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Public Art


Among the award-winning craft breweries, restaurants, and shops, downtown Vista’s streets are lined with original works of art, from famous murals to whimsical sculptures.

Stroll along downtown Vista and you’ll catch a glimpse of North County artist Clayton Parker’s 562-foot mural, “Journey Through Time, which depicts the city's rich history, including images from the time when Native Americans lived on the city's rolling hillsides to the annual "Vistacado" avocado festival parade that took place back in the day.  Sprinkled in between are several original sculptures, which are part of the “Kites over Vista” program.

Vista Time Machine
Vista's Time Machine, one of many public sculptures around Downtown Vista

We caught up with Cathy Brendel, Vista’s retired Director of Parks and Community Services, who gave us a lively snapshot of her favorite ways to experience public art in downtown Vista.

“I especially enjoy taking friends on a walking tour. I always start with the heart-rendering “Ernie’s Place” statue at Veterans Memorial Park, allowing enough time to read the “Letters From Home,” she says. “My journey continues by seeking out new “Kites Over Vista”, recently finding the
meaningful “Love Wind Sail” by Corwin Jones in front of Dog Haus. Seeing Alley Cat and Alley Rat is always a treat and pointing out details such as the fish skeleton is fun.”

Brendel says it’s hard to decide what murals to show off, but she loves helping people identify longtime resident caricatures in the
“Vistacado Parade.”  And, “If my guests are up to a longer walk, viewing “Going to the Fiesta” at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and the wonderful children’s art on the Civic Center grounds will bring a smile to their face.”

Brendel is excited to see more works of art downtown in the near future.
“I feel fortunate to have been on the ground floor of public art in Vista with the opening of the gallery at the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, and the creation of the Vista Arts Commission,” she says. “Cheers to those continuing the vision of dotting the community with a palette of thought-provoking art.”

Indeed, Vista’s downtown art exhibits are a thrill for both residents and visitors alike and is another example of how downtown is a vibrant area to live, work and play.”