Monday, February 6, 2023

New App Brings Coronado’s Public Art to Your Phone for Walking or Biking Tour

UPDATE June 11, 2020The new Coronado Public Art Walking Tour app has been created and gifted to Coronado by resident Joshua Tyler. The app highlights more than 70 pieces of public art, shares their details, and navigates walkers or bikers to public art throughout the city. Visual Storyteller Brad Willis, who also serves as Commissioner of Public Art, has this profile of Joshua Tyler and his new app:

A dedicated Coronado Cultural Arts Commission and a grandson with programming experience have led to a brand new way for Coronado’s public art pieces to be explored and enjoyed. The Coronado Public Art app takes the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission’s public art walking tour brochure and makes it easily accessible from your smartphone.

Handstand by Daniel Stern, 2010

“The Coronado Arts Commission had been looking into an iOS and Android app to go along with their Walking Tour Brochure,” explained the app’s developer Joshua Tyler. However, estimates from firms and programmers were making the project cost-prohibitive. That’s when Jeff Tyler, a former member of the Commission who led the Public Art Program Area (from 2012 – 2019), mentioned the project to his grandson, Joshua Tyler. “I had never published an app at the time but did have a strong knowledge of programming in C# so I told my grandfather I’d take a shot at making it and see what happens!” Tyler cited his grandfather, Jeff Tyler, and the Commission’s Senior Management Analyst for Arts and Culture, Kelly Purvis, as his biggest help on the project by providing the photos, locations, and descriptions on each piece of art included in the new app.

El Dia del Mercado by Alfredo Martinez Ramos, 1938

“We have an amazing collection of Public Art in our community and many of our residents and visitors are not aware of it,” explained Purvis, “The collection boasts over 70 pieces and continues to grow. We have world-famous artists represented in the collection – Donal Hord and muralist Alfredo Martinez Ramos, James Hubbell, and John Seward Johnson, II. Local artists are also well-represented with mosaic artist Kirstin Green having six installations in our community. There are permanent pieces as well as temporary installations.” Purvis also mentioned the Commission’s installation of the Coramart Mural, the Sit A Spell and Play a Tune public pianos, and the nine public art pieces owned by the Port of San Diego, “I could go on and on about Public Art in Coronado.”

With current COVID-19 social distancing restrictions still in place, Purvis explained the timing of the app could not be more perfect for residents and visitors alike, “A large portion of our art is outdoors and many of the comments I receive on our collection comes from people out walking/biking so timing is great!” Both Tyler and Purvis agreed that the app will benefit not only visitors but residents who want to learn more about the art in their neighborhood. Tyler explained, “I hope the users receive joy and inspiration from visiting local art in Coronado as there are so many fascinating pieces and brilliant artists that have contributed to the community.”

With the app development done, the Coronado Public Art app will premiere at the next Commission for Arts and Culture meeting on June 11, 2020, before then being presented to the City Council (tentatively set for the June 16, 2020 meeting). 

Find the app in your app store:

This article was updated on June 11, 2020 to reflect that Joshua Tyler gifted the app to the City of Coronado.


Carolyn Osorio
Carolyn Osorio
Carolyn has a BFA in Theory, Criticism, and History of Art and Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and has worked in communications for a variety of arts and culture organizations in both New York and San Diego.In addition to consulting and serving on the Rising Arts Leaders Steering Committee, Carolyn curates a public art project, the Mint House Project, which presents local mural artists. She lives just over the water in Barrio Logan where she enjoys views of the Coronado bridge from her backyard. In her spare time, she can be found at Dog Beach with one (or both) of her Great Danes.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]