Liberty Station’s art-jammed Barracks 16!

You might think the inside of an old Navy barracks would be very dull. That’s certainly not the case when it comes to Barracks 16 at Liberty Station in Point Loma!

This repurposed barracks, originally part of the historic Naval Training Center San Diego, is now the home of wildly colorful artist studios and galleries!

I stepped into Barracks 16 last weekend, not really knowing what to expect. Look at some of the super fun art I found jammed inside!

By the way, if you’re interested, it appeared many of the works on the hallway walls are for sale…

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!

Poetry transcends perception at Liberty Station.

One seldom observes public art that features poetry. It’s even more rare when the poems are composed by people who are frequently ignored.

Transcending Perception is public art that debuted in Liberty Station back in October, 2020. I hadn’t seen this installation until last weekend, when I walked down a pathway on the east side of THE LOT movie theater.

The images of Transcending Perception, according to the nearby information sign, “were created in a series of workshops that combined theater, poetry, and photography with the intention of ‘returning the gaze’ on both current and historical representations of those who are often excluded or misrepresented in the dominant media…”

This artwork was created by Josemar Gonzalez/Diana Cervera/The AjA Project.

Should you visit Liberty Station in Point Loma, you might want to read these potent words and consider what they mean and why they were written.

We all lead unique lives, with our own experiences and assumptions. It’s enlightening to put yourself in another’s shoes.

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!

Myth, wonder and WOW in San Diego!

Wonder, surprise, and plenty of WOW was experienced by those visiting Liberty Station today. That’s because La Jolla Playhouse was in their final day of the 2022 Without Walls Festival!

Among many outdoor performances free to the public was the colorful, kinetic procession TransMythical.

Strange, never-before-seen spirits, nature gods, high priests and mythological creatures appeared from the arches at the edge of Liberty Station’s North Promenade.

As they emerged, they seemed to step tentatively into an unfamiliar world–our world.

The mysterious creatures looked about with wonder. They wandered, gathered, formed a procession.

Appearing beautifully strange–and strangely familiar–the giant puppets and masked characters interacted with the crowd in a very human way. But then–all elemental myths are composed by us human types–right?

During the performance a baby deer was born.

The mythical creatures and we humans all looked on with wonder. The fawn was greeted with happiness.

The tiny deer looked about our shared world with newly opened eyes.

These strangely wonderful myths were brought to life by the San Diego-based Animal Cracker Conspiracy!

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!

Ice skating, painting and sunshine at Liberty Station.

Yesterday, after riding the Mid-Coast Trolley extension on its opening day, I headed over to Liberty Station in Point Loma. I walked around in the sunshine.

I saw people ice skating at the Rady Children’s Ice Rink near a Christmas tree, and people learning how to paint, and people sitting by the grass or just walking along like myself.

It was another beautiful Sunday in San Diego.

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!

Hotel San Diego sign at Liberty Station.

If you’ve ever entered Liberty Station by turning down Dewey Road from Rosecrans Street, you might’ve glimpsed a very unusual sight. On the left, beyond some trees, an enormous sign is lying on the ground!

Last weekend I walked down a footpath behind Officer’s Quarters D of the old Naval Training Center San Diego for a better look. Quarters D until recently was the home of SCOUT. It is now home of Banyan Tree Educational Services.

The huge sign lying strangely on the ground once belonged to the Hotel San Diego. For many decades the neon sign was an iconic sight on Broadway in downtown San Diego. The large hotel was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new federal courthouse.

I myself stayed in the hotel a little over twenty years ago, when I moved to San Diego, and I remember seeing this landmark sign on the historic building.

The Hotel San Diego was built in 1914 by John D. Spreckels to accommodate visitors arriving for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. Learn more about it and see historical photos here.

Why is this large, rusting sign now lying on some grass at Liberty Station? It was preserved with the intention of restoring it for display in the garden behind Officer’s Quarters D. Read more about that 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!

Hidden public art on a Liberty Station rooftop!

Very few know of this “hidden” public artwork in Point Loma. It can be found on a building’s rooftop at Liberty Station.

In the next photograph you can see green stairs climbing the side of the New Americans Museum. During all of my visits to Liberty Station, I’ve never seen a single person going up them. I myself had thought these stairs to the building’s roof were out of bounds to the public.

Not so!

Head on up, push open the swinging gate, and take a look!

The unique rooftop artwork is composed of colorfully painted skateboards. Appropriately titled Rolling It Forward, the installation was created in 2018 by local artist Jeremy Nuttall of Poway, California. The sculpture, according to a sign represents a boat and rolling waves made entirely of community-painted skateboard decks. It builds on the concept of “pay it forward,” and it required the support and involvement of the community…

The skateboards that compose Rolling It Forward have become weathered by several seasons of rain and sunshine. They are cracked and faded. They are rolling forward through time.

But the creative, often crazy images endure!

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Scenes from La Jolla Playhouse’s POP-UP WOW!

This evening I watched a stirring performance. I and many others enjoyed the La Jolla Playhouse’s POP-UP WOW event at Liberty Station.

What did I see?

I saw soulful singing and dancing that stems from a shared history of suffering and endurance.

I saw joy that rises from the heart–a triumph of the spirit.

I saw how bubbles are like aspects of life–and like life itself. Mysterious, beautiful, soaring . . . short-lived. A beginning and an ending. Like memories.

I, too, wondered why we have an impulse to chase bubbles.

I saw a fable about a giant who wanted power over everything.

Until he saw the beauty of bubbles and learned wisdom.

I saw individuals repeatedly asking “Can I?”

They make one clumsy attempt after another, slowly gaining ability, gaining confidence, until they venture out into this sometimes scary world.

Meeting others, overcoming their fear, the question becomes “Can WE?”

What I observed was life.

You can watch it tomorrow if you’d like, too. Click here to learn about the Sunday performances. It’s free!

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!

A sculptural monolith made for shady sitting.

During my visit to Liberty Station in Point Loma yesterday I noted several works of public art that I hadn’t seen before.

The one I liked best is titled Tessellation #1. It’s a sculptural monolith with a bench for sitting in the shade of magnolia trees. This beautiful work of art, made of hand-cast tessellated concrete and wood timber, was created in September 2019 by local artist Jason X. Lane.

Tessellation #1 was installed in Liberty Station’s ARTS DISTRICT by the NTC Foundation in partnership with the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. You can find it on the west side of the Dick Laub NTC Command Center building. (It’s located across from some sheltered seats where people are encouraged to interact with each other–more intriguing art brought to Liberty Station by Mingei that I blogged about here.)

I particularly love how Tessellation #1 fits within its surroundings. It’s like some sort of ancient throne or monument, discovered unexpectedly among living trees. To me the entire effect is strangely pleasing.

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!

Holiday art exhibition at Liberty Station!

Today is Christmas. Needing to breathe fresh air, I headed to Point Loma a little before noontime and enjoyed a walk through quiet Liberty Station.

A number of festive displays have been installed around both the North and South Promenades for the holidays. The outdoor exhibition is titled Salute the Season. Most of the artwork you see in my photos was created by artists whose studios occupy what used to be barracks of the old Naval Training Center San Diego.

Some of this artwork seems very loosely tied to the holiday season. But no matter. I enjoyed seeing the color, creativity and expression.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays From Liberty Station, by artist Nina Montejano. Plywood, acrylic, metal, varnish spray. A Christmas tree with ornaments depicting Liberty Station’s history as a former Naval Training Center.
Thrown Into the Clay, by artist Leah Shaperow. Pottery and acrylic paint. A hike into the canyons and natural areas in San Diego.
Celebrate, by artist Leslie Pierce. Acrylic mixed media. Includes a stylized Twiggy in a Santa hat and a surfer on a sled!
Together We Are, by Outside the Lens. Photography. Students express their unique voice.
Christmoss Wonderland, by Hakkai Aquascape Design Gallery. Preserved moss, Tom Barr’s Manzanita Wood, dragon stone, black mountain Seiryu stone, spider woods, sand, elephant skin stone, pebbles.
Bird on a Branch, Mingei International Museum, Jeremiah Maloney. Plywood, epoxy, LED lights, maple. Inspired by the quote: “It is one of the virtues of beauty that it has this power: to make one forget one’s self and so put an end to strife.”
Armistice – A Reflection on Peace, by artist Colleen Veltz. Tactile acrylic painting on plywood, wreath of olive leaves, plywood box pedestal benches.
Ornamental, by artist Amber Schnitzius. Stoneware clay, glaze. The colors of the holiday season, made out of many positive messages.
A Feminist Feast, by Women’s Museum of California, Duane McGregor. Computer graphics, mixed media. On a large banquet menu are feminist takes on traditional holiday dishes.
Peace Wreath, by artist June Rubin. Outdoor latex paint and metallic gold latex paint on wood. A wish for peace.
The Wishing Box, by artist Steffi Dotson. Plywood and glass. A small token of joy and hope for all who encounter it. There is light at the end of the cycle of darkness.

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!

Healthy air on the water.

Today I enjoyed a long walk from downtown San Diego to Liberty Station then back again. It felt so good to be near the water that I even took a short detour to visit Harbor Island.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic, I noticed an unusual number of people out on San Diego Bay, on paddle boards, in kayaks, breathing in the healthy fresh air. There’s a new local regulation that recently went into effect during the COVID-19 crisis. People are now allowed to recreate on the water. And those engaged in safe social distancing aren’t required to wear face coverings. They can fully enjoy San Diego’s watery paradise.

As I arrived at Liberty Station, I noticed many stand up paddleboarders embarking on a journey from the boat channel. They headed under the Nimitz and Harbor Drive bridges and into the sunlit marina behind Harbor Island.

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!