South Park SD: Welcome!

Lots of ways to greet people at your door.

  • “Hello. May I help you?”
  • “Get your @%!#s in here!”
  • “Salutations. Please depart the premises.”
  • “And how long might you be staying?”

All winners depending entirely on who just knocked.

There is another, more joyous, deliberately care-full (and I mean that word just the way it was intended, “full of care”, not “overly cautious”) method of engaging your guest:

Well, ‘Hi.’ So glad you made it!! Well, come in, come in. I can take that… How ’bout I show you the place? So much fun stuff. I looove it here! Come with me, you’ve got to see the…”

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Now imagine you are invited to meet someone in South Park SD.

Whether walking, cycling, driving, ridesharing, or scootering, if you are coming from any surface street to the north, as a huge number of visitors do, you will inevitably end up in the bottleneck:

30th Street as it crosses Switzer Canyon.

You traverse the Canyon and cover a surprisingly short distance when you suddenly see the trees of Fern Street. You have made it to South Park SD.

And JUST as you cross into the neighborhood, on the southwest corner of Juniper and 30th / Fern Streets, you feel enthusiastically accepted:

Artist Channin Fulton‘s mural is here to meet you at the door, take your coat, give you a tour, and remind you to save room for dessert.

All in the confines of an electrical junction box.

And lest you get lost, here’s a view from above:

Accurate. Nice to have someone help you know where you stand.

Fulton provided the mural’s backstory via email:

“The project began when the team behind South Park Clean Up reached out. My first contacts for the project were… neighborhood locals and volunteers. They reached out after they had seen the mural work I had done for their friends’ North Park shop, Artelexia… They put me in touch with the South Clean Up committee and after some email exchange, we were able to get enough funding to go forward with the paint project. 


The design was in collaboration with the committee. We decided on a concept that would assign each side of the box to represent the different aspects of South Park–the business district, the neighborhood/historic homes, nature/park culture–and, a ‘Welcome to South Park’, which faces the North Side (at the intersection of Juniper & 30th/Fern). 


I also incorporated color ’tiles’ to sit behind the graphic black line work, with the hope that it’d bring charm, delight, and vibrancy (all words I’d use to describe the community). I think it also gives off a mid century vibe, which is more in line with my personal art style–although, I admit that [another local shop] might have influenced me a bit, too. 😉


It was a pleasure to create on site in SP. It’s one of my favorite neighborhoods to work on the street from as a muralist. I’m always walking into SP via Grant Hill where I live, and when I come up 30th, I feel joy and peace. I love the walkability and feel happy to have been a little part of SP street beautification. 


Special thanks to Jules Ferguson of the SP Clean Up Committee, who spearheaded the project.” (C.Fulton, personal communication, Feb. 5, 2020).

If you are aware of the mid-century modern look, how can you spend a moment with this mural and not feel like you’ve been transported to the best of Main Street in Palm Springs?!?

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Locals will appreciate Fulton’s ability to capture details. This place is next to the Grape Street Dog Park.

And just so you know Fulton wasn’t kidding…

Mic drop. Fulton out…

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This captures the best of the dog park:

Where else have I recently seen a two-headed fountain around some dogs?

This looks vaguely familiar… and that background looks like the yellow-tiled downtown in Fulton’s work.

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Behind Captain Kirk‘s. Used to be a supermarket, now it’s something else…

And the Award for “Best Use of a Fern Pine to obscure a large corporation’s logo goes to…”

Don’t you prefer Fulton’s angle?

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I totally know that dude. He owes me 10 bucks. Maybe the other way around.

I’m not an artist or critic, so my language will be rough here, but it is uncanny to me how Fulton’s spare presentation can so elegantly capture the essence of a thing.

I don’t know if I know the guy. But in my gut I’d swear I saw him. Recently. And we were both in a pretty good mood.

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Now let’s look a little closer at a couple finer points:

Did you notice how Fulton subtly blended the Craftsman-style window in that previous picture? You might not have recognized that it covers a junction box vent!

Seriously, how quickly would you “punt” on the details here unless you really cared?

This much attention to detail is just an act of love…

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I am so pleased to have this work serve as our neighborhood greeting. It is an example of the boldly welcoming identity and deliberate beauty South Park SD would do well to adopt permanently.

So THANK YOU, Channin Fulton, for your care-full “Welcome to South Park San Diego!”

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Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

One thought on “South Park SD: Welcome!

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