Nature photos: MOPA’s Genesis in Balboa Park.

Genesis, an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado's work, contains many stunning images.
Genesis, an exhibition of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s work, contains many stunning images.

The Museum of Photographic Art’s current exhibition titled Genesis contains dozens of magnificent photographs. I enjoyed this exhibition in May. MOPA was one of several Balboa Park museums that I visited during that month’s Big Exchange promotion.

Some signs have appeared in the Plaza de Panama which show a few of these visually stunning photographs. Genesis contains the work of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, who captures the raw, wild beauty of unspoiled nature and the simplicity of people untouched by modernity. The photographs take one’s breath away. They make one yearn for a simpler, more primal, more natural existence.

Of course, the funny thing is that the exquisite photographs themselves were created with a modern instrument, and their exhibition and transmission to thousands or millions of people relies on technology–the product of accumulated human knowledge and aspiration.

A photograph from the Museum of Photographic Arts in the Plaza de Panama.
A photograph from the Museum of Photographic Arts in the Plaza de Panama.
One of my favorite images by Sebastião Salgado shows penguins leaping into the ocean.
One of my favorite images by Sebastião Salgado shows penguins leaping into the ocean.
Photograph of the Grand Canyon, one of many stunning images in the Genesis exhibition at MOPA.
Photograph of the Grand Canyon, one of many stunning images in the Genesis exhibition at MOPA.
I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions. Sebastião Salgado
I try with my pictures to raise a question, to provoke a debate, so that we can discuss problems together and come up with solutions. Sebastião Salgado

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Beauty created at every turn in Balboa Park.

Skilled artisan in the Casa del Prado creates a beautiful ceramic pot for a bonsai.
Skilled artist creates a beautiful ceramic pot for a bonsai. His wheel turns with a purpose.

If you thirst for beauty, simply wander through Balboa Park.

Follow that twisting path.

Smell a flower.

Poke your nose into a building.

Turn a sudden corner.

Look up.

Look down.

Close your eyes and spin around.

Open your eyes.

An exhibition in Balboa Park's Casa del Prado presented by the San Diego Bonsai Club. Bringing forth carefully pruned beauty from nature's infinite, eternal beauty.
An exhibition in Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado presented by the San Diego Bonsai Club. Bringing forth carefully pruned beauty from nature’s infinite, eternal beauty.
Uplifting music on a carefree Sunday by the Botanical Building.
Creating music on a carefree Sunday by the reflecting pool and Botanical Building.
Painting the beauty before one's eyes in Balboa Park across from the House of Hospitality.
Painting the beauty before one’s eyes in Balboa Park across from the House of Hospitality.
Beautifully sculpted flowers welcome visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art during their Art Alive event.
Beautifully sculpted flowers welcome visitors to the San Diego Museum of Art during their Art Alive event.
Happy music for ears. Tasty crumbs for beaks.
Pleasing notes for ears. Tasty crumbs for beaks.
Heating glass like a small rotating sun in Spanish Village Art Center.
Heating glass until it becomes a small rotating sun in Spanish Village Art Center.
Nature has produced this beautiful gem at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Nature has created this delicate gem at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Fine Japanese ceramics displayed in the garden's Exhibit House. For those that thirst for beauty.
Fine Japanese ceramics displayed in the garden’s Exhibit House. For those with an unquenchable thirst for beauty.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love beautiful things? Visit my photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

Painting a steampunk musician and his street organ!

Friendly gentleman plays his 20 pipe street organ named Misty in Balboa Park.
Friendly gentleman plays his 20 pipe street organ named Misty in Balboa Park.

Another wonderful day in Balboa Park. I took lots of photos.

As I walked past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, I paused for a bit to talk to the creator of a small 20 pipe street organ named Misty. The gentleman, dressed in steampunk gear, was pleased to demonstrate his musical instrument. He made it from a kit. Now he’s inventing another organ of his own design. Using air compressed by a bellows, the music is generated from a perforated paper roll that is turned by hand.

Nearby, a talented artist was painting the musician’s portrait, daubing her canvas with bright color. I felt as if I were walking through a childhood dream, filled with surprising, fanciful sights and sounds.

New wonders await around every corner in Balboa Park!

An artist paints the pipe organ and its friendly creator.
An artist paints the pipe organ and its friendly creator.

UPDATE!

Jim Coffee is the musician–he left a comment! And he actually built the organ from scratch! My misunderstanding!

Very cool!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Beautiful Japanese brush art by Friends of Taka Sumi-e.

A talented gentleman demonstrates Japanese brush painting in Balboa Park. The traditional Asian art form is called Sumi-e.
A talented gentleman demonstrates Japanese brush painting in Balboa Park. The traditional Asian art form is called sumi-e.

You might enjoy these colorful photos.

Yesterday I strolled into the Casa del Prado to view an exhibition put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e, a society in San Diego whose members produce beautiful works of Japanese brush art. The room was filled with abundant life.

A couple of friendly people explained a little about the traditional Asian art form of sumi-e, or brush drawing. I learned that the “four treasures” are ink, stone, paper and brush. I learned a hard inkstick is rubbed in water against a rough, mortar-like inkstone to produce the ink. I learned that in Japan both calligraphy and painting often use ink produced this way.

I also observed how amazing the finished works can be. Take a look!

A fantastic Japanese Brush Painting Art Exhibition was held inside the Casa del Prado. The free event was put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e of San Diego.
A fantastic Japanese Brush Painting Art Exhibition was held inside the Casa del Prado. The free event was put on by the Friends of Taka Sumi-e of San Diego.
Many beautiful works of Japanese brush art could be admired by the public in the Casa del Prado.
Many beautiful works of Japanese brush art could be admired by the public in the Casa del Prado.
An ink stick was ground into the ink stone. The artist prepares her brush for another drawing.
An inkstick was ground into the inkstone. The artist prepares her brush for another drawing.
It's the year of the Rooster.
It’s the year of the Rooster.
A few careful strokes of the brush expresses eternity.
A few careful strokes of the brush expresses eternity.
Colorful butterflies have gathered atop this table.
Colorful butterflies have gathered atop this table.
A dragon.
A dragon.
A human figure.
A human figure.
Amazing finished artwork filled many tables. By artist Ileane Tatar.
Amazing finished artwork filled many tables. By artist Ileane Tatar.
A jumping green frog. By Ileane Tatar.
A jumping green frog. By Ileane Tatar.
A hen with chicks looks up at a rooster banner--a banner portrayed on a banner! Art by Louise Rendich.
A hen with chicks looks up at a rooster banner–a banner portrayed on a banner! Art by Louise Rendich.
Two fish and cherry blossoms, by Pat Wolfe.
Two koi and cherry blossoms, by Pat Wolfe.
I believe these might be storks. By artist Kazuko (Kay) Mese.
I believe these might be storks. By artist Kazuko (Kay) Mese.
A rugged landscape with ancient trees. By artist Debra Hirschy.
A rugged mountain landscape with ancient trees. By artist Debra Hirschy.
A humorous cat, by artist Karen Straus.
A humorous cat, by artist Karen Straus.
A trotting horse, by Louise Rendich.
A trotting horse, by Louise Rendich.
One could spend hours in this room.
One could spend hours in this room.
Superb flowers, very fine art by Takashi Ijichi.
Superb flowers, very fine art by Takashi Ijichi.
Another unique rooster with generous daubs of color.
Another unique rooster with generous daubs of color.
Delicate flowers and leaves, by artist Soon Chu.
Delicate flowers and leaves, by artist Soon Chu.
Pink blossoms above a volcano, by Marlene Leet.
Pink blossoms above a volcano, by Marlene Leet.
I would love to live here. Dreamy Japanese brush art by Marlene Leet.
I would love to live here. Dreamy Japanese brush art by Marlene Leet.
A furry feline. Rebecca Leet-Homung.
A furry feline. Rebecca Leet-Homung.
So much beauty to absorb. One's life is uplifted.
So much beauty to absorb. One’s life is uplifted.
A hummingbird, by artist Iris Lowe-Reiss.
A hummingbird, by artist Iris Lowe-Reiss.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Read my short story The Child and the Koi by clicking here!

Nudist colony recreated in Balboa Park’s Zoro Garden!

Sign warns of simulated nudity at the Zoro Gardens in Balboa Park. It's a one day recreation of the historic 1935 nudist colony, arranged by Parkeology, supported by various art institutions.
Sign warns of simulated nudity at the Zoro Garden in Balboa Park. It’s a one day recreation of the historic 1935 nudist colony, arranged by Parkeology, supported by various art institutions.

The historic 1935 Zoro Garden Nudist Colony was recreated today in Balboa Park!

The unusual one day event was produced by Parkeology, an organization that according to their flyer “is a public art series that excavates sites, stories, and sense of our urban parks”.

In 1935, San Diego opened the California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park, trying to replicate the enormous success of the earlier 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The main intent of this “world’s fair” was to promote economic activity during the Great Depression. Various lowbrow entertainments created for the exposition were designed to lure a popular crowd.

Well, today’s recreation of the Zoro Garden Nudist Colony certainly did draw some eyeballs, and a very wide range of reactions!

It was interesting to note most participants appeared to be college age females. The literature suggests the motivation for the event was at least partly political, stating “the reincarnation of the 1935 nudist colony can be an accessible, diverse, intersectional, gender-non-conforming and body positive social experiment.”

One thing I know for certain. Take a walk through lively Balboa Park on any given day and you never know what surprises you might stumble upon!

Visitors to Balboa Park view a reenactment of the nudist colony that was a sensational attraction here during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Visitors to Balboa Park view a reenactment of the nudist colony that was a sensational attraction here during the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
A variety of placid picnic-like activities are undertaken by the supposed naturists. The literature suggests a political motivation--a body positive social experiment.
A variety of placid, picnic-like activities are undertaken by the supposed naturists.
Body suits worn by people in the Zoro Garden simulate nudity.
Flesh-colored bodysuits worn by people in the Zoro Garden simulate naked bodies.
A variety of reactions are provoked by this rather unusual sight in San Diego's most popular public park.
A variety of reactions were provoked by this rather unusual sight in a public park.
One of the nudist actors photographs another. One thing is for certain--one doesn't see this everyday!
One of the friendly “nude” actors photographs another. Not the sort of performance one often sees!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! Sometimes I encounter surprising things!  You can experience even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Fun works of art discovered around Balboa Park!

A cat snoozes near the front door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center.
A cat snoozes near the front door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village Art Center.

Here are some random photos of fun artwork around Balboa Park. Mind you, the park is jammed with beautiful art from one end to the other. New discoveries await around every corner.

These few glances I happen to like. I hope you enjoy them, too!

A mirror by the moon reflects colorful patio tiles near Studio 18.
A mirror by the moon reflects colorful patio tiles near Studio 18.
Stunning mermaid artwork on a wall near the entrance of Studio 18.
Enchanting mermaid artwork on a wall near the entrance of Studio 18.
A fun artistic bench awaits walkers with tired feet in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
A fun artistic bench awaits walkers with tired feet in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village.  (I guess a dog’s appreciation of art requires a nose.)
Studio 6 in Spanish Village has clay classes for kids! Call the painted phone number!
Studio 6 in Spanish Village has clay classes for kids! Call the painted phone number!
A drinking fountain on El Prado built into the House of Charm features elegant shell-like artwork.
A drinking fountain on El Prado built into the House of Charm features elegant shell-like artwork.
This fun street art was painted on an electrical box next to the building that is home to the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
This fun street art was painted on an electrical box next to the building that is home to the San Diego Chess Club and Balboa Park Horseshoe Club.
The friendly face of a Scotsman gazes upon visitors to the House of Scotland!
The friendly face of a Scotsman gazes upon visitors to the House of Scotland!
This stunning stained glass artwork depicting Budapest can be found inside the House of Hungary. The artist is Isabel Piczek.
This stunning stained glass artwork depicting Budapest can be found inside the House of Hungary. The artist is Isabel Piczek.
Art deco image underfoot at the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium. In 1935, this new building was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, erected for Balboa Park's California Pacific International Exposition.
Art deco image underfoot at the entrance to the Municipal Gymnasium. In 1935, the new building was called the Palace of Electricity and Varied Industries, erected for Balboa Park’s California Pacific International Exposition.
Section of frieze on the Federal Building, home to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The artwork was designed in 1935 by Richard Requa, who was fascinated by pre-Columbian Mayan motifs.
Section of frieze on the Federal Building, now home to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The artwork was designed in 1935 by architect Richard Requa, who was fascinated by pre-Columbian Mayan motifs.
Tibetan art on display in a glass case outside the Mingei Museum. A fierce deity with a frightful appearance!
Tibetan art on display in a glass case outside the Mingei Museum. A fierce deity with a frightful appearance!
Looking upward at Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation on the Casa de Balboa.
Looking upward at rich Spanish Colonial Revival ornamentation on the Casa de Balboa.
Artistic leaves among fallen leaves. Photo taken on stairs between Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Artistic leaves among fallen leaves. Photo taken on stairs between Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
A colorfully spotted giraffe greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!
A colorfully spotted giraffe greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

To read a short story that I wrote about how to paint angels, click here!

Faces sing, play pipes at Spreckels Organ Pavilion!

Two young faces sing together on Balboa Park's outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The ornamentation is composed of plaster of Paris mixed with coir fiber.
Two youth sing together.  Decoration on Balboa Park’s outdoor Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The faces are composed of plaster of Paris mixed with coir fiber.

Like many of the buildings created for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion is decorated lavishly with unique plaster ornamentation. The impressive structure with its sweeping, semi-circular colonnade, designed by Harrison Albright in the Italian-Renaissance style, contains many sculptural figures and motifs, including human faces.

The other day I took a close look at the organ pavilion building and its colonnade. I noticed a number of different faces singing or playing pipes. Here they are!

The organ isn't playing and the benches are empty, but many still wander into the historic pavilion to marvel at its unique beauty.
The organ isn’t playing and the benches are empty, but many still wander into the historic pavilion to marvel at its unique beauty.
An exotic face made of plaster for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park appears to be singing.
An exotic face made of plaster for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park appears to be singing.
A youthful musician plays the pipes. Many figures made of plaster decorate the pavilion which is home to the majestic Spreckels pipe organ in Balboa Park.
A youthful musician plays the pipes. Many beautiful figures made of plaster decorate the pavilion which is home to the majestic Spreckels pipe organ in Balboa Park.
A cherub sings inside the pavilion's colonnade.
A cherub sings inside the pavilion’s colonnade.
Perhaps this is Pan playing the pipes--or just an ordinary person who loves making music.
Perhaps this is the Greek god Pan playing his pipes–or just an ordinary person who loves making music.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!