San Diego is a colorful city, and there’s no better way to experience it than through the art scene. Ingrained in our culture are the works of Niki de Saint Phalle, a French-American artist with local ties.
Exploring the city, you’re likely to find the influence of de Saint Phalle because San Diego has the highest concentration of her paintings + sculptures in the US. But these aren’t simply beautiful pieces — they also tell her story. It’s hard to summarize the impact of this avant garde artist, but we’re going to give it a shot.
Born in France in 1930, the artist spent most of her childhood in New York and became a model at the age of 18. After giving birth to her first child in Boston, she returned to Paris to study theater + acting — and while coping with the stress of her program, found comfort in painting.
In the early 1960s, after a divorce, de Saint Phalle gained recognition for one of her most iconic works: “Tirs” (aka “Shooting Pictures”). For this performative display, she would attach bags of paint to plaster and the public would shoot them, creating a bleeding effect. She literally took shots at the status quo, which helped make her a prominent figure in the Nouveau Réalismemovement.
As an established artist, de Saint Phalle received worldwide recognition, but she spent her final years in La Jolla, where she died in 2002.
Looking over UC San Diego. | Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday
This colorful bird stands tall as de Saint Phalle’s oldest piece with San Diego roots, and is the first piece commissioned by UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection. The 14-ft “Sun God” statue arrived on the campus in 1983 and watches over the grassy area by the Faculty Club + Mandeville Auditorium. Of course, students have fun with his statue, the “Sun God Festival” has become a yearly tradition.
Sun Room | Fri., June 24 | 7 p.m. | The Observatory | $72.50 | The California surf rockers come to the North Park venue. 🏄♂️
Eric Schwartz | Fri., June 24-Sat., June 25 | 8 + 10 p.m. | Laugh Factory | $25 | The energetic + musical comedian performs. 🎤
Vista Vegan Food Popup | Fri., June 24 | 5-9 p.m. | Local Roots Boochyard, 1430 Vantage Ct. | Free | Explore plant-based dishes at this family + pet friendly market in Vista. 🥦
Nemr Abou Nassar | Sat., June 25 | 8 p.m. | San Diego Civic Theatre | $31.50+ | The Lebanese funnyman — credited for pioneering the stand-up comedy scene in the Middle East — takes the stage downtown. 🎤
Del Mar Farmers Market | Saturdays | 1-4 p.m. | Civic Center, 1050 Camino Del Mar (lower outdoor parking lot) | Free | Fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, potted herbs, seafood, cheese + more. 🫑
Del Mar’s City Council examined plans to add affordable housing as part of its 6th Cycle Housing Element initiative. The proposal includes a total of seven low income units at city-owned properties on 28th + 10th streets, and at least 54 units at the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds. 🏘️
Heal the Bay released its annual beach + water report cards, and San Diego County made a big splash on its assessment of California beaches. Fifteenlocal beaches appeared on the Honor Roll for their excellent water conditions, second only to Orange County. 🌊
Time to play in the neighborhood of Stockton — Mayor Todd Gloria celebrated the opening of the $3.1 millionIsland Avenue Mini Park on Wednesday. The new outdoor spaceslid into a vacant lot and transformed it into a multi-tiered park with playground structures, picnic tables + ADA compliant pathways. 🌳
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s Youth Opportunities Pass is going the extra mile to include former foster youth. Starting Fri., July 1, eligible adults ages 18-24 will be able to receive free fares as part of the PRONTO Extend pilot program through December 2023. 🚃
Uber is sharing rides again with the introduction of UberX Share — and San Diego is included in the pilot. The program lets passengers opt for a co-rider during their journey. If a second passenger is picked up along the way, riders will see a reduction in their fare up to 20% in addition to an up front discount for using the service. 📱
The City of Poway is calling on residents to help address crime. Law enforcementintroduced Poway ALERT — a citywide tip line for residents to report concerns and help prevent tragedies. 📞
Looking to add a furry friend to your home this summer? San Diego Humane Society is offering reduced adoption rates for pets today through Sunday. The promotion, sponsored by the Petfinder Foundation, allows families to adopt adult cats + dogs for $20 and smaller pets for $5. 😻
The beat is coming back to San Diego on Sat., Sept 24 + Sun, Sept. 25, for the CRSSD Festival. The lineup of performers — including Duck Sauce, Fatboy Slim, Jamie XX, and Joseph Capriati — was released this week before tickets go on sale on Tues., June 28, at 11 a.m. 🎟️
The City of Lemon Grove can head out for some live music this summer. The 2022 Concerts in the Park line-up has been announced, with different acts + musical styles performing at Berry Street Park. The six-show series takes place each Thursday night from 6:30-8 p.m., starting on June 30 until Aug. 4. 🎶
Get ready to clean up your act: The Zero Waste Fair is returning in person tomorrow from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at EUSD Farm Lab in Encinitas. The I Love A Clean San Diego-sponsored event features presentations, information, hands-on activities. Attendees can meet zero waste local businesses and win prizes. ♻️
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The display arrives tomorrow at 10 a.m. — and your eyes aren’t fooling you — it’s not the Fourth of July yet. Locals know the holiday is a popular beach day, so a June celebration welcomes a wave-filled holiday without interfering with the star-spangled fun of a parade.
The parade makes its way down Coast Highway from Wisconsin Avenue to Civic Center Drive. It starts in front of 101 Cafe at 10 a.m., so expect to see the procession in front of City Hall around 10:15 a.m.
You can also volunteer if you’d like to help keep the show moving.
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Editor’s pick:Happy Friday, San Diego. It looks like the sun is finding us this weekend, and it’s no secret that beaches + surfing are part of our local culture. Recently, I found Hermosa Surf Shop in Bird Rock — and of course I took a tour of the cool, new store. There are boards, wetsuits, clothes, and smoothies if you just want a drink. 🏄♂️
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