Jacobs Center Chollas Creek’s Restoration Continues with the Public Art Gateways Project

 In Arts and Culture, Chollas Creek Gateways, Diamond Neighborhoods, Public Art

At the Jacobs Center, our mission is to revitalize the Diamond Neighborhoods of Southeastern San Diego using creative placemaking. This includes enhancing the physical environment to create beautiful places where residents and visitors can gather and network.

Southeastern San Diego is home to one of San Diego’s most vital and beautiful natural resources – Chollas Creek, located in the heart of the Diamond Neighborhoods. We have partnered with local organizations to help regularly maintain and clean the creek, and last year launched the Chollas Creek Restoration Project.


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only will the section of the creek located within the 60 acres of land owned by the Jacobs Center be regularly maintained, invasive plant species will be removed, native plants will be added to improve creek flows, and an observation deck and pedestrian bridge will be built to turn the creek into a welcoming gathering space for residents and a safe passageway for students at Horton Elementary School. Additionally, the restored creek will serve as a focal point for future developments in the area. We have also made steps towards bringing vibrant public art to the creek with Phase 1 of the Chollas Creek Gateways Public Art Project.

Artwork is planned for a section of the creek near Market Street and Euclid Avenue as part of the restoration project. The Jacobs Center received a ,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund the selection of artists/artist teams as well as the planning, conceptual design, and selection of the art work(s). We are actively looking for additional funding for the fabrication and installation of the art.

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Artists touring the area where the gateways are being built

The three artists/artist teams selected to propose public art design concepts are:

  • Local conceptual and installation artist Roman De Salvo,
  • North Carolina-based husband and wife artist team Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, and
  • Stone sculptor Madeline Wiener from Colorado.


On January 13, community stakeholders were invited to meet the artists and provide input for the conceptual design proposals, which were submitted February 24.


Artist Jim Hirschfield presenting to community stakeholders


The proposals will be on display in the Community Room of the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center (404 Euclid Ave., San Diego, CA 92114) on Saturday, March 5 from 11 am to 4 pm, which coincides with the San Diego Art Institute’s Street Art and Lowrider Festival, and on Sunday, March 6 from noon to 3 pm. We encourage members of the community to stop by and provide input on the design concepts. The input collected will be provided to a selection committee made up of community representatives and experts in arts and culture, education, and land planning. This committee will recommend a preferred concept to the Jacobs Center.

We believe the integration of public art has the potential to help attract visitors, reflect the local community, provide information and history on the Diamond Neighborhoods, increase the sense of safety, and enhance the outdoors for all. Please join us and provide your input on public art planned for your community!