Beautiful complexity at La Jolla’s Athenaeum.

Some amazing art is currently on display at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla.

My favorite pieces in the Athenaeum’s 2018 San Diego Art Prize exhibition are by nationally renowned local sculptor Anne Mudge. Her stainless steel wire mobiles radiate a strangely organic quality that captivates the eye. As the pieces slowly rotate, casting mysterious shadows on the gallery walls, the complex, silvery structures dance through space and time.

I took some close photos, hoping to capture a fraction of the beautiful complexity.

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!

More cool art seen during a National City walk!

My walking adventure in South Bay on Saturday included a stretch through National City. I was excited to discover an abundance of art along 8th Street, between National City Boulevard and D Avenue.

I paused for a moment to admire public art on the pedestrian bridge that connects the Integrity Charter School building to the Bayview Tower Condominiums. As I continued my walk, I spied colorful street art on several electrical boxes, super vibrant murals on one fantastic building, and some unusual symbol-like sculptures jutting from the sidewalk.

Very cool!

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!

Art and history around the Chula Vista Library.

Photo from 4th Avenue beside the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.
Photo from 4th Avenue beside the Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center Branch.

Yesterday I walked around the Chula Vista Library’s big Civic Center Branch. I took a look at a beautiful sculpture outside, saw an El Camino Real bell and bronze bust in nearby Friendship Park, then entered the building’s front entrance to check out more art and local history. I particularly enjoyed looking about the library’s unique Chula Vista Heritage Museum.

Come along with me and please read these photo captions…

Pleasant Tree, 2003, by artist Jorge Blanco. An abstract sculpture stands near the Chula Vista Library.
Pleasant Tree, 2003, by artist Jorge Blanco. An abstract sculpture stands near the Chula Vista Library.
Art should always be available to us, to surround us and uplift us.
Art should always be available to us, to surround us and uplift us.
Pleasant Tree from another angle, with eucalyptus and palm trees behind.
Pleasant Tree from another angle, with eucalyptus and palm trees behind.
North of the library, at the west edge of Friendship Park stands an El Camino Real bell, donated by the City of Chula Vista, County of San Diego, and California Federation of Women's Clubs.
North of the library, at the west edge of Friendship Park stands an El Camino Real bell, donated by the City of Chula Vista, County of San Diego, and California Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Green grass and shady trees fill the Will T. Hyde Friendship Park, north of the Chula Vista Library.
Green grass and shady trees fill the Will T. Hyde Friendship Park, north of the Chula Vista Library.
A bronze bust near the center of Chula Vista Friendship Park.
A bronze bust near the center of Chula Vista Friendship Park.
The bronze likeness of Will T. Hyde, who helped create Friendship Park. By sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson.
The bronze likeness of Will T. Hyde, who helped create Friendship Park. By sculptors T.J. Dixon and James Nelson.
Plaque shows that Will T. Hyde was Mayor of Chula Vista from 1977 to 1981.
Plaque shows that Will T. Hyde was Mayor of Chula Vista from 1977 to 1981.
Will T. Hyde seems to gaze across the beautiful park.
Will T. Hyde seems to gaze across the beautiful park.
The front of the Chula Vista Public Library, seen from the parking lot entrance.
The front of the Chula Vista Public Library, seen from the parking lot entrance.
A large wall inside the front entrance of the Chula Vista Library contains many historical photos of the community.
A large wall inside the front entrance of the Chula Vista Library contains many historical photos of the community.
A photo mosaic on the library's entrance wall shows Chula Vista Heritage.
A photo mosaic on the library’s entrance wall shows Chula Vista Heritage.
In one corner of the quiet library the public can visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.
In one corner of the quiet library the public can freely visit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum.
A photographic timeline wall around the perimeter of the museum's space shows notable events from Chula Vista history.
A photographic timeline wall around the perimeter of the museum’s space shows notable events from Chula Vista history.
Chula Vista history in the 2000s includes Park View Little League becoming World Champions in 2009.
Chula Vista history in the 2000s includes Park View Little League becoming World Champions in 2009.
Historical artifacts fill display cases. This plastic replica was cast from a Chula Vista walrus - Valenictus chulavistensis. The fossil was found in 1989 at Otay Ranch Village.
Historical artifacts fill display cases. This plastic replica was cast from a Chula Vista walrus – Valenictus chulavistensis. The fossil was found in 1989 at Otay Ranch Village.
The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge includes 1068 acres of diked salt evaporation ponds. Migratory birds are carefully protected.
The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge includes 1068 acres of diked salt evaporation ponds. Migratory birds are carefully protected.
Historical 1919 letter from Hercules Powder Company, which produced potash and acetone from harvested ocean kelp at Gunpowder Point. They supplied the British with munitions during World War I.
Historical 1919 letter from Hercules Powder Company, which produced potash and acetone from harvested ocean kelp at Gunpowder Point. They helped to supply the British with munitions during World War I.
Photos of an osprey and feeding white pelicans in the museum's current exhibition, Natural History and the Indigenous People of the South Bay.
Photos of an osprey and feeding white pelicans in the museum’s current exhibition: Natural History and the Indigenous People of the South Bay.
Large sculpted medallion in a wall near the entrance to the Chula Vista Public Library. Scenes depicted include Rohr Aircraft Company, the San Diego Country Club, home of golf legend Billy Casper.
Large sculpted medallion in a wall near the entrance to the Chula Vista Public Library. Scenes depicted include the original Rohr Aircraft Company, and the San Diego Country Club, home of golf legend Billy Casper.

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.

A fun walk along Shelter Island Drive.

Fun shark street art on a utility box at the corner of Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street.
Shark street art on a utility box at the corner of Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street.

This morning I headed to Point Loma to visit three sites participating in the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s 2019 OPEN HOUSE SAN DIEGO. All three are located in a neighborhood at the foot of Shelter Island–an area once populated by many Portuguese fishermen. I think you might enjoy a look at Little Portugal’s history and some of its landmarks.

Before I sort through all those photographs, however, please enjoy others photos I took during a fun walk down Shelter Island Drive, from Rosecrans Streets to the recently improved Shelter Island boat ramp.

(To see additional street art I photographed along Shelter Island Drive a couple years ago, click here!)

The Union Bank on the same corner has a colorful mural depicting fishermen near its entrance.
The Union Bank on the corner of Shelter Island Drive and Rosecrans Street has a colorful mural near its entrance. Tuna fishermen with poles out on the Pacific Ocean.
Plaque describes the artwork. Sean Wells - Art Teacher. Mural completed Spring 2010 depicting historic scenes of the Point Loma region.
Plaque describes the above artwork. Sean Wells – Art Teacher. Mural completed Spring 2010 depicting historic scenes of the Point Loma region.
As I began walking along Shelter Island Drive, a gigantic yacht passed down the street!
As I began walking along Shelter Island Drive, a gigantic yacht passed down the street!
A few benches overlook a corner of the Shelter Island Yacht Basin. It's a nice place to sit and relax.
A few benches overlook a corner of the Shelter Island Yacht Basin. It’s a nice place to sit in the sun and relax.
I spotted this cool stained glass panel in a window of The Marlin Club.
I spotted this cool stained glass panel in a window of The Marlin Club.
I remember seeing some huge fish suspended here years ago, before I began taking photos for this blog.
I remember seeing several huge fish suspended here years ago, before I began taking photos for this blog.
Someone bikes past a huge boat lift at the Shelter Island Boatyard.
Someone bikes past a huge boat lift at the Shelter Island Boatyard.
Those yachts being repaired seem to be up in the sky!
Those yachts being repaired seem to be up in the sky!
People bicycle near the Ocean Song sculpture in front of Humphreys Half Moon Inn.
People bicycle near the Ocean Song sculpture in front of Humphreys Half Moon Inn. This cool public art was created by Alber De Matteis.
As I approach San Diego Bay, I see the Pacific Portal sculpture by local artist James T. Hubbell.
As I approach San Diego Bay, I see the Pacific Portal sculpture by local artist James T. Hubbell.
I've arrived at the recently improved and enlarged Shelter Island Launch Ramp. Many recreational watercraft enter San Diego Bay here.
I’ve arrived at the recently improved and enlarged Shelter Island Launch Ramp. Many recreational watercraft enter San Diego Bay here.
Looks like these guys backing their boat into the water intend to spend the day fishing.
Looks like these guys backing their boat into the water intend to spend the day fishing.
Someone hangs out nearby, sitting among beached dinghies.
Someone hangs out nearby, sitting among beached dinghies.
Looking across the boat launch basin, the San Diego downtown skyline in the distance.
Looking across the boat launch basin, the San Diego downtown skyline in the distance.
I see some sailboats racing in the distance, between here and Harbor Island.
I see some sailboats racing in the distance, between here and Harbor Island.
Here comes an amphibious SEAL tour boat. These cool boats head out toward the entrance to the San Diego Bay channel and turn about near the submarines at Naval Base Point Loma.
Here comes an amphibious SEAL tour boat. Tourists float out toward the entrance of San Diego Bay, then turn around near the submarines at Naval Base Point Loma.
These cool vessels drive right out of the water and up onto the boat ramp!
These cool vessels drive right out of the water and up onto the boat ramp!
After walking a bit, I'm nearer those small sailboats that were racing in the distance.
After walking a bit, I’m nearer those small sailboats that were racing in the distance.
Some people by the rocky shore watch even more distant sailboats with binoculars.
Some people by the rocky shore watch even more distant sailboats with binoculars.
My camera zooms and just manages to capture a nice image.
My small camera zooms and just manages to capture a nice image.
Look! Here comes San Salvador, the Maritime Museum of San Diego's amazing Spanish galleon replica!
Look! Here comes San Salvador, the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s amazing Spanish galleon replica!
Now that is one very cool sight!
Now that is one very cool sight!

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!

Fun mosaic sculptures at IB’s Peoples Park!

Peoples Park in Imperial Beach is now over two years old.

In 2016, residents of IB volunteered their skills, labor and love, and helped 4 Walls International create this fun, relaxed park on Seacoast Drive.

There are benches, planters and curving pathways, but the highlight of the park is a group of colorful, organic sculptures. Some appear to me like sea snails; others, as you can see, are turtles!

Decorating the surface of these mosaic sculptures are bits of broken tile and other small treasures, like beads and seashells.

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!

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.