Shelter Island feels like an exotic island. Amid the swaying palms and the Polynesian-themed architecture is stands one of the most extensive collections of outdoor public art around San Diego Bay.  One fine piece is Pacific Spirit, a sprightly blue-bronze nymph that seemingly rises from the bay waters near Pacific Rim Park.


Bronze sculpture located near the southwest end of Shelter Island

Location:  32°42’29.0″N 117°14’03.5″W

Artist:  James T. Hubbell

Learn: The Shelter Island location for Pacific Spirit was selected for its views to the ocean and for the way the sculpture compliments the public space facing the water. The relationship between the content and audience, what the art is saying and to whom, is just as important if not more important than its physical location. Public art became accessible to all people thanks to programs like President Roosevelt’s New Deal. During the Great Depression, the focus of the New Deal art program was to develop national pride in American culture. The thought was if there were great things to enjoy, people wouldn’t feel so poor.

The pedestal includes a plaque commemorating the life and generous spirit of donor Jacqueline Watson, a great believer in public art and its social impact.

10 Ways to Enjoy:

  1. Take pictures.
  2. Enjoy the walk.
  3. Find the bougainvillea plant.
  4. Be at peace.
  5. Absorb the natural beauty.
  6. Go to a park.
  7. Identify the boats that pass by.
  8. Purvey the planes taking off from North Island.
  9. See the city skyline.
  10. Notice how Shelter Island can become one of your favorite local hangouts.

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