Fun images on colored tiles in Spanish Village!

A cat, palm fronds, clouds and other happy images catch the eye while walking through Spanish Village Art Center.
A cat, palm fronds, clouds and other happy images catch the eye while walking through Spanish Village Art Center.

I was walking through Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park today when I spied some fun images painted on the patio’s colored tiles, right in front of Studio 16B. This studio is the home of several local artists, and in it you can admire beautiful works of pottery, jewelry, painting and more! I hope you enjoy these few photos!

A visitor to Balboa Park in San Diego walks along the colorful patio of Spanish Village. Some fun images can be found in front of Studio 16B.
A visitor to Balboa Park in San Diego walks across the colorful patio of Spanish Village. Some fun images can be found in front of Studio 16B.
Studio 16B is the home of several talented local San Diego artists. As you can see, this photo was taken during Christmas.
Studio 16B is the home of several talented local San Diego artists. As you can see, this photo was taken during Christmas.
More fun designs on the colored patio tiles include another cat and a swirl.
More fun designs on the colored patio tiles include another cat and a purple swirl.
A lizard on two tiles, and some swirly colored lines.
A red lizard on two tiles, and some colored waves.
Whoever painted these tiles must like cats!
Whoever painted these tiles must like cats!

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!

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Beautiful Christmas trees made of green corks!

A fun gingerbread house can be found in Balboa Park's very creative Spanish Village Art Center during this holiday season.
A fun gingerbread house can be found in Balboa Park’s very creative Spanish Village Art Center during this holiday season.

Walk through Spanish Village Art Center this holiday season and you’ll see beautiful artwork everywhere. Including Christmas trees made of green corks!

Looks like a fun project! That’s a lot of wine bottles!

The beautifully textured Christmas trees have been artfully made from bottle corks!
The beautifully textured Christmas trees have been artfully made from bottle corks!
A forest of Christmas trees made of green-colored corks is the backdrop for Frosty the Snowman and some carolers.
A forest of Christmas trees made of green-colored corks is the backdrop for Frosty the Snowman and some carolers.

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!

Sculpture and mural in Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer.

A historic sculpture and mural grace the grand foyer inside the Balboa Park Club.
A beautiful sculpture and large mural grace the grand foyer inside the Balboa Park Club.

Lovers of art should step inside the Balboa Park Club when visiting Balboa Park. The historic building’s grand foyer is dominated by two monumental works of art: a sculpture titled Four Cornerstones of American Democracy by Frederick Schweigardt, and a mural titled The Progress of Man by painter Belle Baranceanu. Both were created in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition.

Here are some photos. Please read the captions for more detailed explanations.

The Balboa Park Club is found directly west of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, in the area of Balboa Park called the Palisades.

The handsome Balboa Park Club building in San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park.
The handsome Balboa Park Club building in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
The Pueblo Revival-style Balboa Park Club was originally the New Mexico State Building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was remodeled in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to enlarge.)
The Pueblo Revival-style Balboa Park Club was originally the New Mexico State Building at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. It was remodeled in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to read sign.)
Folk dancing is a common activity in the large 13,000 square foot ballroom inside the Balboa Park Club.
Folk dancing is a common activity in the large 13,000 square foot ballroom inside the Balboa Park Club.
Photo just inside the entrance to the Balboa Park Club, looking left.
Photo just inside the entrance to the Balboa Park Club, looking left.
Old photo of same fireplace on the left of the building's entrance hall, taken in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition.
Old photo of same fireplace on the left of the building’s entrance hall, taken in 1915 during the Panama-California Exposition.
1915 photo of main facade of the New Mexico State Building during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
1915 photo of main facade of the New Mexico State Building during the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.
Inside the Balboa Park Club's grand foyer, looking back toward the entrance. At the center stands the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy, a 1935 sculpture by Frederick Schweigardt.
Inside the Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer, looking back toward the entrance. At the center stands the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy, a 1935 sculpture by Frederick Schweigardt.
Frederick Schweigardt created the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. The building then was called the Palace of Education.
Frederick Schweigardt created the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. The building then was called the Palace of Education.
Bronze dancer atop the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture. The cornerstones are Home, School, Community and Church.
Bronze dancer atop the Four Cornerstones of American Democracy sculpture. The cornerstones depicted are Home, School, Community and Church.
The Progress of Man, a large mural painted by Belle Baranceanu in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Step into the Balboa Park Club building to see it!
The Progress of Man, a large mural painted by Belle Baranceanu in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exposition. Step into the Balboa Park Club building to see it!
Belle Baranceanu created The Progress of Man mural in 1935. It is a traditional subject, painted with a modernist sensibility. She also painted a mural for the La Jolla Post Office.
Belle Baranceanu created The Progress of Man mural in 1935. It is a traditional subject, painted with a modernist sensibility. She also painted a mural for the La Jolla Post Office.
Education, medicine, science and printing are subjects included in The Progress of Man mural.
Education, medicine, science and printing are subjects included in The Progress of Man mural.
Another close look at The Progress of Man mural, which depicts technology and society in 1935.
Another close look at The Progress of Man mural, which depicts technology and society in 1935.
Two beautiful, historic works of art can be experienced in the Balboa Park Club's grand foyer.
Two beautiful, historic works of art can be experienced in the Balboa Park Club’s grand foyer.  Simply step inside!

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!

Art of the Open Air in beautiful Balboa Park.

A monumental sculpture with two determined faces. Border Crossing/Cruzando El Rio Bravo, 1989, Luis Jiménez.
A monumental sculpture with two determined faces. Border Crossing/Cruzando El Rio Bravo, 1989, Luis Jiménez.

I urge anyone in San Diego to visit the Art of the Open Air exhibit now running in Balboa Park. Fifteen monumental sculptures by important artists are currently on display in the Plaza de Panama and inside the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden. These works belong to the San Diego Museum of Art.

In case you can’t see them in person, here are some photos of the sculptures that are arranged around the Plaza de Panama. Nearby signs provide information about both the artwork and the artists.

Sculpture walk map. Fifteen works by important artists are featured in the San Diego Museum of Art's new exhibit Art of the Open Air.
Sculpture walk map. Fifteen works by important artists are featured in the San Diego Museum of Art’s new exhibit Art of the Open Air.
One of eight signs in the Plaza de Panama, explaining the fascinating outdoor exhibit, which will run in Balboa Park through February 13, 2018.
One of eight signs in the Plaza de Panama, explaining the fascinating outdoor exhibit, which will run in Balboa Park through February 13, 2018.
Seven of the fifteen outdoor sculptures are located in Balboa Park's historic Plaza de Panama. Nearby signs explain the diverse artwork and artists.
Seven of the fifteen outdoor sculptures are located in Balboa Park’s historic Plaza de Panama. Nearby signs explain the diverse artwork and artists.
Visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego check out a large sculpture depicting migrants crossing the Rio Grande.
Visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego check out a large sculpture depicting migrants crossing the Rio Grande.
Artist Luis Jiménez focused on the American Southwest, using vivid colors and materials from popular culture. His work often questioned cultural stereotypes.
Artist Luis Jiménez focused on the American Southwest, using vivid colors and materials from popular culture. His work often questioned cultural stereotypes.
The Watchers, 1960, Lynn Chadwick. Geometric, featureless sculptures that convey human anxiety and distrust.
The Watchers, 1960, Lynn Chadwick. Geometric, featureless sculptures that convey human anxiety and distrust.
Lynn Chadwick, a post-World War II British sculptor, believed that art should be a manifestation of some vital force from the dark.
Lynn Chadwick, a post-World War II British sculptor, believed that art should be a manifestation of some vital force from the dark.
The Prodigal Son, 1905, Auguste Rodin. A sculpture from The Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante's Inferno.
The Prodigal Son, 1905, Auguste Rodin. A sculpture from The Gates of Hell, inspired by Dante’s Inferno.
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor inspired by Michelangelo and linked to the Impressionists. He believed sculpture should produce the impression of movement.
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor inspired by Michelangelo and linked to the Impressionists. He believed sculpture should produce the impression of movement.
Mother and Daughter Seated, 1971, Francisco Zúñiga. Archetype of a mother-daughter pair, rendered both physically and psychologically.
Mother and Daughter Seated, 1971, Francisco Zúñiga. Archetype of a mother-daughter pair, rendered both physically and psychologically.
Francisco Zúñiga created unique artwork that is defined by a fundamental humanism.
Francisco Zúñiga created unique artwork that is defined by a fundamental humanism.
Big Open Skull, 1966-73, Jack Zajac. A monumental bronze sculpture that creates a sense of timelessness.
Big Open Skull, 1966-73, Jack Zajac. A monumental bronze sculpture that creates a sense of timelessness.
Jack Zajac is an American artist who once worked at a steel mill. He is now Sculptor Emeritus at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jack Zajac is an American artist who once worked at a steel mill. He is now Sculptor Emeritus at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Solar Bird, 1966, Joan Miró. One of the artist's recurring motifs, the bird symbolizes flight and escape, liberty and spirituality.
Solar Bird, 1966, Joan Miró. One of the artist’s recurring motifs, the bird symbolizes flight and escape, liberty and spirituality.
Joan Miró is a famous Spanish artist best known for his Surrealist paintings.
Joan Miró is a famous Spanish artist best known for his Surrealist paintings.
Odyssey III, 1973, Tony Rosenthal. Circular planes made of aluminum are forward-looking, anticipating an adventurous journey.
Odyssey III, 1973, Tony Rosenthal. Circular planes made of aluminum are forward-looking, anticipating an adventurous journey.
Tony Rosenthal is an American artist who created clean lines, pure forms. His sculptures fit the open-air environment of Southern California.
Tony Rosenthal was an American artist who created clean lines, pure forms. His sculptures fit the open-air environment of Southern California.
Fantastic works of art await visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego.
Fantastic works of art await visitors to Balboa Park in San Diego.

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!

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Free exhibit of contemporary Chinese art in Balboa Park.

Gallery 15 at the San Diego Museum of Art is free to the public.
Gallery 15 at the San Diego Museum of Art is free to the public.

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!

Free exhibition. Pan Gongkai. New Paintings for the San Diego Museum of Art.
Free exhibition. Pan Gongkai. New Paintings for the San Diego Museum of Art.
The Beijing-based artist Pan Gongkai is deeply invested in the study and practice of traditional Chinese art. The artists has used spontaneous and expressive brushwork that borders on abstraction.
The Beijing-based artist Pan Gongkai is deeply invested in the study and practice of traditional Chinese art. The artist has used spontaneous and expressive brushwork that borders on abstraction. (Click to enlarge.)
One painting in the series Lotus Pond, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
One painting in the series Lotus Pond, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
One painting in the series Lotus Pond, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
One painting in the series Lotus Pond, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
One painting in the series Lotus Pond, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
One painting in the series Lotus Pond, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
Poems on Four Nobles. Plum, Orchid, Bamboo in Rain, and Chrysanthemum.
Poems on Four Nobles. Plum, Orchid, Bamboo in Rain, and Chrysanthemum. (Click to enlarge.)
Section of the painting Noble Virtues, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
Section of the painting Noble Virtues, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
Section of the painting Noble Virtues, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.
Section of the painting Noble Virtues, 2015, by contemporary Chinese artist Pan Gongkai.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can see more Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? Please visit Short Stories by Richard.

Artistic ceramic tiles and a free treasure hunt!

Tile in a unique sign made out of ceramic, which welcomes visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in beautiful Balboa Park.
Tiles in a large ceramic sign, which welcomes visitors to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park.

A treasure hunt is coming up this weekend in Balboa Park! The event takes place on Valentine’s Day (Sunday, February 14) and is courtesy of the artists of Spanish Village!

The free treasure hunt, which is open to absolutely anyone, is called the 2nd Annual Spanish Village Art Abandonment. Between 11am and 4pm, Balboa Park visitors will be able to find (and keep) free works of art hidden all around the park! If you’re lucky enough to discover a unique piece of art, you’ll be able to track where you found it online!

Please follow the WordPress blog of my artist friends at Spanish Village!

https://spanishvillageartinspiration.wordpress.com/

Just for fun, I’ve taken close-up photos of colorful ceramic tiles that beautify locations around Balboa Park. These works of art, while not part of the treasure hunt, can be easily found by anyone! Please read the captions to learn more…

Close-up photo of some tiles along the curving base of a small fountain in the Alcazar Garden.
Close-up photo of some tiles along the curving base of a small fountain in the Alcazar Garden.
Complex symmetric designs, which seem to contain Moorish influence. These tiles adorn one bench near that same fountain.
Complex symmetric designs, which seem to contain Moorish influence. These tiles adorn one bench near that same fountain.
A single weathered tile at the edge of the fountain.
A single weathered tile at the edge of the fountain.
The small, ornate fountain and two of its benches, alive with delightful color.
The small, ornate fountain and two of its benches, alive with delightful color.
These decorative floral tiles are along the base of a second fountain in Balboa Park's very popular Alcazar Garden.
These decorative floral tiles are along the base of a second fountain in Balboa Park’s very popular Alcazar Garden.
Multiple ceramic tiles depict different flowers. You can spot these in the Casa del Prado courtyard in Balboa Park.
Multiple ceramic tiles depict different flowers. You can spot these in the Casa del Prado courtyard in Balboa Park.
A wider view of the cheerful flower tiles.
A wider view of the cheerful flower tiles.
These brightly painted "tiles" form a multicolored patio between the many artist studios in Spanish Village.
These brightly painted “tiles” form the multicolored patio between artist studios in Spanish Village.
A blue bird in a slightly faded ceramic tile near the base of a Spanish Village planter.
A blue bird in a faded ceramic tile, embedded in the base of a Spanish Village patio planter.
Another weathered tile, in the same planter.
Another weathered tile, in the same planter.
This tile in one Spanish Village planter is dedicated to the San Diego Enamel Guild, dated 1989.
This tile in one Spanish Village planter is dedicated to the San Diego Enamel Guild, dated 1989.
Another faded tile remembers a loved one.
Another time-faded tile remembers a loved one.
A fun tile under a bench just outside the door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village. It appears to have been created by an imaginative child.
A fun tile under a bench just outside the door of Studio 13 in Spanish Village. It appears to have been created by an imaginative child.
The fantastic front of Studio 13.
The fantastic front of Studio 13.
These tiles are embedded in an otherwise plain concrete bench on the east side of the Casa del Prado.
These tiles are embedded in an otherwise plain concrete bench on the east side of the Casa del Prado.
Very colorful ceramic tiles are part of a cascading fountain at the end of a walkway between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Brightly colorful ceramic tiles, part of a cascading fountain at the end of a walkway between the Casa de Balboa and the House of Hospitality.
Unusual designs in the tile border of an information sign, just outside the Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park.
Unusual designs in the tile border of an information sign, just outside the Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park.
A classic, quiet fountain in the Casa del Rey Moro Garden is surrounded by stylish tiles.
A classic, quiet fountain in the Casa del Rey Moro Garden is surrounded by stylish tiles.
Close-up photo of the colorful ceramic tiles around the recessed fountain.
Close-up photo of the beautiful ceramic tiles around the recessed fountain.
The large fountain at the center of the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park has a band of elegant tilework.
The large fountain at the center of the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park has two bands of very elegant tilework.
More wonderful artistry. Balboa Park contains unexpected beauty at every turn.
More wonderful artistry. Balboa Park contains unexpected beauty at every turn.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk!  You can enjoy many more Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook and Twitter!