Penelope awaits Odysseus at Coronado Tidelands Park.

In 2019, this sculpture of Penelope, from Greek mythology, was placed beside the boardwalk in Coronado Tidelands Park.

The bronze head of Penelope gazes across the water toward the Coronado Bridge and South Bay, as if awaiting the return of her husband Odysseus. Odysseus (the Romans called him Ulysses) was fated to wander from adventure to adventure after the Trojan War.

I guess I hadn’t walked this way for over three years, because I didn’t notice Penelope here before. But I did see this same sculpture many years ago. It stood for a while just north of Seaport Village, where Ruocco Park was eventually developed.

The amazing work of public art was created by artist Michael Stutz in 2009. (Looking at his website, I note he also created the Flame Flower in front of the Westin Gaslamp, which you can see here.)

I love the artist’s representation of Penelope. The mask-like face, gazing out over San Diego Bay, appears windblown but firm. The sculpture evokes human patience, anticipation, nobility…

Weaving by day, Penelope would be forced to choose a…

…new husband when her tapestry was complete. But all…

…the while she waited, unraveling her work by night…

…steadfastly sure of Ulysses’ return.

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The Knot is tied beautifully in Coronado.

Have you seen this interesting public art in Coronado? It was installed earlier this year. You can find it north of the Coronado Community Center, on the walkway beside the Glorietta Bay Marina.

The simple but beautiful bronze sculpture is titled The Knot. It’s by James Albert Wood. Created in 2004, The Knot is described as an artistic portrayal of life’s transitions.

That makes me think. The tying of a knot is a transition, as is the untying of a knot.

The sculpture entices eyes to follow its short length through space. The bending curve is sort of like a journey in life. We are continuously moving and turning, in transition, forming ties with the world around us and with others we meet.

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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.

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Inspired people Aspire in Vista!

Look at this inspirational public art in Vista! The metal sculpture, a large tree whose silver leaves shine brightly in the sunshine, is titled Aspire.

Look closely at the tree’s trunk. Several human figures reach up, their outspread arms transformed and branching, touching the blue sky.

Like a living tree, Aspire was grown by local artists Melissa Ralston and Robert Rochin.

The sculpture was placed in a newly created roundabout on the Paseo Santa Fe corridor a little over two years ago. You can view this wonderful artwork at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Guajome Street.

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Pelicans made of sand take flight in Coronado!

Pelicans made of sand live inside the Coronado Community Center!

This extraordinary art is found on a wall near the community center’s front desk. The bas-relief sandcast sculpture of pelicans taking flight was created by artist Charles R. Faust, whose incredible work can be seen all around San Diego.

A short biography of Charles Faust is on a nearby plaque. Not only did he cast many beautiful, highly detailed sand sculptures like this at his Ocean Beach studio, but he worked as Architectural Design Director for the Zoological Society of San Diego. He came up with the idea for open air animal enclosures at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park.

There are some great Faust panels inside the lobby of the “Mister A’s building” in Bankers Hill. They tell the history of San Diego. You can see those here.

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Creativity, surfing, and colorful Christmas trees!

A blue surfer made of LEGO bricks is riding a huge wave over six colorful Christmas trees in Balboa Park.

Seriously!

You can find this very creative holiday display inside the Fleet Science Center, in its theater lobby.

The surfer sculpture is titled Wave Of Illumination. The 15,428 LEGO bricks were assembled by artist Nathan Sawaya. The multi-colored Christmas trees add a delightful touch during this Holiday Season!

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The Naked Warrior stands in Coronado park.

In Coronado, at the water’s edge in Glorietta Bay Park, just south of the boat ramp, stands The Naked Warrior. South of the sculpture and its nearby park benches one can see Naval Amphibious Base Coronado stretching into San Diego Bay.

Beneath the feet of the bronze sculpture is a plaque and the words FIRST ASHORE.

THE NAKED WARRIOR

Artist: John Seward Johnson II

THIS WORLD WAR II COMBAT SWIMMER COMMEMORATES THE U.S. NAVY’S UNDERWATER DEMOLITION (UDT) AND SEA, AIR AND LAND (SEAL) TEAMS. THEY HAVE TRAINED AND HAVE BEEN BASED IN CORONADO SINCE 1946. THESE “NAKED WARRIORS” SWAM UNARMED ONTO HEAVILY DEFENDED ENEMY BEACHES WITH EXPLOSIVES TO CLEAR THE WAY FOR AMPHIBIOUS LANDINGS, HENCE THEIR MOTTO “FIRST ASHORE.” THE CONCRETE “SCULLY” ON WHICH THIS FROGMAN STANDS IS TYPICAL OF THE UNDERWATER OBSTACLES THEY RISKED THEIR LIVES TO DESTROY. THEIR LEGACY OF “NEVER QUIT,” WHILE EXECUTING THE MOST DIFFICULT MILITARY MISSIONS FOR OUR COUNTRY, IS STILL IMBUED IN EVERY NAVY SEAL WHOSE UNIFORM BEARS THE NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE TRIDENT INSIGNIA. ON THE BEACHES JUST SOUTH OF THIS SITE, BASIC UNDERWATER DEMOLITION/SEAL TRAINING (BUD/S) GOES ON YEAR ROUND. THE SAILORS WHO COMPLETE BUD/S GO ON TO ADVANCED TRAINING AND ARE THEN ASSIGNED TO U.S. NAVY SEAL TEAMS, BECOMING THE ELITE WARRIORS OUR COUNTRY RELIES UPON FOR COMPLEX AND NO-FAIL SPECIAL OPERATIONS MISSIONS WORLDWIDE.

DONATED TO THE CITY OF CORONADO BY
THE NATIONAL NAVY UDT-SEAL MUSEUM
THE NAVY SEAL FOUNDATION

DEDICATED NOVEMBER 11, 2016

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Tin Man recalls history in North Park!

Visitors to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park might notice a large tin man standing atop stairs in the museum’s atrium. A sign at the bottom of the stairs explains how the nearly 11 feet tall metal sculpture was once a well known landmark in North Park.

Created in 1941, “Tin Man” was originally unpainted and held an oil can instead of a wrench. Representing the Tin Woodsman character from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Tin Man was to be a feature of the North Park Toyland Parade. But the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor five days before the parade cancelled the event.

Tin Man subsequently was acquired by Sabol Service at University Avenue and Bancroft Street and for several decades, now holding a wrench, he towered above the automobile repair business. In 1976 he was moved to 35th Street and University Avenue, where, painted as he appears today, he greeted the customers of Vinal’s Auto Repair on the service station island.

As you can see, I took these photographs during the holiday season. Tin Man silently stood overlooking a large, very beautiful poinsettia Christmas tree–the first such tree to decorate the San Diego History Center.

And so our city’s history continues right along, the past meeting the present.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember seeing Tin Man in North Park. After moving through the San Diego History Center, you will carry both old and new memories into your future.

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Colorful bull and mural in Solana Beach!

Travelers who stand outside the Solana Beach train station and look east are likely to be surprised. A very colorful bull and mural beckon from across Cedros Avenue!

I spotted this fun artwork the other day while walking around.

The “crazy quilt” bull sculpture and the mural featuring many faces can be found between Pirch North County San Diego and DRIVE AutoCare. I observed that the mural, which appears to be titled Da Kiss, was created by Sandra R. Escobar.

I immediately recognized the mural’s distinctive style. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colombia-born artist painted this mural in City Heights!

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!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

Duality in Chicano Park’s fountain sculpture.

Perhaps you’ve seen the fountain sculpture in Chicano Park. It stands on a colorful tiled base in a splashing basin under the Coronado Bay Bridge, not far from the skatepark. The symbolic public artwork was created by artist Raul Jaquez.

A bit of description can be found here.

It’s hard not to see the duality in this work of abstract art. On one hand, female; on the other, male. On one side, spiritual calaveras (skeletons) holding a sun with the ollin symbol (representing change); on the other, flesh and blood living people holding a baby.

The unifying symbol appears to be a heart-eagle, ready to be released. The eagle is destined to take flight and rise above all, both the living and dead. At least, that’s my interpretation.

There are a few other sculptures in Chicano Park, but this striking work in the fountain, to me, is the most elaborate and artistically interesting. It is quite beautiful.

Back in 2015 the aging sculpture was restored during a major Chicano Park improvement project.

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I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!