Art Through History murals on Bayshore Bikeway!

People bicycle past huge colorful murals painted along the Bayshore Bikeway in Chula Vista.
People bicycle past huge colorful murals painted along the Bayshore Bikeway in Chula Vista.

In 2019, some of the largest, most impressive outdoor murals in San Diego were completed in Chula Vista along a stretch of the Bayshore Bikeway. Very few people see them–only those who ride or walk down a segment of the bike path west of L Street.

The bold, very colorful murals, representing different art styles throughout history, were painted by eleven talented artists. Check out these photos, then hop onto your bicycle to experience the amazing wall for yourself!

This public art was the result of the Chula Vista Art Through History Outdoor Art Gallery project, organized by the City of Chula Vista. The variety of styles portrayed celebrates the diversity that thrives in this South Bay community.

A row of bold murals that represent different art styles through history.
A row of bold murals that represent different art styles through history.
Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate!
Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate!
In Full Color, by Allison Bamcat. Classical Greek and Roman art.
In Full Color, by Allison Bamcat. Classical Greek and Roman art.
Wally, by Chloe Becky. Expressionism.
Wally, by Chloe Becky. Expressionism.
The Warrior, by Guillermo "Memuco" Munro. Arte Mexicano.
The Warrior, by Guillermo “Memuco” Munro. Arte Mexicano.
Crying Girl, by Daryl Shawni. Pop Art.
Crying Girl, by Daryl Shawn1. Pop Art.
Michelle Guerrero. Primitive Art.
Michelle Guerrero. Primitive Art.

Niz. Art Nouveau.
Niz. Art Nouveau.
Us Watching You, Watching Us, Watching You, by Jhelen Ramirez and George Shaffer. Post-Impressionism.
Us Watching You, Watching Us, Watching You, by Jhelen Ramirez and George Shaffer. Post-Impressionism.
In Bloom, by Andy Rios. Graffiti.
In Bloom, by Andy Rios. Graffiti.
Self-Actualized, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Feminist art movement.
Self-Actualized, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Feminist art movement.
Carve Your Path, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Social Realism.
Carve Your Path, by Sergio Daniel Robleto. Social Realism.
Picasso, by Michelle Guerrero. Cubism.
Picasso, by Michelle Guerrero. Cubism.

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Restoring an iconic mural and 5 Big Moves.

America's Finest City newspaper mural
America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

I learned yesterday during a Pacific Beach mural walk that there are exciting plans to restore San Diego’s most iconic downtown mural!

Artist Kathleen King, co-creator of the America’s Finest City mural in 1989, informed our group that the historic mural’s restoration will be done in conjunction with SANDAG’s San Diego Forward “5 Big Moves” initiative.

As I understand it, the America’s Finest City mural will be a centerpiece for the planned Fifth Avenue trolley station Mobility Hub!

Very cool!

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
The iconic America’s Finest City mural in downtown 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!

A cool mural walk in Pacific Beach!

One of many cool works of art a group learns about during a guided mural walk in Pacific Beach.
One of many great works of art a group learns about during a guided mural walk in Pacific Beach.

Today I was lucky to go on a really cool guided mural walk in Pacific Beach! The tour was led by Leslie Dufour of beautifulPB, which is a volunteer organization formed by PB residents and businesses who are working to create a sustainably beautiful Pacific Beach. You can learn more about beautifulPB by visiting their website here.

During the walk, I learned that the folks of beautifulPB have a PB Murals program, and they’re looking to add even more public art to their already colorful community.

The murals we saw today were all fantastic, and there were many that I hadn’t seen during my various Pacific Beach walks over the years. We even got to meet one the artists, Kathleen King. She painted an iconic PB mural that you will see in my upcoming photographs, plus the landmark America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego!

Today’s amazing tour began in a small courtyard area behind Randall’s Sandals on Garnet Avenue, where we learned from Leslie Dufour about the history of murals, particularly their early 20th century renaissance in Mexico led by artists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. That movement continues to influence muralists today.

After the fascinating presentation our group embarked on a looping walk of perhaps a mile or less. Future walks featuring additional murals are planned!

Thank you to Yerba Mate Bar & Empanadas, where we paused to enjoy some vegan treats that were really delicious! They intend to turn their outdoor courtyard space into a Pacific Beach arts center. Very cool!

Okay, let’s see some photos! Read the captions!

Our group heads through the beautifully painted walkway of Randall's Sandals, where the long mural opens up for all to see.
Our group heads through the beautifully painted walkway of Randall’s Sandals, where the long mural opens up for all to see.
We learn about the history of murals beside the work of muralist Jared Blake Lazar.
We learn about the history of murals beside the work of muralist Jared Blake Lazar.
Mural by @MatthewMillington depicts a very colorful Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent diety of ancient Mesoamerican people.
Mural by @MatthewMillington depicts a very colorful Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent diety of ancient Mesoamerican people.
A mermaid mural by @LovePaperPaint (Katie Gaines) is inspired by the traditional La Sirena image in Mexican Lotería.
A mermaid mural by @LovePaperPaint (Katie Gaines) is inspired by the traditional La Sirena image in Mexican Lotería.
This female superhero mural was painted by artist MDMN (John Moody) during a past San Diego Comic-Con.
This female superhero mural was painted by artist MDMN (John Moody) during a past San Diego Comic-Con.
Our group meets muralist Kathleen King, whose 1988 mural was painted from a 1943 photo of Garnet Avenue, looking west toward Crystal Pier.
Our group meets prolific artist Kathleen King, whose 1988 mural was painted from a 1943 photo of Garnet Avenue, looking west toward Crystal Pier.
Plaque explains the mural depicts the corner of Cass Street and Garnet Avenue as it was in 1943.
Nearby plaque explains this mural depicts the corner of Cass Street and Garnet Avenue as it was in 1943.
The historic brick building in this iconic PB mural still stands at the nearby corner.
The historic brick building in this iconic PB mural still stands on the street corner.
And here is that building!
And here is that building!
A cool John Lennon mural on the side of Five Guys was painted in 2006 by Steve Gorrow, Creative Director of Insight Clothing.
John Lennon with a daisy in his eye. A cool mural on the side of Five Guys that was painted in 2006 by Steve Gorrow, Creative Director of Insight Clothing.
Left part of fantastic shark mural at Even Keel Tattoo, by artists Nate Banuelos and Kyle Walker.
Left side of fantastic shark mural at Even Keel Tattoo, by artists Nate Banuelos and Kyle Walker.
Right side of mural, with many fantastic, romantic, sea-themed elements.
Right side of the same mural, which contains romantic, sea-themed elements.
Learning about one of Pacific Beach's many amazing, colorful murals during a guided walk!
Learning about one of Pacific Beach’s many beautiful, creative murals during a guided walk!

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Two cool, abstract murals at Bibbey’s!

Today I took two short walks in the South Bay. One of my modest adventures was near the Imperial Beach Pier.

I noticed that on Seacoast Drive, across from the pier, Bibbey’s gift shop now has two very cool murals, one painted on the south wall and one on the north. Both are super creative and contain all sorts of abstract characters, including kooky surfers, a mermaid, and what appear to be faceless underwater ball players!

That mural with elements from pop culture that I blogged about almost six years ago here seems to be long gone. Only the shark remains at the building’s southwest corner–an updated and rather fierce version!

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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Cool PARK BLVD mural in University Heights!

I recently noticed a new spray painted mural in University Heights on the south wall of Park Boulevard Liquor and Deli. It has replaced another mural which I posted several years ago here.

The artists for this very cool street art appear to be: HASLER, SHARK, BRAVE and T-BONE.

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 short walk through downtown El Cajon.

Last weekend I enjoyed an easy walk up and down Main Street through downtown El Cajon.

I started at the El Cajon landmark sign, where I read some historical information concerning Amaziah Lord Knox, founder of Knox’s Corners, later the City of El Cajon.

I then headed east to the corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue, where old photos provided by the El Cajon Historical Society adorn the vacant Salvation Army Thrift Store building. I believe the photo murals were put up for the El Cajon Centennial, which was in 2012.

I continued walking east to Prescott Promenade, where I checked out the handsome old Rotary Club of El Cajon clock and some fun street art. I saw many different banners hung from lamp posts that celebrate El Cajon. Some banners depicted the Cajon Speedway, the Mother Goose Parade, and seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson, who grew up in El Cajon.

I crossed Main Street, checked out a beautiful fountain and artificial stream near the El Cajon Civic Center, then turned west and walked past a variety of small shops and colorful eateries.

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!

Step into El Cajon’s super cool Arts Alley!

At first glance the place might seem unremarkable. Just another alley in downtown El Cajon–north of Main Street, between Magnolia Avenue and Sulzfeld Way. And just south of the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center, which is located on Rea Avenue.

But should you step into El Cajon’s surprising Arts Alley, you’ll suddenly find yourself surrounded by delightful murals and fantastic works of imagination! The alley is so full of creativity, some of the super cool artwork has overflowed right out of it at the east end!

And what is an alley without cats?

You’ll also find a few wise quotes written on walls concerning the nature of beauty.

(You might notice in my photos that Arts Alley is located behind a couple of art galleries–plus a variety of other El Cajon shops and eateries that line a historic segment of Main Street.)

To be accurate, those two large Olaf Wieghorst Museum murals I posted aren’t in Arts Alley, but both can be seen from it! (I believe there’s another Western-themed mural that I failed to photograph. Oops.)

In case you’re curious, Olaf Wieghorst was a popular painter of the American West, whose work once appeared all over, including Zane Grey’s Western Magazine and the open titles sequence of the John Wayne movie El Dorado. He lived in El Cajon, where the museum is located, the second half of his life.

One day I hope to swing by the museum when it’s open and blog about the experience!

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!