The Homeless Artists Who Make Ocean Beach Rock

by on June 28, 2016 · 15 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Homelessness, Life Events, Media, Ocean Beach

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Rock art along Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Have you ever wondered who’s piling the rocks up – making artistic piles – along the entryway into OB? Have you even noticed them, as you speed by?

There’s these two guys – Corey and Greg – both homeless – who are making Ocean Beach rock with their rock art.

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The rock artists – Corey and Greg.

You can see it all along the Sunset Cliffs Boulevard entryway into and out of OB. And Corey and Greg have been doing this for the past eight months – they told me.  They work everyday, they say, 7 days a week, on their art.

Greg – the self-admitted artist of the two – figures they have completed up to a quarter of a mile of their installations. Corey agreed that it takes a lot of time just to assemble one pile.

So, it’s constant.

What about the cops, what do they say? I asked them.

The police see it all as art – and because it is art, the officers won’t disturb it nor allow anyone else to disturb the art.

I had asked them this, as I had recalled a similar compilation of rockart over along the San Diego River next to OB that was reported in the San Diego Reader. The day after the Reader came out with the story, down went the rocks – as one officer was ordered to dismantle them by his superior – who had read the article.

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The rock art forces us to slow down and observe our environment.

Why do they do it? I asked Corey and Greg.  Without hesitation, Corey said, “It’s for release.”

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Both of these guys told me they live in the area – and both said they have been homeless for years.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Iblong June 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

Scavenging thieving alcohol and drug-abusing criminals are NOT the type of OB “locals” anyone should be supporting.

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obkatforever June 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm

So should we support you Iblong with your kindness goodness lovingness?

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Maxine June 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

I sincerely hope you are not living in OB

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Debra June 29, 2016 at 12:04 pm

FYI: The homeless are NOT responsible, for all of the petty thefts. In MANY cases, it is actually a neighbor, taking advantage of the situation, knowing that the homeless will take the blame. I know that, for a FACT.

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Joln June 28, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Nice. Hope they’re encouraged to continue their community art.

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Nancy Witt June 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

I love seeing the stone art; it sets us OBecians apart again from the rest of SD, and in a very good way.
Thanks for the artistic idea, Corey and Greg.

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PL Local June 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Its cool and all. But those rocks were put in for a purpose. More homeless people thinking their “Art” is cool. Next, the beautiful taggings along the seawall.

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Nancy Witt June 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

PL Local,
I don’t like generalizations, and you comment about “..homeless people thinking their ‘art’ is cool.” Also, not sure what you mean by saying “those rocks were put in for a purpose.” Did the city dump them in that stretch? Or did the rocks come from along the river?

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Christo June 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

The rocks were originally put down to serve as borders for those bushes.

If those guys put half as much effort into finding jobs instead of moving rocks, they might not be homeless.

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Joln July 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

Christo, Some people experiencing homelessness are working. Many people have obstacles to employment, much greater than lack of effort.
There might not be a job for everyone, but most people can do some form of work. I often think about farms that offer paid apprenticeships where workers camp on site and wonder if that could be a possibility for some homeless. Physical work without social overwhelment could be helpful for some homeless, especially those with mental disabilities.

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Mercy Baron OB Mercy June 28, 2016 at 8:33 pm

I asked my editor at the Reader about doing a story on the rock piles along Sunset Cliffs a few weeks ago. He said no thanks.

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hmt1502 June 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Great story! I admire the rock sculptures every day on my way to and from work, and the rare occasions I leave OB on the weekends. I imagined that the individual(s) building the sculptures were likely homeless locals. I am happy to hear that local law enforcement is appreciative of their contribution to the community and protecting their work. Here is a great example of co-existence within our community in true OB style.

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jen james June 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

whatever happened to appreciating the creativity that ocean beach has always nurtured…..come on folks…..if these guys weren’t homeless, would anyone make a connection between their art and “petty theft, alcohol and drug abuse, tagging, and criminality”…..let’s respect the lives of our fellow obeceans whether they have a home or not….

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rick callejon July 2, 2016 at 12:09 am

Joln, please continue posting your ideas. Your approach is heartening.

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Suzi More August 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

I never noticed those rocks when they were used as boarders for the bushes. I certainly saw and enjoyed them as rock art.

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