Creativity and joy thrive in Spanish Village!

A happy orange face dangles by a studio doorway in Balboa Park's welcoming Spanish Village Art Center.
A happy orange face dangles by a studio doorway in Balboa Park’s welcoming Spanish Village Art Center.

I can’t get enough of Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. I love to meander through its colorful courtyard patio.

The place is magical. Dreamlike. A refuge. The cares of the world drop instantly away in Spanish Village.

It’s a place where creativity and joy thrive!

A sign tells visitors they've entered a magical world where creativity thrives.
A sign tells visitors they’ve entered a joyful world where creativity thrives.
Walking through Spanish Village, with fanciful architecture inspired by southern Spain, created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.
Walking through Spanish Village, with fanciful architecture inspired by southern Spain, created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park.
A bright face peeks out from behind flowers near Studio 13.
A bright face peeks out from behind flowers near Studio 13.
A fun work of art hangs near the entrance to Studio 15, home of Doug Snider Ceramics.
A fun work of art hangs near the entrance to Studio 15, home of Doug Snider Ceramics.
Friendly local artist paints a surfboard on the table outside Studio 10.
Friendly local artist paints a surfboard on the table outside Studio 10.
Forest creatures look up from one of several painted benches in Spanish Village. You can find this fun art in front of the Southwestern Artists Association's Studio 23.
Forest creatures look up from one of several painted benches in Spanish Village. You can find this fun art in front of the Southwestern Artists Association’s Studio 23.
Some amazing art glass displayed outside Studio 19, where glassblowers work as visitors watch.
Some amazing art glass displayed outside Studio 19, where glassblowers create beauty as visitors watch.
More beautiful glass.
More fantastic glass.
Carefree people ride bikes through Spanish Village Art Center.
Carefree people ride bikes through sunny Spanish Village Art Center.
Some artwork on the patio pays tribute to beautiful Balboa Park.
Some artwork on the patio pays tribute to beautiful Balboa Park.
A sunflower painted on door to Studio 28.
A cheerful sunflower painted on door to Studio 28.
Come to Spanish Village and your eyes will be filled with creativity, joy and life wherever they turn.
Come to Spanish Village and your eyes will be filled with surprising creativity, joy and life wherever they turn.
I was graciously allowed to take a photo of the art glass inside Studio 25. A skylight turns many pieces into shining jewels.
I was graciously allowed to take a photo of the art glass inside Studio 25. A skylight transforms many pieces into shining jewels.
Back outside, where I took a photo of a colorful door through glassware.
Back outside, where I took a photo of a colorful door through glassware.
One table on the patio is like an enormous, cheerful yellow flower.
One table on the patio is like an enormous, cheerful yellow flower.
Visitors to Spanish Village Art Center are invited to build a spirit totem.
Visitors to Spanish Village Art Center are invited to build a spirit totem.
A friendly artist of the Studio 36 Sculptors Guild interacts with a potential buyer. Their courtyard is overflowing with imaginative sculptures.
A friendly artist of the Studio 36 Sculptors Guild interacts with a potential buyer. Their courtyard is overflowing with imaginative sculptures.
Amusing sculpted creatures greet visitors to the Studio 36 outdoor courtyard.
Amusing sculpted creatures greet visitors to the Studio 36 outdoor courtyard.
A shining jester.
A shining jester.
A simian in a space rocket.
A simian in a space rocket.
Like a joyful dream world where fantasy and imagination have come to life.
Like a joyful dream world where fantasy and imagination have come to life.
Dreamers...
Dreamers…
Come again. Bring friends.
Come again. Bring friends.

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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A colorful Frida Kahlo sculpture at Spanish Village!

The colorful, unmistakable likeness of Frida Kahlo now stands at the main entrance to Spanish Village in Balboa Park!
A colorful sculpture of Frida Kahlo now stands at the entrance to Spanish Village in Balboa Park!

Look what recently appeared at the main entrance to Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park! An amazing glass mosaic sculpture of Frida Kahlo!

The eye-catching piece is titled Frida. It’s a collaboration between two talented artists who show their work in Spanish Village: Yuriy Akopov and Ilya Idelchik.

According to a nearby sign, Frida is available for purchase at the San Diego Sculptors Guild in Spanish Village’s Gallery 36.

If you think this shiny, very colorful piece closely resembles the world-famous sculptures of Niki de Saint Phalle, you’re correct! Years ago, while he worked with the company Art Mosaic, Yuriy’s own hands helped to create Niki’s fantastic artwork!

A sleek glass mosaic sculpture of Frida Kahlo greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center!
A sleek glass mosaic sculpture of Frida Kahlo greets visitors to Spanish Village Art Center!

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 hearts appear before Valentine’s Day!

A lustrous red ceramic heart, created by Pierre Bounaud of Studio 40 at Spanish Village Art Center.
A lustrous red ceramic heart, created by Pierre Bounaud of Studio 40 at Spanish Village Art Center.

Look at all the beautiful hearts I spotted while walking about Balboa Park this afternoon . . . and scenes containing heart!

Valentine’s Day is only three days away!

Amber and larimar earring hearts for sale at the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society and Village Silversmith's store.
Amber and larimar heart-shaped earrings for sale at the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society and Village Silversmith’s store.
A fun heart dangles in front of Spanish Village's Studio 13.
A fun heart dangles in front of Spanish Village’s Studio 13.
Old-fashioned lovers sit together in a graphic on the historic Balboa Park Carousel.
Old-fashioned lovers sit together in a graphic on the historic Balboa Park Carousel.
A wrapped heart treat in a display case inside the House of Czech and Slovak Republics.
A wrapped heart treat in a display case inside the House of Czech and Slovak Republics, at the International Cottages.
More hearts on glassware (and a cannon!) inside the House of Sweden.
More hearts on glassware inside the House of Sweden.
A beautiful fabric heart inside the House of Hungry's exhibit inside Balboa Park's Hall of Nations building.
A beautiful fabric heart, part of the House of Hungry’s exhibit inside the Hall of Nations.
Two lovers tango on a book cover in the Helen Edison Gift Shop at the Old Globe Theatre.
A couple tangos on a wall calendar in the Helen Edison Gift Shop at the Old Globe Theatre.
International Dance Festival participants twirl on the sidewalk in front of the Balboa Park Club.
International Dance Festival participants twirl on the sidewalk in front of the Balboa Park Club.
Jewelry boxes shaped like hearts on sale inside the Balboa Park Club during the International Dance Festival.
Jewelry boxes shaped like hearts for sale inside the Balboa Park Club during the International Dance Festival.
I also spotted these red heart-patterned fabrics for sale at the festival.
I also spotted some heart-patterned fabrics for sale at the festival.
Local artist Jean Pierre Marques had these colorful hearts for sale near the International Cottages. Valentine's Day is almost here!
Local artist Jean Pierre Marques had these colorful painted hearts for sale near the International Cottages. Valentine’s Day is almost here!

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!

Two colorful Frida portraits at Spanish Village!

Artist Frida Kahlo, by San Diego painter RD Riccoboni, outside Studio 18 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
Artist Frida Kahlo, by San Diego painter RD Riccoboni, on the patio outside Studio 18 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village.

Look what I spied on Christmas Eve while I moseyed around Balboa Park waiting to take a special tour at the nearby San Diego Museum of Art!

As I wandered through Spanish Village Art Center, I was greeted by two amazing, colorful Frida Kahlo portraits painted by San Diego’s own RD Riccoboni. Both works of art stood just outside the entrance to Studio 18, which RD Riccoboni shares with other talented Spanish Village artists.

After enjoying these two paintings, I was treated to a special tour of Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition contains nearly a hundred amazing works of art, including two original Frida Kahlo pieces. It also features a fun Frida and Me activity station for children.

This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition runs at the San Diego Museum of Art for a limited time. To see the blog concerning my amazing tour, as well as many photos from inside the Modern Masters from Latin America, click here.

A vibrant, butterfly-filled Purple Frida With The Orange Flower.
A vibrant, butterfly-filled Purple Frida With The Orange Flower, by San Diego artist RD Riccoboni.

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!

Four amazing paintings outside Studio 18.

Art outside Studio 18 in Spanish Village Art Center attracts the eye.
Art outside Studio 18 in Spanish Village Art Center attracts the eye.

During my Sunday walk through Balboa Park, I noticed some truly amazing paintings near the front door of Studio 18 in Spanish Village. A sign nearby indicated the artist was RD Riccoboni and invited photos. So I thought I’d share some beautiful works of art!

Two amazing paintings by RD Riccoboni. One shows colorful bicycles, the other a sunny beach.
Two amazing paintings by RD Riccoboni. One shows colorful bicycles, the other a sunny beach.
RD Riccoboni is just one of several talented artists who work in Studio 18.
RD Riccoboni is just one of several talented artists who work in Studio 18.
Fantastic painting by RD Riccoboni of La Jolla Cove.
Fantastic painting by RD Riccoboni of La Jolla Cove.
RD Riccoboni painted Mexican folklorico dancers in Spanish Village!
RD Riccoboni painted Mexican folklorico dancers in Spanish Village!

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!

Watercolor Society paints in Balboa Park.

A member of the San Diego Watercolor Society paints a beautiful scene in Balboa Park.
A member of the San Diego Watercolor Society paints a beautiful scene in Balboa Park.

During my long walk today I noticed painters here, there, and all around Balboa Park working at their easels.

It turns out members of the dynamic San Diego Watercolor Society had converged on the park to capture the surrounding beauty! It appeared to me that they were succeeding!

Many painters had grouped near the park's huge Moreton Bay Fig, with excellent views of the Casa del Prado and the entrance to Spanish Village.
Many painters were near the park’s huge Moreton Bay Fig, enjoying excellent views of the Casa del Prado and the entrance to Spanish Village.
A friendly artist uses watercolors to interpret the entrance to Spanish Village Art Center.
A friendly artist uses watercolors to interpret the entrance to Spanish Village Art Center.
A spied a couple of painters in Spanish Village, trying to capture the colorful atmosphere.
A spied a couple of painters in Spanish Village, trying to capture the colorful atmosphere.
A nice lady painting near the center of Spanish Village allowed me to take a close photo of her work. I love the bold patches of color!
A nice lady painting near the center of Spanish Village allowed me to take a close photo of her work. I love the bold patches of color!
More San Diego Watercolor Society members were inside an arch looking out at the Plaza de Panama. I see the California Tower in one painting.
More San Diego Watercolor Society members were inside an arch looking out at the Plaza de Panama. I see the California Tower in one painting.
Creativity in Balboa Park, where sunlit beauty stretches in every direction.
Creativity in Balboa Park, where sunlit beauty stretches in every direction.

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!

Painted wisdom in creative Spanish Village.

Every Child is an Artist. The Problem is How to Remain an Artist Once He Grows Up.
Every Child is an Artist. The Problem is How to Remain an Artist Once He Grows Up.

The unique wisdom of artists can be absorbed during any walk through Spanish Village. Outside the entrance to Studio 26, simply look down at your feet. Painted tiles contain many quotes concerning creativity.

Time might fade art, but the truths represented are eternal.

Colored tiles contain painted wisdom near the entrance to Studio 26 in Spanish Village Art Center.
Colored tiles contain painted wisdom near the entrance to Studio 26 in Spanish Village Art Center.
Creativity Takes Courage.
Creativity Takes Courage.
When we destroy Nature We diminish our selves. A Line is a Dot that went for a Walk.
When we destroy Nature We diminish our selves. A Line is a Dot that went for a Walk.
Blessed Are the Weird People--the poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters and troubadours--for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.
Blessed Are the Weird People–the poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters and troubadours–for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.
The Chief Enemy of Creativity is Good Sense.
The Chief Enemy of Creativity is Good Sense.
Irrepressible human creativity is visible during a walk through Spanish Village in Balboa Park.
The sun’s light and human creativity illuminate a walk through Spanish Village in Balboa Park.
Art belongs to Everyone.
Art belongs to Everyone.

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 like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? To read a few small stories I’ve written (and a poem), click Short Stories by Richard.