Art tiles painted by East Village neighbors.

Exotic mask with horns painted on a tile.
Exotic mask with horns painted on a tile.

The other day I walked down 11th Avenue through East Village. For a few moments I paused to again enjoy The Power of Collective Thought urban art tile mosaic. I took a few photos of individual tiles hand-painted by creative San Diego neighbors. Many caught my eye…

Robert and his mom hold hands beneath trees.
Robert and his mom hold hands beneath trees.
I large open eye gazes at people passing down the sidewalk.
I large open eye gazes at people passing down the sidewalk.
Another eye on a fiery, dazzling art tile.
Another eye on a fiery, dazzling art tile.
A sun painted on a tinted sky.
A sun painted on a tinted sky.
Smiling sun and blue moon fused into one.
Smiling sun and blue moon fused into one.
Cool cat dances under a crescent moon.
Cool cat dances under a crescent moon.
A dinosaur among dots.
A dinosaur among dots.
Ghostly figures rise like swirls of color.
Ghostly figures rise like swirls of color.
One cool painted tile in The Power of Collective Thought.
Cool painted tile in The Power of Collective Thought.
A blue peacock and two fruit trees.
A blue peacock and two fruit trees.
A fun dragonfly with a human-like face.
A fun dragonfly with human-like face.
Female head with curly hair and yellow flowers.
Female head with curly hair and yellow flowers.
A kimono and umbrella.
A kimono and umbrella.
Two people connect on a purple tile.
Two people connect on a purple tile.
A mysterious monster rises from the deep!
A mysterious monster rises from the deep!
A colorful abstract design.
A colorful abstract design.
A sailboat and shell in San Diego.
A sailboat and shell in San Diego.
A smiling face peers back at you!
A smiling face peers back at you!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at IDW comic art gallery!

A very cool comic art gallery created by IDW Publishing opened a little over a week ago in San Diego's Liberty Station.
A very cool comic art gallery created by IDW Publishing opened a little over a week ago in San Diego’s Liberty Station.

This morning I enjoyed an incredible treat. I checked out the new San Diego Comic Art Gallery, part of IDW Publishing’s new headquarters at NTC Liberty Station. IDW is the fourth largest comic book publisher in the United States, and their rapid expansion was the reason for their move. Their new home is in a renovated barracks at the historic Naval Training Center San Diego, located in Point Loma. NTC Liberty Station has become home to a number of other museums, galleries and cultural attractions, a few of which I’ve blogged about already.

The first exhibition at the San Diego Comic Art Gallery concerns the art of Kevin Eastman. He is a co-creator of the stupendously successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He and Peter Laird imagined the funny characters during a casual brainstorming session over thirty years ago. Their Mirage Studios was founded in 1983. IDW now owns publishing rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so original artwork provided by Kevin Eastman appropriately fills the comic gallery for the public to freely enjoy. Perhaps the most incredible part of the exhibition is a realistic representation of his studio, filled with creative materials and his own personal collectibles. There are shelves and shelves of toys, figurines and cool pop culture stuff!

Flash photography is not allowed in the museum-like gallery, because the light degrades the extremely valuable artwork. Consequently, many of my photos came out dim or blurred. Here are a few which turned out reasonably okay. They provide a flavor of what you’ll see should you visit!

The first exhibition of the San Diego Comic Art Gallery features the work of Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The first exhibition of the San Diego Comic Art Gallery features the work of Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Kevin Eastman began reading comics and drawing at a very young age. Major influences include Jack Kirby and science fiction. He created a character named Ninja Turtle just for fun.
Kevin Eastman began reading comics and drawing at a very young age. Major influences include Jack Kirby and science fiction. He created a character named Ninja Turtle just for fun.
One of several TMNT drawings in a front window at the new San Diego Comic Art Gallery.
One of several TMNT drawings in a front window at the new San Diego Comic Art Gallery.
Many examples of original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artwork are on display in the fun, family-friendly museum.
Many examples of original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artwork are on display in the fun, family-friendly museum.
Foot Warrior Chick and a Foot Ninja with cloak, two enemies of the world-famous comic book, movie and cartoon turtles.
Foot Warrior Chick and a Foot Ninja with cloak, two enemies of the world-famous comic book, movie and cartoon turtles.
Images in one display show some work of comic artist Kevin Eastman and the studio where he has worked.
Images in one display show some work of comic artist Kevin Eastman and the studio where he has worked.
The studio you see before you is what I work in today. Every item has been brought from my home studio, and personal collections spanning over thirty five years. Cowabunga Dude!
The studio you see before you is what I work in today. Every item has been brought from my home studio, and personal collections spanning over thirty five years. Cowabunga Dude!
Photo through glass of the Kevin Eastman studio, transported to San Diego for this special exhibition.
Photo through glass of the Kevin Eastman studio, transported to San Diego for this special exhibition.
Wood panel by studio window shows the four funny, dynamic turtles in action.
Wood panel by studio window shows the four funny, dynamic turtles in action.
Leonardo, wearing a blue mask, overlooks visitors to a room where kids and adults are encouraged to draw, experience and read about comic art.
Venus, wearing a blue mask, overlooks visitors to a room where kids and adults are encouraged to draw, experience and read about comic art.
Inked panel is one sample of the fun TMNT artwork on display at the Kevin Eastman exhibition.
Inked panel is one sample of the fun TMNT artwork on display at the Kevin Eastman exhibition.
From sketch to finished page, visitors to the gallery can view a comic book's creative process.
From sketch to finished page, visitors to the gallery can view a comic book’s creative process.
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello and Splinter, the Turtles’ sensei.
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello and Splinter, the Turtles’ sensei.
Shredder, the villainous leader of the Foot Clan in New York City.
Shredder, the villainous leader of the Foot Clan in New York City.
Colorful graphic depicts Raphael, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Colorful graphic depicts Raphael, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Life is Art. Paint your Dreams.
Life is Art. Paint your Dreams.

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Bart Club street art utility box in North Park.

Bart Simpson takes many strange forms on one sidewalk in North Park. He's elongated at times, or has multiple eyes.
Bart Simpson takes many strange forms on one sidewalk in North Park. He’s elongated at times, or has multiple eyes.

Here’s another branch of San Diego’s strange and whimsical Bart Club! This example of Bart Simpson street art decorates a single utility box, located in North Park at the intersection of 30th and Adams Avenue.

More zany, bizarre Bart Club street art can be found in downtown San Diego’s East village at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and G Street, and at SILO.

This side of the fun Bart Club utility box has the funny cartoon character's face in need of a shave!
This side of the Bart Club utility box has the funny television cartoon character’s face in need of a shave!
A two-headed Bart Simpson makes for some very cool and unique San Diego street art.
A two-headed Bart Simpson makes for some very cool and unique San Diego street art.
Here's some more Bart art. He's looking like a spotted, floppy-eared dog!
Here’s some more Bart art. He’s looking like a spotted, floppy-eared dog!

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Creative trashcan art adds fun to Hillcrest streets.

Dozens of trashcans on the streets of Hillcrest have been painted by local artists.
Dozens of trashcans on the streets of Hillcrest have been painted by local artists.

In the past couple years, most of the trashcans lining the streets of Hillcrest have been colorfully painted by local artists. During a recent walk, I passed quite a few of these street art trashcans and took some photos. Many of these fun creations were seen along University Avenue, between Fourth Avenue and Park Boulevard.

Every sort of colorful design can be found on these decorated trash cans.
Every sort of colorful design can be found on these decorated trash cans.
Lighted buildings rise next to a guitar player strumming under the stars.
Lighted buildings rise next to a guitar player strumming under the stars.
Many of the trashcans have a carnival theme, with masks, happy faces and crazy fun.
Many of the trashcans have a carnival theme, with masks, happy faces and crazy fun.
People walk past a cool spot to toss garbage, on University Avenue near Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest.
People walk past a cool spot to toss garbage, on University Avenue near Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest.
This looks like some sort of strange bug jester.
This looks like some sort of strange bug jester.
Wildly creative street art can be found throughout San Diego's Hillcrest community.
Wildly creative street art can be found throughout San Diego’s Hillcrest community.
A purple mask-like face that's difficult to miss!
A purple mask-like face that’s very difficult to miss!
An exotic blue face near a dirty orange construction cone.
An exotic blue face near a dirty orange construction cone.
Bicyclist in Hillcrest rides down the sidewalk past another great example of trashcan art.
Bicyclist in Hillcrest rides down the sidewalk past another great example of trashcan art.
I think I saw this green face on Star Trek.
I think I saw this green face on Star Trek.
An artistic trashcan waits by a bus stop near the Hillcrest landmark sign.
An artistic trashcan waits by a bus stop near the Hillcrest landmark sign.
Masks and confetti represent the party atmosphere in youthful Hillcrest.
Masks and confetti reflect the party atmosphere in youthful Hillcrest.
A big, joyful saxophone has been painted on this trashcan.
A big, joyful saxophone has been painted on this trashcan.
Here's an urban rooster.
Here’s an urban rooster.
Pineapple, fresh strawberries, watermelon, and some litter.
Pineapple, fresh strawberries, watermelon, and some litter.
These trashcans with images of food are located near Normal Street.
These trashcans with images of food are located near Normal Street.
A tree along busy University Avenue adds even more life to the city.
A tree along busy University Avenue adds life to the city.
Trashcan with Sphinx and pyramids is appropriate for the Egyptian Quarter, near the intersection of University and Park Boulevard.
Trashcan with Sphinx and pyramids is appropriate for the Egyptian Quarter, near the intersection of University and Park Boulevard.
Female face with Pharoah mask was painted by a local artist on Park Boulevard.
Female face with a Pharoah headdress was painted by a local artist on Park Boulevard.

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Fishes of the Ocean huge art canvas in Balboa Park!

Painted underwater scenes on the grass at the Balboa Park Centennial 2015 Philippine American Celebration.
Painted underwater scenes on the grass at the Balboa Park Centennial 2015 Philippine American Celebration.

Astonished eyes were staring down at the ground at the Balboa Park Centennial 2015 Philippine American Celebration. That’s because a very colorful, very long painted canvas had been unrolled on a patch of grass for festival visitors to admire.

What you see in these photos is a segment of the seven kilometer long “Fishes of the Ocean” painting. The amazing artwork, depicting marine life, was created by thousands of mostly young people in the Philippines from 2006 to 2009. The project was an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for longest painting on a single canvas!

I did some research on the internet, but I’m still not sure whether a record was officially set. If you can provide more info, leave a comment below!

Small segment of the amazing seven kilometer long Fishes of the Ocean painting.
Small segment of the amazing seven kilometer long Fishes of the Ocean painting.
Talented young artists, mostly unknown, contributed to this colorful environmental art.
Talented young artists, mostly unknown, contributed to this colorful environmental art.
Abstract fish forms swim in a school on a very large canvas.
Abstract fish forms swim in a school on a very large canvas.
All sorts of exotic tropical fish are swimming at the ocean's bottom.
All sorts of exotic tropical fish are swimming at the ocean’s bottom.
Sea life painted in many vivid colors.
Sea life painted in many vivid colors.
Fishes of the Ocean was created in the Philippines in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.
Fishes of the Ocean was created in the Philippines in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.
Visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego walk past an unexpected cool sight!
Visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego walk past an unexpected cool sight!
A land shark waits motionless in the grass!
A land shark waits motionless in the grass!
The long strip of fun art zigzagged across the grass near the International Cottages.
The long strip of fun art zigzagged across the grass near the International Cottages.
Creativity is one of the attractions at the annual Filipino cultural festival.
Creativity is one of the attractions at the annual Filipino cultural festival.
Just a wonderful product of human imagination.
Just a wonderful product of human imagination.
This appears to be a scene from a coral reef.
This appears to be a scene from a coral reef.
A scuba diver among bubbles and rays of colored light.
A scuba diver among bubbles and rays of colored light.
I see a turtle, whale, starfish and octopus.
I see a turtle, whale, starfish and octopus.
Cartoon ocean creatures prompt smiles in Balboa Park!
Cartoon ocean creatures prompt smiles in Balboa Park!

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Weathered yellow arches and a bold blue door.

Photo of shuttered windows taken through dark, weathered archway.
Photo of old, shuttered windows taken through dark, weathered archway.

During my recent ramble around NTC Liberty Station, I did some nosing around. I took a few interesting photos of a lonely portion of the old Naval Training Center San Diego that has yet to be renovated. A row of old, weathered barracks along the North Promenade are vacant and locked shut. But if you listen closely, and use a little imagination, it might be possible to hear the echoing footsteps of naval recruits from decades ago.

The old Naval Training Center in Point Loma is a fascinating place with a significant place in United States history. The idea of training sailors in San Diego was first explored in 1915 by Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt. When the complex was finally built in 1921, it was a modest affair, with several barracks, a mess hall, dispensary, and a few other buildings. It expanded over the years, and during World War II accommodated as many as 25,000 naval recruits. The center remained a vital resource of the United States Navy until 1997, when it was finally closed. Today around 50 original buildings along the beautiful promenade (which also includes the old base’s command center and parade ground) have been restored. Liberty Station has become a popular destination for shopping, recreation and a variety of cultural attractions.

In the following photos, you might note the architecture is mostly based on the Spanish Colonial Revival style, particularly the long arcades. The design of the Naval Training Center was directly influenced by buildings constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Looking along the length of long-abandoned Barracks 5 at NTC Liberty Station.
Looking along the length of long-abandoned Barracks 5 at NTC Liberty Station.
Some old base signs still can be seen at the historic Naval Training Center San Diego.
Some old military base signs still can be seen at the historic Naval Training Center San Diego.
Buildings 18 and 25 remain empty. Most structures in the complex are renovated and have commercial or nonprofit tenants.
Buildings 18 and 25 remain empty. Most structures in the complex are renovated and have commercial or nonprofit tenants.
Simple geometry of functional architecture influenced by the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Simple geometry of functional architecture influenced by the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Peeling yellow paint on buildings where new United States Navy recruits used to train.
Peeling yellow paint on buildings where new United States Navy recruits used to train.
There's something strangely picturesque in this image of lonely decay.
There’s something strangely picturesque in this image of lonely decay.
With a bit of imagination, one can picture newly recruited sailors moving and marching through the Naval Training Center years ago.
With a bit of imagination, one can picture newly recruited sailors moving and marching through the Naval Training Center years ago.
This boldly painted blue door really catches the eye!
This boldly painted blue door really catches the eye!
Walking around NTC Liberty Station is like taking a small voyage back into history.
Walking around NTC Liberty Station is like taking a small voyage back into history.

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Balloons, wings, stars and the wisdom of Seuss.

Panda with star on belly is lifted by colorful balloons, and floats away into the blue sky.
Panda with star on belly is lifted by colorful balloons, and floats away into the blue sky.

No matter how different people might appear, we all live among the same bright stars.

Perhaps that’s a bit of wisdom inferred from a book by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss.

That also seems to be the elevating message of this cool street art in Bankers Hill.

While words and art might eventually fade (as these photos prove), the stars buried within us do not.

These three transformer boxes in Bankers Hill are painted with unbounded imagination.
These three transformer boxes in Bankers Hill are painted with unbounded imagination.
Jazzy guy plays keyboard in a boat that soars above the surf and a star-bellied bird.
Jazzy guy plays keyboard in a boat that soars above the surf and a star-bellied bird.
Flowers in hair, on shoulders. A golden star joins the sun and sunflower in symbolic street art.
Flowers in hair, on shoulders. A golden star on a dress joins the sun and sunflower in symbolic street art.
Part of faded Dr. Seuss verse. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.
Part of slowly fading Dr. Seuss verse: “That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.”
Winged angel dog in heaven plays a drum.
Winged angel dog in heaven plays a drum.
Silly green-headed alien frolics on red planet.
Happy, unique green alien frolics on red planet.
Musician in cool sunglasses plays guitar where he stands in the cosmos.
Musician plays his guitar where he stands in the cosmos.
A zany peek over Mars, under stars.
A zany peek over Mars, under stars.

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