Fun street art along Black Mountain Road!

During my walk along a stretch of Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa yesterday I came upon a lot of fun street art!

I found artwork both old and new. I found colorful works of imagination painted by many hands.

Why have we always needed art?

To connect with this great big world, and attempt with eyes and hands to more fully understand it?

To be engaged in the world? To feel productive and alive? To feel pleasure and a sense of personal accomplishment?

To search ourselves? Expand ourselves? Challenge ourselves? Express our desires?

To discover true things about life?

We have always needed art.
We have always needed art.
Electrical box painted with art that seems prehistoric.
Electrical box painted with art that seems prehistoric.
Street art that resembles a Rubik's Cube!
Street art that resembles a Rubik’s Cube!
A very colorful peacock.
A very colorful peacock.
Flowers in a vase.
Flowers in a vase.
Peace on a fence.
Peace on a fence.
Stay fresh.
Stay fresh.
A happy angel.
A happy angel.
Football player runs with the ball.
Football player runs with the ball.
Three parrots.
Three parrots.
Three colorful reptilian creatures.
Three colorful reptilian creatures.
A space station of the future.
A space station of the future.
An enchanted castle, perhaps.
An enchanted castle, perhaps.
Rocket on the gantry, or perhaps a futuristic building.
Rocket on the gantry, or perhaps a futuristic building.
Space monkey eats a banana!
Space monkey eats a banana!

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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San Diego students create posters against drugs!

The students at Wangenheim Middle School in Mira Mesa have created posters that tell the truth about the destructive nature of drugs.

I was fortunate today to be walking nearby as members of the Associated Student Body were hanging these very creative anti-drug posters on the school fence facing Black Mountain Road!

And they were happy to pose for a group photo!

It’s Red Ribbon Week, when students in schools across San Diego and the United States engage in an annual drug and violence prevention awareness campaign.

Wangenheim Middle School students and members of the Associated Student Body are involved in all sorts of positive community activities, such as a Thanksgiving food drive. It’s encouraging to know the youth you see in the next photograph are some of our future leaders!

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 cool murals of Artist Alley in Oceanside!

Artist Alley in Oceanside, California is a very cool “hidden” place that I discovered on Saturday. I was walking near the Oceanside Civic Center when I noticed that colorful mural with the whale you see above. It drew me into the alley!

Artist Alley is located directly across Pier View Way from the Oceanside Public Library and the nearby Civic Center fountain. The alley stretches midway between Freeman Street and North Coast Highway. Step into it and not only will you find all sorts of amazing murals, but there are several artsy specialty shops you’ll want to explore.

I was told by the friendly guy at the Ikigai Artifacts body jewelry store (on the inside walls there are even more awesome murals!) that most of the artwork in Artist Alley was painted in the past year or two. Much of it resulted from a group effort, involving a variety of local artists.

I captioned photos of the larger murals where I ascertained who the artist is.

(My Saturday walk resulted in many more photos, so stay tuned! Upcoming blog posts include a visit to the very cool California Surf Museum!)

Ojos de Picasso (Eyes of Picasso), Mario Torero, 2016.
Ojos de Picasso (Eyes of Picasso), Mario Torero, 2016.
Art near entrance to Ikigai Artifacts by Amber (@_deadcorpse_).
Art near entrance to Ikigai Artifacts by Amber (@_deadcorpse_).
Mural in Oceanside's Artist Alley by Paul Knebels, 2019.
Mural in Oceanside’s Artist Alley by Paul Knebels, 2019.
Mural at entrance to Artist Alley in Oceanside by Marilyn Huerta, and Caymin Charles Ellspermann.
Mural at entrance to Artist Alley in Oceanside by Marilyn Huerta, and Caymin Charles Ellspermann.

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!

Huge owl spotted in University Heights!

A huge owl has been spotted perched on a building in University Heights. Drive down El Cajon Boulevard just west of Texas Street and there’s a good chance you’ll spot it, too. The mysterious owl seems to have merged with a flowering tree!

This cool mural was painted by San Diego muralist Gloria Muriel. Her unique style is unmistakable!

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!

A short story about a paintbrush and magic.

Anyone could participate in painting a small square in this large mural!

It has been months since I promoted my blog Short Stories by Richard, but I just now published a new short story titled Father’s Paintbrush, and I think some readers might enjoy it.

Like several other stories I’ve written, it has a surprising O. Henry-like ending!

If you’re interested, you can read this small work of fiction about life, learning and magic by clicking here.

I have more photographs taken yesterday at Presidio Park coming up, so stay tuned!

Where will I walk today? I haven’t decided!

New mural painted at Vin de Syrah.

Yesterday I stumbled upon something very cool!

I was heading through the Gaslamp Quarter up Fifth Avenue when I noticed a new mural was being painted. An artist was working in the outside stairwell entrance of Vin de Syrah, a “hidden” subterranean wine parlor. Over the years, I’ve noticed that new murals appear in this stairwell every so often, but until I performed a little research today I hadn’t known where these steps led.

In the past, fantastic murals that I’ve seen at the entrance to Vin de Syrah have often included elements from Alice in Wonderland.

When I noticed the muralist at work below, I looked down and said hello, but it didn’t appear that she heard me. Her style seems familiar, but I can’t identify the artist. I have a hunch I’ve photographed the work of this artist elsewhere in San Diego!

Today I walked past this new Vin de Syrah mural and took the following photograph:

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!

Artists celebrate Frida Kahlo in new exhibition.

Welcoming Frida to My Imagination, by artist Lin Wei, 2018. Oil painting.
Welcoming Frida to My Imagination, by artist Lin Wei, 2018. Oil painting.

A fantastic exhibition has opened in Escondido that celebrates the life and work of legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Today I stepped into the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido to experience The World of Frida. The juried exhibition recently arrived from the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California.

Over one hundred highly creative pieces by artists who’ve been inspired by Frida Kahlo cover the walls of the Museum. Imaginative portraits of Frida Kahlo are plentiful, as are reimaginings of her works. Many different artistic styles delight the eye!

Like Frida’s paintings, most of these pieces employ lavish color and symbolism. Themes often reflect Frida’s own complex and sometimes mysterious personality.

In the artwork you will find pain and poise, vitality and frustration, sensitivity and anger, feminism and vulnerability, remoteness and love. It seemed to me that Frida’s emotional and intellectual complexity–the seeming ambiguity–provided many of these artists with a blank canvas upon which they could paint their own related ideas, feelings and experiences.

My photos are a small glimpse of this remarkable exhibition!

As you can see, another gallery at the Museum contains even more artwork, including a very cool car with a traditional Mexican altar in its trunk and a large Frido Kahlo Day of the Dead Altar. A third gallery features Frida-related artwork by local school students!

Head up to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido before November 15, 2020 when The World of Frida comes to a close.

Visitor to the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido explores The World of Frida.
Visitor to the Museum at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido explores The World of Frida.

Defiant Deer, by artist Jamie Burnside, 2018. Acrylic on canvas.
Defiant Deer, by artist Jamie Burnside, 2018. Acrylic on canvas.

Seed of Life, by artist Crystal Moody, 2017. Acrylic.
Seed of Life, by artist Crystal Moody, 2017. Acrylic.

Frida Kahlo Shrine Box Day of the Dead, by artist Monica Balmelli, 2016. Mixed media.
Frida Kahlo Shrine Box Day of the Dead, by artist Monica Balmelli, 2016. Mixed media.

Young Frida, by artist Kim Bagwill, 2018. Oil on panel.
Young Frida, by artist Kim Bagwill, 2018. Oil on panel.

Frida with Flower Crown, by artist Betsy Gorman, 2018. Mixed media collages.
Frida with Flower Crown, by artist Betsy Gorman, 2018. Mixed media collages.

Frida's Chair, by artist Marian De La Torre-Easthope, 2018. Oil on canvas.
Frida’s Chair, by artist Marian De La Torre-Easthope, 2018. Oil on canvas.

Frida #51, by Stikki Peaches, 2017. Mixed media on paper.
Frida #51, by Stikki Peaches, 2017. Mixed media on paper.

1954 Chevy Belair. Trunk altar honors family from Uruapan, Michoacan, and Mexico City, Mexico. Manuel Navarro Sr.
1954 Chevy Belair. Trunk altar honors family from Uruapan, Michoacan, and Mexico City, Mexico. Manuel Navarro Sr.

Frida Kahlo Día de los Muertos Altar by artist Daniel F. Martinez.
Frida Kahlo Día de los Muertos Altar by artist Daniel F. Martinez.

Celebrating Frida in the Afterlife, by Hayle V., San Pasqual Union School District Grade 7, 2020. Acrylic paint, markers.
Celebrating Frida in the Afterlife, by Hayle V., San Pasqual Union School District Grade 7, 2020. Acrylic paint, markers.

Corazon de Frida, by artist Juan Solis, 2018. Acrylic on canvas.
Corazon de Frida, by artist Juan Solis, 2018. Acrylic 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!

Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro.

One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.
One of two Trail to Literacy benches in San Ysidro Park.

If you notice two colorful benches in San Ysidro Park, go take a closer look. On both you’ll discover a Trail to Literacy.

The benches are decorated with tiles painted by children. You’ll see small works of art that celebrate books and stories that young people love.

This wonderful community project promotes reading. After looking at the tiles, I think I want to visit a library and check out some children’s books. What better way to activate imagination? And relearn wisdom.

The benches stand not far from renowned artist Victor Ochoa’s beautiful Tree of Life, which I photographed while walking around the park last weekend. See those photos here.

Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.
Trail to Literacy painted tile bench near a water fountain.

The Paperboy.
The Paperboy.

Dogzilla.
Dogzilla.

Froggy Gets Dressed.
Froggy Gets Dressed.

The Cat in the Hat.
The Cat in the Hat.

The Gingerbread Man.
The Gingerbread Man.

Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.
Flipper and Where the Wild Things Are.

Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.
Quetzalcoatl on the side of one bench.

A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.
A second Trail to Literacy bench at San Ysidro Park.

Mulan.
Mulan.

Corduroy.
Corduroy.

La Hermana de Froggy.
La Hermana de Froggy.

Mouse Mess.
Mouse Mess.

Viva Piñata!
Viva Piñata!

Just Imagine with Barney.
Just Imagine with Barney.

El Arbol Generoso.
El Arbol Generoso.

More colorful, imaginative tiles painted by youth.
More colorful tiles painted by creative youth.

Reading activates imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.
Reading sparks imagination, teaches knowledge and wisdom, and makes life much more rewarding.

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!

Murals behind San Ysidro’s The Front gallery!

An astonishing abstract face painted on the rear of The FRONT art gallery in San Ysidro!
An astonishing abstract face painted on the rear of The FRONT art gallery in San Ysidro!

As you saw in my last blog post, yesterday I enjoyed a tour of the “Walls – Cross Border Urban Art/Muros – Arte Urbano Interfronterizo” outdoor mural exhibition in San Ysidro.

After Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT Arte Cultura, provided a walking tour of the exhibition’s public murals, we took a short walk through The FRONT gallery building itself. When we stepped out back, where there’s a small parking area, my eyes opened wide. More amazing murals!

The dazzling abstract face, which appears to me like a joining of the technological and the spiritual, was painted in 2013 by two popular, well-known artists.

The left half was created by Gibran Isaias Lopez, commonly known as Isaias Crow. His work appears in several places on Cool San Diego Sights. A few weeks ago I posted photos of his incredible mural at Pacific Beach Elementary School here!

The right half of the mural is the creation of Jari “Werc” Alvarez, who was born in Cd. Juárez, Mexico and raised in El Paso, Texas. He spends a lot of time working in New York City. You might have seen a past mural he painted at San Diego International Airport. I took a photo of it four years ago here.

A second, very wonderful mural beside The FRONT’s rear parking area depicts colorful, smiling sea creatures. I learned it was painted years ago by lots of happy kids.

The FRONT Arte Cultura is a very cool gallery operated by the San Ysidro community organization Casa Familiar. The gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions, educational programs and community events.

Check out The FRONT’s website here. If you’re a lover of art, music and culture, you should listen to their series of podcasts!

The FRONT Arte Cultura is an art gallery in San Ysidro operated by the community organization Casa Familiar.
The FRONT Arte Cultura is an art gallery in San Ysidro operated by the community organization Casa Familiar.

This extraordinary mural, created in 2013, can be found behind The FRONT art gallery, beside a parking area. The left side was painted by Isaias Crow, the right side by Werc Alvarez.
This extraordinary mural, created in 2013, can be found behind The FRONT art gallery, beside a parking area. The left side was spray painted by Isaias Crow, the right side by Werc Alvarez.

Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT, smiles for a photo by this very cool mural.
Francisco Morales, Gallery Director of The FRONT, smiles for a photo by this very cool mural.

Another fun mural beside the parking area was painted years ago by happy kids. I've never seen so many smiling sea creatures!
Another fun mural beside the parking area was painted years ago by happy kids. I’ve never seen so many smiling sea creatures!

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!

An amazing center for creativity in Chula Vista!

Interior photo of Chula Vista's Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.
Interior photo of Chula Vista’s very unique Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.

Check out the amazing interior of Art on Third in the heart of Chula Vista!

I was walking down Third Avenue on Saturday, taking photos of interesting things, when I peered through the windows of what appeared to be a colorful art gallery. And out comes Rich Walker, the super friendly artist who runs the place!

We talked. He showed me inside his fantastic Art on Third. I learned that it’s far more than a gallery. It’s a creative space and cultural event venue, where there are concerts, poetry readings, and a whole variety of community gatherings. It’s a place where eyes are dazzled no matter which way they turn! I felt as through I had stepped into a completely different world. A world of uninhibited freedom, joy and creativity!

Take a look at these photographs!

Rich explained he’d like downtown Chula Vista to become even more dynamic–to become a magnet for artists and those who love the arts. To become a popular, widely-known destination.

I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen. There are cool eateries and intriguing little shops up and down Third Avenue’s historic business district. Chula Vista has plenty of artists. And there’s the ideal location. Chula Vista sits smack dab in the middle of two major international cities: San Diego and Tijuana.

And, of course, there’s the very unique Art on Third–a truly amazing place with a smiling proprietor who believes in the following: Enjoy Life. Be Creative. Laugh Often.

At Chula Vista's cool Art On Third, love should be the loudest voice!
At Chula Vista’s cool Art On Third, love should be the loudest voice!

Photo of creative space Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.
Photo of creative space Art on Third, courtesy Rich Walker.

Crowd comes together for a concert at Art on Third, photo courtesy of Rich Walker.
Crowd comes together for a concert at Art on Third, photo courtesy of Rich Walker.

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!