This is the first story in a series focused on San Diego’s public art – where it’s located and why.
Some San Diego neighborhoods are saturated with art from the city’s public collection. Others have little or none.
For the first time, you can see a citywide map of San Diego’s civic art collection. Voice of San Diego requested documentation of every sculpture, painting, installation or other work of art the city owns, created a searchable database and mapped the results.
It provides a birds-eye view of where art is and isn’t, and makes the work more accessible. We’ll update the database as the city adds new pieces to its collection.
Previously, the city had only published a select few public art listings on its website.
We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?
Here is a free art show that is happening today:
- Sat, Jun 4, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- North Park LibraryNorth Park Branch Library, 3795 31st St , San Diego
- 20 oil and acrylic paintings celebrating the iconic imagery of North Park by local artist Vicki Jones-Pittman
- Full details: https://hartleysnorthpark.nextdoor.com/events/680943/?s=ee&link_source_user_id=9044401&lc=659&mobile_deeplink_data=action=view_event&event=680943&ct=zE2uV1gGn8r2HgNCJyg7dayaqbf9Dgf5OUHNEeSWi4PzZfUpz8B4-mRQ_MARjTTp
Idea: I think it would be great if local artists got to do a percentage of all SD's "Public Art" since it would help support our local Artists and also keep SD art "grounded".
I would agree that the definition is fuzzy and probably should be retitled to reflect city-of-San-Diego-funded-or-owned. There's a lot of publicly accessible art all over town that doesn't fall into these categories. Citizens don't know who funded what. The ever-changing sculptures along the Embarcadero, for instance. ALL of the amazing art in Chicano Park. Obviously that's "public" art. But not included in the criteria for this map.
Also, not really accurate to call this "the first time" such a map has been made. I recall three or four previous print-media public art maps in both Union-Trib and CityBeat (I think). However, this probably is the most complete and, being online, the most interactive. A good job!
A key point in this article is that most of the art is DONATED, or paid for and installed as PERCENT FOR ART by the developers. These donations and developer paid pieces are installed where the donator or developer wants them, much like the Horton Plaza fountain from Irvin Gill.
The idea that the map shows a bias by the city as to where they place their art is just silly. The city Commission for Art and Culture does have some money and is looking to use it wisely.
Public art is generally in places where the maximum number of people can see, use or be inspired by them, such as densly populated areas, city centers, or gathring places, etc. There is a place for local art and I'm glad the the City Commission for Arts and Culture is working to balance the new installtions with existing ones.
I actually do think it shows a bias. It show how little developers are willing to invest in underserved communities who could probably use it more. I've lived in southeast for 6 years and there has been very little development or the development takes forever. The only exception to this rule is the Diamond neighborhoods but even then we just got the first pharmacy built in the area and how long has this been a diamond neighborhood? Defitely more than 6 yrs. I'm hoping with S4Art moving some of that art can travel further up market.
The definition of "public art" is pretty fuzzy here. Is it just those pieces that are funded or blessed by the City? What about public accessible art that has been provided by private entities, which did not go through the Arts Commission approval process such as: the mosaic murals on the side of two affordable housing projects in Barrio Logan, the murals in Chican Park, the wall depicting local African-American history that is part of an affordable housing project in east village, and many more.
Correction: the article says Barrio Logan has one piece of city funded public art yet the map shows none in Barrio Logan. Since the city differentiates the difference between Barrio Logan and Logan Heights then the public art at the Logan Heights Library should not be counted as in Barrio Logan. I find it somewhat shameful that the most artistic community in San Diego has no city funded public art projects. Just more neglect from a city that has neglected us for decades. At least the Port of San Diego funded a couple public art projects here at Chicano Park on the Bay (the original name of that park which was fought for by the Chicano Park Steering Committee).