Azalea Park potpourri of pictures--links 
		to animation of before and after
All photos taken in Azalea Park; copyright Diana Diehl, 2005; project contact: dianadiehl at cox dot net

An Azalea Park Beautification Project

Art Maintenance

A demonstration of what can be accomplished visually with community participation, elbow grease, and a few gallons of paint

New community art improves the overall appeal of a neighborhood and uplifts the spirits of its residents. However, art is often ephemeral—even sturdy media are subject to the depredations of time. Old art can become an eyesore. The sheet metal palm tree sculpture on Poplar Avenue in San Diego is an excellent example of good art gone bad. Originally, these 20-ft. high trees in the parking lot of the corner market at Jaimie's Way (Marlborough Ave.) were a fun, 2-dimensional modern art representation of urban trees. Now, weather and time have taken their toll.

In 2005, Azalea Park residents decided it was time for a face lift for this installation. They obtained permission from the owner of the property on which the palm tree sculpture exists and asked one of the neighborhood residents to oversee the project.

Goals & Requirements

The goal of the project is to repaint the surfaces and to preserve the underlying metal on a limited (and unspecified) budget. The objectives, are to:

  • Bring color and fun back to the sculptures
  • Protect the trees from further rust
  • Replace the "madonna lucky charm" that the property owners believe deters tagging by gangs
  • Use a color palette that allows mixing of colors from a basic suite of paints

We hope to have completed the project by end of summer, 2006. See the workplan for more information: Workplan (as HTML) or spreadsheet version of workplan (MS Excel).

Mockup of Palm Tree Redesign

In December, 2005, I took photographs of the sculptures. Using Photoshop, I designed a mockup of the repainted trees in a cheerful palette of colors. In this electronic mockup, I attempted to retain the existing textures of the underlying material: the trunk is flat metal, the palm beard or skirt is made of perforated steel, and the palm head is corrugated wire mesh. However, the color values of the final paint are only approximate. This actual paint colors will be based on mixing colors from a basic suite: dark yellow, green, blue, orange, and cranberry.

Docs & Photos

Link to photos of concept art on the right; the mockup animation flips through three photos:
1. "Before"
2. A proposed color treatment without background
3. The proposed color scheme as we hope it will look on location.


I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Rust Bullet, Inc., whose technical and management staff were very helpful in planning this project by providing a community project discount for the rust control coating and recommendations to help our art last as long as possible with minimum maintenance.

Our Lady of Azalea Park
Azalea Park is a diverse community. We value the positive contributions of all creeds and personal belief systems. While the image for Our Lady of Azalea Park has historical roots in organized religion, it is not meant as a religious icon. It represents the compassionate spirit of peace, kindness, and cooperation that we hope all of our neighbors share.