UCSD has an impressive collection of art sprawled across the 1,200 acre campus, with pieces dating back as early as 1982. The goal of the of the Stuart Collection is to "to enrich the cultural, intellectual, and scholarly life of the UCSD campus and of the San Diego community by building and maintaining a unique collection of site-specific works by leading artists of our time."
Artists are welcome to send proposals with the assistance of the Stuart Collection staff. Projects that are chosen are then submitted to the campus for review. Many of the artists who have designed works for the collection are associated with movements or attitudes which are seldom represented in public sculpture collections. A significant number of the artists have been better known for their work in other areas before creating their first permanent outdoor sculpture for the Stuart Collection.
The campus architecture ranges from California cottages, World War II barracks, and structures from the 50's and 60's, to more recent buildings influenced by postmodern architecture.
Personal Experience: I was never a student of UCSD so was not in the "in" of their campus. One day while I was driving in La Jolla though, I happened to pass right by the school and decided why not explore? I had heard from many sources that there are some underground tunnels there. I figured I'd do a little walk around and see if I could find some of the entrances. I also had heard of some talking trees which I definitely wanted to see in person as well as the much-photographed giant bear.
While walking around the campus in search of these secret gems I began noticing some extremely interesting art installations. It did not take long for me to realize just how special this campus is and how seriously they take their artwork. If you are an artist or appreciator of art you need to walk around their campus for the installations alone! These are some of the most interesting and compelling art installations I've seen in San Diego. I feel a bit foolish not knowing about this earlier or if I did, I must have brushed it off and forgotten about it. Bottom line: get out there art-lovers, trust me!
I highly recommend watching each short video on the making of these installations. It is completely worth it. Please keep in mind that I am showing just SOME of the installations on campus. There are many more than these!
For the Stuart Collection, Tim imagined a bear constructed of boulders. Eight granite stones - torso, head, ears, arms, and legs - were found locally. Together they make a bear 23'6" feet high with a total weight of 180 tons.
I was shocked to learn that this bear was fashioned from real boulders. It is quite a sight to see!
La Jolla Project, 1984
The La Jolla Project is more commonly known on campus as "Stonehenge." It is a popular place for students to go to talk or study. Learn more here.
Vices & Virtues, 1988
Nauman's Vices and Virtues for the Stuart Collection consists of seven pairs of words superimposed in blinking neon, which run like a frieze around the top of the Charles Lee Powell Structural Systems Laboratory. Seven vices alternate with seven virtues: FAITH/LUST, HOPE/ENVY, CHARITY/SLOTH, PRUDENCE/PRIDE, JUSTICE/AVARICE, TEMPERANCE/GLUTTONY, and FORTITUDE/ANGER.
Do Ho Shu
Fallen Star Public Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Snake Path, 1992
Sun God, 1983
"Sun God is a statue by French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. The statue is a 14-foot multicolored bird-like creature, perched atop a 15-foot-tall horseshoe-shaped rock pedestal.Erected in February 1983 as a part of the Stuart Collection of public art projects, the fiberglass Sun God has become a unique feature on the UCSD campus. It is located on a grassy area between the Faculty Club and Mandeville Auditorium, on the eastern periphery of the John Muir College campus. Since the 1980s the UCSD Associated Students organization has sponsored an annual event, the Sun God Festival, with the statue as its official mascot. Over the years numerous visual-arts students have accessorized the statue with items such as sunglasses, a cap and gown, an ID card, a large, water-spraying phallus, and even a nest with eggs painted in the statue's trademark bright colors." source
Nikki de Saint Phalle is the same artist who created Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden in Escondido.
Here are a couple other pieces I found while walking around whose information I could not find:
Member's SectionMurphy's Ranch
Anza Borrego Desert
LHOOQ/EXREALISM Vintage Bookstore
Cuyamaca State Park