Student posters celebrate Freedom of Speech.

Free Speech, Press and Society.
Free Speech, Press and Society.

I was making my way through downtown this morning when I spotted something important that I’d like to blog.

As I walked past the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse, I noticed a new crop of student posters has appeared in the building’s windows. These posters were submitted by local kids for the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2019 Law Week Poster and Video Contest.

The theme this year is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.

We the People...
We the People…
Natural Rights. First Amendment.
Natural Rights. First Amendment.
Free As a Bird. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Free As a Bird. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Freedom. Rights. Responsibility.
Freedom. Rights. Responsibility. May all our voices be heard!
Express your opinion. Peacefully protest or assemble.
Express your opinion. Peacefully protest or assemble.
Liberty requires freedom of expression for everybody.
Liberty requires freedom of expression for everybody.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is vitally important to me. I’m a writer.

If you value individual liberty and a free and open society, its protections are fundamental.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A final decision to write.

The older I become, the more I understand that life is fleeting.

Because of that, I’ve come to a decision.

I will now dedicate my spare hours to writing fiction.

Why?

While I enjoy walking everywhere and taking photos of San Diego, I feel that my efforts in creative writing might be more important. Apparently some people think my works of fiction have merit.

It doesn’t seem possible, but my website Short Stories by Richard has received visitors from school classrooms in four different countries now. Most of the students are reading the story One Thousand Likes. Many people around the world have also begun to read An Unexpected Sunflower, which is my very first short story and still my favorite.

So now I’m really going to concentrate on writing. Which means Cool San Diego Sights and my other photography blogs will be put on pause.

I’m hoping a few more worthwhile stories will come to me!

If I’m lucky!

If you’d like to read and follow my writing, you can click here!

Thank you for sharing my journey!

Third grade students create self-portrait quilts!

Last Tuesday I headed to Liberty Station to check out a cool exhibition at IDW’s Comic Art Gallery before the start of Comic-Con. I arrived half an hour before the gallery opened, so I moseyed around Liberty Station’s beautiful park-like setting.

I walked by the Visions Art Museum and poked my nose inside.

There I discovered something inspiring! One of the museum’s walls featured a display of small quilts made by third grade students who attend Perkins Elementary School in Barrio Logan. (About a year ago I photographed part of this school’s outdoor mural.)

Their teacher, who was sitting at the Vision Art Museum’s front desk, briefly told me her students, some of whom are homeless, were super excited to create this artwork. They drew the design first, then cut out pieces of colorful fabric, which they assembled into expressive self-portraits!

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!

Talented kids play the Spreckels Organ!

By far, the best part of my day in Balboa Park was the two o’clock Sunday concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez introduced four amazing kids, who each proceeded to play complex musical pieces!

These amazing local students range from 9 years old to 11th grade. The audience listened attentively as Aska Enomoto, Blake Bundschuh, Declan Bohley and Stephen Priest made the king of instruments come alive. Each young person explained why they loved playing organ. All received trophies for their outstanding achievements!

Only the most talented musicians are allowed to play the historic Spreckels Organ, the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument!

My blog doesn’t feature sound, unfortunately, so these photos will have to suffice. A picture might not be worth a thousand notes, but perhaps you can hear a majestic note or two coming through your eyes.

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 by Canyon Crest Academy seniors in Balboa Park!

Today I enjoyed looking at lots of art created by students who attend Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley. The “Red” EVA (Envision Visual Arts) Conservatory Senior Show was held this afternoon on the patio of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!

I was stunned by the high artistic talent on display. It’s clear these young people will enjoy great success as they move forward into the future!

Please enjoy some photos!

(You might recall I blogged about how students at Canyon Crest Academy also created a graphic novel called Spirit Skies as part of their Hummingbird Project. That was four years ago. Check that out 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!

Turning Wheel Project brings culture, history to life.

During my walk around the Chula Vista Library early this afternoon I stumbled upon The Turning Wheel Project. A very colorful bus was parked behind the library, and a group of youth was learning about the culture and history of Chicano Park, Logan Heights and other nearby communities!

The Turning Wheel Project, I learned, is a partnership between the Chicano Park Steering Committee, the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, and the University of San Diego. The bus serves as a mobile classroom where students can learn about the unique culture and history of their own community. Curious minds learn about the power of art, science and engineering, and contemplate the past, present and future.

I stepped into the bus and saw many interesting photographs depicting activism and the historic struggle to create Chicano Park. Representations of Chicano Park’s world-famous murals were also on display. As I poked my nose about, professors from USD were speaking to some students.

If you’d like to learn more about The Turning Wheel Project: El Pueblo En Movimiento – A Community In Movement, check out their website 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!

Student Art Gallery comes to Seaport Village!

Jeryn Young, Pop Art Portraits, 2019. Tempera paint on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Jeryn Young, Pop Art Portraits, 2019. Tempera paint on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.

Something new and very cool has recently opened in Seaport Village.

In partnership with the San Diego Unified School District, Seaport Village is now home to the Student Art Gallery!

I visited the gallery today and was blown away by some truly amazing student artwork. The pieces are selected by classroom teachers all around San Diego. Artists attend grades from Kindergarten through High School.

I learned the exhibition will rotate every few weeks, continuously introducing new artwork produced by San Diego’s talented youth. I also learned the gallery will move to a different, larger location inside Seaport Village in a couple of weeks.

If you want to check it out for yourself, visit the Seaport Village website here.

Please enjoy photos representing some of the art currently on display…

The Student Art Gallery at Seaport Village, in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District's Visual and Performing Arts Department.
The Student Art Gallery at Seaport Village was created in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts Department.
Trinity Covarrubias-Burns, Bees and Bloom, 2019. Construction paper, marker and tempera on paper. Kindergarten, Vista Grande Elementary School.
Trinity Covarrubias-Burns, Bees and Bloom, 2019. Construction paper, marker and tempera on paper. Kindergarten, Vista Grande Elementary School.
Valeria Romero Padilla, Mas Que Una Voz, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 9, Crawford High School.
Valeria Romero Padilla, Mas Que Una Voz, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 9, Crawford High School.
Amalia Martinez-Oviedo, Anime, 2019. Colored crayon and marker on paper. Grade 4, Toler Elementary School.
Amalia Martinez-Oviedo, Anime, 2019. Colored crayon and marker on paper. Grade 4, Toler Elementary School.
Isaac Benitez, Tree Frog, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 10, Lincoln High School.
Isaac Benitez, Tree Frog, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 10, Lincoln High School.
Jessie Hsu, Abstract Face in Glitter, 2019. Pastel and glitter glue on paper. Grade 2, E. B. Scripps Elementary School.
Jessie Hsu, Abstract Face in Glitter, 2019. Pastel and glitter glue on paper. Grade 2, E. B. Scripps Elementary School.
Jaime Barrozo, The Steeple, 2019. Black ink Pointillism on paper. Grade 8, Correia Middle School.
Jaime Barrozo, The Steeple, 2019. Black ink Pointillism on paper. Grade 8, Correia Middle School.
Leigh Archibald, Orange, 2019. Multiple mediums on paper. Grade 12, La Jolla High School.
Leigh Archibald, Orange, 2019. Multiple mediums on paper. Grade 12, La Jolla High School.
Jade Someda, The Fruits in Four, 2019. Wax crayon and watercolor on paper. Grade 9, Mission Bay High School.
Jade Someda, The Fruits in Four, 2019. Wax crayon and watercolor on paper. Grade 9, Mission Bay High School.
Daniel Perez, Blind Contour Self-Portrait, 2019. Black marker on paper. Grade 5, Edison Elementary School.
Daniel Perez, Blind Contour Self-Portrait, 2019. Black marker on paper. Grade 5, Edison Elementary School.
Lillian Robinson, Silence of the Lilies, 2019. Colored pencil on textured paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Lillian Robinson, Silence of the Lilies, 2019. Colored pencil on textured paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Tiernan Nauton, Cezanne Apples, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 3, Kumeyaay Elementary School.
Tiernan Nauton, Cezanne Apples, 2019. Tempera on paper. Grade 3, Kumeyaay Elementary School.
Kelsey Amann, Censored, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Kelsey Amann, Censored, 2019. Graphite pencil on paper. Grade 11, Mission Bay High School.
Riley Fritzenkotter, Love Thyself, 2019. Oil pastel and black marker on paper. Grade 4, Alcott Elementary School.
Riley Fritzenkotter, Love Thyself, 2019. Oil pastel and black marker on paper. Grade 4, Alcott Elementary School.

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!