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Walking Tour: SDBG Public Art

October 15, 2013


The San Diego Botanic Garden (also known as the Quail Botanical Garden) in Encinitas is a nirvana for plant lovers.  Tranquility is guaranteed wandering the paths of gardens featuring plants and trees from Australia, South Africa, the Mediterranean and Central America; among others. There are rain forest and tropical installations, desert and succulent areas, an herb garden and a children’s garden with a bird and butterfly area. In all there are four miles of trails to explore on 37 acres — it’s a great day trip. During a recent visit, I was able to photograph the art on display in a variety of settings. All of them sculptural, the pieces employ a variety of mediums in an array of stylistic tendencies. I enjoyed them all but, of course, have my favorites:

Robert Holmes’, ‘Eve Reclining’, $30,000; bronze >> Seen across a small pool in dappled light, the piece depicts a reclining female form. Reminiscent of works by Henry Moore, it has a presence at once feminine and solid.

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Hugo Heredia Barrera, ‘Untitled’, $8,000; Fabricated metal, hot formed glass. >> Rusted metal meets twisted glass shards. This energetic plant-like piece fits in nicely among cacti and succulents.

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Bobbi Hirschkoff, ‘Celebration’, $9,250; Fused glass, stainless steel. >> A festive piece that lets the confetti fly!

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Elon Ebanks, ‘Flower from Mars’, $2,200; Mild steel. >> Striding forward from the soft cushioned floor of a bamboo grove, this textured metal piece has a sinister lurching quality.

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Margarita Leon, ‘Meditando Sobre las Posibilidades’, $5,385 each; Fired clay, eggshell mosaic, bronze, resin. >> I love the folk art quality of these complex, contemplative pieces. They’re sited to face each other but I’m showing them singly; the better to show the eggshell mosaic detail.

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Rasim Konyar, ‘Horse on Wheel’, $5,500; Bronze. >> Didju ever see a phallic symbol ride a unicycle? I have.

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Peter Mitten, ‘Cloud 7’, $3,200; Fabricated aluminum, painted steel. >> The normally white and fluffy turned hard-edged and metallic. It’s nature for the geometrically insistent.

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Lynn Forbes, ‘Zeus Disguised as a Satyr Attempting to Woo Psyche’, $3,500; Patinated terra cotta. >> Psyche, in this case, seems a little young, and Zeus, quite literally, an old goat.  Run, Psyche!

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Dave Ghilarducci, ‘Passing Wave’, $4,250; Powder coated steel. >> Pure motion in shiny blue . . .  gorgeous.

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Pat Downing, ‘Perfect Union’, $7,500; Copper and steel. >> A sweet piece, like a 3-D Valentine’s card.

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Benjamin Lavender, ‘Kneeling Venus’, $2,400; Steel barrel hoops. >> Fantastic, strongly feminine and imbued with a mythic quality well-suited to its subject matter. I love that such a humble material has been transformed into a lyrical figurative form.  I’m thinking of saving up for this one.

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Benjamin Lavender, ‘Stretch’, $8,600; Steel barrel hoops, stainless steel. >> Same artist as before and just as evocative. The way the rooted barrel hoops grow from the earth and become shiny, stainless ribbons and disappear is feminine magic. It’s fantasy made real.

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Rasim Konyar, ‘Sister I’, ‘Sister II’, $4,000 and $3,500 respectively; Gold leaf on metal. >> They’re priced separately, but it’d be a shame to break up these stodgy sibs.

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James Hubbell, ‘Visit’, $50,000; Cast bronze, iron base. >> Like a swooping consonant, this piece has the look of alien calligraphy.

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Albert Dicruttalo, ‘Stripling’, $15,000; Bronze. >> Defined as a young man, this “stripling” has the appearance of a youthful planet.

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Christie Beniston, ‘Topiary’, $5,000; PVC, ceramic, aluminum. >> Another piece I love: It’s Memphis meets chess piece meets old-fashioned licorice candy. Plus: I love a totem!

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I don’t think I shot all the art on display in the SDBG’s gardens, my current physical limitations saw to that. But I thoroughly enjoyed being there and seeing what I did. I also enjoyed meeting reader Kristi Beach, landscape designer at Akana Design in Encinitas. She’d bought my agave/aloe scribble chairs (click here for post) and she met us there to pick them up. Thanks, Kristi, it was a pleasure!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2013 10:16 am

    what beautiful works of art !!!

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      October 15, 2013 4:23 pm

      It’s definitely a worthy destination for so many reasons! Thanks, Gwen 😉

  2. October 15, 2013 12:46 pm

    A new destination to put on my very long list of “Things I want to do.” This place looks wonderful!!

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      October 15, 2013 4:24 pm

      You gotta go, WF! I know you’ll enjoy it.

  3. November 3, 2013 8:07 pm

    Thanks for the tour, Reuben. I’ve been to other gardens that showcase outdoor sculptures, and it seems a perfect wedding.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 3, 2013 10:21 pm

      Agreed, a beautiful garden is only elevated by the inclusion of art!

      • November 4, 2013 12:03 pm

        My favorite is Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell’s Inlet, SC (near Myrtle Beach). Click on the slide show at the bottom to see some of the sculptures:

      • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
        November 4, 2013 5:22 pm

        Thanks for sharing the link, JR, I enjoyed seeing the sculptures. My favorite was the young girl leaning against the faun, both of them lost in a dream: Gorgeous.

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