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home | San Diego Arts and Culture | The Art of James Hubbell

Hubbell-Pacific Portal
Hubbell-Pacific Portal

The Art of James Hubbell

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James (Jim) Hubbell is a beloved architect, stained glass designer, and sculptor.

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James Hubbell is also watercolorist, blacksmith, poet, and a humanitarian who calls San Diego home.

Jim's artistry is recognizable by its curvy designs that incorporate local materials, stained glass, tiles, glass, and stones. Many private residences and civic spaces have been lifted up by the inclusion of Hubbell's works.

He is an internationally recognized talent who never shies away from inviting others to work with him and make the art even better. Indeed, students travel from all over the world to learn from his masterful ways. Jim's strong belief in making connections to people through art is one way that has made him a personal hero to many people.
start quote We believe very strongly that architecture does not begin and end with the construction of a building, but that it is part of a continuous web. We believe that the building is connected to place, to community, to people and to time, that it began before we were here and ends when the physical structure is gone.end quote
--James Hubbell

This humble man was born October 23, 1931. After attending the Cranbrook Art Academy, Jim headed west to California. He and his wife Anne came to the San Diego area in 1958 and settled in Wynola near Julian, California. Over the years, the couple built eight buildings on their compound and had four sons. Surrounded by the beautiful scrub oaks and manzanita brush, Jim created beautiful and natural inspired by what he saw everyday.

Tragically, the very brush and scrub oak proved to be the kindling to the Cedar Fire that swept through the family's compound in 2003. Every building was destroyed, including his art studio. After considerable personal and financial duress, Jim, Anne, and the boys were able to rebuild, albeit slowly.

Video Documentary of Hubbell Home

Every Father's Day, the Hubbell Family has opened their compound one day a year to allow people to mill around and see how Jim's art is inspired by nature and imagination. All proceeds from the tour go to support the Ilan-Lael Foundation which seeks to integrate the arts, nature and beauty into the life of individuals and communities.

For the other 364 days of the year, people can see Jim's extremely creative work in many public areas of San Diego, including Shelter Island, Coronado, Lakeside, and even some healthcare facilities.

Examples of his art work:
Hubbell-Pacific Rim Park
Hubbell-Pacific Rim Park

  • Pacific Portal at Shelter Island
  • Pacific Spirit at Shelter Island
  • Pearl of the Pacific at Shelter Island - Look closely to see if you can find the tile images that represent the four quadrants of the Pacific Rim; a Chinese dragon, an American shore bird, a Russian Siberian tiger, and a Mexican Quetzalcoatl(feather serpent).

There are also two art galleries in San Diego that exhibit and sell Jim's art pieces:

  • Santa Ysabel Art Gallery
    (760) 765-1676
  • Trios Gallery (130 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach)
    (858) 793-6040

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