San Diego’s outdoor, drive-through art gallery!

A large, welcoming Love City Heights mural greets people along University Avenue near Interstate 15.
A large, welcoming Love City Heights mural greets people along University Avenue near Interstate 15.

There’s a surprising, rapidly expanding outdoor art gallery in San Diego that anybody can freely enjoy. The huge canvases of this unique gallery are the walls of buildings in City Heights, on the stretch of University Avenue between I-805 and I-15.

Eye-catching works of art by noted San Diego and Southern California muralists have recently been painted all along this “drive-through” gallery. And many more will be appearing soon!

I recently enjoyed a walking tour of the colorful murals, led by Carlos Quezada and Edwin Lohr, two members of Love City Heights, an association affiliated with the City Heights Town Council. Carlos and Edwin are both visionaries who are working with local residents, community leaders and businesses to bring new life to this extraordinarily diverse San Diego neighborhood.

An important part of their effort is #theavenuemuralproject. The Avenue Mural Project is using the magic of art to transform University Avenue, which contains City Heights’ Business District, into a vibrant place full of culture, creativity and community pride.

I learned that Carlos has a definite goal. He’d like to have one new street mural painted every month. His hope is that eventually three works of public art will be easily seen from any random spot along “The Avenue”.

I also learned that Love City Heights is collaborating with the City Heights Development Corporation and Mid-City CAN (Community Advocacy Network) to create even more murals east of I-15 through their youth program.

In addition to filling the streets with cool art, Love City Heights is working with business and property owners to transform their historic San Diego neighborhood into a dynamic place where people from all over will come to dine, shop and enjoy themselves. City Heights is the most diverse community in all of San Diego, and is centrally located, with many unique ethnic restaurants that can be found nowhere else. City Heights is uniquely qualified to be an authentic cultural attraction in San Diego.

Would you like to learn more about San Diego’s colorful, rapidly growing “drive-through” art gallery?

Are you an artist, resident or local business owner who’d like to participate in the revitalization of City Heights?

These are some links that you can check out:

Love City Heights on Facebook

#theavenuemuralproject tag on Instagram

TheAvenueSD.com

video about the mural project on YouTube

Do you live in San Diego and want something fun to do? Hop in your car or put on your walking shoes, then embark on a voyage of discovery along University Avenue between I-805 and I-15, where you will enjoy an ever-growing gallery of murals!

Here are a few . . .

The first mural painted by The Avenue Mural Project in City Heights contains joyful swirls of many colors! Endless Summer was designed by artist Erin Bowman.
The first mural painted by The Avenue Mural Project in City Heights contains joyful swirls of many colors! Endless Summer was designed by artist Erin Bowman.
A beautiful sun shines above stylized waves.
The warm San Diego sun shines above stylized waves.
The Endless Summer mural was painted by local school children, whose names appear in one corner, along with many positive messages.
The Endless Summer mural was painted by local school children, whose names appear in one corner, along with many positive messages.
Earlier this year I posted a photo of this mural on my blog. I hadn't realized at the time it's part of a cool outdoor drive-through art gallery in City Heights!
Earlier this year I posted a photo of this mural on my blog. I hadn’t realized it’s part of a cool outdoor drive-through art gallery in City Heights!
I was told this compassionate Amor mural, by @inkpaint and @fabianafoca is a work in progress.
Compassion in a City Heights alley. I was told this Amor mural, by @inkpaint and @fabianafoca, is a work in progress.
The beautiful tile mosaic A is not quite completed.
The beautiful tile mosaic “A” is not quite completed.
VISUAL painted the wall of a MetroPCS store with a cool image of kids communicating with tin cans and a string.
VISUAL painted the wall of a MetroPCS store with a cool image of kids communicating with tin cans and a string.
One business along University Avenue had their building painted with a wonderful mural with images of nature.
One business along University Avenue had their building painted with a pleasing mural containing elements of nature.
Another local store has happy, inviting murals painted on a side of their building.
Another local store now has happy, inviting murals painted on a side of their building.
This fun image depicts kids breaking open a piñata.
This fun image depicts kids breaking open a piñata.
A mural titled The Garden Party by artists Althea Rose Neff, Gilbert Cota and Alex Malone.
A mural titled The Garden Party by artists Althea Rose Neff, Gilbert Cota and Alex Malone.
A closer photo of The Garden Party mural, on the wall of popular Mexican restaurant Super Cocina.
A closer photo of The Garden Party mural, on the wall of popular Mexican restaurant Super Cocina.
Los Angeles muralist Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth, painted LOVE on the side of 7-Eleven in City Heights.
Los Angeles muralist Ruben Rojas, co-founder of Beautify Earth, painted LOVE on the side of 7-Eleven in City Heights.

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!

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

He Left From Here, an angelic sand sculpture by World Master Dmitry Klimenko from St. Petersburg, Russia.
He Left From Here, an angelic sand sculpture by World Master Dmitry Klimenko from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The following photos feature twelve of the most amazing sand sculptures you’re likely to ever see.

Each work of art was created by an internationally famous World Master sand sculptor. And right now, throughout this Labor Day weekend, the public can experience these fantastic works of sand art up close and in person at the 2018 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego, California is considered to be one of the premier Labor Day events in all the United States. At this unique competition, which is held on downtown’s Broadway Pier, visitors can also view incredible sand sculptures carved by super-talented local teams (this year three award-winning teams from Imperial Beach), and all sorts of additional three dimensional artwork along the pier.

But the most extraordinary sand sculptures are inside the pier’s Port Pavilion. And that is what I photographed today.

Prepare to have your breath taken away!

Fantastic art is created by one of the world's top sand sculptors inside San Diego's Port Pavilion at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Fantastic art is created by one of the world’s top sand sculptors inside San Diego’s Port Pavilion at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Dmitry Klimenko puts the finishing touches on another of his breathtaking works of sand art.
Dmitry Klimenko puts the finishing touches on a truly breathtaking work of sand art.
Eulogy, a sand sculpture of a rhinoceros by World Master Brian Turnbough from Chicago, Illinois.
Eulogy, a sand sculpture of a rhinoceros by World Master Brian Turnbough from Chicago, Illinois.
The artistry seen in this sand sculpture is extraordinary.
The artistry seen in this sand sculpture is extraordinary.
Brian Turnbough finishes a tribute to the endangered rhinoceros.
Brian Turnbough finishes a tribute to the endangered rhinoceros.
Who Are You?, a fantastic sand sculpture by World Master Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia.
Who Are You?, a fantastic sand sculpture by World Master Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia.
Closer photo of a remarkable sand sculpture.
Closer photo of a remarkable sand sculpture.
Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova puts the final touches on a sand cat.
Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova puts the final touches on a sand cat.
A visitor to the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego admires a small work of art.
A visitor to the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego admires a small work of art.
At Last, Atlas' Last Atlas!, a humorous sand sculpture by World Master Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.
At Last, Atlas’ Last Atlas!, a humorous sand sculpture by World Master Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.
Morgan Rudluff works to finish her sculpture by early afternoon, to meet the competition's deadline.
Morgan Rudluff works to finish her sculpture by early afternoon, to meet the competition’s deadline.
A unique work of art produced by skilled hands and human imagination.
A unique work of art produced by skilled hands and human imagination.
The base of Liberation, a sand sculpture about freedom by World Master Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri.
The base of Liberation, a sand sculpture about freedom by World Master Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri.
An eagle is liberated from a cell-like cage. Dynamic sand art with great emotional impact.
An eagle is liberated from a cell-like cage. Dynamic sand art with great emotional impact.
Existential Paradox, a mysterious sand sculpture by World Master Rusty Croft from Carmel, California.
Existential Paradox, a mysterious sand sculpture by World Master Rusty Croft from Carmel, California.
Peering through an existential paradox at an inner human face.
Peering through the existential paradox at an inner human face.
A part of one face.
A part of one face.
Rusty Croft works on humanity's mysterious inner essence.
Rusty Croft works on humanity’s mysterious inner essence.
Another amazing sand sculpture inside the Port Pavilion!
Another amazing sand sculpture inside the Port Pavilion!
Let's Dance, a fanciful sand sculpture by World Master Meg Murray from Australia.
Let’s Dance, a fanciful sand sculpture by World Master Meg Murray from Australia.
A closer photo of the graceful, organic sand sculpture.
A closer photo of the graceful, organic sand sculpture.
Meg Murray concentrates on her poetic sand art.
Meg Murray concentrates on her poetic sand art.
Rear of the abstract Let's Dance, with some simple sand sculpting tools on a table in the foreground.
Rear of the abstract Let’s Dance, with some simple sand sculpting tools on a table in the foreground.
Victory, a classic sand sculpture by World Master Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.
Victory, a classic sand sculpture by World Master Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.
Another work of art. It seems a miracle that such a fine sculpture can be made out of sand.
Another fine work of art. It seems a miracle that such a detailed sculpture can be made out of sand.
Thomas Koet at work on the back side of his triumphant sand sculpture.
Thomas Koet at work on the back side of his triumphant sand sculpture.
A world-class sand artist at work.
A world-class sand artist at work.
To Have and To Hold, an amazing sand sculpture by World Master Abram Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
To Have and To Hold, an amazing sand sculpture by World Master Abram Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
An eye-catching photo of an eye-popping sand sculpture!
An eye-catching photograph of an eye-popping sand sculpture!
This photo makes it appear as though huge hands are clasping the artist Abram Waterman.
This photo makes it appear as though huge hands are clasping the artist Abram Waterman.
Tender love depicted on the rear of the sculpture.
Tender love depicted on the rear of the sculpture.
A beautiful woman is held in the sculpted sand hands--in the eye of the beholder.
A beautiful woman is held in the sculpted sand hands–in the eye of the beholder.
Inspire, a beautiful sand sculpture by World Master Marielle Heessels from Netherlands.
Inspire, a beautiful sand sculpture by World Master Marielle Heessels from Netherlands.
Flowing beauty magically rises from a block of sand.
Flowing beauty magically rises from a block of sand.
An inspirational sand sculpture in San Diego.
An inspirational sand sculpture in San Diego.
Small Victories, a happy sand sculpture by World Master Lucinda "Sandy Feet" Wierenga from South Padre Island, Texas.
Small Victories, a happy sand sculpture by World Master Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga from South Padre Island, Texas.
Lucinda Wierenga creates amazing detail with very simple tools.
Lucinda Wierenga creates amazing detail with very simple tools.
A butterfly emerges from a flowery bottle of small victories.
A butterfly emerges from a flowery bottle full of small victories.
Celebration, or Cerebration, a brainy sand sculpture by World Master Leonardo Ugolini from Italy.
Celebration, or Cerebration, a cool sand sculpture by World Master Leonardo Ugolini from Italy. Small figures gaze up at a gigantic brain!
Astonishing art awaits visitors on Labor Day weekend in San Diego at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!
Astonishing art awaits visitors on Labor Day weekend in San Diego at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

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!

The ribbon of life, five years later…

A photo of the mural Our River was the first thing I ever posted to Cool San Diego Sights. I had paused during a walk in Mission Valley, and had felt inspired take a few pictures. That was five years ago.

Today I returned to the same mural.

The beautifully painted artwork, depicting the San Diego River as a blue ribbon, has faded a little. Time is inexorable. But the message of unity and care has touched many.

Perhaps life unspools like a river. Sources along the way expand our being. We deepen and grow. Until we finally become a part of that great ocean.

Let us sparkle along the way.

Assembling a beautiful mystery: Unfolding Humanity.

Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the iconic movie The Matrix.
Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the movie The Matrix.

Late today I swung by the University of San Diego to see something extraordinary.

The San Diego Geometry Lab, with the help of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program, is building a complex interactive sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. For a few minutes I admired the metal sculpture which stood outside by a campus parking lot, and watched as USD students and faculty worked to carefully assemble it.

Unfolding Humanity will be on public display this year during Burning Man, and the weekend of Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Once completed, people will be able to stand inside the hollow, 12 foot tall dodecahedron. When the mirrored sides fold close, those inside will see their myriad reflections amid thousands of programmable star-like LEDs. They will seem to stand at the center of the universe. The fantastic effect will almost certainly inspire awe and provoke thought. Awe at the beautiful symmetry and complexity of the universe, and thought about its mathematical structure and our place inside it.

This very cool sculpture is fascinating on various levels. The Matrix-like chamber provokes questions about the relationship between technology and humanity. The opening pentagonal walls relate to Albrecht Dürer’s 500-year-old mathematical problem concerning the unfolding of polyhedra. Most interesting to me, the mathematical structure of the universe, based on observations of cosmic radiation, is thought to resemble that of a dodecahedron–the shape of Unfolding Humanity. Standing inside the sculpture might in some way help us sense the mysterious structure of the cosmos itself.

This artwork reminds us all that the universe’s existence, and our existence inside it, is ultimately a profound mystery. As the Unfolding Humanity website states: We human beings do not know who we are, and that is who we are.

Today when I attended Unfolding Humanity’s announced debut, I was under the impression the project was completed. But it turns out construction is ongoing. I learned the interactive sculpture should be finished in perhaps a week or so.

Please visit the San Diego Geometry Lab website. You’ll learn more about the artwork’s conception, historical significance and symbolism. You’ll see cool external and internal renderings of Unfolding Humanity based on a computer model, plus an animation of how it will open and close once completed!

Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Exterior panels haven't been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Exterior panels haven’t been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.

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!

Cool art along Third Avenue in Chula Vista!

Mural in Chula Vista titled Lemon Capitol of the World, 1900-1945. By local artist Bob Teague, 2003.
People walk past mural in Chula Vista titled Lemon Capitol of the World, 1900-1945. By local artist Bob Teague, 2003.

As I walked about Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival yesterday, I was excited to discover some cool public art!

There are probably more examples of art to be found along the Third Avenue business district between E Street and G Street, but I photographed what I happened to stumble upon.

(Note: you will see two different sculptures. One represents sunrise, the other sunset.)

Enjoy!

Plaque by mural explains the role of lemons in the history of Chula Vista. Many grand old orchard houses can still be seen around the city.
Plaque by mural explains the role of lemons in the history of Chula Vista. Many grand old orchard houses can still be seen around the city.
Section of Lemon Capitol of the World mural that shows the historic orchard house that still stands at 210 Davidson Street.
Section of Lemon Capitol of the World mural that shows the historic orchard house that still stands at 210 Davidson Street.
ChromaSol (sunrise), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun's colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
ChromaSol (sunrise), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun’s colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
A photo of the "sunrise" sculpture from a different angle.
A photo of the translucent “sunrise” sculpture from a different angle.
ChromaSol (sunset), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun's colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
ChromaSol (sunset), an impressionistic interpretation of the sun’s colors and intensities. Public art in Chula Vista by artist D. Alan Gjerston, 2006.
Sunlight shines through the "sunset" sculpture. I see the green flash!
Sunlight shines through the “sunset” sculpture. I see the green flash!
Mural on wall of Mangia Italiano on Third, by Danos Designs.
Mural on wall of Mangia Italiano on Third, by Danos Designs.
Lovers stand on a balcony, and eat Italian food by the ocean.
Lovers embrace on a balcony by the ocean; another couple holds hands over Italian food.
The Vogue Theater, an historic 1945 Chula Vista movie theater designed by architect Frank Hope Jr., awaits renovation.
The Vogue Theater, an historic 1945 Chula Vista movie theater designed by architect Frank Hope Jr., awaits renovation.
Street art on the front of The Vogue Theater in Chula Vista depicts a night out at the movies.
Artwork on the front of The Vogue Theater in Chula Vista appears to depict a night out at the movies.

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!

Powerful mural inside Centro Cultural de la Raza.

Tezcatlipoca, jaguar, god of night, war and destruction, dominates the dark, violent left section of the large mural inside Centro Cultural de la Raza.
Tezcatlipoca, jaguar, god of night, war and destruction, dominates the dark, violent left section of the large mural inside Centro Cultural de la Raza.

Step inside Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park and you’ll come face to face with a large and very powerful mural. It was created by Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda, completed in 1984 after 13 years of inspired work.

The mural, titled La Dualidad, tells the grand story of the universe, humanity, and America’s indigenous peoples. Elements from Mesoamerican literature are included in the story, including diverse symbols from Aztec, Mayan and Native American cultures.

It’s a story primarily about darkness and light. Two ancient gods are juxtaposed: Tezcatlipoca, god of darkness, against Quetzalcoatl, god of light. War is contrasted with peace. Despair is contrasted with hope. Fear is contrasted with confidence.

Should you visit Centro Cultural de la Raza to admire La Dualidad, be sure to open up the nearby binder. It details the meaning of each ancient symbol inside the mural. They combine to form a timeless wisdom that will touch your mind and heart.

The Tree of Life stands at the center of the powerful symbolic mural La Dualidad--The Duality, 1970-1984, by artist Guillermo "Yermo" Aranda.
The Tree of Life stands at the center of the powerful symbolic mural La Dualidad–The Duality, 1970-1984, by artist Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda.
Quetzalcoatl, feathered serpent, wise creator of humankind, moves through the mural and finally faces the viewer from the center of a pyramid, amid symbols of life and light.
Quetzalcoatl, feathered serpent, wise creator of humankind, moves through the mural and finally faces the viewer from the center of a pyramid, amid symbols of life and light.

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!

Welcome to Earth and Imperial Beach!

An astronaut gives a Hang Loose hand signal as he hovers near a satellite high above planet Earth!
An astronaut gives a Hang Loose hand signal as he hovers near a satellite high above planet Earth!

Head into Imperial Beach along Palm Avenue and you’ll be treated to colorful art!

Here are some photos that I took yesterday!

A very cool space mural on one side of the AT&T building on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. By artists Todd Stands and Dave Frink.
A very cool space mural on one side of the AT&T building on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. By artists Todd Stands and Dave Frink.
As drivers head west down Palm Avenue, a mural featuring a gray whale welcomes them to Imperial Beach.
As drivers head west down Palm Avenue, a mural featuring a gray whale welcomes them to Imperial Beach.
Art on fence between Palm Avenue and the old salt ponds of south San Diego Bay, now part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve.
Art on fence between Palm Avenue and the old salt ponds of south San Diego Bay, now part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve.
One side of the AT&T building at 13th Street has colorful, spiritual jellyfish that seem to communicate electrically!
One side of the AT&T building at 13th Street has colorful, spiritual jellyfish that seem to communicate electrically!
The mural on the front of the AT&T building includes a big whale.
The mural on the front of the AT&T building includes a big whale.
And lots of super colorful shore birds.
And lots of super colorful shore birds.
Beautiful public art welcomes visitors to Imperial Beach.
Beautiful public art welcomes visitors to Imperial Beach.
Another whale in the mural.
Another whale in the mural.
A pod of dolphins swims across an electrical box.
A pod of dolphins swims across an electrical box.
More beautiful street art.
More beautiful street art.
I spotted a couple of native Eastern Pacific green sea turtles across Palm Avenue near 12th Street!
I spotted a couple of native Eastern Pacific green sea turtles across Palm Avenue near 12th Street!
Carly Ealey painted Cosmic Tides in Imperial Beach for Pangeaseed's Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.
Carly Ealey painted Cosmic Tides in Imperial Beach for Pangeaseed’s Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.

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!