Anthony in late 2021, and officially dedicated, along with the new park, last month.

The bright, super colorful artwork depicts a beautiful day in Escondido, through the prism of imagination. It’s a broad landscape where the sun shines, reading is fun, the future is hopeful, and life is good!

I took a variety of photographs at different distances…

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 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!

Mural at Escondido Boys and Girls Clubs building.

Does anybody know the history of this old mural in Escondido? It decorates the east side of the Conrad Prebys Escondido Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego.

During a walk through Escondido last weekend, I photographed this colorful mural from the distant sidewalk. It appears to be a mosaic made of small tiles. Youth are depicted reading, playing basketball, and engaged in other activity. The artwork is dated 1976. Tiles spell out two clear signatures: A. Dluhos and T. Pardue.

After some internet searching, I believe the first artist is Andre Dluhos, and the second is Terry Pardue. I’m pretty sure about the second name, because I read this article.

Andre Dluhos was born in 1940 in eastern Czechoslovakia and moved to the United States in 1969.

If anyone out there knows anything about this nearly half century old mural, please leave a comment.

It would be fascinating to learn more about it, and the artists, too!

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 huge Fandom Invasion in Escondido!

Dude Vader, Hawkeye and Captain America with actors from The Supernatural University, a television series now in development.

Fans of popular culture have converged today in Escondido for the first ever Fandom Invasion!

This big family-friendly event, which is being held at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, features lots of exhibitors, panelists, video gaming, storytelling, celebrities, cosplay, and even a play zone with Batman bounce houses for kids!

Fandom Invasion was conceived by the San Diego cosplay group Science Fiction Coalition, whose costumed members have become a common sight at events all around the city.

I arrived at Fandom Invasion as it opened, and I walked around the sizable exhibit hall where there were booths overflowing with awesome stuff. And awesome people, too!

For a while I listened to the Geek in the Streets Podcast panel, where there was a detailed discussion concerning cosplay.

Indeed, cosplay was everywhere I turned! As you can see from the upcoming photos.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Fandom Invasion was its focus on kids and their creativity. There were more than a few tables with young artists and makers and cosplayers!

Hopefully this is the beginning of a fun annual tradition.

Check it out!

Cosplayers wearing Mandalorian armor pose in front of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Conference Center.
Hulk welcomes visitors at the Science Fiction Coalition table. I think he just arrived from Planet Hulk.
Oh, man! Look at all this super cool nerdy stuff!
Many local Star Wars groups were present, including the 501st Legion.
R2-D2 and friend were created by Droid Builders.
Author Janet Racciato has written novels for different age groups. Her heroine Julie grew up in Oceanside and can teleport. She told me writing comes easily to her.
Dr. Artemus Peepers and Wonder Woman pose for a cosplay photo.
Look at all the cool pop culture patches at one vendor table. What’s Yoda doing over there on the right?
And check this out! All these awesome creations are from the Gears & Roebuck Rusty Junk Emporium.
Star Wars Corn Flakes and Godzilla!
And here’s an angry Lord Vader himself! No, I didn’t call you corny or a flake! That box contains cereal!
The happy Addams Family.
Future artist Gavin Richter. Future? More like present!
Young artist Zeke of Swirl Waffle at work.
Lots of comic books, naturally. But it’s hard not to look at a phone.
Whoa! Ultra-cool helmet by CostumeBiz!
Now it looks like I’m in trouble!
Ian and Arielle discuss cosplay in the Large Panel Room.
Miss Ellie Honeybee posed for a cool cosplay photograph!
David L. Drake and Katherine L. Morse, San Diego-based authors of The Adventures of Drake and McTrowell, read their book.
Gamora and Star Lord are outside by a face painter!
Cars from the animated movie Cars! They were brought to Fandom Invasion by Dr. Justin Wu, of the Healing Little Heroes Foundation.
Cosplay everywhere!
Even Hawkman showed up in Escondido, all the way from the planet Thanagar.
It seems Wolverine was a bit late, however.

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!

Local students engineer amazing robots!

Possibly my favorite part of today’s Grand Avenue Festival in Escondido was the robotics demonstration.

Students from several local high schools were showing their sophisticated robots, which can operate both autonomously and by manual control. These amazing robots are built every year to compete in the international FIRST Robotics Competition!

I saw one particular robot shooting balls into the air. One crazy looking robot with pipes sticking out of it was built to launch t-shirts!

All of the students I met were friendly and clearly smarter than me. Several provided technical explanations, which promptly went over my head.

I saw teams from Rancho Bernardo High School (Team E-Motion), Poway High School (Team Spyder), San Pasqual High School (Team SuperNURDS), and Escondido Charter High School (Team Daedalus).

Over the years, these local teams have had great success competing in the prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition. The acronym FIRST means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The games that challenge the competing robots are changed each year, so students must utilize creativity, logic, engineering skills and sheer ingenuity. Robotics is one fun way to implement STEM education in schools!

Check it out!

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!