Urban Trees San Diego Style

Aug 24, 2010 by Lisa Newton

I’d like to introduce you to Mini the Mermaid.

Standing 12 feet tall, she’s the creation of San Diego artist, Frank Mando. Made of welded steel sheets, she stands guard, silently watching over her domain.

She’s the substance from mythical imagination, and also part of the very first Urban Trees project.

Urban Trees is a public art program in San Diego that brings together the imagination and creativity of artists, and allows them to share their vision with the public.

Since starting in 2003, Urban Trees offers local artists a unique opportunity to showcase their original sculptural works to a broad public audience. It also provides the public with an opportunity to closely engage the artists and at the same time experience awesome and outstanding examples of contemporary art.

Part of the requirements for the artist’s public art designs are that they must be about 12 feet high, have a 6 inch diameter pole, which is the “tree trunk,” and they must fit into a special 48-inch square, 3-foot high concrete planter base.

Designed as a temporary exhibit, Urban Trees’ 30 artists, in exchange for a loan fee, agree to loan their trees to San Diego for one year, after which the artists may sell or remove them.

In fact, Urban Trees is now in its 6th edition.

You can see the Urban Trees 6 at intervals along Harbor Drive, from Broadway Pier to Hawthorn Street.

Here’s a map to help you find them:


View Urban Trees 6 in a larger map

Because Mini the Mermaid’s Urban Trees time has passed, she’s been relocated to the end of Harbor Island Drive close by Tom Ham’s Lighthouse.

With the water, sun, sky, boats, and ambiance of Harbor Island as the backdrop, it creates the perfect place to enjoy Urban Trees, San Diego style!

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