A mixture of the strange and delightful!

A purple cat on the wall of The Cat Cafe.
A purple cat on the wall of The Cat Cafe.

I went on a long walk through downtown this morning. My plan was to take some blog-worthy photographs before the rain begins in earnest tomorrow.

As I randomly wandered from block to block, my eyes found a variety of strange and delightful sights!

A clock wedged between a sidewalk and fence.
A clock wedged between a sidewalk and fence.
A wall of roses welcomes guests to Coffee 'N' Talk.
A wall of roses welcomes guests to Coffee ‘N’ Talk.
I must be a mermaid.
I must be a mermaid.
The PARKING is disappearing, and soon there will be none.
PARKING is disappearing, and soon there will be none.
A boy plays a flute up on someone's balcony.
A boy plays a flute up on someone’s balcony.
A frog plays the violin by somebody's front door!
A frog plays a violin by someone’s front door!

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!

Sand sculpture murals show San Diego history!

Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.
Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.

Two amazing works of art can be viewed inside an office building in Bankers Hill. The small murals–sculptures made of sand that appear as bas-relief panels–decorate a wall in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, the building best known as the home of Mister A’s restaurant.

Commissioned by the now defunct Great American First Savings Bank to celebrate their Centennial in 1985, the two panels depict important San Diego landmarks and aspects of local history.

The two sand cast panels were created by Charles R. Faust (1922 – 2000), a prolific artist who for many years worked as the director of architectural design at the San Diego Zoo. His invention of moated animal enclosures in the mid-1950’s revolutionized how the world famous zoo and their Wild Animal Park near Escondido exhibited animals. He also designed the San Diego Zoo’s huge walk-in aviary–the first of its kind in the world.

After retiring from that job, Charles opened Faust Sand Casting in Ocean Beach with his son. Over his creative lifetime the art of Charles Faust would also include fine drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, many of which depicted life in the Old West, a theme he loved.

His sand sculpture murals have added beauty to many locations around San Diego. I photographed a couple of these murals in the past for Cool San Diego Sights, without realizing at the time they were created by Charles Faust. You can spot them here and here!

Yesterday morning I spoke to a security guard in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, and he said these two “sand art” panels were moved from a suite in the building where there used to be a bank. I believe they were in Suite 120, once the home of Pacific Premier Bank, and the future home of an upscale Italian restaurant. But I’m not sure about the exact history of these particular panels. If you know anything more about them, please leave a comment!

(Please note these photographs make the panels seem more yellowish than they are in reality, due to the indoor lighting and my modest camera.)

The left panel depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.
The panel on the left. It depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.
A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.
A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in California.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.
A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.
A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.
The right panel depicts more San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.
The panel on the right. It depicts many later San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.
GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL - 100 YEARS - 1885-1985
GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL – 100 YEARS – 1885-1985
A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an old Navy warship.
A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower.
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.
I think I recognize the Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill on the left. The house on the right might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but I'm not certain.
I think I recognize the historic Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill. The house to the right of it might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but it appears a bit different.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Two colorful, fun benches in Tidelands Park!

A couple days ago I posted photos of two super fun benches in National City’s Pepper Park. Today, during my walk in Coronado, I visited Tidelands Park in order to photograph two additional benches that were created by the same San Diego artist, Doug Snider.

These colorful benches are located at the playground in Coronado Tidelands Park. They also debuted in 2006 and are made of painted concrete.

Doug Snider is a member of the San Diego Potters’ Guild and operates out of Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

These benches appear to have emerged from a strangely wonderful dream. Wouldn’t you like to sit in one?

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!

Two colorful, fun benches in Pepper Park!

Here are photos of two colorful, super fun benches in National City’s Pepper Park!

Both painted concrete benches were created in 2006 by Doug Snider, member of the San Diego Potters’ Guild. He produces all sorts of amazing art at his Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. Step into his studio and you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a fantasy world full of whimsy and imagination!

I believe Doug has created four of these fantastic benches. In the past I photographed one of two that are located in Coronado. The one I saw is in Tidelands Park, and you can see it 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!

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!

Peace and Arrows public art in National City.

Arrows, by Brenda and Flojo, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.
Arrows, by Brenda and Flojo, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.

Some very cool public art adds color to a sidewalk near the 24th Street trolley station in National City. You can find it at the east edge of the trolley station’s parking lot, next to Wilson Avenue.

Two small but colorful sculptures have been created by Youth Artists. One, titled Peace, is by Michelle. The other, titled Arrows, is by Brenda and Flojo.

I’ve done some searching on the internet and can find nothing about these public sculptures. I don’t recall seeing them during past visits to the South Bay, so I believe they are relatively new.

All I know for certain is that this artwork is really cool!

Peace, by Michelle, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.
Peace, by Michelle, public art near the 24th Street trolley station in National City.
Photo of two cool sculptures in National City. A lavender peace sign is framed by two red arrows!
Photo of two cool sculptures in National City. A lavender peace sign is framed by two red arrows!

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!

Javier Marín and the human search for identity.

Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.
Visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art enter Gallery 15, where many human figures sculpted by Mexican artist Javier Marín stand horizontally upon a large wall.

Yesterday, during my walk through Balboa Park, I stepped from the Panama 66 outdoor cafe into Gallery 15 of the San Diego Museum of Art . . . and look what I saw!

Upon one large wall stand numerous small sculptures of the human body, created by Victor Javier Marín Gutiérrez, a Mexican artist whose celebrated work has been exhibited internationally.

The organic sculptures stand on the wall in poses of naked expression, casting dynamic shadows that crisscross in every direction. There is anguish and joy and perplexity and care and simple, wonderful being. There is flesh and there is soul. There is that ongoing internal search for human identity.

According to the San Diego Museum of Art’s website: “Javier Marín’s work, above all, is about beauty, a particularly human beauty that reflects what the poet José Emilio Pacheco described as ‘the terrible miracle of being alive.’”

Looking across at the wall containing many small sculpted human forms is like gazing down from above upon the mass of naked humanity. It’s like a Creator gazing down upon his living, breathing, dancing Creation.

This astonishing wall is an example of the Javier Marín sculpted work now on display in the San Diego Museum of Art’s free Galleries 14 and 15.

The exhibition will be officially kicked off with a special event on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Culture & Cocktails: Art of the Body includes a VIP pre-tour with the artist himself.

The exhibition will continue through March 3, 2019.

Javier Marín's fleshy sculpted forms include every sort of human expression.
Javier Marín’s fleshy sculpted forms depict every sort of human expression.
Gazing at representations of our mysterious selves.
Gazing at many representations of our mysterious selves.

UPDATE!

I saw even more amazing Javier Marín art during a later visit to the museum, and here are some photographs!

The first photo showing sculpted elements of the human body intermixed, is of a piece that can be viewed in Gallery 14.

IMG_4362z

The next two photos, taken in the San Diego Museum of Art’s first floor rotunda, are of several large, truly stunning sculptures that are described: Untitled I, II, VI. Polyester resin and iron wire, 2004.

IMG_4449z

IMG_4455z

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!