Photos of Mother’s Day in Balboa Park!

If there’s one place in San Diego that seems to be made for Mother’s Day, it’s Balboa Park.

I took these photographs today during my usual Sunday amble through the park.

Spring flowers were everywhere. The warm air seemed to shimmer with music.

Out enjoying their special day were many Moms with loved ones.

Smiles were plentiful.

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!

Permanent outdoor circus tent comes to City Heights!

San Diego’s beloved Fern Street Circus has erected a permanent outdoor performance tent on a corner in City Heights!

Pedestrians coming down the sidewalk will soon begin seeing practice sessions and circus classes at the corner of University Avenue and 41st Street!

I learned about this cool development today during a big cultural celebration in City Heights, which took place in the adjacent, newly installed “Characters” sculpture garden. I’ll be blogging more about that event shortly.

As I walked around with my camera, I took these photos of the big circus tent and some of the colorful artwork that decorates the Fern Street Circus vehicles, which happened to be parked nearby. The cool graphics are the work of local artist Sergio Hernandez, who is also known as Surge.

To learn more about the Fern Street Circus and their many positive community activities, including after-school circus programs, click here. Fern Street Circus has been designated Cirque du Soleil’s Social Action Partner in San Diego, and they are celebrating their 30th anniversary!

Over the years I’ve attended several Fern Street Circus shows around San Diego and they are indeed wonderful.

Adding smiles to the world makes it a better place. And soon people walking and driving through City Heights will have another reason to smile!

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!

Hidden art at the Market Creek Plaza amphitheater.

The Market Creek Plaza shopping center in southeast San Diego’s Lincoln Park community is a popular destination. But unless you’ve attended an event at the amphitheater behind the shops and restaurants, you’ve probably never seen this “hidden” public art.

Artwork that is truly extraordinary!

On the left wall of the Market Creek Plaza Amphitheater one might notice scattered colorful disks. This is just a small part of the Children’s Wall. Turn a corner and you’ll discover a copper-inlaid tree surrounded by circular ceramic leaves painted by more than 600 local children!

And perched before it, in the shade of trees lining Chollas Creek, by a patch of green grass, you’ll encounter a child with a dragonfly in his toes. The very fine bronze sculpture is titled Dragonfly Dreams, and it was created by local artist Jean Cornwell Wheat.

You can learn about this beautiful “hidden” artwork, and other public art that is located nearby, by clicking 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!

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Even more Young Art: Outside the Frame!

The San Diego Museum of Art’s unique project Young Art: Outside the Frame continues to expand!

Today I spotted even more SDG&E utility boxes that are being painted for the outdoor exhibition of youth art!

A total of 25 utility boxes are being painted around downtown by professional artists, taking their inspiration from the San Diego Museum of Art’s biennial exhibition of local student art, which this year is titled Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet. The super nice people at Mindful Murals are coordinating the various artists.

The past few weeks I’ve posted photographs of many other boxes. To see them, and to learn even more about Young Art: Outside the Frame, click here and here and here and here and here. To see how some of the finished utility boxes compare with the original youth art that is now being exhibited in the museum, click here!

The first of the new boxes I spotted today are located on Broadway just east of Park Boulevard. Three stand together in a group. It appears the middle box hasn’t been started yet. I don’t know who has painted the boxes on either end, but I’ll provide an update when I learn!

The fourth box I spotted today is on A Street between Tenth and 11th Avenue, directly in front of the Shell gas station. It’s by abstract artist T. Jay Santa Ana (@tjaysantaana).

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!

El Chavo and La Chilindrina appear in City Heights!

Look at the characters I spotted during a recent walk through City Heights. El Chavo and La Chilindrina!

The two were hanging out early in the morning near the corner of University Avenue and 37th Street!

Many murals have been painted along this corridor of City Heights–which has become a very colorful outdoor art gallery–but these two I hadn’t seen previously. It appears they were another fun project of Love City Heights and #theavenuemuralproject!

El Chavo pops out of a barrel on a door in City Heights!
La Chilindrina licks a lollipop in a City Heights mural!

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!

Chicano Federation and San Diego Loyal paint mural!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

Last Wednesday, international soccer superstar Landon Donovan and the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club participated in very cool project at the Delta Apartments in Shelltown. A colorful mural was painted in celebration of Cesar Chavez Day!

Volunteers came together to paint this community mural, which was designed by artist Yessenia Hulsey. The artwork depicts children having fun playing soccer. The mural adds life, beauty and inspiration to this affordable housing complex operated by the Chicano Federation.

I couldn’t be present that day, but photographs of the event were sent my way!

The Chicano Federation manages nine apartment complexes in San Diego, providing affordable housing for families, seniors and people with disabilities. They also offer child development and nutrition programs, and a Women’s Small Business Development Program. To learn more about their important work, click here!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

This is how the completed mural would appear!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

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!

Museum’s environmental youth art, reimagined on the street!

The San Diego Museum of Art’s new exhibition Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet has opened!

At the title suggests, the museum’s biennial Youth Art exhibition has an environmental theme this year. Students from schools all around San Diego County have contributed.

There’s a new twist this time, however!

Professional artists, coordinated by Mindful Murals, are reimagining 25 works of this outstanding youth art by painting SDG&E utility boxes from Balboa Park down Park Boulevard into downtown San Diego. Every utility box “recreates” a canvas painted by a young person!

I’ve already photographed many of the utility boxes. So I was excited to see all the great original youth art hanging on the San Diego Museum of Art’s walls!

Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, to compare some of the original art with the painted utility boxes? Of course it would!

The professional artists painting the boxes were encouraged to interpret the student canvases in their own unique way. You can see significant differences. (And painting an outdoor utility box that will be seen momentarily by passing motorists and pedestrians is very different than painting a canvas with a fine brush.)

To view photos of many more utility boxes, click here.

So, without further ado, here come the comparisons!

Plastic, Not Dinner, by Anjolie Ly, Westview High School. Large numbers of turtles are killed each year when they mistake plastic waste for jellyfish.
Artist Brise Birdsong. A more perfect ocean environment.
Strong Together, by Chloe Katz, Art Studio Light.
Artist Amanda Saint Claire, mentoring Katie Flores.
Turn Off the Light, by Anqi “Cici” Mei, Solana Pacific Elementary.
Artist Nhuy Reid.
2050, by Sheridan Liew, Sherry Art Studio/Canyon Crest Academy. A future of severe environmental pollution might look like this.
Artist Lucy Helle.
Wind Farm at Sundown on 8 East, by Arianna Larios, Homeschool.
I don’t know the artist at this moment! When I learn, I’ll provide an update. UPDATE! The artist is Sean Hnedak.
Oceana, by Alice Zhu, Westview High School. A girl’s serenity contrasted with her hair as an oil spill.
Artist Alyssa Stewart.

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!

Mural painted by youth celebrates San Diego!

Have you seen that incredible mural that celebrates San Diego, painted on a wall where National Avenue turns into Logan Avenue, at South 43rd Street? It has become a very cool landmark where two southeast San Diego neighborhoods, Mountain View and Southcrest, meet!

The mural was painted a couple years ago by local youth! The project was organized by Concrete and Canvas, whose stated mission is “to mobilize the neighborhood to collaborate in creating community transformation through art, murals, and mentors.” Check out their website here.

This very colorful mural pays tribute to many of the places that make San Diego a special city. Looking at my photos, I recognize (among other things) the Hotel del Coronado, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, the Padres, Mount Soledad, coastal cliffs and beaches (and sea lions), the Belmont Park roller coaster, downtown, the Unconditional Surrender “Kiss” statue, California golden poppies and bear, the Del Mar racetrack, the trolley, the Old Point Loma lighthouse, the Blue Angels, Balboa Park, the Coronado Bay Bridge, and the words: America’s Finest City.

I see two artist signatures: Irieanna Sesma (@SD_IRIE) and El Artista (@ILLUMIN8_SD).

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Young Art: Outside the Frame at Balboa Park!

The San Diego Museum of Art, in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric and Mindful Murals, will soon showcase an inspiring community project titled Young Art: Outside the Frame!

Twenty five SDG&E utility boxes near Balboa Park and along Park Boulevard into downtown are now being painted with artwork selected from the museum’s biennial exhibition of local student art.

The museum’s upcoming exhibition is titled Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet.

I was walking up Park Boulevard by Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove Playground this afternoon when I noticed one of the utility boxes is now being painted! San Diego artist Amanda Saint Claire was mentoring Katie Flores as the two created some beautiful new public artwork!

I was shown how the youth art that was selected for this particular box appears. You can get an idea with the following photo:

All the boxes are being painted by professional artists, under the coordination of Mindful Murals. (You might remember I saw some of Mindful Murals’ inspiring work at Edison Elementary School in City Heights a couple years ago and posted photos here.)

The 25 utility boxes should be finished by March 22. The San Diego Museum of Art’s exhibition Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet will be on view March 26 to May 9, 2021.

A map showing the location of each utility box will be provided!

Stay tuned for more!

UPDATE!

I walked past the box early the following morning and saw more progress has been made. I didn’t have a chance to go by later in the day, but I’ll visit it again in the next few days to see if it’s completed! Here are the photos…

As you can see, butterflies have appeared on top of the box!

SECOND UPDATE!

I went by the next morning, too, and this is what I saw! I’m not sure if the box is finished, but it looks great!

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!

New lights, new life for historic carousel!

Last October I noticed the Balboa Park Carousel was undergoing renovation during the park’s COVID-19 pandemic closure. You can read what I wrote and see those photos here.

Today I was walking past this historic 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel when I noticed one side of its enclosure was open and lights were on inside. So I approached the structure to sneak a peek.

And I saw the same Armored Horse that I saw before! But now it’s painted more completely–and beautifully!

I also spoke to William “Bill” Brown, who has been operating and tending this historic carousel since 1972. He was carefully painting an intricate part of the wooden horse.

It’s apparent Bill absolutely loves what he does. You can read it in his eyes and smile.

He showed me how an earlier “model” of a hand-carved Herschell-Spillman Armored Horse appeared. You can see with that particular model the sculptural detail and the color scheme was quite different.

Bill also showed me how additional lights have been installed on the carousel!

The 1910 carousel had originally been designed to feature more lights, but too many electrical lights constituted a fire hazard, so many had not been installed.

In the next photo you can see two lights on either side of the carved head, just above the oval mirrors. For a hundred years there were two holes and no lights. That has changed!

That’s because all of the carousel lights are now safer, more energy efficient LEDs. New fixtures not only brighten the upper part of the outer framework, but the interior part of the carousel as well!

When the Balboa Park Carousel’s renovation is finally complete, it will be brighter and more colorful than ever!

To learn more about this carousel, which was built in New York, and which had been installed at Tent City in Coronado before moving to Balboa Park in 1922, click 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!

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!