Existing Public Art in SJC
Below is a sampling of some of the large sculptures, murals and fountains and historical depictions already commissioned in San Juan Capistrano.
The Alliance for San Juan Art advocates an initiative to commission and place more Art in the Public Square in San Juan Capistrano that is accessible by the public and very visible. Temporary art should also be a component of Art in the Public Square. Such an initiative requires broad support and passionate advocates to make it a reality.
While large artworks are not unknown in San Juan Capistrano, they are mostly commissioned in the courtyards of business plazas and are hence not visible except to lessees and patrons of the plazas. “Binding Contact” aka the “Riders on the Hill” is an exception. It stands in blazing glory on a Del Obispo hillside, visible to all who pass by.
Ortega Cottages on Calle Arroyo "Untitled"
This is a beautiful life-size rendering in different shades of concrete. It is visible to patrons of the business center. The elements have not been kind to some parts of the sculpture and it is in need of repair. A description plaque would also be welcome.
Location - The midst of the Ortega Cottages on Calle Arroyo
In the Courtyard of the Inn at the Mission
This fountain is crafted with beautiful tile arrangements and greets the visitors to the Inn at the Mission. It is one of four fountains at the Inn.
Depictions & Interpretive Panels
“It is a policy of the City Council that new development projects are required to provide an artistic interpretation of the City’s heritage which portray relevant representations of historic events and are accessible to the general public” - Source: SJC City Council
The following photos are some of the depictions and interpretive panels in the downtown area:
Located at the corner of Ortega and Del Obispo is Stroscher Grove. Among the young orange trees, you will find the three pedestals showcasing ceramic tile panels. The three triptychs depict the history of the early settlers in the Capistrano Valley: The first panel illustrates the Ajachemen people, who arrived in the Valley ca. 8,000 BC, the second panel features the Spanish missionaries and rancheros, 1776- mid 19th Century, and the third panel portrays settlers from the United States and Europe, mid to late 19th Century, represented by Frederica and Wilhelm Stroschein, who settled the land in 1887.
Location - The corner nearest the Inn at Ortega and Del Obispo
Designed by Stroscher Family, created by MELISSA THOMSON AND PATRICIA WATERMAN
Melissa and Patricia opened The Ceramics Studio, SJC in 2011, which today offers ceramic classes for teens and adults. Melissa earned her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Cal State Northridge and Patricia has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
At Rancho Capistrano Winery
The plaque says the building was a home and restaurant and built by the Arbonies who were from the Basque region of Spain. It was known as Nick’s Café.
Historical Depiction at the Franciscan Plaza
The plaque describes the colorful history of this site. In the early 1880s, homes for prominent early founders of San Juan were built similar to the Manual Garcia Adobe still standing to the South. The site was the scene of some “firsts” in San Juan including a telephone switchboard and electrical generator
By the Inn at the
Mission El Camino Real -
A story of the Missions
Depicted is the story of the 700 miles of El Camino Real and how it linked the 21 California Missions from San Diego to Sonoma. Did you know that “The King’s Highway” was strung with over 450 iconic Mission Bells along its route. A very informative plaque indeed.