Public Art At Swami's Beach Park


Swami’s Easter Island Head Statue & Surfing Memorial

A Love Your Parks Tour Public Art Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by contemporary figurative artist Victoria Chick.

Located on Historic Coastal Highway 101 in Encinitas, California, Swami’s Beach Park is one of the first parks we ever visited in San Diego. It’s the epitome of SoCal surf culture where you can soak up the ocean views and watch surfers ride the waves, enjoy a picnic under a shade tree, or access the beach from the bottom of the stairs. The small but popular park is named after Swami Paramahansa Yogananda who founded the neighboring Self-Realization Fellowship Retreat which also overlooks this reef point, and has a lovely and tranquil meditation garden.

Woodworker Tim Richards carved this Moai statue from the 11-foot base of a bark beetle-infested Torrey pine tree that was removed from Swami’s Park back in January 2011. The Polynesians, known for surfing, built Easter Island Heads between 1250 – 1500. It’s a perfect fit with Swami’s Beach being an internationally famous surfing destination.

The park is also home to the Swami’s Surfing Memorial designed and built by Leucadia artist George Bredehof. Depicting a breaking wave rising out of a bed of cobblestone, the memorial is covered with a mosaic of tumbled glass and tile. Established in September 2005, it is dedicated with appreciation to writer and surfer Gary Taylor, and the others whose efforts of the past and future make Encinitas a better place to live and surf.








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