Sunflowers in Escondido help Ukrainian refugees!

An effort is underway in Escondido to help refugees who’ve fled Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

I saw numerous beautiful paintings of sunflowers on display at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival today. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

The bright, optimistic paintings were created by artists who belong to the Escondido Art Association. Their project is called Sunflowers for Ukraine. Purchases and donations go to World Central Kitchen, which is feeding displaced Ukrainians.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Escondido Art Association’s website by clicking here! They’ve already raised ten thousand dollars!

Feeling inspired by this project? But you don’t live in Escondido? Certainly there are many artists who can paint sunflowers where you live! You can grow sunflowers like these, too!

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!

Would you like to read a happy short story about sunflowers and spreading kindness? Then click here!

Life, death, joy and pessimism in La Jolla.

Art is often a stir of moods and strange contradictions, like life itself.

I saw this complexity during a fun visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. A major exhibit in the recently reopened, beautifully renovated museum concerns the often experimental artwork of world-renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who spent her last years living in La Jolla. The exhibition is titled Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s. It will be on view through July 17, 2022.

As I walked around several spacious gallery spaces, observing the artist’s sensuous sculptures, and fantastic drawings, and paintings created by shooting guns, I saw joyful, fertile, exuberant life displayed side-by-side with bleak, shattered, debris-filled pessimism. It seemed that positivity was associated with female experience, negativity with modernity. As if the two are absolutely separate.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s female sculpture Nanas dance everywhere one turns, bursting with life. Her large Tirs, or performance art “shooting paintings,” looked to my eye like dead junkyards: rigid, punctured, streaked, drained.

As I gazed at the various artworks, whose elements often seem primordial or mythical, I wondered how seemingly opposed ideas could tangle in the mind of an artist–how paint and gunshots could so easily coexist. Oh, wait. Life and death is the prime subject of art.

Go visit this amazing exhibition of rampant creativity and form your own conclusions!

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!

An epic mural is coming to life in City Heights!

An epic, 263-foot mural in City Heights keeps slowly coming to life!

Unity in the Community, by artist Sake, is a work in progress that promises to be one of San Diego’s most amazing public artworks once completed.

I walked along the south end of Teralta Neighborhood Park today and discovered more human faces have taken form since my last visit in January. Work on the enormous mural has been going on for a year or so.

If you’d like to see photographs of San Diego graffiti artist Sake painting the mural, and of the long mural in various stages of completion, click here.

Here is some of that new life I spotted today…

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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!

Huge mural by Joram Roukes in Vista!

Have you seen the 60 foot tall mural at the new Found Lofts apartments in Vista’s Arts and Culture District? Joram Roukes, an internationally famous artist and muralist from The Netherlands, painted it a couple months ago!

The collage-like, multi-wall mural contains many elements, including a mountain climber, and images that represent the culture of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. The frog and the coyote in the mural come from a traditional animal story of The First People: How Coyote Killed Frog. The Luiseño people inhabited this area long before Spaniards established nearby Mission San Luis Rey in 1798.

The very cool mural is located at 516 S. Santa Fe Avenue. You can’t miss 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!

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!

Impressionist masterpieces exhibited in San Diego!

Tired of living much of your life virtually for the last couple of years? Would you like an awe-inspiring, exhilarating first-hand experience of fine art?

At the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, numerous Impressionist masterpieces now await your eyes!

Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation showcases pieces from one of the finest art collections in Europe. And it’s right here in San Diego for much of the summer.

All I know is that I visited the museum yesterday and found myself drifting into dreamlike worlds through frames hung on gallery walls. Scenes composed with mere glimpses of light, color and form somehow became real–more than real.

It isn’t often eyes are privileged to absorb artwork this historically important, and excellent.

Artists I noticed include Monet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Matisse, Gauguin, Degas and Picasso. If you’ve never had the opportunity to view original artwork by some of the world’s greatest artists, now is your chance!

Just a few different examples…

Boats on the Beach at Etretat, Claude Monet, 1883. Oil on canvas.
The Jockey, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1899. Gouache and lithograph.
Almond Trees in Flower, Paul Signac, 1902-1904. Oil on canvas.
Portrait of Angel Fernandez del Soto, Pablo Picasso, 1903. Pastel.
View of Antibes, Henri Matisse, 1925. Oil on canvas.

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!

Let’s Grow Together in Pacific Beach!

A very large floral mural was painted last year in Pacific Beach. You can view it on the outdoor wall of Pastiamo, a pasta restaurant on Turquoise Street just east of Mission Boulevard. A bee flying over colorful flowers has written let’s grow together.

The artists are from Mindful Murals.

Mindful Murals must be going strong, because I see more and more of their work all over San Diego. They often paint positive, encouraging graphics at schools.

A friendly lady I spoke to who works at Pastiamo says they plan to serve pizzas at those shady tables!

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!

A new Unity mural in Normal Heights!

There’s a cool new mural in Normal Heights, near the northeast corner of Adams Avenue and 32nd Street, that I believe was painted a couple months ago. It’s by San Diego artist Jonathan Wenner aka Unity (@unity1980).

I really like Unity’s style. It’s very unique, fresh and engaging. One can gaze at his artwork for a long while, and see more and more little details.

Does his style seem familiar? Unity also painted that cool Humphrey Appliance mural on Adams Avenue a few blocks to the east. You can see photos of that mural 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!

Vistacado Festival Parade mural celebrates Vista history!

A nostalgic mural in downtown Vista, California depicts an annual community parade held in the 1930’s to 1950’s.

The fun Vistacado Festival Parade mural, painted in 2005 by artist Clayton Parker, decorates the exterior of Barrel & Stave Pour House, near the corner of Main Street and Indiana Avenue.

The parade seems to proceed around the building. There are cool old cars, a marching band, cheerleaders, young baseball players, dignitaries, and even walking avocado mascots!

I smiled when I saw the mural includes an image of Pepper Tree Frosty, which I blogged about yesterday here!

This parade artwork is actually one small part of a much, much longer historical mural that runs 564 feet along Vistacado Lane between North Indiana and Michigan Avenue. The entire stretch of artwork has been recognized as Guinness World Record longest continuous mural!

I glimpsed the very long, somewhat faded artwork down Vistacado Lane during my walk yesterday, and in retrospect I should have photographed all of it. I’ll hopefully remember to do that on my next visit to Vista.

I learned all about the longer mural when I read this article. It explains how the original artist, Clayton Parker, restored the Vistacado Festival Parade portion in 2020.

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!

Liberty Station’s art-jammed Barracks 16!

You might think the inside of an old Navy barracks would be very dull. That’s certainly not the case when it comes to Barracks 16 at Liberty Station in Point Loma!

This repurposed barracks, originally part of the historic Naval Training Center San Diego, is now the home of wildly colorful artist studios and galleries!

I stepped into Barracks 16 last weekend, not really knowing what to expect. Look at some of the super fun art I found jammed inside!

By the way, if you’re interested, it appeared many of the works on the hallway walls are for sale…

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!

Big new Rafael López mural in East Village!

Wow! Look at this!

I saw that a huge new mural is now being painted in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood. Drivers coming into downtown via F Street can’t miss it! The colorful mural can be seen on the new high-rise building west of 14th Street adjacent to the Urban Discovery Academy.

And the mural’s designer is unmistakably internationally renowned San Diego artist and illustrator Rafael López!

I should’ve wandered around a bit more to explore further, but I had a specific destination this morning. If I do learn more, I’ll provide an update. If you happen to know more about this amazing mural, please leave a comment!

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!