This walk continues exploring the many works of art commissioned by the Stuart Collection in partnership with the University of California, San Diego campus. Part 1 left off at the university’s Media Center, where works by artist Nam June Paik are found. As in the first part, each sculpture described below is numbered in the text next to the mileage.
Continuing the trek, walk past the Communications building and head north past the Thurgood Marshall College. At Sequoyah Hall, turn west and walk toward the grassy knoll where there are student apartments and five large blocks at mile 1.7 (11). Each block spells out UNDA (Latin for “wave”) by transposing the letters written on top of each block. Artist Ian Hamilton Finlay is relating to the velocity and flow of language. This sculpture is, appropriately, next to the Humanities building.
Retrace steps back to the Thurgood Marshall College. Because there is construction on campus and Scholars Drive North is closed, walk south past the construction and past Muir Lane and the Faculty Club. Turn right (west) toward Muir College and Stewart Commons, walking past the Patrick J. Ledden Auditorium. Just before reaching John’s Place & Market, look left to a large granite Green Table constructed by artist Jenny Holzer at mile 2.1 (12). The picnic or refectory table and benches are inscribed with various texts. This is a place for faculty and students to meet, and some of the politically charged texts create an opportunity for questioning and debate.
Retrace your steps back to the Faculty Club. On the right is a sculpture entitled Sun God by artist Niki de Saint Phalle, at mile 2.3 (13), in a large grassy area. Erected in 1983, this was the first sculpture commissioned by the Stewart Collection. One of the largest annual events on campus is the Sun God Festival, which began in 1984. The Sun God is a stunningly colorful 14-foot bird on top of a 15-foot concrete arch.
Next, walk a short distance northeast to find Robert Irwin’s Two Running Violet V Forms, also at mile 2.3 (14). You will walk beneath two blue-violet chain-link fence-like structures in a V-form. The artist plays with the manmade eucalyptus forest that was planted in an unnatural grid by introducing “industrialized geometry” that plays with the same light that is found in the grove.
From here, head right (south) on Mandeville Lane, cross Gilman Drive, and then head southwest along Gilman Drive to a service driveway on the left between the George Palade Laboratories for Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior. Pass between the buildings to a grassy area and turn left. Cresting the small knoll, look down to see linear patterns of red, black, green-gray mosaic entitled Terrace by artist Jackie Ferrara at mile 2.7 (15). A series of terraces flowing into each other provides contemplative areas for the scientists who work in the buildings surrounding the terraces.
From the terraces, walk generally around the buildings back to Gilman Drive and go over the bridge to Revelle College and the main plaza. Turn right (north) to view a large pole with a beacon between Urey and Meyer Halls at mile 3.0 (16), entitled What Hath God Wrought by artist Mark Bradford. The pole marks the spot of the university’s founding plaque where a communication tower was to be placed, according to the original university design, but which never was. The structure celebrates the first communication by telegraph and Morse code.
From the pole, walk south to the lawn, south of Galbraith Hall, just before Scholars Drive to find La Jolla Project by artist Richard Fleischner at mile 3.2 (17). It has a Stonehenge-look to it that blends ancient and modern architecture. From here, use the crosswalk and walk west (right) along Scholars Drive, following a dirt path toward La Jolla Playhouse. Follow Revelle College Drive past the playhouse to a dirt path leading into a eucalyptus grove and The Wind Garden designed by John Luther Adams at mile 3.4 (18). As you enter the grove, listen to the musical notes that seem to emanate from the trees and change according to the wind. A bench has a plaque with a name of this landscape sculpture. It is an invitation to listen deeply to the music of this place.
Backtrack to a crosswalk over to another eucalyptus grove to the west where you will see a sign that advertises a trail that leads about 0.7 mile to the ocean. This is called the Ridge Walk Rain Garden, which is a water conservation garden that promotes watershed stewardship and offers an optional hike. If you choose to follow this trail, you will add about 1.5 miles to the trek, but be sure to come back to see the Red Shoe and pick up the remaining miles along the Stewart Collection. Go past the sign and take the path through the trees, looking to the left to see the large Red Shoe sculpture by artist Elizabeth Murray at mile 3.5 (19) that evokes a fairy tale or cartoon, inviting children to play and explore. Continue on the path and veer left to go over the footbridge, swinging right at the university entrance at Revelle College Drive from North Torrey Pines Road.
Then head to the left of the university entrance sign that reads “Mandel Weiss Center.” Cut through the vegetation heading toward North Torrey Pines Road. There is a faint use-trail that heads to the hillside. As you near the fence separating you from North Torrey Pines Road, look for log steps that climb up the hill along a nature trail that goes behind the La Jolla Playhouse. This short winding dirt trail through beautifully landscaped cultivars is a delight, with occasional seats to stop and contemplate the surrounding beauty of this garden area. The trail continues to loop around and along the backside of buildings until it comes to the final sculpture, which is a view of La Jolla’s suburban sprawl, at mile 3.7 (20), entitled La Jolla Vista View by artist William Wegman. The artist chose not to feature the scenic ocean view but rather a scenic look at urban development and construction sites to give the university community a fresh new critical look at its surroundings. Points of “interest” include housing and shopping developments. The site has a telescope and a metal plaque that identifies these key points of interests as of 1988, and viewers can see how development has continued to increase since then.
From the view site, follow Mandell Weiss Drive to its junction with Scholars Drive South, and continue to follow the road to Gilman Drive. Use the crosswalk and head right toward the Information Center to end the loop at about mile 4. Continue walking to your vehicle.
For more information about the Stuart Collection, see this website: stuartcollection.ucsd.edu.
STUART COLLECTION ART WALK (UCSD) – Part 2
Continue discovering unusual works of art by leading artists.
Driving directions: From I-5, take exit 28, La Jolla Village Drive west to Villa La Jolla Drive and turn south (left). Drive about 0.25 mile to La Jolla Village and turn left into the parking lot near Nordstrom Rack and park. Street parking on Gilman Drive is difficult to find. Vehicles can park for free for two hours in the shopping center. Hiking length: 4 miles from the trailhead, plus 1-mile roundtrip from the shopping center to the start point. 5 miles total. Difficulty: Easy walkways on campus and a short 0.1-mile dirt nature trail with log steps. Facilities available. Leashed, licensed dogs allowed on campus. NOTE: The route and sculpture descriptions are divided into two parts. This is Part 2, which covers the second set of 10 sculptures. See Part 1, which ran the previous week for a description of the first 10 sculptures.