Woodbury Students Create Landscape Art Project in Barrio Logan

Woodbury graduate students Ryan Kim and Patrick Yip along with associate professor Hector M. Perez were recently invited to discuss possible strategies and logistics for creating a community impact project in the Boston Avenue area of Barrio Logan. Over the course of five weeks, the students designed a 1500 linear foot landscape and art project to build off the ongoing efforts of the neighbors of the Boston Avenue, where a group of residents (mostly women and children) have been planting succulents and cacti along a fence belonging to Cal Trans for over the course of one year. Over 300 volunteers joined the Boston Ave community to complete the project.

The invitation to participate came from the office of David Alvarez, the San Diego Councilman for District 9. Following the invitation to get involved, the students met with all stake holders (Community members, Councilman Alvarez’s representatives and SD City officials) to discuss strategies for a large impact project. Responding to the need for infrastructure beautification and in the spirit of the artistic traditions of Barrio Logan, the resulting public art proposal comprises three different zones and strategies, including a pedestrian bridge, landscape strips, and street crossing art.

The project draws inspiration from the colorful artistic traditions of the Huichol Indigenous people, as well as the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games public art graphics. The resulting project utilizes the chain link fence as canvas to create simple geometric compositions. The colorful transparencies of this plastic light filtering medium allows colored light to be projected to the ground to create unexpected colorful experiences. Adding a colorful backdrop to the ongoing ‘community landscape initiative’, the project consists of re-covering the 2’ – 4′ strips of landscape along the Boston Ave. fence with colorful organic mulch that adds a vibrant backdrop to the native cacti plants that the neighbors have been planting on this residual piece of landscape. Complimenting the pedestrian bridge and landscape strips art proposals while reinforcing the physical and historical connections between Barrio Logan and Logan Heights, the project is made to consist of street crossing mega-art that denotes pedestrian crossings on both sides of the bridge.

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Image courtesy Hector M. Perez