Nayarit celebrated at the House of Mexico!

The Mexican state of Nayarit was celebrated today at the International Cottages in Balboa Park!

Baile folklórico dancers performed outside the House of Mexico cottage, and various displays promoting tourism in Nayarit greeted surprised visitors wandering through the park.

As soon as I noticed all the costumes and smiles, I was drawn right in!

As I understand it, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism teamed up with the House of Mexico to promote Nayarit with this special cultural event.

The state of Nayarit is located on the west coast of Mexico and features popular beaches, fascinating history and beautiful scenery.

This is what my camera recorded…

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SD Art Prize 2022 Exhibition at the Central Library.

The four recipients of the 2022 San Diego Art Prize–Alida Cervantes, Angélica Escoto, Carlos Castro Arias and Cognate Collective–now have pieces of their visual artwork on display in the 9th floor Art Gallery at downtown’s Central Library.

The four artists explore aspects of our region’s history and culture. Of course, today’s border culture has been greatly cross-pollinated by thousands of residents flowing daily to and from the United States and Mexico.

As you might expect in a contemporary exhibition of this type, there is infusion of political bias. But it’s a variety of viewpoints what makes free expression in art interesting and provocative.

I was fascinated to see how art that condemns the history of colonization is displayed next to art that celebrates the fusion and evolution of cultures. On either side of the San Diego/Tijuana border crossing, many of today’s traditions have influences that can be traced back to old Spain.

Walk among the gallery pieces and perhaps you’ll see the world in new and complex ways.

The exhibition opened over the weekend. It will continue through the end of 2022.

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!

Sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga at UC San Diego.

Yucateca Sentada is a beautiful bronze sculpture slightly off the beaten path at UC San Diego. It can be discovered by observant students passing down the Ridge Walk through Thurgood Marshall College, by the Administration Building. A walkway leads west to a bench that faces the life-size sculpture. (It isn’t far from Sojourner Truth, another bronze sculpture beside the Ridge Walk.)

Yucateca Sentada (Seated Woman of the Yucatan) was created by renowned Costa Rican-born Mexican artist Francisco Zúñiga in 1976. It was donated to UC San Diego in 1983 by Elsa Dekking and UCSD physics professor Keith Brueckner. That was back when Marshall College was called Third College.

Here’s a photo taken right after its installation, with Chancellor Richard C. Atkinson providing a few words. There’s also an article in the October 3, 1983 issue of The UCSD Guardian concerning the dedication. You can read that here on page 7.

When I first saw this beautiful piece, so radiant with elemental humanity and silent dignity, I thought it might be a work of famed San Diego artist Donal Hord. It’s similar to two works I’ve seen by Hord, Spring Stirring and Aztec.

Then I realized I’d seen another very fine sculpture by Francisco Zúñiga in San Diego. His Mother and Daughter Seated can be found near the front entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.

I photographed Mother and Daughter Seated back in 2016, as it and various other sculptures were being installed in Balboa Park’s outdoor Plaza de Panama. You can enjoy 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!

The art of Optimus Volts during Comic-Con!

Local artist Optimus Volts can be found during Comic-Con at the Chuck Jones Pop Up Gallery.

I wandered into the pop up gallery yesterday afternoon, where I met Optimus Volts at a table displaying his work.

In addition to creating several really cool sculptures, he’d painted comic book covers and baseball cards, reimagining them using his own unique vision. Many of the superheroes and baseball players were given sugar skulls and surrounded with imagery associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead!

Check it out!

Yes, that’s a baseball card of San Diego Padres hero Tony Gwynn!

Optimus Volts and other artists will be meeting the public and selling pieces of their work inside the Chuck Jones Comic-Con Pop Up Gallery through Sunday! The pop up gallery is located at 530 Sixth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter.

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, 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!

Street Legacy urban art exhibit in Escondido.

If you like excellent examples of urban art, you need to visit the museum exhibit now showing at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters features artwork representing diverse subcultures found in Southern California.

Artists have filled the museum galleries with paintings, murals, sculptures and other works inspired by graffiti, street art, skateboarding, surfing, tattoos, lowriders and more. In many works you’ll see the pride of heritage. Many pieces are bold and sensual.

If you travel around San Diego, you’ll probably recognize some of the local street artists. Each has a unique style. I’ve photographed much of their fine mural work during my walks through the city. I generally, however, do not photograph vandalism.

Visitors to the exhibition might be taken aback by images of guns and implied gang violence, and one piece depicting police officers as pigs. The artwork reflects the viewpoint of many on the streets. These images exist side-by-side with images promoting peace and love.

Together we live in a complex, often difficult world with differing personal experiences and perspectives.

Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters runs through August 28, 2022.

Get Out the Kitchen, Carly Ealey and Chris Konecki, 2022. Aerosol.

Mighty Fine ’69, Vanessa Torrez, 2021. Oil on canvas.

City of 9 Lives, Mike Rios, 2022. Acrylic.

Are We There Yet?, Persue, 2021. Acrylic.

Mad Surfer, Robbie Conal, 2014. Mixed media.

La Mujer Dormida, Cisco Santiago. 100% custom motorcycle, garage-built from scratch.

Catrin y Siren, OG Abel, 2015. Acrylic.

Watching Time Fly, Mr B Baby, 2022. Acrylic and airbrush on wood.

Tribal Ahuevo Wobbles, Ricardo Islas, 2022. Acrylic on wood.

Dawning of a New Age, MEAR ONE, 2012. Oil on canvas.

Various works on display by Shepard Fairey.

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!

The big House of Mexico fiesta in Balboa Park!

A big, wonderful fiesta was held today in San Diego’s Balboa Park!

The House of Mexico held their annual lawn program at the International Cottages, and, as usual, a good crowd came out!

There was much to do and see–and eat! (I must admit those churros were irresistible.)

Smiles shined all around as the festival filled with more and more people. Members from diverse communities around San Diego and Mexico were in attendance, and all were welcome.

Before the entertainment began at two o’clock, I wandered into the House of Mexico’s new cottage. Inside, displays included some very striking folk art, representing the legends and spirituality of the indigenous Huichol or Wixárika. I was told the exhibits in the cottage will be changed every few months.

After wandering away to listen to the Spreckels Organ concert for a while, I returned to the International Cottages to catch some of the House of Mexico’s cultural entertainment.

Enjoy these photos!

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 faces painted in Old Town!

Two colorful faces have been painted on the second floor of the Courtyard on Congress building in Old Town. Both are by local artist Guillermo “memuco” Munro.

I saw these beautiful faces as I walked near the intersection of Congress Street and Twiggs Avenue early this morning. I was able to capture the artist’s signature, then I checked out his Instagram page, which is here.

It appears the murals were created back in January.

Memuco describes the female with ceremonial Kumeyaay face decoration as a woman that represents all nationalities. A being so beautiful and peaceful. With the most sincere smile in the Universe.

The second face is of Mexican painter Diego Rivera. He’s holding a Frida Kahlo doll, which the balcony concealed from my camera. Check out the artist’s Instagram page to see it all!

You can enjoy more of his great artwork that I’ve stumbled upon here (across the street) and 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!

Tears water a blossom in San Diego.

Where the San Diego communities of Normal Heights and City Heights meet, the tears of Chucho water a small human blossom.

Perhaps you’ve seen the piñata character Chucho on El Cajon Boulevard just east of Felton Street, on the wall of U-Stor-It, facing a car sales lot.

Chucho is the creation of San Diego born Latina artist/muralist Michelle Ruby, aka Mr. B Baby. There’s a good chance you’ve observed the colorful character in other street murals around the city. You can find more photos of Chucho by clicking here.

The artist, describing her largest mural yet, says the imagery can be interpreted as your pain is what truly makes you blossom. There’s a description of her thinking and philosophy of life on her Instagram page here.

The beautiful mural was painted several months ago.

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!

Donal Hord’s Summer Rain at San Diego History Center.

Several wonderful pieces of Donal Hord art are now on display at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. I noticed them last weekend.

Most prominent is the extraordinary sculpture Summer Rain, Donal Hord’s final commission. Originally sculpted in 1946 from the dense wood lignum vitae, Summer Rain was cast in bronze in 1968 by Homer Dana, his assistant, two years after Hord’s death.

Donal Hord is considered San Diego’s greatest sculptor. He achieved international fame by bringing a variety of materials, including very hard stone, to life. Many of his spiritual, symbol-filled sculptures were inspired from a year he spent in Mexico, where he studied traditional Olmec and Zapotec art. Some of his public sculptures have become iconic landmarks or representations of our city.

Summer Rain stands near the center of the History Center’s fine art exhibition Be Here Now. The work of artists who lived or spent a great deal of time in San Diego fill a large gallery, and visitors are asked to consider what the collected artwork might say about our region.

…Hord’s figure dances on a cloud pushing out the rain, with hair swept up like a thundercloud, and a rattlesnake on top to symbolize lightning…The San Diego History Center collections include examples of Hord’s work in bronze, wood, stone, and plaster along with maquettes (or scale models), preliminary drawings, tools and extensive archival material.

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!

Colorful fun at Old Town’s Cinco de Mayo!

Big crowds are coming out this weekend for Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo! The popular festival is taking place on San Diego Avenue, between Conde Street and Twiggs Street.

I took loads of photos today!

Look at all the colorful fun! There’s a Lowrider Lane with cool bicycles, awesome motorcycles and a bunch of modified Volkswagens! There’s tons of yummy food, many smiling vendors, plus entertainment on a main stage.

I saw joyful, twirling Mexican baile folklórico dancing at the Cafe Coyote Stage, then grabbed two buttery, freshly made warm tortillas at Cafe Coyote across the street.

As I wandered about, I discovered representatives from the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in the small park behind the Whaley House. They were teaching people frontier dances, recalling their part of early San Diego history, and engaged in various fun activities.

During much of the day, at the top of each hour, there’s an exciting Lucha Libre match. I watched with dismay as the bad guys defeated the crowd-favorite good guys with a series of wicked body slams and wrestling moves, plus, of course, some villainous cheating. Fortunately, a rematch was promised, and I’m sure the good guys would be victorious later in the day!

Thanks to the STAR 94.1 radio guys for the prize!

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!