Through April 25, 2016, you have a chance to see some fantastic contemporary Chinese art in beautiful Balboa Park. And this small exhibition is free!
You’ll see six contemporary Chinese paintings by the acclaimed Beijing-based artist Pan Gongkai. President of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Pan fuses Western influence with the Chinese brush-and-ink tradition.
One work, over 45 feet long, titled Noble Virtues, is a feast for the eyes. It depicts the “four gentlemen”. These are the plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum, plants that represent the four seasons. You have to see this artwork in person to fully appreciate the symbolism and the bold, dynamic beauty.
The other work, on the opposite wall, is called Lotus Pond. This series of five paintings reveals aspects of human life. The lotus represents the soul’s resilience and purity.
Where can you find this art? Next time you’re in Balboa Park, walk through Panama 66 in the San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Court, and look for the sign to the restrooms. That door leads into Gallery 15, an area of the museum that is free to the public!
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There’s a fun new exhibit at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. It’s called The Lore Behind the ROAR! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo. Like beautiful Balboa Park itself, the world-famous San Diego Zoo originated in 1915. Last year was its centennial!
Along the main hallway inside the Casa de Balboa, near the entrance to the San Diego History Center, visitors can enjoy a series of posters that feature some of the zoo’s beloved animal celebrities. Here they are!
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Okay, I admit it. Possibly my very favorite place in Balboa Park is filled with rocks. Really beautiful rocks! And gems and fossils and jewelry and carvings . . .
Yes, I’m talking about the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society Museum, which is located at the north end of Spanish Village. Anyone who “digs” the beautiful natural productions of Mother Earth needs to drop on by. It’s free! And those who want to learn about the lapidary arts should seriously look into joining the society or taking classes. They’ve got a well-equipped lapidary workshop in one room where members facet and carve and polish . . . turning gems, metal and minerals into treasures fit for royalty.