100th Anniversary of Armistice Day in Balboa Park.

Marines march west down El Prado toward the California Tower during the 2015 Garden Party of the Century in Balboa Park.
Marines march west down El Prado toward the California Tower during the 2015 Garden Party of the Century in Balboa Park.

This Sunday will be the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.

Armistice Day marks the end of World War One. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 the horrifying “war to end all wars” finally ended. (In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in the United States.)

On Sunday in Balboa Park something special will take place to honor the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.

The carillon inside the California Tower will chime at 11:00 am not the usual 11 times, but 21 times. After it chimes 21 times, Taps will be played. An hour later, at noon, the carillon bells will play a medley of WWI songs.

A variety of events in Balboa Park are also planned for Veterans Day weekend.

Several I’ve noted are:

Friday, beginning at 5 pm, at the San Diego Museum of Art. Free admission to the museum, where visitors can see the fantastic Artists at War: American Posters of World War I exhibition. Enjoy artwork and presentations by local veterans groups, the Air and Space Museum, a performance by Westwind Brass, and a screening of the 1938 classic The Dawn Patrol.

Saturday, 3 pm – 4 pm, at the Veterans Museum. A free preview by the San Diego Opera of their upcoming production of All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which concerns a brief, miraculous “unofficial armistice” that occurred in the trenches during World War One.

Sunday, 11 am – 5:30 pm, at the Balboa Park Carousel. A free ride will be provided to all veterans, active military and their families, courtesy of the Friends of Balboa Park. In addition, the Historical Unit of Southern California will have a special WWI commemoration at eleven o’clock.

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!

Free lectures explain opera in San Diego!

19th Century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in Act 3 of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
19th century engraving depicting Count Almaviva and Susanna in Act 3 of The Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

By sheer chance I stumbled upon a very cool event this afternoon. I was walking through the San Diego Central Library’s courtyard when I noticed a sign posted by the entrance to the Neil Morgan Auditorium. It announced that a free lecture was about to begin!

I hurried in, took a seat, and found myself quickly mesmerized by a talk about the San Diego Opera’s upcoming performance of The Marriage of Figaro!

Dr. Ron Shaheen, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Music Department at the University of San Diego, made the fascinating presentation. With the help of photographs, video clips and audio samples, he provided a wide range of information concerning Mozart’s famous opera. Even a complete opera novice like myself could appreciate the beautiful, timeless and amusing qualities of The Marriage of Figaro.

Many in the audience chuckled at the antics of its characters. The story, imbued by Mozart with deep emotional richness, turns upon all-too-common human weaknesses. The Marriage of Figaro is a mixture of crazy schemes, sudden surprises, human desire, selfishness, misunderstanding, love, jealousy, even more silliness . . . and concludes with a poignant scene of forgiveness.

Intrigued? Visit the San Diego Opera website here. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed in the next couple of weeks.

More free lectures in the Opera Insights Series will be coming to the Central Library. You can learn when and where by clicking here.

Dr. Ron Shaheen provides an entertaining lecture concerning The Marriage of Figaro during the San Diego Central Library 2018-2019 Opera Insights Series.
Dr. Ron Shaheen provides an entertaining lecture concerning The Marriage of Figaro during the San Diego Central Library 2018-2019 Opera Insights Series.
Information concerning music prodigy Mozart, his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and the San Diego Opera's upcoming performances.
Information concerning Mozart, his opera The Marriage of Figaro, and the San Diego Opera’s upcoming performances. (Click the image to enlarge it for easy reading.)
Mozart c. 1780, detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Detail from a portrait of Mozart, by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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!

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Big smiles for Free Ride Day!

Today is Free Ride Day in San Diego! San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District are providing a fun, free ride to anyone riding the trolley, bus, Coaster or Sprinter!

And as an extra added bonus, lots of smiles are included!

Thank you!

Javier Marín and the human search for identity.

Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.
Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.

Yesterday, during my walk through Balboa Park, I stepped from the Panama 66 outdoor cafe into Gallery 15 of the San Diego Museum of Art . . . and look what I saw!

Upon one large wall stand numerous small sculptures of the human body, created by Victor Javier Marín Gutiérrez, a Mexican artist whose celebrated work has been exhibited internationally.

The organic sculptures stand on the wall in poses of naked expression, casting dynamic shadows that crisscross in every direction. There is anguish and joy and perplexity and care and simple, wonderful being. There is flesh and there is soul. There is that ongoing internal search for human identity.

According to the San Diego Museum of Art’s website: “Javier Marín’s work, above all, is about beauty, a particularly human beauty that reflects what the poet José Emilio Pacheco described as ‘the terrible miracle of being alive.’”

Looking across at the wall containing many small sculpted human forms is like gazing down from above upon the mass of naked humanity. It’s like a Creator gazing down upon his living, breathing, dancing Creation.

This astonishing wall is an example of the Javier Marín sculpted work now on display in the San Diego Museum of Art’s free Galleries 14 and 15.

The exhibition will be officially kicked off with a special event on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Culture & Cocktails: Art of the Body includes a VIP pre-tour with the artist himself.

The exhibition will continue through March 3, 2019.

Javier Marín's fleshy sculpted forms include every sort of human expression.
Javier Marín’s fleshy sculpted forms depict every sort of human expression.
Gazing at representations of our mysterious selves.
Gazing at many representations of our mysterious selves.

UPDATE!

I saw even more amazing Javier Marín art during a later visit to the museum, and here are some photographs!

The first photo showing sculpted elements of the human body intermixed, is of a piece that can be viewed in Gallery 14.

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The next two photos, taken in the San Diego Museum of Art’s first floor rotunda, are of several large, truly stunning sculptures that are described: Untitled I, II, VI. Polyester resin and iron wire, 2004.

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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!

Art from different colleges across San Diego.

Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.
Visitors to the gallery on the 9th floor of the downtown San Diego Central Library look at some fascinating artwork.

A fantastic exhibition is now open free to the public in the 9th floor gallery at San Diego’s Central Library. You Are Here features work from art students and professors at 13 different institutions of higher education around San Diego County.

Not only is this exhibition an opportunity for talented artists to show their creative work in public, but visitors to the Central Library can learn a little about each school’s unique art program.

I took photos of some of the artwork. Please swing on by–you’ll be impressed by the quality of these imaginative, evocative pieces. You Are Here runs through May 6, 2018.

You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library's gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
You Are Here, a special exhibition in the Central Library’s gallery, collects the work of 26 artists from 13 different higher education art departments across San Diego.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Diverse examples of thought-inducing visual art attract curious eyes.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Space Ships, Wendell M. Kling, Professor of Art, San Diego Mesa College, 2013-present.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Hubcap Milagro for Chunky, David Avalos, Professor of Visual Arts, California State University San Marcos, 2011.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Untitled, Monique Van Genderen, Associate Professor of Art, UC San Diego, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Pink Cactus Moon Rock, Corina Bilandzija, Student, Palomar College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Warm Lights, Niki Ito, International Student, San Diego City College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Hair, Larissa Lopez, Past Student, Cuyamaca Community College, 2017.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.
Ophelia, Hanna Hunter, Student, San Diego Miramar College, 2016.

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Southern California’s largest rummage sale!

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Flyer contains details of The Thursday Club's 2018 Rummage Sale in Balboa Park.
Flyer contains details of The Thursday Club’s 2018 Rummage Sale in Balboa Park.

Get ready! The largest rummage sale in Southern California is taking place this weekend! It’s open free to the public and it’s going to be epic!

A simply enormous selection of antiques, clothing, books, housewares, sporting goods and more will be descended upon by eager bargain shoppers once the doors open. The Thursday Club’s annual Rummage Sale will be held March 10 and 11 inside the spacious Balboa Park Activity Center at 2145 Park Boulevard.

Proceeds from this fun event will support a host of local beneficiaries, including Balboa Park, Goodwill, the Ronald McDonald House, the San Diego Youth Symphony and San Diego Zoo Global. Over the years, the Thursday Club rummage sales have raised almost $2 million dollars for Balboa Park and a wide variety of charitable organizations.

To learn more, including the hours of the 2018 Rummage Sale and directions to the Balboa Park Activity Center, check out the flyer. Feel free to share it!

UPDATE!

I ventured up to the Activity Center on Sunday to take a quick look around on the final day and was surprised at all the good stuff still available–all at half price! Make sure you put this on your calendar for next year . . . and the year after that! All proceeds go to charity!

Just for fun, I took some photos while I walked about and browsed the various tables…

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Photography of Gjon Mili exhibited in Balboa Park.

Motion Pictures, Photography by Gjon Mili, is a free to the public exhibition inside the San Diego Museum of Art's Gallery 15.
Motion Pictures, Photography by Gjon Mili, is a free to the public exhibition inside the San Diego Museum of Art’s Gallery 15.

There is currently a free exhibition of Gjon Mili photography at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. Gjon Mili was a photographer for Life magazine during the Golden Age of Photojournalism.

Born in Albania, Gjon Mili came to America to study electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he experimented with photography. As a photographer for Life, he captured a wide variety of action with his camera, including motion in sports and dance.

He was a pioneer in the use of stroboscopic light, stop-motion techniques, and other novel methods of photography. One famous innovation is his iconic light drawings. He also focused on jazz performance, and the work of contemporary artists, such as Picasso. In 1944 he filmed his first true motion picture, Jammin’ the Blues, after his passion for jazz was ignited by hosting a party that included Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Dizzy Gillespie.

This very cool (and free) exhibition can be found in Gallery 15, through a door beside Panama 66 at the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor May S. Marcy Sculpture Court.

Here are a few photos to provide a hint of what you’ll see…

Long Island University basketball team demonstrates best scoring plays. Gelatin silver print, 1940.
Long Island University basketball team demonstrates best scoring plays. Gelatin silver print, 1940.
Gjon Mili (1904-1984), an immigrant from Albania, was a photographer for Life magazine. He could capture on one negative more grace and beauty than Hollywood cameramen could get on many feet of motion-picture film.
Gjon Mili (1904-1984), an immigrant from Albania, was a photographer for Life magazine. He could capture on one negative more grace and beauty than Hollywood cameramen could get on many feet of motion-picture film.
Woman playing badminton. Gelatin silver print, 1945.
Woman playing badminton. Gelatin silver print, 1945.
Starting line for the sixty-yard hurdles of the Millrose Games. Gelatin silver print, 1948.
Starting line for the sixty-yard hurdles of the Millrose Games. Gelatin silver print, 1948.
Gjon Mili on the set of Jammin' the Blues. Photographic reproduction, 1944.
Gjon Mili on the set of Jammin’ the Blues. Photographic reproduction, 1944.

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