Art from the Mingei at Central Library gallery!

Belly Warmer, 1973, sterling silver, leather, wood. Arline M. Fisch.
Belly Warmer, 1973, sterling silver, leather, wood. Arline M. Fisch.

While the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park undergoes it’s monumental renovation and expansion (read about that here), select pieces from their permanent collection are on display at the San Diego Central Library’s Art Gallery.

The title of this exhibition is Crafting Opportunity: Mid-Century Work from the Collection of Mingei International Museum. Head up to the Central Library’s 9th floor gallery and you’ll discover unique and experimental pieces by noted artists and craftsmen, many of whom are from the San Diego region. You’ll see beautiful ceramics, fashion, metalwork, furniture and a surprising variety of other objects. Some of these pieces, representing the post World War II designer-craftsman movement, are on public display for the very first time!

I walked to East Village early this afternoon to see for myself!

Make sure you check this exhibition out before it ends on July 28, 2019.

A look at the current exhibition in the San Diego Central Library's art gallery. Crafting Opportunity: Mid-Century Work from the Collection of Mingei International Museum.
A look at the current exhibition in the San Diego Central Library’s art gallery. Crafting Opportunity: Mid-Century Work from the Collection of Mingei International Museum.
Vase, c. 1959, glazed stoneware. Harrison McIntosh.
Vase, c. 1959, glazed stoneware. Harrison McIntosh.
Owl, c. 1960, glazed stoneware. Marg Loring.
Owl, c. 1960, glazed stoneware. Marg Loring.
Untitled, c. 1965, mosaic and enameling. Ellamarie Woolley.
Untitled, c. 1965, mosaic and enameling. Ellamarie Woolley.
Plate, 1979, stoneware, porcelain. Peter Voulkos, who was drawn to the Zen notion of looseness of form and unpredictability.
Plate, 1979, stoneware, porcelain. Peter Voulkos, who was drawn to the Zen notion of looseness of form and unpredictability.
Bowl, 1954, glazed earthenware. Laura Andreson.
Bowl, 1954, glazed earthenware. Laura Andreson.
The Superior Masculine Mind, date unknown, glazed stoneware. Beatrice Wood, whose work often contains a playful feminist angle.
The Superior Masculine Mind, date unknown, glazed stoneware. Beatrice Wood, whose work often contains a playful feminist angle.
Weed Pots, c. 1965, glazed stoneware. Wayne Chapman.
Weed Pots, c. 1965, glazed stoneware. Wayne Chapman.
"Happiness" Yardage, 1967, machine-woven, hand-screen printed linen and wool. Jack Lenor Larsen, whose signature pattern remained in production for decades.
“Happiness” Yardage, 1967, machine-woven, hand-screen printed linen and wool. Jack Lenor Larsen, whose signature pattern remained in production for decades.
LCW (Lounge Chair Wood), c. 1946, molded plywood. Charles and Ray Eames, who famously revolutionized industrial design by introducing molded plywood.
LCW (Lounge Chair Wood), c. 1946, molded plywood. Charles and Ray Eames, who famously revolutionized industrial design by introducing molded plywood.
Untitled, 1969, enamel on steel. Kay Whitcomb.
Untitled, 1969, enamel on steel. Kay Whitcomb.
House of Cards, c. 1960, printed paper. Charles and Ray Eames.
House of Cards, c. 1960, printed paper. Charles and Ray Eames.
Helmet, 1970-71, silver, leather, rosewood, moonstones, rabbit fur. Marcia Lewis.
Helmet, 1970-71, silver, leather, rosewood, moonstones, rabbit fur. Marcia Lewis.

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!

Cleverly designed furniture is surprising, playful art!

Artwork now on display in the SDSU Downtown Gallery includes extraordinary furniture!
Artwork now on display in the SDSU Downtown Gallery includes extraordinary furniture!

Some fantastic, highly innovative art is now on display at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is the title of the surprising exhibition.

Walk through the door of the SDSU Downtown Gallery and you might not be sure whether you’ve entered a bizarre furniture and hardware store or a dream-place where art conforms to your body. Those abstract paintings on the wall actually unfold into chairs! Those shovel handles in a row form the back of a beautifully crafted wooden bench! That colorful “luggage” tossed in a heap in one corner seems more appropriate for a comfortable living room than a cargo hold!

According to a sign in the gallery, Tom Loeser imagines new ways that the body, furniture and space can interact. He wonders: if the furniture we sit on were totally different, how might our lives be different too?

I can tell you resting on these pieces (and you’re allowed to actually sit on a few of his tumblers) would put me in a very creative and happy state of mind.

As I sat I might gaze at Tom Loeser’s artwork on the gallery’s walls, which includes fantastic blue cyanotypes and strangely elemental pyrography. Transformed by the artist’s genius, ordinary objects seem to radiate a weird spiritual essence. The images, like his furniture, seem to present a vision of unexpected potentialities in our practical, solidly physical world.

If you love really clever art, check out the SDSU Downtown Gallery before this exhibition ends on October 28, 2018!

The art exhibition Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is now showing in downtown San Diego.
The art exhibition Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is now showing in downtown San Diego.
Two works of art by Tom Loeser. Not a Dozen Even, 2014, cyanotype. Double Dig, 2016, white oak and shovel handles.
Two works of art by Tom Loeser. Not a Dozen Even, 2014, cyanotype. Double Dig, 2016, white oak and shovel handles.
S/M/L, 2014, cyanotype by artist Tom Loeser.
S/M/L, 2014, cyanotype by artist Tom Loeser.
A room full of practical objects made dreamlike.
A room full of practical objects made dreamlike.
Dig for Three, 2015, walnut and shovel handles by artist Tom Loeser.
Dig for Three, 2015, walnut and shovel handles by artist Tom Loeser.
LA/Chicago/New York, 2016, plywood, wood, felt, paint by artist Tom Loeser.
LA/Chicago/New York, 2016, plywood, wood, felt, paint by artist Tom Loeser.
A colorful tumbler that can be sat upon comfortably any which way.
A colorful tumbler that can be sat upon comfortably any which way.
Folding Chair, 1987, painted plywood, maple, stainless steel by artist Tom Loeser.
Folding Chair, 1987, painted plywood, maple, stainless steel by artist Tom Loeser.
Scythe by Scythe, 2016, maple, hickory, scythe handles by artist Tom Loeser.
Scythe by Scythe, 2016, maple, hickory, scythe handles by artist Tom Loeser.

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!

History inside the William Heath Davis House.

Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House and Park, 1850. Home of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation.
Gaslamp Museum at the William Heath Davis House and Park, 1850. Home of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation.

These photos inside the historic William Heath Davis House Museum were taken a few months ago. I toured the fascinating house during the Fall Back Festival, which is held every year in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

Dated 1850, the William Heath Davis House, like a number of other structures in early San Diego, was built on the East Coast and shipped around Cape Horn. At the time San Diego simply didn’t have the resources and tools required to build a fine wooden house. Various rooms inside the museum show what life was like in New Town a century and a half ago. It was a much simpler time. The small museum now sits in the middle of a gigantic, bustling metropolis.

Please read the photo captions for more info, and click the signs to read them.

Photo of the William Heath Davis House Museum taken from across Island Avenue.
Photo of the William Heath Davis House Museum taken from across Island Avenue.
Tours of the historic house are available. A museum store contains fascinating gifts.
Tours of the historic house are available. A museum store contains fascinating gifts.
The William Heath Davis House is the oldest surviving structure from San Diego's New Town. It is a prefabricated salt-box style home, shipped from Portland, Maine around Cape Horn. Dated 1850.
The William Heath Davis House, built in 1850, is the oldest surviving structure from San Diego’s New Town. It is a prefabricated “salt-box” style home, shipped from Portland, Maine around Cape Horn.
The 1850 Davis-Horton House was used as a military barracks, county hospital, and was home to Alonzo Horton and several other families.
The 1850 Davis-Horton House was used as a military barracks, county hospital, and was home to New Town’s founder Alonzo Horton and several other families over the years.
Looking down the stairs from the second floor. A lady in Victorian attire welcomes visitors to the museum during the Fall Back Festival in November.
Looking down the stairs from the second floor. A lady in Victorian attire welcomes visitors to the museum during the Fall Back Festival in November.
A look at the first floor living room where family and guests would gather.
A look at the first floor living room where family and guests would gather.
A small piano, sheet music, teacup and candle. Entertainment in the olden days was simple.
A small piano, sheet music, teacup and candle. Entertainment in the olden days was simple.
The dining table is set for a grand meal in New Town San Diego.
The dining table is set for a grand meal in what was then a sparsely populated New Town San Diego.
An old sewing machine can be found by a window upstairs.
An old sewing machine can be found by a window upstairs.
The nursery, with crib and small bed.
The nursery, with crib, chest and small bed.
Three beds for the children have colorful quilts.
Three beds for the children have colorful quilts.
A desk in the study and a cabinet full of books.
A desk in the study, framed photos, and a cabinet full of books.  No internet back then!
An old-fashioned penny-farthing bicycle reminds visitors to the William Heath Davis House Museum of what life was like a century and a half ago in San Diego.
An old-fashioned penny-farthing bicycle reminds visitors to the William Heath Davis House Museum of what life was like a century and a half ago in San Diego.

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 fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Amazing photos: Fantastic, incredible wood art!

Amazing wood art. A hooded figure takes a break at an inn. Just Off The Road, Basswood, Randy Stoner.
Amazing wood art. A hooded figure takes a break at an inn. Just Off The Road, Basswood, Randy Stoner.

Today I moseyed around Del Mar and Solana Beach. My walk included a couple of stimulating hours at the San Diego County Fair. I just wandered about, soaking it all in, and found my feet heading toward my favorite part of the fair, the Design in Wood Exhibition.

Some of the best wood artists in Southern California–the world, for that matter–submitted their incredible pieces this year to be judged. The exhibition, a collaboration with the San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association, is celebrating its 35th year.

Here is some of the wildly creative woodwork that really caught my eye. You’ll notice many pieces have an Alice in Wonderland theme. That’s because this year’s San Diego County Fair is all about that timeless children’s book penned by Lewis Carroll. White Rabbits, March Hares and Mad Hatters abound! Everywhere you turn there’s a tea party or a grinning Cheshire Cat!

The Alice in Wonderland theme intersects with Steampunk, of course, so many fantastic contraptions and quirky bits of wood art are included in the exhibition. Take a look!

Glass table supported by fantastic underwater character carved from wood. Califa's Realm, Avocado, Lorenzo Foncerrada.
Glass table supported by fantastic underwater character carved from wood. Califa’s Realm, Avocado, Lorenzo Foncerrada.
A steampunk writer might enjoy creating new worlds while sitting here! Time Machine Desk, Recycled Pine and Plywood, Jeffrey Comulada.
A steampunk writer might enjoy creating new worlds while sitting here! Time Machine Desk, Recycled Pine and Plywood, Jeffrey Comulada.
Yikes! Get out of the way! This eye-catching contraption is just too cool. Scorpion Wheelchair, Pine, Roger Aceve.
Yikes! Get out of the way! This eye-catching contraption is just too cool. Scorpion Wheelchair, Pine, Roger Aceve.
A truly amazing fantasy woodcarving. Julia the Dragon Killer, Bass, Antonio Barrios.
A truly amazing fantasy woodcarving. Julia the Dragon Killer, Bass, Antonio Barrios.
Ancient warrior and an incredibly elaborate helmet made of wood. Dracon Soldier, Bass, Antonio Barrios.
Ancient warrior and an incredibly elaborate helmet made of wood. Dracon Soldier, Bass, Antonio Barrios.
More outstanding artistry. Heron in a scene from a San Diego lagoon. Spirit of San Elijo, Torrey Pine, Lorenzo Foncerrada.
More outstanding artistry. Heron in a scene from a San Diego lagoon. Spirit of San Elijo, Torrey Pine, Lorenzo Foncerrada.
Wood grains flow in this crazy organic bench. Ongoing Conversation, Baltic Birch, Alan Johnson.
Wood grains flow in this crazy organic bench. Ongoing Conversation, Baltic Birch, Alan Johnson.
A very cool tangle-tentacled wooden octopus. Denizen of the Deep, Maple, Tom Edwards.
A very cool tangle-tentacled wooden octopus. Denizen of the Deep, Maple, Tom Edwards.
Perhaps this is a wood version of Strider from Lord of the Rings. Ranger, Basswood, Randy Stoner.
Perhaps this is a wood version of Strider from Lord of the Rings. Ranger, Basswood, Randy Stoner.
A mountain lion carved from wood keeps guard among other spectacular works of art. Kitty Kitty, Mahogany, Bill Churchill.
A mountain lion carved from wood keeps guard among other spectacular works of art. Kitty Kitty, Mahogany, Bill Churchill.
This skeleton pirate with a brass steampunk telescope is beyond awesome. Mutiny, Bloodwood Fir, Mike Anderson.
This skeleton pirate with a brass steampunk telescope is beyond awesome. Mutiny, Bloodwood Fir, Mike Anderson.
Two very cool handmade guitars with an Alice in Wonderland theme. I see clocks, the White Rabbit, a mad tea party, even a mustache!
Two very cool handmade guitars with an Alice in Wonderland theme. I see clocks, the White Rabbit, a mad tea party, even a mustache!
I love this example of imaginative wood design. Jack Rabbit, Alder, Ray Camien.
I love this example of imaginative wood design. Jack Rabbit, Alder, Ray Camien.
Members of the San Diego Scrollsaw Clubs demonstrate their craft to people visiting the Design in Wood Exhibition at the San Diego County Fair.
Members of the San Diego Scrollsaw Clubs demonstrate their craft to people visiting the Design in Wood Exhibition at the San Diego County Fair.
A wonderfully inventive piece of furniture. Birdcage Chair, White Oak, Patrick Atangan.
A wonderfully inventive piece of furniture. Birdcage Chair, White Oak, Patrick Atangan.
Looks like an animal skull in the desert Southwest. Early, Early American Chair, Poplar, Del Cover.
Looks like an animal skull in the desert Southwest. Early, Early American Chair, Poplar, Del Cover.
This might be the most intricate model tall ship I ever saw. Sovereign of the Seas, Boxwood, Mahogany, Ebony, Sycamore, William Norris.
This might be the most intricate model tall ship I ever saw. Sovereign of the Seas, Boxwood, Mahogany, Ebony, Sycamore, William Norris.
When a person becomes old, there's no need to become dull. Two Canes, Various, Tracy Talbott.
When a person becomes old, there’s no need to become dull. Two Canes, Various, Tracy Talbott.
A fun chest of drawers perfect for a kid's room. Buddy Bear, Walnut, Ralph Crowther.
A fun chest of drawers perfect for a kid’s room. Buddy Bear, Walnut, Ralph Crowther.
I wonder if Lewis Carroll imagined there would be steampunk powerboats one day. Looking For Alice, Various, Michael Rumsey.
I wonder if Lewis Carroll imagined there would be steampunk powerboats one day. Looking For Alice, Various, Michael Rumsey.
I love the cosmic layered wood sky with Saturn behind buildings. Night Surfing, Hardwood Plywood, Robert Stafford.
I love the cosmic layered wood sky with Saturn behind buildings. Night Surfing, Hardwood Plywood, Robert Stafford.
Gears aplenty. Steampunk Cat, Various, Stephen Knight.
Gears aplenty. Steampunk Cat, Various, Stephen Knight.
Now this work of wood art totally blew my mind. Absolutely beautiful. Stormy, Various, Chuck Collins.
Now this work of wood art totally blew my mind. Absolutely beautiful. Stormy, Various, Chuck Collins.
Yeah, some days this pensive chimp could easily outwit me. Thinking, Various, Daryoush Ababaf.
Yeah, some days this pensive chimp could easily outwit me. Thinking, Various, Daryoush Ababaf.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 fun photos for you to enjoy!