Donal Hord’s Summer Rain at San Diego History Center.

Several wonderful pieces of Donal Hord art are now on display at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. I noticed them last weekend.

Most prominent is the extraordinary sculpture Summer Rain, Donal Hord’s final commission. Originally sculpted in 1946 from the dense wood lignum vitae, Summer Rain was cast in bronze in 1968 by Homer Dana, his assistant, two years after Hord’s death.

Donal Hord is considered San Diego’s greatest sculptor. He achieved international fame by bringing a variety of materials, including very hard stone, to life. Many of his spiritual, symbol-filled sculptures were inspired from a year he spent in Mexico, where he studied traditional Olmec and Zapotec art. Some of his public sculptures have become iconic landmarks or representations of our city.

Summer Rain stands near the center of the History Center’s fine art exhibition Be Here Now. The work of artists who lived or spent a great deal of time in San Diego fill a large gallery, and visitors are asked to consider what the collected artwork might say about our region.

…Hord’s figure dances on a cloud pushing out the rain, with hair swept up like a thundercloud, and a rattlesnake on top to symbolize lightning…The San Diego History Center collections include examples of Hord’s work in bronze, wood, stone, and plaster along with maquettes (or scale models), preliminary drawings, tools and extensive archival material.

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Impressionist masterpieces exhibited in San Diego!

Tired of living much of your life virtually for the last couple of years? Would you like an awe-inspiring, exhilarating first-hand experience of fine art?

At the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, numerous Impressionist masterpieces now await your eyes!

Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation showcases pieces from one of the finest art collections in Europe. And it’s right here in San Diego for much of the summer.

All I know is that I visited the museum yesterday and found myself drifting into dreamlike worlds through frames hung on gallery walls. Scenes composed with mere glimpses of light, color and form somehow became real–more than real.

It isn’t often eyes are privileged to absorb artwork this historically important, and excellent.

Artists I noticed include Monet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Matisse, Gauguin, Degas and Picasso. If you’ve never had the opportunity to view original artwork by some of the world’s greatest artists, now is your chance!

Just a few different examples…

Boats on the Beach at Etretat, Claude Monet, 1883. Oil on canvas.
The Jockey, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1899. Gouache and lithograph.
Almond Trees in Flower, Paul Signac, 1902-1904. Oil on canvas.
Portrait of Angel Fernandez del Soto, Pablo Picasso, 1903. Pastel.
View of Antibes, Henri Matisse, 1925. 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!

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!

Between Heaven and Earth in Balboa Park.

Today I stepped through a door and found myself somewhere between Heaven and Earth.

The fine art exhibition, titled Between Heaven and Earth, filled Gallery 21 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. Canvases on the gallery walls flowed with shadows, mists and dimly seen forms. The San Diego artist who ushered these visions into existence is Catherine Carlton.

Her more mysterious pieces seem to blend earthly scenes with a sense of their spiritual essence. Her creations evoke a subtle emotional response–a feeling that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. Some of her pieces include sacred symbols or bits of verse.

I particularly loved her art made with layered wax containing pigment. Images of rain, lightning, and natural landscapes are ethereal, fluid, and alive. You can see an example in my next photograph.

Catherine Carlton creates this sublime beauty in her art studio at Liberty Station. She particularly loves to produce commercial art, and has painted murals for various local restaurants..

If you’d like to see more of her work, visit her 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!

Collecting San Diego at the History Center.

A new exhibition recently opened in a gallery at the San Diego History Center. It’s titled Collecting San Diego, Selections from the Dijkstra Fine Art Collection.

Collecting San Diego is a special initiative by the History Center that shines a spotlight on fine art collections containing works by regional artists.

I noticed that many of the pieces on display depict places in and around San Diego, and paint aspects of our region’s history using color and brush.

These particular pieces in the ongoing Collecting San Diego series were discovered by North County art collectors Sandra and Bram Dijkstra. Over many years they have acquired art that moves them, whomever the artist might be. Consequently, you too might be moved by the unique qualities of these pieces. I personally enjoyed all of them. (But I’m very easy to please!)

Anyone reading this who loves art should consider a visit to Balboa Park and the San Diego History Center. You’ll feast your eyes on dozens of fine paintings. In addition to this new Collecting San Diego exhibition, you’ll discover a second large gallery full of art. That exhibit, titled Be Here Now, also displays the work of regional artists, many of whom have achieved national prominence.

These are just a few examples from Collecting San Diego, Selections from the Dijkstra Fine Art Collection

Guaymas, Tom Craig, circa 1937. Oil on canvas.
Imperial Valley Housing, Carol Lindemulder, 2002. Oil on linen.
Five O’clock Shadow, Brad Maxey, 2013. Oil on canvas.
Hair #9 (Hippies and Bikers in the Borrego Desert), Harry Sternberg, circa 1970. Oil on board.
Sun Goddess of the Computer Age, Armando Nuñez, 1997. Mixed media and acrylic on wood panel. (Armando Nuñez helped paint the first mural in Chicano Park, The Historical Wall, in 1973. He was co-founder of Centro Cultural de la Raza and designed the Barrio Logan gateway sign.)

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!

The Fish Cannery Women mural in Barrio Logan.

There’s an extraordinary mural in Barrio Logan that’s tucked away in a place that’s easy to miss. It’s titled The Fish Cannery Women.

The artwork was created in 2010 by renowned muralist Mario Torero. You can find The Fish Cannery Women on Logan Avenue, on the northwest brick wall of Salud Tacos, a popular Mexican restaurant.

A description by the mural reads: “Dedicated to the thousands of multicultural women who worked in the fish canneries of Logan Heights from 1912 to 1985. Their spirit and hard work lives on. The lives of their children and our memory of them will never die.” Logan Avenue Business Association.

The Fish Cannery Women is a painted work that you might expect to see in a fine art museum. But all you have to do is walk down the sidewalk and peer beyond a couple of trees!

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!

Famous painting by Bruegel turns to chalk!

This afternoon a famous painting displayed in the Timken Museum of Art was turned to chalk! I witnessed part of the transformation myself, right in front of the museum in Balboa Park!

The Timken Museum’s summer weekend Creation Station event continued today. Part of the fun was a chalk art recreation of the 1557 painting Parable of the Sower, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Anybody walking through the Plaza de Panama could watch the chalk artist at work. If you want to compare the chalk art I photographed with the actual oil painting, click here!

The outdoor Creation Station’s amazing chalk art flows from the talented hands of @sidewalk_chalk_dad.

Unfortunately, I didn’t walk by after the artwork was completed. Use your imagination!

You can see another chalk art recreation of a painting in the Timken’s fine art collection by clicking here!

That smiling guy covered with chalk? The artist, of course!

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!

Inspiration at Timken Museum’s Creation Station!

A small but wonderful Creation Station can be enjoyed in front of the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park this summer!

While the world-class art museum undergoes its renovation, people walking along the construction fence in the Plaza de Panama can linger at the Creation Station and be inspired!

This afternoon I paused for a bit to watch Erick Toussaint (@sidewalk_chalk_dad) work on amazing chalk art that recreates a piece in the Timken’s collection. Then I looked at the fun chalk drawings by kids and families that passed by earlier this beautiful Sunday!

Erick will be recreating some of the fine art museum’s great masterpieces every other weekend through August. Check out the museum’s page concerning the Creation Station here. On the other weekends, family’s will help design a huge outdoor mural!

Today Erick was working on reproducing Nicolas de Largillière’s elegant Portrait of Marguerite de Sève, Wife of Barthélemy-Jean-Claude Pupil, 1729. His work on the gold frame alone is stunning! As you can see, I took photos at various stages of progress during the afternoon.

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!

The Renaissance Woman sculpture in University City.

A marble sculpture by renowned American artist Manuel Neri stands near a sun-splashed fountain and bright colonnade in University City. The sculpture is titled The Renaissance Woman.

According to its plaque, the beautiful sculpture was placed by the corner of Shoreline Drive and Renaissance Avenue in 1990 for the enjoyment of the community and residents who live nearby.

A graceful, dignified form seems to be emerging from the block of white marble, which is encircled by flowers.

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!

Oil Painters of America comes to Escondido!

What is Left Unsaid, by artist Daniel Gerhartz.

An extraordinary exhibition of oil paintings by some of America’s finest artists opened at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday I headed into the Center’s Museum to check out dozens of superb pieces that were created by members of the Oil Painters of America.

The Oil Painters of America has several thousand members who excel at representational oil painting, an art that has seen some decline in modern times. According to this page of their website: “Oil Painters of America was founded in 1991 by Shirl Smithson primarily to focus attention on the lasting value of fine drawing, color, composition and the appreciation of light…”

Think of those old masters in a fine art museum. Some of the exquisite works I saw yesterday appear to belong right beside them.

Contemporary art can be amazing, other mediums can be fantastic, but if you want to find a profound sense of humanity and subtle emotion in a canvas, this type of painting is hard to beat.

The exhibition is titled the 30th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils. The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is privileged to have these works on display. I noticed many of the pieces are for sale.

I loved so many of these fine paintings, it was hard to select a handful to give you an idea of what you’ll see when you enter the museum.

Whatever you do, be sure to pass through the California Center for the Arts’ Museum doors by May 16, 2021, when this fantastic exhibition of traditional oil painting draws to an end.

Taos Light, by artist Huihan Liu.
Considerations, by artist John Michael Carter.
Carpe Diem, by artist Jeff Legg.
Mother, by artist Kathie Odom.
Port Clyde Harbor, by artist Jim Carson.
Saffron In Blue Ridge, by artist Brandon Gonzales.
Into the Sun, by artist Sarah Kidner.

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!