Stonehenge, stacked blocks, and a La Jolla Project.

Looks somehow familiar?

No, this work of art in UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection isn’t titled Stonehenge. But that’s what many students call it.

Environmental artist Richard Fleischner created this monumental public art, La Jolla Project, in 1984. His artwork explores how universal architectural forms might be integrated into a natural setting. For his La Jolla Project, he used stones quarried in New England and cut near Providence, Rhode Island, on the other side of the continent. A whole lot of human calculation and labor was required to create something that appears extremely simple.

To me, it looks like an enormous giant sat down on a green patch of grass and stacked some toy blocks. The blocks are scattered and assembled in several ways, often forming columns, benches and arches. These simple blocks remind the viewer that all architecture–all existing physical matter in fact–can be broken down into the most rudimentary shapes we learn in basic geometry.

As you walk around La Jolla Project, you feel you’ve entered a strange otherworld that is somehow different from ordinary space and time. It’s a place where abstract forms have materialized in a familiar, park-like landscape. Did they descend from the stars? From the hand of a gigantic, playful child? From the realm of pure ideas? (As I think about it, these vertical forms almost appear like words spelled out with an alien alphabet, including a punctuation mark here or there.)

Should you ever visit UC San Diego, wander through this mazy construction and perhaps arrive at your own conclusion.

But first you must find La Jolla Project on the Revelle College lawn south of Galbraith Hall, beside Scholars Drive South, north of the La Jolla Playhouse.

Bring a compass.

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The mess of creativity at a beautiful museum.

The creative process is messy. Heaps of old ideas and the peculiar shapes of new ideas are scattered on the ground around a busy creator.

With saw and hammer the pieces are cut and pounded until segments fit together. It’s sort of like a construction site.

In an essay you write for school, in a new work of fiction, a speech, invention, sculpture or painting . . . there are steel beams and two-by-fours, boards of drywall, sharp nails.

I walked past the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s historic La Jolla location yesterday. The already beautiful building is in the process of being altered, enlarged.

Along the construction site fence are images of paintings in the museum’s collection. Beyond the fence, you can see the messy but semi-ordered heaps. It’s a moment in the creative process. Once all the elements of that mess are integrated with creative energy, the finished building will be spectacular.

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!

More art discovered while walking about La Jolla!

A beautiful, serene face painted on a utility box on Prospect Street in La Jolla.
A beautiful, serene face painted on a utility box on Prospect Street in La Jolla.

Here are additional art discoveries I made today while walking about the Village of La Jolla–the central, downtown part of La Jolla. I’ve enjoyed other meandering “street art walks” in the past, and you can see those photos here and here.

During this most recent walk, I photographed a few more of the ever-changing Murals of La Jolla, plus some fun trashcan art I hadn’t noticed in years past. Plus a few other cool finds!

Enjoy!

Two of five colorful sculptures, on a patio in front of 1261 Prospect Street.
Two of five colorful abstract sculptures, on the patio in front of 1261 Prospect Street.
A third fun sculpture!
A third fun sculpture!
A flowery head in the window at Robina Apparel and Accessories.
A flowery head in the window at Robina Apparel and Accessories.
A cute dog peers from trashcan street art in La Jolla.
A cute dog peers from a trashcan in La Jolla.
Another trashcan down the sidewalk has been painted with flowers.
Another trashcan down the sidewalk has been painted with flowers.
Once Upon a Time in the West, 2017, by artist Kota Ezawa. Louis Kahn, master architect who designed La Jolla's Salk Institute, is thinking.
Once Upon a Time in the West, 2017, by artist Kota Ezawa. Louis Kahn, master architect who designed La Jolla’s Salk Institute, appears to be deep in thought.
An ornate bench in the courtyard outside the rotunda of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. A small plaque on the bench reads In Memory of Genevieve Ferguson from Friends.
An ornate bench in the courtyard outside the rotunda of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library. A small plaque on the bench reads In Memory of Genevieve Ferguson from Friends.
One scene on the metal bench seems to depict a villager working in a field.
One scene on the metal bench seems to depict a villager working in a field.
More trashcan street art. This painting is wildly colorful.
More trashcan street art. This abstract painting is wildly colorful.
I walked down the outdoor corridor of the Arcade Building and found two pieces of beautiful metalwork. This one is alive with turtles and a fish.
I walked down the outdoor corridor of the Arcade Building and found two pieces of beautiful metalwork. This one is alive with turtles and a fish.
One of three similarly painted electrical boxes in a row. An artist's folksy rendition of La Jolla shops.
One of three similarly painted electrical boxes which stand in a row on a sidewalk. An artist’s folksy rendition of Village of La Jolla shops.
Stylish, jazzy posters on a building advertise the Manhattan of La Jolla restaurant.
Stylish, jazzy posters on a building invite guests to enter the Manhattan of La Jolla restaurant.
Is All That it Proves, 2015, by artist Marcos Ramirez ERRE. Thomas Paine's famous quote as an eye exam chart, asserting opinion is simply opinion.
Is All That it Proves, 2015, by artist Marcos Ramirez ERRE. Thomas Paine’s famous quote as an eye exam chart, reminding us opinion is simply opinion.
Small mural on the outdoor patio of Bernini's Bistro shows pizzas being prepared.
Small mural on the outdoor patio of Bernini’s Bistro shows pizzas being prepared.
Close-up photo of one of the Murals of La Jolla. Bill 2, 2019, by artist Alex Katz. A celebration of modern dance choreographer Bill T. Jones.
Close-up photo of one of the Murals of La Jolla. Bill 2, 2019, by artist Alex Katz. The subtle facial expressions of modern dance choreographer Bill T. Jones.

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!

Quarantine dreams and COVID-19 war posters.

Quarantine Dreams mural in La Jolla. When quarantined due to coronavirus, you can't travel, dine, date, surf, play sports, or even play outside with the dog. Hang in there!
Quarantine Dreams mural in La Jolla. When quarantined due to the novel coronavirus, you can’t travel, dine, date, surf, play sports, or even play catch outside with the dog. Hang in there!

The coronavirus pandemic is no laughing matter. But I cracked a smile when I discovered a gently humorous mural and amusing “war posters” pertaining to COVID-19 in La Jolla.

I spied the mural, titled Quarantine Dreams, at the entrance to an alley off Pearl Street. The artwork speaks for itself!

The posters, some of which were done in the distinctive World War II style, are on display in the windows of Copy Cove on Pearl Street. The posters offer helpful advice for fighting the invisible enemy, COVID-19. (I believe you can purchase the posters at this shop.)

Enjoy!

Don't hoard rolls! Eat less chili. Flatten the curve! Support our healthcare heroes. Don't be a burden. Don't do stupid sh*t.
Don’t hoard rolls! Eat less chili. Flatten the curve! Support our healthcare heroes. Don’t be a burden. Don’t do stupid sh*t.
Buy takeout. Touch your face, lose the race. The enemy win when you touch your face.
Buy takeout. Touch your face, lose the race. The enemy win when you touch your face.
A dirty phone is a danger zone! Damnit! Wash your hands. Victory at home starts with a good scrub!
A dirty phone is a danger zone! Damnit! Wash your hands. Victory at home starts with a good scrub!
Good fellows use elbows. Keep the nation fighting fit! Stay back, Jack! Use air fist bumps.
Good fellows use elbows. Keep the nation fighting fit! Stay back, Jack! Use air fist bumps.

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!

Newly collected artwork at the Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla is now showing their recently acquired artwork. A variety of paintings, sketches, books, collages, sculptures and other works are on display in several galleries of the elegant library. The pieces have all have been added to their permanent collection since 2016.

Yesterday, during a visit to the Athenaeum, I stepped into the light-filled Joseph Clayes III Gallery, Rotunda Gallery and North Reading Room to see these new acquisitions. Many styles are represented–something for every taste.

I tried to capture some of the artwork with my camera, but to experience it best you should see it with your own eyes.

The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library is open free to the public. This current exhibition of Recent Acquisitions comes to an end December 28, 2019.

Reading, Charles Glaubitz, 2017. Acrylic on paper.
Reading, Charles Glaubitz, 2017. Acrylic on paper.
Study for "Study of Rods, Holes, and Balls", Joshua Miller, 2016.
Study for “Study of Rods, Holes, and Balls”, Joshua Miller, 2016.
#9, Sue Whitman, 2018. Paint on canvas.
#9, Sue Whitman, 2018. Paint on canvas.
Restaurant Musicians, Hunza Valley Pakistan, Eloise Duff, 2016. Watercolor and ink on paper.
Restaurant Musicians, Hunza Valley Pakistan, Eloise Duff, 2016. Watercolor and ink on paper.
Platycerium Biturcatum/Cuerno de Alce, Mariana Magdaleno, 2018. Watercolor on watercolor paper.
Platycerium Biturcatum/Cuerno de Alce, Mariana Magdaleno, 2018. Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Patricia, James E. Lasry, 1999. Lithograph on Arches Cover, Bistre ink.
Patricia, James E. Lasry, 1999. Lithograph on Arches Cover, Bistre ink.
Maple, Marshall Weber, 2017. Signed by artist, one of a kind.
Maple, Marshall Weber, 2017. Signed by artist, one of a kind.
El juego del reflejo = The Game of the Reflection, Derli Romero, 2017. Signed by artist.
El juego del reflejo = The Game of the Reflection, Derli Romero, 2017. Signed by artist.
Waiting (London), Adrienne Joy, 2016. Oil on panel.
Waiting (London), Adrienne Joy, 2016. Oil on panel.

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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A walk in fog along Torrey Pines State Beach.

This morning I arrived at Torrey Pines State Beach very early. About 7:30. A deep, thick fog blanketed the shore and nearby bluffs.

I began my walk around the North Torrey Pines Road bridge that spans the entrance to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. I headed south toward the towering sandstone cliffs.

When I moved from the noisy roadway down to the sand, it became very quiet. Just the sound of distant surf. A couple of stand up paddle boarders were visible through the fog. People were fishing from the sand. People were walking along the beach. Moving through the dreamlike fog. Where minds and hearts, made quiet, can focus.

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Architecture inspired by nature . . . and UFOs!

An exhibition of truly amazing architectural designs recently opened at the SDSU Downtown Gallery.

Radiant Architecture: The Visionary Work of Eugene Ray showcases the futuristic architectural concepts of an emeritus professor from San Diego State University, who taught Environmental Design from 1969 to 1996.

Those who have driven through La Jolla might have seen the fantastic house and studio he built at 1699 Nautilus Street. It’s commonly referred to as the Silver Ship. It was erected in 1978 with the help of Environmental Design students from SDSU.

It’s no surprise that many of Eugene Ray’s designs appear a bit like spaceships. His inspiration comes not only from simple, efficient, resilient forms found in nature, but from his life-changing sighting of a UFO in 1947 when he was a boy.

According to one sign I read, many of the innovative designs synthesized “Ray’s concepts of the synergy of color, light, and sound to create holistic, healing and energizing environments.” He also sought to create modular structures, which would be affordable and easily assembled.

I was told that his organic, biomorphic designs are so futuristic, unusual and brilliant that world-famous science fiction author Ray Bradbury at one time had plans to make a movie about Eugene Ray’s work.

Here are a few photos of the original drawings, prototypes, renderings and highly creative artwork currently on display. This very cool exhibition at the SDSU Downtown Gallery runs through October 6, 2019.

James A. Perry Residence - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968.
James A. Perry Residence – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1968.
Aerodyne Sports House - 1984.
Aerodyne Sports House – 1984.
Nautilus Street Residence aka The Silver Ship - La Jolla, California, 1978.
Nautilus Street Residence aka The Silver Ship – La Jolla, California, 1978.
Blueprint of The Silver Ship, designed by Eugene Ray, located at 1699 Nautilus Street in La Jolla, California.
Blueprint of The Silver Ship, designed by Eugene Ray, located in La Jolla, California.
Pavilion for Holy Cross High School - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1967.
Pavilion for Holy Cross High School – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1967.
Untitled, Eugene Ray, 1969 (restored 2019). Acrylic and aluminum on canvas.
Untitled, Eugene Ray, 1969 (restored 2019). Acrylic and aluminum 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!