SDG&E Site Serves as Artistic Canvas for Southcrest Beautification Project

SDG&E Site Serves as Artistic Canvas for Southcrest Beautification Project

A former SDG&E electrical substation in San Diego’s Southcrest neighborhood just got a month-long makeover by a world-renowned local artist. Located along South 43rd Street between Boston and Keeler Avenues, the facility has become an artistic canvas for community beautification in San Diego’s Fourth Council District.

The colorful mixed-media mural, spanning nearly 50 feet by 6 feet tall, blends the strength of metal with the warmth of reclaimed urban wood from Lumbercycle, a nonprofit that aims to create “zero waste utilization of trees.” The commissioned piece aims to provide relevant art, cultural enrichment, and community pride – creating a tactile experience that brings the community together visually and spiritually. A ribbon-cutting for the project was held Friday, with San Diego City Council President pro tem Montgomery Steppe who represents District 4 where the art installation is located. 


Engaging the Community Toward an Artistic Vision

The initiative was the result of a community-based collaboration between SDG&E and San Diego Urban Warriors – a nonprofit that promotes and celebrates Black American arts and culture.

“Public art that is relevant and helps uplift and celebrates our diverse communities is important. We’re proud to partner with local leaders and organizations to brighten local neighborhoods with community-based art,” said Kazeem Omidiji, SDG&E’s Director of Community Relations, whose team funded the art installation and community engagement associated with the effort.

The ribbon-cutting took place at a time when the City of San Diego was planning to petition the state to designate a Black Art and Culture District in the 4th Council District, represented by Council President pro tem Montgomery Steppe who is a leading champion for the designation. “Art celebrates the history, diversity, and culture of our neighborhoods while creating a sense of unity that helps express pride in our community,” said Council President pro tem Montgomery Steppe, “I thank the artists and SDG&E for collaborating on a project that revitalizes and beautifies our spaces in Council District 4.”

Maxx Moses, who has a studio in Encanto, created the artwork. Renowned for his graffiti-style murals that span the globe, Moses creates artistic experiences that blend community engagement with art to create works that infuse the spirit of the surrounding community into the piece itself.

For this specific project, Moses hopes to inspire and empower people in the community. The piece has hints of African textiles, focuses on color, shape, and motion. According to Moses, “It promotes an environment of longevity, growth, wholeness, and spiritual well-being for all to enjoy.”


More Information on SDG&E Infrastructure Beautification Program

SDG&E maintains close to 200 substations across our service territory. These substations and pad-mounted transformers are critical to our energy delivery system. In certain instances, SDG&E’s infrastructure may be leveraged for community art. In the past three years, SDG&E has beautified a variety of substations and pad mounts across the service territory, including locations in Vista (Melrose Substation), National City (National City Subtation and National City gas riser), Imperial Beach (IB Substation), and Chula Vista (North Otay pad mount). SDG&E has also collaborated with community organizations on utility box beautification, including projects in Imperial Beach, Southeast San Diego, the Convoy District, and East Village.