Sculptures and beauty at La Jolla’s Art Park!

There’s a beautiful park open to the public in La Jolla that features expansive views of the Pacific Ocean, sunshine and outdoor sculptures! It’s called the Art Park!

The Art Park is a new feature of the renovated Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. It’s not to be confused with the museum’s Edwards Sculpture Garden, which is located just below the Art Park. (I recently blogged about the Edwards Sculpture Garden here.)

As you walk into the Art Park, north of MCASD’s main entrance on Prospect Street, one large COR-TEN steel sculpture is very hard to miss. It’s titled Hammering Man at 3,110,527.

The motorized depiction of a worker whose hammer rises and falls repeatedly is by artist Jonathan Borofsky. It was created in 1988.

Drawn into the park for the beautiful ocean view, your curious eyes will discover a sculpture in the greenery titled Juchiteca de pie (Standing Juchiteca). The bronze female was created in 1966 by Costa Rican-Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga. He has been called one of the 100 most notable Mexicans of the 20th century.

Another fine sculpture by Zúñiga can be found in a quiet corner of the UC San Diego campus. See it here.

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Progress of California mural in La Jolla.

When I stepped into the La Jolla Recreation Center’s small auditorium the other day, I barely noticed the game of ping pong that was in progress. That’s because my eyes were immediately drawn to a large, incredible mural on one wall above some vending machines.

The mural, painted in 1929 by renowned artist Hugo Ballin, is titled Progress of California.

I found this article. It explains how the mural was originally located at First National Bank, which opened in La Jolla in 1930 on the corner of Silverado Street and Girard Avenue. The mural was placed on the wall above the vault door. When the bank was demolished, a decision was made to move the mural to the La Jolla Recreation Center, where the public could freely see it.

Hugo Ballin is best know for his work in Los Angeles, including murals at Burbank City Hall, Griffith Observatory, LA County General Hospital, and the Los Angeles Times Building. During the era of silent movies, he was art director for Goldwyn Pictures.

As you can see, his Progress of California mural depicts people from different periods of history, including Native Americans, Spanish explorers and missionaries, 49ers during the Gold Rush, and pioneers.

Rising at the right end of the mural is Balboa Park’s iconic California Tower, which was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego.

I did my best to take good photos without interrupting the game of ping pong…

Restoration of the historic Progress of California mural was performed in 2000.

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Paper theaters open to audiences in La Jolla!

Dozens of theaters have recently opened in La Jolla. Audiences have been gathering to view some of the most unusual theatre productions ever conceived. And it’s free!

Yes, dozens of small paper theaters have been carefully folded open in the Wisteria Cottage Gallery of the La Jolla Historical Society. The exhibition is titled The Smallest Show on Earth: Paper Theaters Explored.

Those who are interested in art, theatre, Victorian Era London (where toy theaters originated) or collectibles will be intrigued by this important collection.

Popular in the 19th century, paper theater kits were sold at the concession stand of an opera house, playhouse, or vaudeville theater. The kits included tabletop theaters that one could easily assemble, plus paper doll players and scripts. Tiny dramas could be played out at home. Better yet, original productions could be imagined and performed!

These paper theaters might seem a quaint reminder of a simpler time, a time when there was no television, no radio and no internet. For home entertainment, people had to rely on their own intelligence, creativity and imagination.

This cool exhibition includes many paper theaters from that era long past and the posters that promoted them. You’ll also see new, contemporary creations that were inspired by this very unique do-it-yourself art form!

The Smallest Show on Earth: Paper Theaters Explored continues through January 22, 2023.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Oil painted beauty and a La Jolla walk.

Nature’s beauty between La Jolla Cove and Children’s Pool is stunning. Even on a gray Autumn day.

I walked along the ocean in La Jolla this morning and took photographs of rugged rocks, crashing waves, sea birds, and people quietly gazing toward the horizon.

Once in a great while I will experiment with my images and apply “artistic” filters using my graphics editor. I thought I’d try using the GIMP oilify filter for this batch of photographs.

Here they are…

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Kumeyaay remembered in La Jolla park.

May the resiliency of the Kumeyaay forever be remembered.

At the north end of Cuvier Park in La Jolla you will find the above plaque. It’s set beside the sidewalk near the corner of Coast Boulevard and Cuvier Street.

A nearby boulder contains a pair of oval depressions, used long ago by the native Kumeyaay to grind acorns, seeds, roots and other food. The Kumeyaay call these grinding mortars ‘ehmuu, which means bedrock hole.

The boulder with its ancient history was restored to this location last year. It had been removed for a construction project. You can read about the Re-Internment of the Mortar That was Removed by the City by clicking here.

The plaque dedication ceremony included a Kumeyaay blessing and the performance of Bird Singers.

I took these photos during a walk today.

The sun was shining. Ocean waves crashed upon rocks a short distance from the place where I paused.

May the resiliency of the Kumeyaay forever be remembered.

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

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You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Learn about nature at Torrey Pines trailhead!

At Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, several popular trails (including the Beach Trail and Razor Point Trail) can be accessed from a small parking lot south of the Visitor Center.

At the trailhead visitors will see a wooden structure, the words Torrey Pines Docent Society, and many smiling volunteers who are happy to provide information or explain interpretative displays before you begin your hike. The structure is called the Trailhead Information Kiosk, or TIK for short. Docents greeting visitors here are called TIK Talkers!

I remember how, many years ago, this trailhead “kiosk” was nothing more than a portable table and EZ Up canopy. Today’s handsome, sturdy structure is a testament to what volunteer hands can create!

The Trailhead Information Kiosk is a great place to learn about Torrey Pines’ native plants and animals. There are signs detailing what hikers might encounter, photographs of wildlife, and cool models of insects, snakes and other animals.

Before beginning a short hike the other day, I paused at the TIK to absorb a little knowledge.

Reptiles of Torrey Pines

Birds of Torrey Pines

Insects

Flowering Plants of Torrey Pines

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

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Torrey Pines Lodge prepares for its centennial!

The Torrey Pines Lodge has been welcoming visitors for nearly 100 years. In 2023 the historic adobe building, nestled in the beauty of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, will celebrate its centennial!

When I visited the Torrey Pines Lodge this weekend, several docents told me that plans are now being made for observing its centennial. I hope to attend public celebrations next year!

As I walked through the old building, which today serves as a Visitor Center, I viewed a few displays concerning its history.

I’ve taken photographs for you to enjoy. (If you’d like to see more of the Lodge’s interior, and several of it’s museum-like exhibits, check out an old blog post here.)

The San Diego Union newspaper article, dated January 1, 1923, describes the new Beautiful Adobe Lodge.

Tableware from the days when the Torrey Pines Lodge served as restaurant.

Dinner was one dollar! Motorists on their way through to San Diego or Los Angeles could also purchase Mexican and Indian rugs, blankets, pottery, baskets, etc. at the Lodge.

The Torrey Pines Lodge was dedicated on April 7, 1923.

In the summer of 1922 when construction began on the Torrey Pines Lodge, this area consisted of a treeless and windswept sandstone bluff.

Miss Ellen Browning Scripps, a noted San Diego Philanthropist and the sole contributor to the acquisition of what was called at the time, “The Torrey Pines City Reserve,” donated the funds to build the Torrey Pines Lodge…

…Architect Richard Requa was noted for his pueblo and Mayan style of architecture, and designed many buildings in San Diego’s Balboa Park…

The Lodge was built from sun baked adobe bricks, made on the construction site from local clays. Miss Scripps also brought Hopi Indians from the Southwest to aid in the making of authentic adobe bricks…

The Lodge and its restaurant opened to the public in February of 1923 and was an immediate success, perhaps due to its stunning scenery and location adjacent to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Highway…the main road between Los Angeles and San Diego until the mid-1930’s…

…the Lodge was a favorite day trip…as well as being a popular stop for tour buses of the era. The Model T Fords of the 1920’s found the highway’s steep grade a challenge…

Old photographs shows dining tables on the Lodge’s front terrace.

The beautiful Torrey Pines Lodge in 2022. Some restoration work is visible.

A wooden plaque inside the Lodge.

The Torrey Pines Lodge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Planting rare trees at Torrey Pines State Reserve.

An important reforestation effort is underway at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

In recent years the critically endangered Torrey pine population has been reduced significantly by bark beetles, particularly in the park’s North Grove. So over 450 Torrey pine seedlings and 581 native shrubs grown in the nursery at the San Diego Safari Park are being planted in different locations around the Reserve.

You can read more about the project, an effort of California State Parks, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and the U.S. Forest Service, by clicking here.

I walked the loop of the Guy Fleming Trail yesterday, where visitors can see many of the dead Torrey pines. Among dead trees, clustered close to the ground, stand strange blue tubes. These plastic protectors shield growing trees and other plants from animals and drying winds.

Native shrubs that have also been planted, mostly above the west-facing bluffs facing the Pacific Ocean, include sea dahlia, jojoba, lanceleaf liveforever, fingertips (San Diego dudleya), lemonade berry, coast lilac, and San Diego mountain mahogany.

As I walked along, observing all those blue tubes, I paused to read signs that explain how bark beetles kill the rare and beautiful Torrey pine. This tree’s natural protection against beetle infestation is sap. During drought trees produce less sap than usual and become especially vulnerable.

Without sufficient water, trees cannot produce enough oleoresin, an oozy sap-substance, and one type of chemical defense that can flush beetles from trees…

Bark Beetle Trapping and Observation in Progress.

The Five-Spined Engraver Beetle is a native insect that survives by burrowing in the Torrey pine tree. During normal conditions, the pines will excrete sap to prevent beetles from laying eggs within the tree. The sap simultaneously protects the damaged bark from fungus and disease…

…The stacked black funnels that are seen on a dead Torrey pine contain a specialized chemical pheromone to attract and trap beetles…

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!

Trolley Dances returns to San Diego!

The Trolley Dances have returned to San Diego!

The San Diego Dance Theater’s 24th Annual Trolley Dances are being held this year near several trolley Blue Line stations, in and around UC San Diego.

Five dances are included in this extremely unique event. Mobile groups gather to watch a dance, then ride the trolley to view performances at other locations!

Several of the dances this year take place next to the UCSD Central Campus Station. I was lucky enough to watch one group of dancers rehearsing before the first spectators would arrive.

The contemporary dance I previewed is called Estudiantes. The choreographer is Minerva Tapia. The dance is dedicated to all students, whose efforts and studies help make the world a better place. The dance moves were hopeful, exuberant, triumphant. My camera captured some smiles, too!

If you want to learn more about the Trolley Dances, here’s their website. The dances can be enjoyed this weekend only. If they’re sold out, make sure to mark this cool event on your calendar for next year!

The extension of the trolley’s Blue Line through UC San Diego, which the mobile audience is riding, opened late last year. I rode this new Mid-Coast Trolley extension on its Opening Day and posted photos here. (As you’ll see, the San Diego Dance Theater performed on that historic day, too!)

By the way, the Estudiantes dance in these photos takes place near the entrance to the new, high tech UCSD Design and Innovation Building, which I toured earlier this year soon after it opened. Check out those photos 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!

A walk in the Edwards Sculpture Garden in La Jolla.

There’s a sculpture garden open to the public in La Jolla that’s very easy to miss.

Large numbers of tourists, walking along the Pacific Ocean, south of Children’s Pool near Cuvier Park, pass this sculpture garden without even realizing it.

This park-like space isn’t readily noticed from Coast Boulevard. Curious eyes might observe an unusual sculpture made of many boats mounted on the building behind it. That building is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego!

Look for the gate in my upcoming photographs. Walk through it and up the curving path. You’re now in the museum’s Sue K. and Charles C. Edwards Sculpture Garden. See what your eyes will see.

My own eyes saw these particular sculptures months ago. Yes, these images have been lingering in my computer for much too long. While I’m self-isolating recovering from mild COVID-19, I’m finally getting around to posting them!

Whether these same pieces are on display right now, I don’t know. Over the years, I’ve noticed that some of the outdoor sculptures in MCASD’s collection are shifted from place to place.

Ready for our walk? Here we go!

Niagara, Alexis Smith, 1985. NOTHING IN THE WORLD COULD KEEP IT FROM GOING OVER THE EDGE… (Marilyn Monroe starred in the film Niagara.)

Monument to a Bear, Erika Rothenberg, 2002-2003. Glass-reinforced concrete over steel, bronze plaque.

Froebel’s Blocks, Richard Fleischner, 1983. Limestone.

Spanish Fan, Robert Irwin, 1995. Steel and glass.

If you’re curious about that mural in the distance, you can see more of it here.

Pleasure Point, Nancy Rubins, 2006. Nautical vessels, stainless steel, and stainless steel wire.

Crossroads, originally sited at the border crossing of US/MEXICO in Tijuana/San Diego, Marcos Ramirez ERRE, 2003. Aluminum, automotive paint, wood, and vinyl.

If you want to see quotes by artists written on the opposite side of these directional signs, click here!

Garden Installation (Displaced Person), Vito Acconci, 1987. Concrete, stones, dirt and grass.

Pasta, Mark di Suvero, 1975. COR-TEN steel.

Long Yellow Hose, Gabriel Orozco, 1996. Plastic watering hoses.

Maria Walks Amid the Thorns, Anselm Kiefer, 2008. Lead books and NATO razor wire.

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!