The arches of National City’s Morgan Square Plaza.

These arches in National City’s Morgan Square Plaza delight the eye with their colorful tiles and designs
These arches in National City’s Morgan Square Plaza delight the eye with their colorful tiles and designs.

Check out this cool public art in San Diego’s South Bay! These colorfully tiled arches can be found in Morgan Square Plaza right next to the National City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. As you can see in one photo, the plaza isn’t far from Heritage Square and historic Brick Row, which I recently covered on this blog.

It appears these mosaic arches debuted along with the plaza itself in October 2007. I searched the small pocket park for a plaque, and later for information on the internet, but can find almost nothing about this unique public art. I did see that the bust of former National City mayor Kile Morgan was created by the talented San Diego sculptor Richard Becker. According to Becker’s website, he created the POW Monument at the US National Cemetery, busts for The Emmys in Hollywood, and a bronze sculpture of Homer Simpson for Fox Studios.

Cool art in the public square next to the National City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
Cool art in the public square next to the National City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
Visible beyond the brick arch is one end of Brick Row, one of several historic buildings in Heritage Square.
Visible beyond the brick arch is one end of Brick Row, one of several historic buildings in Heritage Square.
Across Morgan Square Plaza is a monument to a former National City mayor.
Across Morgan Square Plaza is a monument to a former National City mayor.
The bust of Honorable Kile Morgan, mayor of National City 1966-1986. He established the Mile of Cars and Plaza Bonita. Sculpture created by San Diego artist Richard Becker.
The bust of Honorable Kile Morgan, mayor of National City from 1966 to 1986. He established the Mile of Cars and Plaza Bonita. Sculpture created by San Diego artist Richard Becker.
Another photo through the arches. The Southwestern College Higher Education Center stands across National City Boulevard.
Another photo through the arches. The Southwestern College Higher Education Center stands across National City Boulevard.
The beautiful patterns on this wall-like artwork are composed of many brightly colored tiles.
The beautiful patterns on this wall-like artwork are composed of many brightly colored tiles.
The National City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is located near the public art arches.
The National City Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is located near the public art arches.
Fun photo of one arch within another.
Fun photo of one arch within another.
Cool public artwork in National City at Morgan Square Plaza!
Cool public artwork in National City at Morgan Square Plaza!

UPDATE!

During a walk in 2019 I discovered a plaque describing this Streetscape Project, titled Portals in Time. The different arches are called Brick Row, Hispanic Portal, Filipino Water Wall, Kumeyaay Water Wall, Agriculture and Ship Building, and The Bay.

Click the following two photos and they will enlarge for easier reading:

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Sea-themed mosaics at Fletcher Cove and Overlook Park.

Beautiful ceramic mosaic artwork at Fletcher Cove Park in Solana Beach. The orange Garibaldi. By artist Betsy Schulz.
Beautiful ceramic mosaic artwork at Fletcher Cove Park in Solana Beach. The orange Garibaldi. By artist Betsy Schulz.

During my walk last weekend I headed from the Solana Beach Coaster station west a couple of blocks to Fletcher Cove Park. It was my intention to walk north along the ocean, then back east to Pacific Coast Highway. What I discovered as I neared the beach was incredibly cool.

The ceramic sea-themed mosaics you see in my photos were created by artist Betsy Schulz. I’ve documented another installation of her public art near the Santa Fe Depot. To see that, click here.

From the bluff at Overlook Park there’s a good view of Fletcher Cove and the blue Pacific Ocean. There are also four tables with more cool tile artwork by Betsy Schulz. The beautiful mosaics below in Fletcher Cove Park are found along the walkway that leads down to the beach.

Picnic tables along a path leading up through Overlook Park in Solana Beach feature more beautiful, sea-themed tile mosaics.
Picnic tables along a path leading up through Overlook Park in Solana Beach feature more beautiful, sea-themed tile mosaics.
A spiny lobster embedded in a picnic table at Overlook Park.
A spiny lobster embedded in a picnic table at Overlook Park.
Two beautiful fish are part of some sea-themed art in Solana Beach, created by artist Betsy Schulz.
Two beautiful fish are part of some sea-themed art in Solana Beach, created by artist Betsy Schulz.
A crab is featured in this colorful mosaic of ceramic tiles.
A crab is featured in this colorful mosaic of small ceramic tiles.
Sculpture of a seagull near entrance to Fletcher Cove Park.
Sculpture of a seagull near entrance to Fletcher Cove Park. According to one article I read, the sculpture was created in the 1940s, and the artist doesn’t seem to be known.
Fletcher Cove Park, dedicated this day, June 16, 2007.
Fletcher Cove Park, dedicated this day, June 16, 2007.
An octopus on a low wall embraces citizens and businesses in Solana Beach who are part of this coastal community.
An octopus on a low wall embraces citizens and businesses in Solana Beach who are part of this coastal community.
Wonderful tile artwork includes shells, stones and a school of small silvery fish.
Wonderful tile artwork includes shells, stones and a school of small silvery fish.
Barred Surfperch.
Barred Surfperch.
More ceramic fish along the public walkway that heads down through Fletcher Cove Park to the small beach.
More ceramic fish along the public walkway that heads down through Fletcher Cove Park to the small beach.
Red Octopus.
Red Octopus.
A work of art depicting a few of nature's wonders and human creativity.
A work of art depicting a few of nature’s wonders and human creativity.
This oval seat is right next to the beach. We know a mermaid who lives here in the sea...
This oval seat is right next to the beach. We know a mermaid who lives here in the sea…
And here is the mermaid. The stunning mosaic artwork has been worn by sand and time.
And here is the mermaid. The stunning mosaic artwork has been worn by sand, wind and time.
In a tide pool one might discover a Brittle Star.
In a tide pool one might discover a Brittle Star.
Upon the rocky ocean bottom, one might find Green Abalone.
Upon the rocky ocean bottom, one might find Green Abalone.
Brown Tube Snail and California Spiny Lobster.
Brown Tube Snail and California Spiny Lobster.
Shore birds one might see nearby include the Whimbrel and Marbled Godwit.
Shore birds one might see nearby include the Whimbrel and Marbled Godwit.
Thousands of shells, waves rush to our shore, Search high and low tides, you're bound to find more.
Thousands of shells, waves rush to our shore, Search high and low tides, you’re bound to find more.
White Amiantis.
White Amiantis.
Many small sea creatures appear in amazing tile artwork in Solana Beach's Fletcher Cove Park.
Many small sea creatures appear in amazing tile artwork in Solana Beach’s Fletcher Cove Park.
This lifelike Cabezon seems to be looking directly at you!
This lifelike Cabezon seems to be looking directly at you!

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San Diego residents learn a cool craft in a park!

Neighbors gather in San Diego's East Village to learn how to make cool mosaic planters!
Neighbors gather in San Diego’s East Village to learn how to make cool mosaic planters!

This morning, residents of San Diego gathered at Fault Line Park in East Village to learn how to make mosaic planters! The neighborhood event was put together by the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Home Depot.

To make your own cool mosaic planter, you need a clay pot, ceramic tile adhesive, and broken bits of tile, colored glass or mirror. Apply a generous coat of adhesive to the outside of the pot, then press in the colorful, shiny mosaic bits! I was told it takes a good 24 hours for the white adhesive to thoroughly dry and harden.

What a fun DIY gift idea! Or a cool craft project for a downtown apartment or condo!

I think I heard that events like this will be happening at different parks around downtown San Diego every first Saturday of the month!

An event held Saturday morning at Fault Line Park taught participants how to produce an easy, artistic craft.
An event held Saturday morning at Fault Line Park taught participants how to produce an easy, artistic craft.
Home Depot sponsored the Do-it-Yourself Workshop. Everyone learned how to piece together beautiful mosaics!
Home Depot sponsored the Do-it-Yourself Workshop. Everyone learned how to piece together beautiful mosaics!
A layer of ceramic tile adhesive is applied to the exterior of clay pots.
A layer of ceramic tile adhesive is applied to the exterior of clay pots.
Lots of broken bits of tile are spread out on the table like jigsaw puzzle pieces!
Lots of broken bits of tile are spread out on the table like jigsaw puzzle pieces!
Art is easy! You just gotta do it!
Art is easy! You just gotta do it!

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Kumeyaay and The Tracks We Leave Behind.

Native American Kumeyaay from the San Diego area work near the foot of an Ewaa, or dome shaped home made of sycamore and oak tree branches.
Native American Kumeyaay from the San Diego area work near the foot of an ewaa, a dome-shaped hut made of sycamore and oak tree branches.

Over two years ago, when Cool San Diego Sights was relatively new, I blogged about some amazing public art near the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego. I provided just a brief glimpse, really.

The artwork, titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, created by Betsy K. Schulz in 2008, is so utterly fantastic, so absorbing, I’ve decided to blog about it once again. Whenever I walk past (which is often), I like to pause an extra few seconds beside my favorite column, which features gorgeous mosaics that depict wild nature and the Native American Kumeyaay people, who have lived around San Diego for about 12,000 years.

Living in this place we set fires to open the land and make the seeds grow. We fish all year, both near shore and deep. We walk to the canyons and the mountains--hunting, gathering food and trading . . .
Living in this place we set fires to open the land and make the seeds grow. We fish all year, both near shore and deep. We walk to the canyons and the mountains–hunting, gathering food and trading . . .
Public art titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, by Betsy K. Schulz, 2008, includes image of a Kumeyaay hattepaa (coyote) howling.
Public art titled The Tracks We Leave Behind, by Betsy K. Schulz, 2008, includes the image of a Kumeyaay hattepaa (coyote) howling.
Beautiful handmade mosaic tiles show a Kumeyaay ispa (eagle) in flight.
Beautiful handmade mosaic tiles form a Kumeyaay ispa (eagle) in flight.
The bald eagle has captured a Kumeyaay hiiwaa (fish).
The bald eagle has captured a Kumeyaay hiiwaa (fish).
Yellow Sycuan Suncups grace this gorgeous, detailed public artwork in downtown San Diego.
Yellow Sycuan Suncups grace this gorgeous, detailed public artwork in downtown San Diego.
The yellow bloom of a prickly pear. This sculpted tile mosaic is so phenomenal, you almost can't remove your eyes from it!
The yellow bloom of a prickly pear. This sculpted tile mosaic is so phenomenal, you almost can’t remove your eyes from it!
The native Kumeyaay people (also called Kumiai, Ipai-Iipay, Tipai-Tipay, Diegueño, Kamia) have lived in the San Diego region for around 12,000 years.
The native Kumeyaay people (also called Kumiai, Ipai-Iipay, Tipai-Tipay, Diegueño, Kamia) have lived in the San Diego region for around 12,000 years.
Public art in San Diego depicts Cinon Duro Mataweer, spiritual leader (kuseyaay or tribal shaman) of the Ipai (formerly northern Diegueño) Native American Indian tribe.
Public art in San Diego depicts Cinon Duro Mataweer, spiritual leader (kuseyaay or tribal shaman) of the Ipai (formerly northern Diegueño) Native American Indian tribe.

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Unusual new public art at Little Italy trolley station.

Worker at new parking structure construction site in Little Italy, right next to the trolley station.
Worker at parking garage construction site, which is right next to the Little Italy trolley station.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see some new public artwork at one end of the Little Italy trolley station. It’s part of the new parking structure that’s being built right next to the station.

I had to peer over and through a chain link fence, but the super colorful leaf-like art immediately tickled my fancy. Upon closer examination, the multi-colored ovals that form a dazzling mosaic appear to be impressed with different tire tracks. I guess that would be appropriate for a parking garage!

UPDATE!

I’ve noticed that a small plaque installed by the artwork reads:

David Adey

Inspiration/Expiration

2015

Ceramic

This parking garage, when completed, will serve both the nearby County Administration Center and Little Italy.
This parking garage, when completed, will serve both the nearby County Administration Center and Little Italy.
Elements of new public art that resemble colored leaves are actually ovals that appear to be stamped with different tire treads.
Brilliant layers of new public art in San Diego. Forming a mosaic, these ovals appear to be randomly squished by vehicle tires with different treads.
There's some unusual, colorful new artwork at the Little Italy trolley station in downtown San Diego!
There’s some unusual new artwork at the Little Italy trolley station in downtown San Diego!

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Pacific Rim nations celebrated with beautiful art.

A portion of the elegant Pearl of the Pacific, by artist James T. Hubbell.
A portion of the elegant Pearl of the Pacific, by artist James T. Hubbell.

On the southwest end of Shelter Island you’ll discover some wonderful public art titled Pearl of the Pacific. Benches, a soaring sculpture, and a circle of colorful tiles arranged around a pearl-like bubbling fountain celebrate the diverse nations of the Pacific Rim. Local artist James Hubbell and a group of architectural students worked with artists from San Diego’s sister cities Vladivostok, Russia, Tijuana, Mexico and Yantai, China, to create this very cool sight. The central mosaic of tiles, pointing north, south, east and west like a fantastic compass, includes images that represent the sister cities. Pearl of the Pacific pays tribute to San Diego’s cultural and economic relations with peaceful neighbors united by the ocean.

I’ve already blogged about several of James Hubbell’s works of art around San Diego. You might enjoy seeing his Pacific Portal, Sea Passage and Pacific Spirit.

Gazing south past Pearl of the Pacific toward the channel that leads from San Diego Bay to the ocean.
Gazing south past Pearl of the Pacific toward the channel that leads from San Diego Bay to the ocean.
At the southwest end of Shelter Island, a circle of colorful tiles is arranged about a large pearl.
At the southwest end of Shelter Island, a circle of colorful tiles is arranged about a large pearl.
The central pearl is a fountain that bubbles with water. It wasn't running the day I took these photographs.
The central pearl is a fountain that bubbles with water. It wasn’t running the day I took these photographs.
Pearl of the Pacific Park plaque describes tile images and their meaning.
Pearl of the Pacific Park plaque describes tile images and their meaning.
North.
North. An inspirational American bird.
South.
South. The mythical Quetzalcoatl of Mexico.
West.
West. A Siberian tiger from Russia.
East. A dragon representing China.
East. A dragon representing China.
Plaque reads Tijuana, Mexico.
Plaque reads Tijuana, Mexico.
One column contains a pearl-like globe of shining blue tiles.
One column contains a pearl-like globe of shining blue tiles.
A soaring sculptural arch made of beautiful ironwork.
A soaring sculptural arch made of beautiful ironwork.
A bench in the small park-like area is topped with more colorful tiles.
A bench in the small park-like area is topped with more colorful tiles.
Another artistic bench. This is a good spot to watch sailboats and ships on the nearby water.
Another artistic bench. This is a good spot to watch sailboats and ships on the nearby water.
Bits of sea shells, broken pottery and cultural motifs in a curving concrete wall.
Bits of sea shells, broken pottery and cultural motifs in a curving concrete wall.
Pearl of the Pacific pays tribute to San Diego's ocean neighbors and sister cities.
Pearl of the Pacific pays tribute to San Diego’s ocean neighbors and sister cities.

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Art tiles painted by East Village neighbors.

Exotic mask with horns painted on a tile.
Exotic mask with horns painted on a tile.

The other day I walked down 11th Avenue through East Village. For a few moments I paused to again enjoy The Power of Collective Thought urban art tile mosaic. I took a few photos of individual tiles hand-painted by creative San Diego neighbors. Many caught my eye…

Robert and his mom hold hands beneath trees.
Robert and his mom hold hands beneath trees.
I large open eye gazes at people passing down the sidewalk.
I large open eye gazes at people passing down the sidewalk.
Another eye on a fiery, dazzling art tile.
Another eye on a fiery, dazzling art tile.
A sun painted on a tinted sky.
A sun painted on a tinted sky.
Smiling sun and blue moon fused into one.
Smiling sun and blue moon fused into one.
Cool cat dances under a crescent moon.
Cool cat dances under a crescent moon.
A dinosaur among dots.
A dinosaur among dots.
Ghostly figures rise like swirls of color.
Ghostly figures rise like swirls of color.
One cool painted tile in The Power of Collective Thought.
Cool painted tile in The Power of Collective Thought.
A blue peacock and two fruit trees.
A blue peacock and two fruit trees.
A fun dragonfly with a human-like face.
A fun dragonfly with human-like face.
Female head with curly hair and yellow flowers.
Female head with curly hair and yellow flowers.
A kimono and umbrella.
A kimono and umbrella.
Two people connect on a purple tile.
Two people connect on a purple tile.
A mysterious monster rises from the deep!
A mysterious monster rises from the deep!
A colorful abstract design.
A colorful abstract design.
A sailboat and shell in San Diego.
A sailboat and shell in San Diego.
A smiling face peers back at you!
A smiling face peers back at you!

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Beating cancer with beautiful tile artwork.

HEALTH is written at base of tile mosaic on bench.
HEALTH is written at base of fantastic tile mosaic on bench.

A super long walk yesterday took me past Cancer Survivors Park at Spanish Landing, which is located between Harbor Island and the San Diego International Airport. I first blogged about the inspirational installation of art over a year ago.

The purpose of Cancer Survivors Park is to educate, provide hope and encourage appropriate, prompt medical treatment. A domed structure at one end contains beautiful tile benches designed by artist Marlo Bartels. Each differently colored bench invites restful meditation and is dedicated to a single idea written near the base.

Beautiful dome of San Diego's Cancer Survivors Park contains artistic tiled benches and words of encouragement.
Beautiful dome of San Diego’s Cancer Survivors Park contains artistic tiled benches and words of encouragement.
CELEBRATION
CELEBRATION
THRIVING
THRIVING
LOVE
LOVE
WELLNESS
WELLNESS
HOPE
HOPE
Gazing across grass toward bronze sculpture of people beating cancer through prompt treatment.
Gazing across grassy park toward bronze sculpture of people beating cancer through prompt, appropriate treatment.

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Fun tile mosaic art on Encinitas sidewalk!

Tile mosaic on Pacific Coast Highway shows fisherman rowing out over the ocean.
Tile mosaic on Pacific Coast Highway shows fisherman rowing out over the ocean.

During my recent meandering walk in Encinitas, I noticed some colorful mosaics in the sidewalk. The circular tile and glass artwork seemed to be at intervals up and down Coast Highway 101, the historic Pacific Coast Highway. I took photos whenever I noticed one.  A few were partly covered by shadow.

When I got home and did some research on the internet, I learned these pieces were created by artist Terry Weaver, who grew up in Encinitas, and that there are 16 mosaics all told. I only recorded seven! Had I paid closer attention, I might have found many more!

Encinitas artwork near train station depicts Coaster coming down track.
Encinitas artwork near train station depicts Coaster coming down track.
Beautiful Moonlight Beach in Encinitas is celebrated with fun sidewalk art.
Beautiful Moonlight Beach in Encinitas is celebrated with fun sidewalk art.
Colored tiles and glass form hot air balloons soaring through a swirling sky.
Colored tile and glass form hot air balloons soaring through a swirling sky.
The S.S. Encinitas and S.S. Moonlight are docked on this sidewalk!
The famous S.S. Encinitas and S.S. Moonlight “boat houses” are docked on this sidewalk!
A pod of dolphins seems to be swimming down Pacific Coast Highway.
A pod of dolphins seems to be swimming down Pacific Coast Highway.
Surfer rides an eternal wave under the feet of passing pedestrians.
Surfer rides an eternal wave under the feet of passing pedestrians.

UPDATE!

During a later visit to Encinitas I discovered three more of the sidewalk mosaics…

Cool image of surfer by sand, Pacific Ocean and his woodie at Swami's Beach, overlooked by the grounds of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram.
Cool image of surfer by sand, Pacific Ocean and his woodie at Swami’s Beach, overlooked by the grounds of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram.
Beautiful flowers including bird of paradise.
Beautiful flowers including bird of paradise.
Tile mosaic depiction of the historic La Paloma Theatre building in Encinitas.
Tile mosaic depiction of the historic La Paloma Theatre building in Encinitas.

And here are two more I stumbled upon during another walk…

A poinsettia.
A poinsettia.
Encinitas woody with surfboard.
Encinitas woody with surfboard.

And two more even later!

Hummingbird and flowers.
Hummingbird and flowers.
More hot air balloons!
More hot air balloons!

And, finally, two more mosaics I spotted in 2021!

I believe I’ve now managed to photograph all 16…

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Music and dance.
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Bicyclists.

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Sea Passage sculpture and fountain in Coronado.

Sea Passage sculpture and fountain between Coronado City Hall and Community Center.
Sea Passage sculpture and fountain between Coronado City Hall and Community Center.

Whenever I walk around Coronado, or bike down the Silver Strand, I like to pass by this graceful work of art. Sea Passage, created by James T. Hubbell, adds gentle sound and sparkling color to a long park which stretches beside Glorietta Bay.  The popular linear park can be found between the Hotel del Coronado’s old boathouse and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

The fountain contains a sinuous mosaic of many small tiles.  They appear to me like silvery blue scales, glittering and swimming in the flowing water.  The organic form artistically connects two somewhat ordinary-looking buildings:  Coronado City Hall and the Community Center.

James T. Hubbell also designed two striking works of public art on Shelter Island, which is located just north of Coronado across San Diego Bay. I’ve already blogged about Pacific Portal. One of these days I’ll write about Pearl of the Pacific.

Sea Passage was created by noted sculptor James T. Hubbell.
Sea Passage was created in 2005 by sculptor James T. Hubbell.
Artwork adds beauty to Coronado's linear park beside Glorietta Bay.
Artwork adds gentle beauty to Coronado’s park along Glorietta Bay.
Seagulls like getting a drink of sparkling water from top of colorful fountain!
Seagulls like getting a drink of water from the top of this colorful fountain!

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