Art’s Popping Up in Azalea Park!

Art’s Popping Up in colorful Azalea Park!

It is quite literally!

That’s because Art’s Popping Up is the name of a welcoming mosaic sculpture in the median of Poplar Street, at the entrance to Azalea Park, a friendly community in south City Heights!

I enjoyed an inspiring tour around Azalea Park yesterday and will be blogging about lots of amazing artwork.

The bright mosaics on the four sides of Art’s Popping Up were created in 2018 by members of the community. The lead artist, Vicki Leon, has a nearby studio. A team of friends and neighbors, who go by the name Azalea Park Mosaic League, not only helped to create this fantastic sculpture, but with the help of Vicki Leon they’ve produced numerous mosaics throughout Azalea Park.

Several tiles on one side of Art’s Popping Up explain: “This mosaic celebrates art emerging from within our neighborhood. It follows the theme of the Pop Street mosaics on Poplar Street…Framed artworks pop out of an Art Nouveau background, a style of art inspired by the curved lines of plants and flowers, used here to reference Azalea Park’s botanical theme and natural canyons…The continuous rainbow of color is created from hand-cut stained glass and represents our unity and diversity…”

At the top of the tall sculpture are four words selected during meetings of community members. They are: Community, Diversity, Unity and Creativity.

I love how the rainbow of color seems to splash, curl and spurt upward along the four sides of Art’s Popping Up. The mosaic shines brilliantly in the San Diego sunshine as it greets residents going to and from their homes.

Two awesome members of the Azalea Park Mosaic League smile for a photograph of Art’s Popping Up!
Azalea Park is bounded by Manzanita Canyon and Hollywood Canyon. Trails from residential streets provide easy access to nature. Images of hiking, plants and other natural elements that have been sandblasted on colorful ceramic tiles add meaning to the community mosaic.

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That kinetic sculpture on the Nimitz median.

Whenever I’ve driven down Nimitz Boulevard south of West Point Loma Boulevard I’ve wondered about a kinetic sculpture that rises from the street’s median.

Yesterday morning I headed to Point Loma for a better look.

The shining sculpture, titled Taiji, was created by Encinitas artist Jeffery Laudenslager. Like a silent living thing, the public art moves and changes its shape in even the slightest breeze.

Taiji was placed on the median by the Point Loma Association in 2017. Learn more about the association and their work to beautify Point Loma here.

According to the artist, Taiji is based on the Yin and Yang principle. You might say all of his kinetic pieces display a certain symmetry, considering how perfectly balanced they are.

You can see two more Jeffery Laudenslager pieces that I’ve photographed around San Diego here and here.

(It was early Saturday morning and traffic was extremely light. I was super careful that no cars were coming when I momentarily crossed the usually busy street to take a few photos!)

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 mysterious Coastal Helix sculpture in Carlsbad!

Have you ever wondered about that mysterious shining sculpture in the traffic roundabout at the north end of Carlsbad? You know, where Carlsbad Boulevard meets State Street, just south of the Buena Vista Lagoon?

The fantastic sculpture is titled Coastal Helix. It was created by California artist Roger White Stoller in 2014. Learn more about him here.

As you drive past the silvery flame-like public artwork, watching for merging traffic, you can’t fully appreciate it.

During my walk up the Coast Highway last weekend in Carlsbad I approached Coastal Helix and took a variety of photos. You can see how small stories appear to be told in the metalwork. One sees birds, frogs, surfers, and many other lively elements all mixed together.

According to the artist’s description here: “A celebration of the Pacific Ocean and coastal lagoons, the stainless pattern incorporates abstracted imagery of local flora and fauna: a whale, pelican, heron, crab, bird-of-paradise, waves and many more elements can be discovered. Gateway to the city, it stands atop artisan boulders built by Boulderscape and designed to replicate the local sandstone cliffs…”

These coastal inhabitants all seem to have spiraled upward mysteriously from the rocks upon which the sculpture is perched.

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!

Archaeopteryx at Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center!

A prehistoric, Late Jurassic period Archaeopteryx is often seen lurking near the entrance of the Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center!

The flightless, carnivorous, bird-like dinosaur apparently has arrived from 150 million years ago and found a home in Oceanside!

This particular specimen appears very shiny. That’s probably because it’s actually a cool metal sculpture, created in 2021 by local artist Dr. Paul Weber!

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!

Two surfers, a burger and fries!

Today I rode the Coaster train from San Diego up the coast for a relaxing holiday adventure. I did a lot of walking in both Carlsbad and Oceanside, and took lots of photographs. Stay tuned!

I hadn’t eaten breakfast, so around noon, as I walked north into Oceanside via South Coast Highway, a burger and fries was sounding good. Particularly from Angelo’s Burgers, whose hand cut fries are super yummy. (Their huge burgers are great, too!)

As I neared Angelo’s I spied a surfing mural on the side of their building that I’ve always wanted to photograph.

After crossing the Coast Highway north of the restaurant, I spotted a second cool surfing mural on the exterior of nearby Moose Lodge 1325, so I snapped a photo of that one, too!

Surfing mural at Angelo’s Burgers by Angela Brittain, 2012. The Oceanside artist also painted the mustachioed statue holding a hamburger in front of the restaurant. (The oblong shapes that appear to be dangling surfboards in the above photo are actually shadows.)
I don’t know who painted this very cool surfing mural at Moose Lodge 1325. If you know, 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!

A magical little garden in Coronado!

In Coronado, a few steps from Orange Avenue, there’s a magical little garden.

If you’ve ever visited Spreckels Park, you might have seen the June Miller Garden surrounding the trunk of a tall palm tree. I took a good look at it yesterday as I wandered down the sidewalk, waiting for the big 4th of July Parade to begin.

Not only did I discover several interesting plaques, but I spied a young boy who was retrieving a baseball kneeling with wonder above a small turtle.

The sculpture represents a magical moment of discovery.

To learn more about the history of Spreckels Park, you can visit this Coronado Historical Association web page.

JUNE MILLER GARDEN

Maintained by

CROWN GARDEN CLUB OF CORONADO

CDR. PHILIP HENRY DENNLER, JR.

WHOSE LOYALTY TO THE CORONADO FLOWER SHOW INSPIRED US ALL.

CORONADO FLORAL ASSOCIATION

APRIL 1975

Happy Birthday Coronado

1890-2015

The Crown Garden Club of Coronado

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The Renaissance Woman sculpture in University City.

A marble sculpture by renowned American artist Manuel Neri stands near a sun-splashed fountain and bright colonnade in University City. The sculpture is titled The Renaissance Woman.

According to its plaque, the beautiful sculpture was placed by the corner of Shoreline Drive and Renaissance Avenue in 1990 for the enjoyment of the community and residents who live nearby.

A graceful, dignified form seems to be emerging from the block of white marble, which is encircled by flowers.

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!

Seeds of knowledge Sprout at a library!

Symbolic public art stands at the entrance to the City of San Diego North University Community Branch Library. The sculpture is titled Sprout.

Sprout was created by artist Blue McRight in 2007, the year the library opened.

The unique stainless steel sculpture is in the shape of a tender seedling about to rise up from the earth. Scattered on its two new leaves are many letters. Should this young plant grow and flourish, simple words would surely appear upon it, and its words would multiply.

With a little imagination you can see how Sprout’s small seed, given time and proper care, would produce a full grown tree of knowledge.

That’s what happens in a library, right?

At night the letters light up, which is something I have not yet experienced.

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!

Art explodes in James Watts’ studio window!

Three years ago I enjoyed an amazing tour of artist James Watts’ studio in downtown San Diego. See those photos here.

The small creative space (home of what he calls on his Instagram page The James E Watts Institute of Artistic Behavior) is one of the most fantastic and inspiring places you’ll ever visit. Every inch is crammed with inexhaustible imagination and obvious love of life.

Whenever I walk down Seventh Avenue past the James E. Watts Studio, I peer into the front windows to see what works he has chosen to display.

This morning I was delighted by an explosion of art…

Choose happy.

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!

Rose Creek depicted on new Fire Station 50!

Monumental public art debuted late last year, when the new San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 50 opened in University City. I saw the artwork for the first time on Saturday and took these photographs!

The huge metal sculpture on the building’s side represents “blue” Rose Creek running through “coppery” Rose Canyon, which the fire station is positioned above!

The artist, Susan Zoccola, has an assortment of great photos on her website, including images taken at night when the sculpture is lit. (I had to take my own shots into the sunlight. A little photo editing produced the results you see here.)

At first sight I thought the bluish wire-like tubes that compose the river represent smoke! Or perhaps the tall grass by the sidewalk! But, no. The vertically arranged river runs across perforated copper layers that intentionally appear like a topographic map–the type of map firefighters often use.

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!