Art is exploding all around San Diego. Large-scale artwork and murals are moving into multiple restaurants, bringing colorful energy to the dining experience. Rising up in the California art scene with stunning, conversation-starting works, San Diego is propelling the art movement forward and recognizing some of the incredible talent in the city's own backyard.
Here are must-see works around San Diego. (Editor's note: The work included on this list is large-scale, not smaller, framed works within the space.)
Common Theory Public House
Art: Hops mural and CT3 Hop Dragon
Artists: Christopher Konecki and Gloria Muriel (respectively)
The scoop: Beautifully combining craft with art, this Convoy Street beer supports the local art scene by commissioning multiple murals. The hops mural by Konecki covers an entire wall. The dragon piece by Muriel commemorated Common Theory's recent third anniversary and the CT3 triple hazy IPA that was brewed in collaboration with Pure Project for the occasion. Muriel's dragon is an homage to the owners' Chinese heritage and is inspired by the company's logo.
4805 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa. commontheorysd.com
Art: Multiple murals
Artist: Chor Boogie
The scoop: Already known for his work in San Diego over the years, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the New Children's Museum, the San Francisco-based artist is known worldwide for his bold, vibrant and colorful murals. Global clients have included the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Google, Hugh Hefner, Jay-Z, and the late Prince.
Veladora, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Artist: Damien Hirst
The scoop: Made from actual butterfly wings, this 7-by-7-foot work by the internationally renowned Hirst is a stunning work for art connoisseurs, budding entomologists and mariposa fans alike.
5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe. ranchovalencia.com
Art: Multiple murals
The scoop: Painted by Mexican muralist Neuzz, the eye-catching downstairs work "is a pictorial representation of the merge that took place during European Colonization and Hispano-American miscegenation represented through a native ceremony celebrated by the ritual of fire. Fire represents the fusion of different cultures, knowledge, belief and philosophies. Both cultures intertwined their wisdom and knowledge regarding astronomy, mother nature, healing powers, gods, goddesses, the four elements and food ... ." The other not-to-miss Neuzz mural is upstairs in the Arriba Room of the Hotel Palomar hotel - this one depicting a shaman, a curadero.
1047 Fifth Ave. No. 100, downtown. curadero.com
Art: Floral motif mural
Artist: Celeste Byers
The scoop: Spotted recently at the "Muse" exhibition at La Bodega, Byers painted an ethereal floral mural inspired by the flowers that appear on the tables at the restaurant. 4622 Park Blvd., University Heights. madisononpark.com
Art: Various, depicting a dragon, cat, and apes
Artist: Kara "KJ" Ashley
The scoop: The artist's work is spread throughout the restaurant, with a gigantic orange and red dragon on the dining wall, a cat near the back door, and apes relaxing among bamboo on the patio.
Art: 3-D mountain mural
Artist: Barbara Rourke
The scoop: Paying homage to the restaurant's theme, the mural comprises individually carved wood slats that depict the curvature of a mountain landscape.
2725 State St., Carlsbad. thisiscampfire.com
Art: Geometric wood mural
Artist: Jason Lane
The scoop: Stare long enough at this vibrant, multicolored mural, and you will see shapes and dimensions come out of the woodwork, literally. Children of the '80s will have a happy flashback to the days of the video game "Q*Bert."
4051 Adams Ave., Kensington. thehavenpizzeria.com
Delk is a freelance writer.