SDFP Cartoonist Junco Canché to Have First Solo Exhibit of Work

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Artesano: The Political Cartoons of Junco Canché to be held Saturday in Barrio Logan

By Brent E. Beltrán

San Diego Free Press is always looking for contributors. Especially voices from outside the mainstream dominant culture. Some contribute one or two pieces. While others stick around for longer.

One such contributor brought fully into the Freep fold is Joaquin Junco, Jr. aka Junco Canché. Since May 19, 2014 he has contributed sixty editorial cartoons under the Junco’s Jabs moniker. His toons have taken jabs at a variety of local, national and international politicians, celebrities and evil-doers.

For the first time in his young life Junco will have a solo exhibition of his work. The exhibition takes place this Saturday, July 25 at Border X Brewing in Barrio Logan.   [Read more…]

Logan Library to Host Women of Color in Comics Panel

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An interview with panel moderator and comic book writer/publisher Regine Sawyer

By Brent E. Beltrán

Comic-Con is here and, as usual, Barrio Logan has been left out of the official fun stuff. But we don’t fret around here. We do things for ourselves, like Chicano-Con and MARVEL vs DC.

But there is also something else taking place in San Diego’s favorite barrio. On Sunday, July 12 from 12:30pm to 1:45pm there will be a panel discussion at the Logan Heights Library called Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium.

The panel is free to all and will be moderated by Lockett Down Productions Publications owner Regine Sawyer. There will also be some free giveaways to audience members from the panelists as well as free superhero comics for kids and parents donated by an anonymous friend of mine.   [Read more…]

Ignored by Comic-Con Barrio Logan Creates Its Own

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By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan, located less than a mile from the convention center, has been mostly left out of Comic-Con over the years. Comic-Con International recently bought a building at 16th and National in Barrio Logan. Yet no official events are scheduled to take place here.

There’s not even a shuttle bus stop yet there will be Comic-Con buses running every twenty minutes down Cesar Chavez Parkway heading towards the freeway. And there will also be countless attendees using this community as a parking lot to escape the outrageous parking fees.

Yet no official activities take place here. No outreach has been done to incorporate a low income, mostly  Latino community impacted every year by Comic-Con. And that is unfortunate.   [Read more…]

Birds of Paradise Art Show at Te Mana Cafe

Mic Porte Bird of Paradise: Mic

For the remainder of June, local beach artist Micaela Porte is displaying her recent works – Birds of Paradise – at Te Mana Cafe in Ocean Beach, over at 4956 Voltaire Street.

The show has been running since the end of April. They’re open daily until 6 pm, closed Wednesdays.

Micaela told us that acrylic paint, some old canvases and bird of paradise heads from one of her neighbor’s yard inspired a binge of colorful paintings of bird of paradise flowers – which all harmonize with the aloha theme at the Te Mana garden cafe.   [Read more…]

7 billion Others : A Sea of Stories at the Museum of Photographic Arts

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By Nat Krieger

One hundred years ago movies were a new technology and folks were getting excited. Humans had been making images since there were humans but for the first time ever pictures could move, and laugh, and cry. The possibilities seemed so deliriously infinite that in 1908 Brazilian essayist João do Rio was moved to declare that, “in the future, the man of our era will be classified as the homo cinematographicus.”

Breakthrough technologies are never only children and the telephone, motion picture’s slightly older sister, was also inspiring some pretty high hopes. Writing in 1891, AT&T’s John J. Carty doffed his chief engineer’s cap and slipped into a prophet’s robe: “Someday we will build up a world telephone system, making necessary to all peoples the use of a common language or common understanding of languages, which will join all the people of the earth into one brotherhood. There will be heard throughout the earth a great voice coming out of the ether which will proclaim, ‘Peace on earth, good will towards men.'”   [Read more…]

C.H.E. Cafe Makes SOHO “10 Most Endangered List” for 2015

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By Monty Kroopkin

The Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) has announced its 10 Most Endangered List for local historic sites for 2015. The C.H.E. Café is on the list. The list was revealed at SOHO’s annual People In Preservation (PIP) dinner on May 21, 2015.

According to SOHO President Jaye MacAskill, it was explained during the PIP Awards dinner that “Ché Café is one of those beloved, old hangouts at UCSD that devoted students and alumni will always want to revisit. It may be the last remnant of 1960s counterculture on this campus, and a symbol of free speech served up with an earthy menu. Which is to say, Ché Café is beloved not at all by the university. SOHO supports students and others who argue that history, ‘even history rooted in revolutionary ideas and discourse’ deserves a place at the increasingly crowded UCSD table.”   [Read more…]

The 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the Art of Hope

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

April 24, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The solemn observation marks the systematic slaughter of 1.5 million men, women, and children perpetrated under the camouflage of World War I by officials of the Ottoman Empire, which is present day Turkey. Many world leaders are going against the historical shroud of silence that has hung over these atrocities for a century.

On April 22, 2015, President Barack Obama announced he was not going to refer to the massacre as “genocide,” bowing to pressure from the present government of Turkey, one of America’s key allies in the so called “war on terror.” President Obama’s decision not to call genocide, “genocide,” throws another handful of dirt upon the United States’ self-proclaimed role as leader of the free world.   [Read more…]

Barrio Bits: Placas, Chicano Park Day and Barrio Art Crawl

Saturday is Chicano Park Day AND Barrio Art Crawl! I repeat. Saturday is Chicano Park Day AND Barrio Art Crawl!

For the first time in the history of the universe two of the greatest things (of the many) that Barrio Logan offers is happening on the same day. From 10am until 5pm you can enjoy the sights and sounds that is the annual Chicano Park Day celebration then from 5pm until 9pm you can crawl the streets of La Logan in search of artistic enjoyment at the various art venues within this creative community.

Chicano Park was founded on April 22, 1970 as a land takeover by community members after they found out that a California Highway Patrol substation was going to be built on the site instead of a park. In 2013, due to the beautiful murals that grace the pillars of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, Chicano Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.   [Read more…]

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Dancers and Dancing

Emma Lopez, Nachita Hernandez–and Rita Hayworth!

By Maria E. Garcia

Dancing lessons and dancing have been a focus at Neighborhood House since the early days. As stated in previous articles the dancers often performed at fund raisers held at the Marston House. The most memorable show from the early years was when they performed at the reception held for Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and a noted social worker. In those days they also performed in Balboa Park and at the Presido. Dance productions gave the entertainers from Logan Heights the opportunity to visit other parts of the city as well as for the members of the majority community to see the talent of the dancers from Neighborhood House.   [Read more…]

Celebrations of César E. Chávez Span Six Weeks Around San Diego

“The legacy of the United Farm Workers union in its first decade provides us with key lessons for the present and future. It reminds us that grass-roots power organized and deployed by ‘disposable’ workers, fearlessness in the face of corporate exploitation, and the political uses of music, theater, and ritual can change history. In 2015, in a society based on greed and personal ambition, we ignore these lessons at own peril.” –Jorge Mariscal, Professor, UC San Diego

While Monday, March 31st is the official César E. Chávez day, activities celebrating his legacy as a labor and civil rights leader will continue into May. The day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of his life and work. The ongoing activities are about continuing that legacy.

Thanks to the UCSD Blink, produced by the faculty and staff of that fine institution, for providing us with a list of activities over the next six weeks honoring the life and achievements of César E. Chávez.   [Read more…]

Zurbarán and Sorolla: Welcomed Guests At the San Diego Museum of Art

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

“St. Francis in Prayer in a Grotto” by Francisco de Zurbarán and “By the Seashore, Valencia” by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida are the ‘newbies’ welcomed to the San Diego Museum of Art. The inclusion of these two influential artists’ works continues to build on the strength of the museum’s renowned permanent collection of Spanish art.

Earlier this month there was the unveiling of “By the Seashore, Valencia.” Several personalities for the arts community were present for the important event which falls perfectly into the celebration of the Balboa Park Centennial as well as the museum’s 100th birthday.   [Read more…]

San Ysidro’s The Front Art Gallery Announces First Prize Winners

By Barbara Zaragoza

The judges made their final decisions on Monday, February 23rd for the 8th annual Dia De La Mujer hosted by The Front Art Gallery in San Ysidro. The theme was Cleansing: Spiritual-Emotional-Magical and thirty-five emerging and established artists competed for first place and two honorable mentions in each category. Three additional visiting artists participated, including the Mayor of Chula Vista’s mother.

Three judges spent an afternoon carefully considering the works:

  • Angelica Villagrana, President of the San Diego Museum of Art Artist’s Guild,
  • Mary Beebe, Director of the Stuart Collection of Outdoor Sculpture at UCSD, and
  • Kevin Linde, Livespan Learning Coordinator at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

  [Read more…]

Show’s Not Over at Che Cafe at UCSD – Its Fate Likely Rests on Students

By Andrea Carter

The struggle continues to keep the historic CHE Café facility open on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus. This battle over a rare public, all-ages arts, food, and music venue should concern us all as it represents the canary in the coal mine for additional onslaughts of this nature to follow.

Undergraduate and graduate student government councils, respectively the Associated Students (AS) and the Graduate Student Association (GSA) are set to soon issue reports and recommendations to the University as to the CHE Café, its facility and the other cooperatives at UCSD concerning the lease issues, upgrades and dispute resolution. Recently, the councils moved in favor of adopting a joint resolution rather than two independent ones. In the coming weeks then the councils will be synthesizing their input and accepting more from students on these issues as well as from the CHE and other cooperatives.   [Read more…]

Stories from Young Minds Taking the Stage

By Ernie McCray

The Playwrights Project has been producing plays written by dramatists, under age 19, for 30 years.

It all begins with the California Young Playwrights Contest, a statewide competition.

This year there were 581 entrants, way more than usual, and the stories of eight extremely talented writers made it to the stage – at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre at the Old Globe, no less.

Four of the plays earned full production and four are performed as staged readings – and I mean “staged,” because the Playwrights Project has no bounds when it comes to creative performances.   [Read more…]

Echo Sparks: How Country Music is Supposed to Sound

By Layla Marino

The term “junkyard country” was coined by an artist called Ponyboy in 2013. It seems that re-naming country is necessary nowadays, as it’s been co-opted by the mainstream media to include pabulum such as Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and, of course, the ubiquitous princess of snooze-pop, Taylor Swift.

Even fans of the already overly evolved country of the 90s such as Billy Ray Cyrus or Garth Brooks would agree that country’s current state of affairs has very little to do with cowboys, spittoons and Americana.

Having grown up in a largely country-hating household, I was not exposed to much of it as a child, and I can distinctly remember my dad saying most of it sounded like “two cats fighting in a burlap sack.” However, some of the old country music isn’t completely unfortunate.   [Read more…]

‘Steal Heaven’ Is a Must See

By Ernie McCray

This New Year, 2015, was already moving along nicely for me, but it shifted into high gear the other night when Maria and I went to see the San Diego RepertoryTheatre’s “Steal Heaven,” a play written by one of my favorite theater artists, Herbert Siguenza. This multitalented actor, playwright, director and producer is a founding member of Culture Clash, a performance group known for its rich satirical look at the world and its politics – from a Chicano perspective. I’ve loved everything they’ve ever done.   [Read more…]

The Lighting of the Barrio Logan Gateway Sign

By Horacio Jones

December 13, 2014 was a historic day for the up and coming neighborhood of Barrio Logan. It was the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Barrio Logan gateway sign. It is a distinctive addition to the existing signs in the Gaslamp, University Heights, Hillcrest, North Park and The Boulevard.

I was able to get insight into the creative process behind the sign and its symbolism through interviews with lead artist Armando Nuñez and architect Vicky Estrada. It was a fun-filled day for the community with Aztec dancing, Mariachi Music, original music from Cumbia Machin and local vendors selling food and art.   [Read more…]

Video-Essay: Barrio Logan Art Show for the 43 Missing Mexican Students

By Horacio Jones

On September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ school were kidnapped on their way to protest against the wife of the Mayor of Iguala during a political event in her honor. Both the Mayor, Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de Los Angeles Pineda have been accused of ordering the local police to abduct the students and turn them over to members of a local drug cartel called “Guerreros Unidos.” Allegedly the students were then tortured and burned alive. To date only the remains of 1 student have been identified.

I recently went to an art gallery in Barrio Logan where local artists put together an exhibition themed around the plight of the 43 students. I found it to be a unique opportunity to hear the artists’ opinions on the disappearance of the students and allow them to voice their solidarity with the people of Mexico.   [Read more…]

5th Annual Love Thy Neighbor Toy Drive Takes Place This Weekend

 By Brent E. Beltrán

This weekend the 5th annual Love Thy Neighbor Clothing & Toy Drive takes place at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. For the past five years Ruben Torres and some of his close friends have organized this event to bring a little joy during the Christmas season to youths in San Diego and Tijuana.

South Bay native Ruben Torres continues to give back to the community he loves. He says, “God gives us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with. I’m honored to see the community come together to give and to be a blessing to the needy.”

Toys will be collected for the children of the YWCA as well as families of The Training Center in Spring Valley.

This year’s main event takes place on Sunday, December 14 from 12-8pm and is hosted by radio DJ Beto Perez of 95.7 KISS FM and features an art show curated by Ruben Torres and Wendy Wolf.   [Read more…]

Neil Shigley’s Portraits: The Importance of Capturing the Light on the Face

The character and nobility in the daily struggles of homeless San Diegans

By Taylor Scalise, Filmmaker and Neil Shigley, Artist 

Neil Shigley has been involved in printmaking for many years, first beginning while in art school at San Diego State University and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

He is also a painter, sculptor, illustrator and currently teaches art at San Diego State University.  But printmaking is a medium that continues to capture his imagination and passion.  His subjects are homeless people living on the streets near his studio in San Diego.

Their daily struggle to survive has given them the character and nobility that could not be earned in another way.   [Read more…]

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

By Horacio Jones

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

“An ancient prophecy, says when the Eagle of North America and the Condor of South America unite and fly together, the spirit of peace will awaken on Earth. After waiting for millennia, many native peoples believe the time is now.”   [Read more…]

San Diego Community Speaks Out Against Police Brutality

Don’t Shoot: Show Love to Take Place in Barrio Logan  

By Nepantla Collective

In light of an ongoing epidemic of police brutality, both locally and around the globe, where targets are predominantly impoverished, marginalized and/or people of color, the Nepantla Collective will be hosting a one-day event in Barrio Logan, entitled “Don’t Shoot: Show Love”. This event will take place on Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 3pm to 10pm in in Barrio Logan’s Barrio Arts District.

Monica Hernandez of the Nepantla Collective breaks down why they decided to organize the events and why Barrio Logan was chosen as the venue:

A few years back, my best friend was severely brutalized and beaten by SDPD. Granted he had been rightfully stopped for a traffic violation & had drank a few beers that evening, but by no means did that warrant the excessive force that left his entire body severely bruised. He could barely walk for days, but what hurt me more than to see him in such physical pain, was the look in his eyes that reflected a loss of dignity, which had been brutally stripped from his soul that day.

It was the same look my brother had when he was released from incarceration after being arrested at a student protest. My brother had been charged with assault and battery of a police officer, when in fact it was them (about 3 – 4 officers) who had kicked and broken one of my brother’s ribs. Fortunately we had video footage of the incident and after over a year in court, the Superior Court of Alameda County not only dismissed all charges but also granted a factual finding of innocence.

  [Read more…]

Cross Border Culture at The Front Art Gallery

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

When you live in the South Bay, the city of Tijuana appears on the horizon just about wherever you go. If you don’t cross the border daily, then most of your neighbors and friends do. South Bay residents know that Tijuana offers shopping, art, business opportunities, time with family and, of course, good food and wine.

So when a wonderful on-line newspaper like Voice of San Diego descends upon our border neighborhood of San Ysidro, bringing with them an audience of “northerners” to tell them about how they should visit Tijuana, we South Bay locals look at each other rather perplexed. Don’t they already know that?

On October 22nd Voice of San Diego’s culture report writer, Alex Zaragoza, hosted a “Meeting of the Minds” at The Front Art Gallery: a building along historic San Ysidro Boulevard designed by famed architect Louis Gill in 1929. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the many delights of Tijuana. Karl Strauss offered beer, perhaps to make the experience less frightening to the audience members who presumably trekked all the way from places like North Park to visit the depths of the border region.   [Read more…]

Barrio Arts District Shines with Multiple Cultural Events in Barrio Logan

Barrio Art Jam, Barrio Art Crawl and Concerts in the Barrio Take Place this Weekend

By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan is becoming well known for its thriving, grassroots arts scene. This weekend’s activities are proof of that. From Friday through Sunday numerous cultural events will take place within San Diego’s most historic Chicano community.

The events include the 2nd annual Barrio Art Jam at La Bodega on Friday night, Barrio Art Crawl throughout the Barrio Arts District on Saturday afternoon/evening and the Barrio Logan Association’s Concerts in the Barrio at the Mercado del Barrio plaza on Sunday afternoon.   [Read more…]

Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

San Diego’s Last Bastion of Grassroots Art Spaces Join Forces for Monthly Series

By Brent E. Beltrán

On Saturday, August 30 the various arts venues in Barrio Logan will join together for another Barrio Art Crawl. The Crawl is a self-guided tour of open studios, galleries, and local businesses within the Barrio Arts District. The Barrio Art Crawl was initially created for the Barrio Arts District by the operators of The Roots Factory.

Participating venues in this installment of the Barrio Art Crawl include Border X Brewing/SD Taco Co., Chicano Art Gallery, Chicano Park, La Bodega, La Esquina, Pop-Up Art Gallery at Fuller Lighting, The Church, The Glashaus, The Roots Factory, The Yard at Stronghold Collective, Union Barrio Logan and Woodbury School of Architecture. Each venue will have either visual art, music, food or a mixture of all.   [Read more…]