The faded Serra Museum mural at Hazard Center.

If these photos appear strangely dark, that’s because I’ve increased contrast to bring out the details of a badly faded mural.

This large old mural was painted on the south side of the Hazard Center shopping center in 1996 by an artist whose signature is Duff. The artwork faces the San Diego River and is exposed all day long to the sun.

That building you see in the mural is the Junípero Serra Museum. It stands across the river several miles to the west. The museum’s tower (which is often mistakenly thought to be the San Diego Presidio) can be seen rising above trees from various spots in Mission Valley.

Do any of you know who the artist Duff is? I can find nothing by searching the internet. I documented another Duff mural in Mission Valley, which was painted beneath Friars Road, here.

Please leave a comment if you know anything more!

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!

Dragon and lion dances at Fashion Valley!

This evening, shoppers at the Fashion Valley mall enjoyed dragon and lion dances! It’s another fun celebration of the Lunar New Year in San Diego!

I swung by after work to experience the festive scene.

Members of the Southern Sea Dragon and Lion Dance Association performed near the center of the mall, then marched up and down past shops on the ground level, attracting a crowd of onlookers.

Drums and cymbals followed the energetic procession. Kids were delighted. Dollar bills were being placed into lion mouths to bring good luck in the new year. One small lion was aglow with colored lights!

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!

Giant skeletons terrorize Mission Valley!

Giant, menacing skeletons have invaded the Target parking lot at Westfield Mission Valley!

This afternoon I noticed a pair of monstrous skeletons have leapt up onto the roof of a large truck in order to terrify motorists passing the shopping mall.

Careful they couldn’t see me, I circled the skeletons and was bewildered to observe a legion of other ghouls, ghosts and ghastly creatures lurking nearby. Some were even peering through windows!

Oh, wait. They’re not real?

Just scary props for this year’s outdoor Halloween attraction, The Haunted Hotel Disturbance?

The popular San Diego “haunted house” opens its doors to courageous souls this Friday, October 1st!

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!

Colorful flower mural at Mission Valley mall.

If you’ve driven down Camino de la Reina past Westfield Mission Valley, you might have glimpsed this colorful mural painted outside the mall.

The mural resembles a blue and yellow inkblot made of flowers–you know, one of those Rorschach psychological tests where a symmetric shape, depending on your perception, might seem like either a face or a vase.

Well, this huge mural appears to me like an explosion of flowers!

A couple days ago I went to the Westfield Mission Valley shopping center to watch a movie, and to look for a series of murals that I had once read about. But this was the only one I happened to stumble upon.

It’s pretty cool, as you can see!

The artwork was created by Nick Napoletano, a widely known artist from Charlotte, North Carolina.

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!

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!

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!

Community sculpture at entrance to Escondido.

If you’ve ever entered or departed downtown Escondido via West Valley Parkway, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a large, quite interesting sculpture a short distance east of Interstate 15. The sculpture stands at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Tulip Street, right next to the Gateway Shopping Center.

The cast bronze sculpture is titled Community. It was created by local artist Jeff Lindeneau in 1990.

The sun’s light forms dynamic human shapes that are “cut out” of the two triangular sections of Community.

According to a City of Escondido walking tour brochure: “This bronze, copper and locally mined granite sculpture celebrates people living and building together to achieve a common goal. The dramatic sculpture’s shape is reminiscent of the mountains surrounding Escondido with a central passageway depicting the valley.”

I like how you can see trees, hillsides, signs, buildings, light posts and electrical wires inside the human shapes. They, too, are part of Community.

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!

La Jolla artwork in Solana Beach!

Check out some great tile artwork depicting many of La Jolla’s landmarks.

I spied this today while walking past a shopping center in Solana Beach!

The painted tiles, created by artist Alma Ortega in 2016, can be found on the YogaSix building in the northeast corner of the Beachwalk Shopping Center.

Look at all the La Jolla landmarks. They include UCSD’s Geisel Library, the Birch Aquarium, Scripps Pier, the sea caves, the Coast Walk, and La Jolla Cove. Above it all I see the Mount Soledad Cross. Numerous popular eateries along the ocean are also depicted!

I’m not sure why this La Jolla art is in Solana Beach, but I love it!

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!

Horton Plaza stripped and gutted!

Horton Plaza, the innovative outdoor shopping mall that was once a downtown San Diego attraction, has been stripped and gutted! Its redevelopment continues!

Six months ago I noted that demolition of parts of the old shopping mall had begun. I posted those photos and some information concerning the project here.

Well, take a look now!

UPDATE!

Several months later I took these photos. The southwest corner of Horton Plaza has risen and now appears quite different!

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!

Bronze wildlife sculptures at Viejas outlet mall.

Many realistic bronze sculptures representing regional wildlife can be found all around the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, California. This unique shopping mall, filled with beautiful artwork inspired by Native American Kumeyaay life and culture, is operated by the Viejas Group of Capitan Grande Band of Mission Indians of the Viejas Reservation.

The wildlife sculptures are found throughout the mall, among trees, on pedestrian walkways, even lurking atop artificial rocks and waterfalls. Families turning corners might encounter a bear, mule deer, mountain lions, a rattlesnake, coyote, river otter, Canada geese, and even desert bighorn sheep. Adult animals are often accompanied by their young. The bronze sculptures depict the animals interacting with each other naturally in their small realistic settings.

The wildlife sculptures were created by award-winning El Cajon artist Robert G. Berry, who began as a taxidermist before turning animal sculptor. His work can also be enjoyed at the San Diego Zoo, Cypress Gardens in Tampa, Florida, and at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor and Interpretive Center, which is also in San Diego. To see a few examples of his half dozen bronze sculptures at Mission Trails, click here!

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Contemporary art sculptures at UTC mall.

I stopped by the UTC mall in University City last Saturday on my way from downtown San Diego to North County.

Laugh if you want, but it’s probably thirty or forty years since I last took a leisurely stroll around what used to be called University Towne Center. (When I was a young man, a friend and I would visit the arcade above the ice skating rink and play pinball, Defender, Galaga, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede…)

Over the past ten years, Westfield UTC has been renovated and enlarged. Today it’s not just a popular outdoor mall, but a major entertainment destination. (And before long the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, the construction of which appears to be making great progress, will terminate at the UTC Transit Center.)

As I wandered randomly about the mall last weekend, I noticed a number of very interesting sculptures along a stretch of its perimeter. Out came my camera. I read on some plaques that the three Beverly Pepper sculptures belong to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

After I got home and did a little research, I found out I’d missed other sculptures scattered throughout the mall. Perhaps I’ll have to make another visit in the future!

Here’s what I saw:

Three Graces (Madam in Bloom, Madam Elegance, Madam Beauty), Yuriy Akopov, 2016/2017…

Octo, Anthony Howe, 2015…

The First Amphitheater, Beverly Pepper, 1965…

West Coast School, Laddie John Dill, 2017…

Severio Column, Beverly Pepper, 1978…

Zeus Triad, Beverly Pepper, 1997-1999…

Radix, Joshua Koffman, 2017…

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!