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Thursday, October 23, 2014


ART AT THE MALL—Adding well meaning eight-foot square art murals depicting San Diego’s neighborhoods to the exterior walls of Mission Valley Mall is a clever, fun and attention grabbing idea. 

Artist Michael Nicola’s idea is a good one, however unique the murals maybe, they frankly look the same. This art project is keen marketing by the mall as it links most of the neighborhoods with the local street signs and vintage automobiles with bright abstract colors. 

For my money there’s a lot more to capture about North Park, for example, than the street sign and a vintage car.  North Park is the leading historic neighborhood in the urban core.  North Park has a vibrant arts district.  North Park is the hippest neighborhood in America when it comes to all things cool, including a booming restaurant and brew pub presence. 

Irony abounds.  In the 1950s North Park’s business node was devastated by the arrival of the malls in Mission Valley.  It’s only taken half a century for small businesses to return to the neighborhood.  We digress.

Of course, the artist, the project and Westfield Mission Valley are to be thanked.  The murals while missing on strength of neighborhood uniqueness are, nonetheless well done.

Source: KPBS’s Katie Schoolov originally reported on the murals.  The full story can be read at the following link:

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