Passion, stories, and love of life in art.

True art flows from an artist’s passion to create.

That passion is now being celebrated at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The exhibition is called This is Our Story.

The artists in this exhibition were not professionally trained. Their works used to be called folk art. Today’s experts call it vernacular art. It is art by ordinary people.

The art of This is Our Story has personality. It is unashamed, happy, in no way conceited. It comes from personal experience, imagination, and hands that love to be moving. It is art that loves to be alive.

You won’t find a Rembrandt in this exhibition. But you will enjoy glimpses of many unique stories.

This is Our Story concludes on February 26, 2023.

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Kimonos reimagined by Mesa College students!

Human creativity is limitless. That was apparent today when I stepped into the Inamori Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden.

An exhibition in the pavilion is titled The Kimono Reimagined. Reimagined, indeed! The extent to which the traditional Japanese kimono can be transformed by fashion students into something completely new might surprise you!

Students from the San Diego Mesa College Fashion Program teamed up with the Visions Museum of Textile Arts in Liberty Station to create this brilliant clothing. They used upcycled kimonos and accessory garments that had been donated to Mesa College.

I don’t claim to know much about fashion, but my eyes beheld all this rampant creativity with wonder!

You can admire these inspired works of art at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park through February 24, 2023.

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Filipinos of South Bay Exhibit in Chula Vista.

The current exhibition at the Chula Vista Heritage Museum celebrates the life and history of Filipinos in the South Bay.

Display cases are positively overflowing with photographs and ephemera. Moments large and small are collectively remembered. You see the hopes, struggles, victories, family life. There are memories of community gatherings and festivals.

Words and images tell what it was like as a Filipino to go to school or church, run a business, serve in the military, or work to improve the life of the community. Perhaps you share these experiences.

I peered into the display cases and found so much life.

You can see that life, too, throughout 2023. Visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum, which is located inside the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

1936 mural in Balboa Park predicts future!

In 1936, during the second year of Balboa Park’s extended California Pacific International Exposition, a 450-foot-long mural was painted on the inside circular wall of the Ford Building. The building is now home of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. The epic mural, which underwent a restoration in 1979, is called the March of Transportation.

The artist, Juan B. Larrinaga, depicted the progress of transportation technology over time. And at the very end of the mural he painted what he thought the future world might look like!

You can see this fantastic vision of the future near the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s exit into their gift shop.

Gazing up at the mural, I spotted strange aircraft that appeared to be a combination helicopter/flying saucer. And what appeared to be an elongated spaceship shot from a cannon. There are dirigible airships and massive skyscrapers. But the automobiles are quaintly nostalgic!

I found it difficult to take photos of the mural due to the proximity of the museum’s F/A-18 A Hornet “Blue Angel 1” and dim lighting conditions high on the wall. I apologize if the images are a bit fuzzy. But you can see how cool the imagined future is!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Exhibit celebrates San Diego aviation pioneer.

Did you know the world’s first ever controlled glider flight took place in Otay Mesa? This important late 19th century breakthrough, which preceded the invention of motorized airplanes, was the achievement of John J. Montgomery.

There’s an exhibit at the San Diego Air and Space Museum that explores the life of Montgomery and his important contributions to aviation history. Photographs, ephemera, rare documents and a video tell his story. I noticed the display today when I visited the museum in Balboa Park.

I immediately took interest because I have visited the impressive monument to Montgomery’s first controlled heavier-than-air flight. It stands upon a hilltop south of Chula Vista in West Otay Mesa. A couple years ago I blogged about the Montgomery Memorial and posted information and photographs here.

One thing I was surprised to learn while watching the exhibit’s video is that a movie was made in 1946 about John J. Montgomery’s history-making flight. It’s titled Gallant Journey and stars Glenn Ford!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Sony World Photography Awards at MOPA!

Some of the world’s most amazing photography is now being exhibited in San Diego. The Sony World Photography Awards has come to the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, with award-winning photographs that can be viewed nowhere else in the United States!

I ventured into MOPA yesterday with a combined sense of excitement and dread. Excitement to see a collection of absolutely stunning photography. Dread that my blog’s amateurish efforts pale by comparison.

As I stood staring at these great works of art, I felt drawn into worlds that were almost like dreams, but somehow more than alive. Lenses had magnified small details and emotions. Shutters had caught ephemeral moments that are otherwise lost in time.

The annual Sony World Photography Awards consists of four different competitions: Professional, Open, Youth and Student. And there are many categories in which photographs are judged. It all results in an impressive diversity of images and artistic viewpoints.

My photographs of photographs don’t do the originals justice, so I’ve included just a few to provide a tiny idea of what you might see. And you have to really see it all in person!

The traveling exhibition departs San Diego on April 16, 2023.

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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!

Super creative piñatas fill the Mingei!

Would you like to see a jaw-dropping exhibition of super creative piñatas?

Would you like to see fantastic works of art that have been inspired by the traditional Mexican piñata?

Piñatas: The High Art of Celebration is now on display at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park!

I’ve never seen so many unique piñatas all in one place. And so many unusual ones!

In addition to more familiar traditional piñatas, visitors to the exhibition will see unusual piñata costumes, creative piñata wall art, piñatas with political messages, humorous piñatas, pop culture piñatas . . . even a life-size car piñata! (That car piñata would hold a lot of candy!)

According to the Mingei’s website, this is one of the first-ever exhibitions to spotlight piñatas as a traditional craft and vibrant contemporary art form.

I was excited to see so many unexpected creations. It never occurred to me that piñatas might be crafted as small hummingbirds or butterflies, or a bag of Cheetos, or a bottle of COVID-19 vaccine!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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 spinning Sexy Helix adds color to Oceanside!

A spinning Sexy Helix now stands in front of the Oceanside Museum of Art. Those who walk past the curvaceous artwork might be dazzled. The kinetic sculpture casts colorful shards of light in every direction as it turns in the Southern California sunshine!

Sexy Helix was created by artist Deanne Sabeck. The sculpture is part of the museum’s current Legacy: 25 Years of Art and Community exhibition. Visitors pausing at the front entrance can watch the wind spin the sculpture, or give a gentle push with a finger.

Rainbow fragments spill and reflect from the sensuous curve of dichroic glass.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Rare airplane debuts on USS Midway!

Today a very rare airplane was transported across San Diego Bay. An enormous floating crane carried a restored Vought F7U Cutlass from Naval Air Station North Island and set it down onto the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum aircraft carrier.

Only seven Vought F7U Cutlass aircraft, built in the early years of the Cold War, are known to still exist. One of them was carefully restored at North Island. Today it joined many other historical aircraft on display at the USS Midway Museum.

I saw the tall crane as it was being pushed by a tugboat away from the museum. Then I observed an unusual plane perched on the flight deck by the aircraft carrier’s horns. A docent informed me what had just happened!

The Vought F7U Cutlass is a very odd looking airplane. Its design is unusual–there is no tail! See its Wikipedia page here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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!

Holiday magic at the Model Railroad Museum!

Need some holiday magic?

It can be found in abundance at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park!

The huge, detailed train layouts are amazing by themselves, but during the Holiday Season, additional surprises await around the museum!

There are beautiful Christmas trees, a talking, animatronic Santa to excite kids, and tiny holiday scenes placed in several of the scale train layouts.

But by far the most magic can be experienced in the Toy Train Gallery!

In the Toy Train Gallery, young and old gaze wide-eyed at a lively city filled with holiday figures and bright decorations. Trains illuminated with colored Christmas lights pass through happy winter scenes. Snowmen and Christmas trees perch on rooftops. It like a dream world one might see in a snow globe–filled with life and activity!

In addition, the Toy Train Gallery’s walls are filled with holiday artwork that will make old-timers nostalgic for years gone by.

A few photos provide a small taste…

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