Hidden mural celebrates Little Italy!

There’s a hidden mural very few people see that celebrates downtown’s Little Italy community.

Neither drivers nor pedestrians can see it well, unless they head down little-used, alley-like California Street just south of Laurel Street.

I first saw this Little Italy mural because I often ride the Green Line trolley. As the San Diego Trolley rises high in the air to pass over busy Laurel Street, passengers looking down can see the artwork on a parking lot wall. The small lot is located behind a Valero gas station and Fairway Golf USA store, which are both on Pacific Highway.

I walked down California Street last weekend to get a good look at this great mural. It depicts the Little Italy landmark sign above fishing boats in a row by a pier.

Little Italy was once a center of the tuna fishing industry, which was very big in San Diego for much of the 20th century.

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Chicano Federation and San Diego Loyal paint mural!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

Last Wednesday, international soccer superstar Landon Donovan and the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club participated in very cool project at the Delta Apartments in Shelltown. A colorful mural was painted in celebration of Cesar Chavez Day!

Volunteers came together to paint this community mural, which was designed by artist Yessenia Hulsey. The artwork depicts children having fun playing soccer. The mural adds life, beauty and inspiration to this affordable housing complex operated by the Chicano Federation.

I couldn’t be present that day, but photographs of the event were sent my way!

The Chicano Federation manages nine apartment complexes in San Diego, providing affordable housing for families, seniors and people with disabilities. They also offer child development and nutrition programs, and a Women’s Small Business Development Program. To learn more about their important work, click here!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.
Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

This is how the completed mural would appear!

Photo courtesy of SVPR Communications.

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!

Sea lion at Chase Bank in Pacific Beach.

A sea lion likes to hang out in front of Chase Bank in Pacific Beach. Perhaps you’ve seen it near the corner of Garnet Avenue and Mission Bay Drive!

I don’t know how I missed this bronze sculpture the day I walked around the bank building to photograph its mosaics back in late January. To see the extraordinary mosaics, which depict figures from San Diego history, click here.

Does anyone out there know the story of this sea lion sculpture? Do you have any memories?

It’s standing on soil covered with wood bark in what might have once been a fountain or pool of water, but I can’t tell. When I walked past the fun sculpture on Saturday, I could find no indication of when it was created or by whom.

Please leave a comment if you happen to know anything!

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!

Discovering more Young Art: Outside the Frame!

While walking up Park Boulevard in East Village today I discovered more utility boxes that are being painted for the San Diego Museum of Art’s cool outdoor exhibition Young Art: Outside the Frame!

Most of the boxes you see here are located around Park Boulevard and F Street. Last weekend I discovered other newly painted utility boxes in this same general area and posted those photos here. Click the link and you’ll learn more about this unique, very cool project!

(I noticed some of those earlier boxes are now finished, and I’ll be updating that blog post with additional images shortly.)

To see even more colorful utility boxes painted for the Young Art: Outside the Frame project, you can check out additional blog posts here and here and here!

As you can see in the next photo, the fun goldfish box was painted by Ground Floor Murals. They also created a super cool mural in City Heights celebrating Tony Gwynn. See that here!

For the other boxes that follow, many of which are just getting started, I don’t know the artists yet…

The next three boxes are on the sidewalk adjacent to some very cool East Village murals I blogged about here!

UPDATE!

Here are a couple photos I took several days later…

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New tile murals at Automotive Museum debut!

Today was an historic day! Four long-anticipated murals have debuted above the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum!

Yesterday’s scaffolding has been removed, revealing beautiful tile artwork that will be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park for many decades–perhaps even centuries–into the future!

I first blogged about the project back in late 2017. You can read what I wrote here.

As I explained, these permanent tile murals “…are based on murals that decorated the (California State Building) during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition….Much of the California State Building’s original ornamentation no longer exists, including the four original murals. They were created for the exposition by Hollywood set designer Juan Larrinaga. Painted on fiberboard to appear like tilework, they depicted California’s commerce, scenic beauty, agriculture and industry.”

The exquisite tiles were created by RTK Studios in Ojai, California.

Those who enjoy at visit to the San Diego Automotive Museum, or the newly opened Pan American Plaza in front of the museum, will now be able feast their eyes on these four truly remarkable works of public art!

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!

One long, colorful mural in Chula Vista!

If you’ve driven through the intersection of Palomar Street and Broadway in Chula Vista you’ve no doubt seen it. A long, very colorful mural painted on the wall by nearby Orange Avenue, between a small city park and the El Mirador Trailer Court.

I believe the wall was painted fairly recently–that’s what a gentleman who works at Jack in the Box across the street told me.

I love the bright, cheerful designs! It appears that many refer to aspects of our region’s unique cultural and natural heritage.

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!

Mysterious public sculpture in North Park.

I walk past this sculpture at the corner of University Avenue and Bancroft Street every so often, and when I do I always search for a plaque or other indication of when it was created and by whom. To me it’s a complete mystery.

For many years this flame-like sculpture with patterned tiles at its base has welcomed people driving west into North Park from City Heights. I have no doubt someone out there knows its story–but I sure don’t!

If you know anything, I’d be very curious to read your 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!

Community sculptures appear in City Heights!

An outdoor sculpture gallery is now springing up in the heart of City Heights!

Today I paused near the intersection of University Avenue and Interstate 15 to feast my eyes on all the colorful artwork!

This very cool outdoor sculpture garden is sponsored by the City Heights Community Development Corporation, the City Heights Business Association and Synergy Arts Foundation. The character sculptures, which might represent a person that is real or imagined, are all created by members of the community, under the curation of local artist Jim Bliesner.

The sculptures have personalities that are funny, or sad, or hopeful, or simply whimsical–and all are super creative! I noticed some refer to the difficult COVID-19 pandemic we are all experiencing.

You can view this unique installation in the vacant lot north of University Avenue just east of Interstate 15. The mixed media sculptures stand behind a fence that is already decorated with hand painted murals that I blogged about here.

The sculptures will be on display in the lot for a year and a variety of community events will be held among them.

I’ll return at a later time to photograph additional sculptures. Stay tuned for an update!

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!

Young Art: Outside the Frame in East Village!

This morning I spotted five more utility boxes that are being painted for the San Diego Museum of Art’s project Young Art: Outside the Frame!

These five boxes are all in downtown San Diego’s East Village neighborhood, along Park Boulevard between E Street and Market Street. Other boxes I’ve previously spotted are also along Park Boulevard, but to the north. To see those colorful utility boxes, click here and here and here!

The unique outdoor exhibition Young Art: Outside the Frame is a collaboration between the San Diego Museum of Art, SDG&E, and Mindful Murals who is coordinating the many artists.

Environmental artwork that has been selected from the museum’s upcoming biennial exhibition of local student art (this year titled Young Art 2021: My World, Our Planet) is being reproduced by professional artists on 25 SDG&E utility boxes. A map of the box locations is forthcoming, and I will post it!

The five boxes I spied today are in various stages of completion. I can identify one of the artists so far. The black box with the blue sea life is by Shelly S. (@fairywulf).

I’ll post updates as I learn and discover more in the days ahead!

(The upcoming photo is of a mural directly across Park Boulevard from the above box. It’s titled The Strength of the Women. It was painted by renowned artist Rafael Lopez years ago. I blogged about it in 2014. You can see those photos here.)

Now back to the boxes…

UPDATE!

The following weekend I took photos that show some of the above boxes are now finished.

I see the utility box with the flowers and the face on top is by Donovan Diaz (@drawntworks). The now completed black and white box with the wildlife is by Amanda Kazemi (@grayfractal). And the box with the wind turbines is by Sean Hnedak.

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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Community sculpture at entrance to Escondido.

If you’ve ever entered or departed downtown Escondido via West Valley Parkway, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a large, quite interesting sculpture a short distance east of Interstate 15. The sculpture stands at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Tulip Street, right next to the Gateway Shopping Center.

The cast bronze sculpture is titled Community. It was created by local artist Jeff Lindeneau in 1990.

The sun’s light forms dynamic human shapes that are “cut out” of the two triangular sections of Community.

According to a City of Escondido walking tour brochure: “This bronze, copper and locally mined granite sculpture celebrates people living and building together to achieve a common goal. The dramatic sculpture’s shape is reminiscent of the mountains surrounding Escondido with a central passageway depicting the valley.”

I like how you can see trees, hillsides, signs, buildings, light posts and electrical wires inside the human shapes. They, too, are part of Community.

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!