Arts

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

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

by Brent E. Beltrán 12.11.2014 Arts

 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.

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

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

by At Large 12.06.2014 Activism

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.

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Thumbnail image for The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

The Condor and the Eagle: Part 1

by Horacio Jones 11.22.2014 Activism

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.”

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Community Speaks Out Against Police Brutality

San Diego Community Speaks Out Against Police Brutality

by At Large 11.07.2014 Activism

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.

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Thumbnail image for Cross Border Culture at The Front Art Gallery

Cross Border Culture at The Front Art Gallery

by Source 10.25.2014 Arts

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.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Arts District Shines with Multiple Cultural Events in Barrio Logan

Barrio Arts District Shines with Multiple Cultural Events in Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 09.25.2014 Arts

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.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.28.2014 Arts

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.

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Thumbnail image for Matisse – Drawing with Scissors

Matisse – Drawing with Scissors

by At Large 08.16.2014 Arts

The most comprehensive exhibit ever devoted to his cut-outs at the Tate Modern

By Karen Kenyon

Just visiting the Tate Modern while in London is a sight not to be missed. Its spaciousness, its view of the Thames, the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, are enough, it would seem.

But then, of course, the whole point is the art. Exhibits have ranged from the French-American Louise Bourgeois to China’s Ai Weiwei. It is Britain’s national gallery of international modern art, and holds the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day.

On a recent trip to that wonderful city we were fortunate to see “Henri Matisse/The Cut-Outs” in which 14 rooms at the Tate unfold with different aspects of Matisse’s cut-out work. At 130 pieces it is the most comprehensive exhibit ever devoted to his cut-outs, produced between 1937 and 1954. His cut-outs are among the most significant of any artist’s late works.

As we entered the exhibit it felt as if we were entering Matisse’s studio. …

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Thumbnail image for Remembering Robin Williams: Laughter Unbound

Remembering Robin Williams: Laughter Unbound

by Source 08.13.2014 Arts

By Court Allen

My favorite comic and actor has passed away. The loss of such a talented and unique individual, one who has touched my life in so many ways over so many years, is really beyond words to describe. I was shocked to hear the news; it really threw me for a loop.

First, it should be noted that I have a general dislike for celebrities. I consider most of them vacuous and inane. They get paid ridiculous amounts of money for what they do, but they are the equivalent of court jesters. Despite this fact, we assign them a status better left to those with truly valuable impact, like teachers, scientists and civil rights advocates — folks far more deserving of celebrity.

My point? I never felt this way about Robin Williams. Never.

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Thumbnail image for Spotlight on San Diego Artist/Animator Tony Washington

Spotlight on San Diego Artist/Animator Tony Washington

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.25.2014 Arts

He started in comics at eighteen and twenty years later continues his dream

By Brent E. Beltrán

There is a tremendous amount of homegrown San Diego talent that contributes in various ways to making popular culture and Comic-Con what it is. Going into Comic-Con I wanted to profile one such individual.

The person that came to mind is someone who has become part of my extended family, Anthony Washington. Tony was born in Detroit, Michigan but didn’t live there long. With his dad in the navy he moved around the country a lot and eventually settled into Imperial Beach. Though not born here Tony still considers himself a native San Diegan.

At 38 years old Anthony Washington gets to do what he loves: draw.

On Preview Night at Comic-Con I interviewed him about his background, his influences, how he got started, what projects he’s worked on, what he’s got coming up and what advice he’d give to wannabe comic book artists looking to get into the business.

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Thumbnail image for The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.23.2014 Arts

SDFP Writer Inundated with Comic-Con Related Emails

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last year I covered Comic-Con for San Diego Free Press. I wrote five articles in a series I called Adventures in Comic-Conlandia: A Nerds-eye View. You can read them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part 5. This was my first attempt at writing about something I had loved since I started attending back in 1986. Though grueling I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will cover the event again this week. I plan on being not so ambitious this year.

Sometimes Comic-Con sneaks up on you. You don’t know it is here until trolley station signs are written in Klingon or you’re standing in line for a happy hour beverage next to a Stormtrooper.

For me that wasn’t the case this year. You see, I’ve been inundated with press releases for the past month and it’s picked up even more within the last week. I’ve been sent hundreds of emails from the various media, toy and comic book companies that want to get the word out about their latest film, action figure or storyline.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Artist Isaias Crow Seeks Crowd Funding for a Friend

San Diego Artist Isaias Crow Seeks Crowd Funding for a Friend

by Source 06.22.2014 Arts

COMPASSION Fundraiser to Raise Money for a Lost Soul on Hard Times

By Isaias Crow

You know why I have so much passion in creating workshops that promote inner-peace and positivity via the arts and why part of my artistic career is to promote other artists? Because what I want for me – I want for everybody else. I find it to be of great joy when I give to others just as I have received from others. I am paying it forward.

Now, I find myself in a position where I am asking from you.

About 2 months ago a good friend of mine called me and asked me to assist him in co-curating an art exhibition in a space he had acquired. When I met him seven years ago, he was a successful pastor at a local San Diego church, so naturally I was intrigued in what he was envisioning plus, I had not seen my friend in several years.

I invited him into my sacred space – my home and welcomed my partner Irene to join us in the conversation being that my friend (whose name we’ll keep anonymous – so we’ll call him JP) wanted to share some exciting news with us as he had put it.

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Thumbnail image for Photo Gallery: Predators Visit the Pacific Beach Marshland

Photo Gallery: Predators Visit the Pacific Beach Marshland

by Source 06.21.2014 Arts

By Roy Little

Because the Kendall-Frost/Northern Wildlife Preserve in Pacific Beach is an isolated haven for small wildlife, various predators visit the marsh for food. Here are some photos of several breeds of hawks in the marsh and around the edges. These hawks mainly commute because the marsh and its surroundings are so close to human habitation. While their individual roosting and nest locations remains somewhat of a mystery, there is much to be said about their general size, appearance and habits.

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Thumbnail image for Internationally Renowned De la Torre Brothers Bring their Art to San Ysidro

Internationally Renowned De la Torre Brothers Bring their Art to San Ysidro

by Source 06.08.2014 Arts

“Whysidro” to be unveiled this coming Thursday at The Front

By Leticia Gomez Franco

The Front, a 1600 square foot art space located a mile north of the U.S./Mexico border crossing in San Diego, will be converted this week into a holographic dreamland. The gallery will be home to Whysidro, a solo exhibition of new lenticular works by internationally renowned artists, Jamex & Einar De la Torre.

The exhibition celebrates the culmination of the De la Torre brothers’ one year residency at Casa Familiar’s The Front as part of the San Diego Foundations Creative Catalyst Program. During their year in San Ysidro, the brothers set out to create an entire new body of work inspired by their connection with the U.S./Mexico border.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Fringe Festival Needs Housing for Artists

San Diego Fringe Festival Needs Housing for Artists

by Source 06.07.2014 Arts

By Bud Sonka

The San Diego Fringe Festival is one of the largest performance events on the West Coast. It attracts local artists and people from all over Southern California and beyond. The Fringe Festival offers the opportunity to see art without censorship in a venue that values artistic integrity. It includes puppetry, dance, circus, comedy and spoken word in what is described as a “Carnival of Theater.”

The Fringe began in 1947 when eight groups appeared uninvited to the newly formed Edinburgh International Festival and performed their shows “on the fringe” of the main festival. While the main festival still exists, The Edinburgh Fringe is now the largest theater festival in the world: more than 500 companies from around the world give thousands of performances during the 5 weeks of the festival.

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Thumbnail image for One-Day Art Show Highlights Fight Against Toxic Pollution in Barrio Logan

One-Day Art Show Highlights Fight Against Toxic Pollution in Barrio Logan

by Source 05.29.2014 Activism

“Until Our Last Breath” features more than 20 barrio artists at Chicano Art Gallery

By Mia Bolton

Artists, residents and friends of Barrio Logan, with the help of Chicano Art Gallery, join forces this Saturday for a one-night-only art exhibit to tell the story of how corporate greed and pollution affect the health of Barrio Logan community members.

The exhibit, Until Our Last Breath: Barrio Artistas Contra San Diego’s Toxic Maritime Industry, features original paintings, drawings and sculpture from local artists and many Chicano Park muralists, such as Victor Ochoa, Mario Torero, Berenice Badillo, Armando Nuñez, Stephanie Cecilia Cervantes, Hector Villagas, Patricia Aguayo, Mario Chacon and Isaias Crow.

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Thumbnail image for My Sister’s Voice

My Sister’s Voice

by Ernie McCray 05.27.2014 Arts

By Ernie McCray

Alexis Dixon, a friend of mine, recently emailed me that he was working on a new project and I’m already hyped because I remember the last project which was the first of the “Notes to Our Sons and Daughters” series.

That was a wonderful evening, with a beautiful collection of photographs so I’d say the next show, “My Sister’s Voice,” is a must go for anyone who can go.

 This stylized black and white international photographic collection is unveiled to us by Alexis and the Center for Community Solutions (CCS) which provides prevention and intervention services for violence and abuse.

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Thumbnail image for Video Pick:  The-Dream’s “Black” and Saturday Poem: “The Great Pax Whitie (Peace be Still)” by Nikki Giovanni

Video Pick: The-Dream’s “Black” and Saturday Poem: “The Great Pax Whitie (Peace be Still)” by Nikki Giovanni

by Anna Daniels 05.03.2014 Activism

“The Condemnation of Racism Must Make Itself Manifest Now”

By Anna Daniels

Vigilante rancher welfare queen Cliven Bundy’s recent musings on “Negro” history, the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, and NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist “etiquette” pointers for his girlfriend are the past week’s dismal trifecta of old white male willful ignorance.

Yes, Meat with Eyes Sean Hannity quickly distanced himself from Bundy’s “maybe slavery was better” ravings. There was an immediate outcry over everything that was in the Sterling tape and I’m not willing to stick my hand into that particular septic tank to fish out an example. The good news being peddled is that as a society we know an old white male racist when we see him and we won’t stand for it.

But before we get all self-congratulatory, the Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan’s affirmative action ban shows how little we are willing to deal with institutional racism, which is quite different than recognizing your garden variety racist.

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Thumbnail image for ‘Happy Dance’ for San Diego State University Dance Company on Turning 25…

‘Happy Dance’ for San Diego State University Dance Company on Turning 25…

by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán 05.01.2014 Arts

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

The SDSU University Dance Company will celebrate twenty-five years of dance this spring with a concert featuring stunning young artists in a contemporary dance work by SDSU faculty and guest artist Gina Bolles Sorenson. Intrigue, the bizarre and the fascinating set the tone for this showcase of San Diego’s rising new dance talent.

Lizbeth Price, Public Affairs Specialist at the SDSU School of Music and Dance, contacted San Diego Free Press to share the great news. I had the opportunity to direct a few questions to Melissa Nunn, Choreographer and Emeritus Professor of Dance.

“The objective is to provide advanced students with performing experience under the direction of professional faculty and guest choreographers; to prepare these students for professional work once they graduate” shared Nunn who will premiere a choreography of her own in this concert titled Presence.

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Thumbnail image for Art in the Street: The San Diego Cultural Arts Alliance Partners with Writerz Blok to Encourage Street Art in the Community

Art in the Street: The San Diego Cultural Arts Alliance Partners with Writerz Blok to Encourage Street Art in the Community

by Source 04.30.2014 Activism

By Karla Flores & Brent Jensen | karla@ajaproject.org & brent@ajaproject.org

How do you feel when you see vandalism around your neighborhood? Does it make you feel unsafe? Graffiti is transformed from a rebellious act of vandalism to a legal form of expression through the Graffiti Education and Mural Arts Program, an initiative by the San Diego Cultural Arts Alliance (The Alliance).

From March 20th through the 22nd, The Alliance partnered with Writerz Blok to lead a mural installation project in the parking garage of Westfield Mission Valley Mall. The event, “Underground Art in the Underground,” was a gift to the community of San Diego and a message to youth whose individuality seeks expression.

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Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day: “PTSD” by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Poem of the Day: “PTSD” by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 04.18.2014 Arts

As part of the ongoing SDFP column Geo-Poetic Spaces

Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Sun’s shell exploding
swimming pools
displacing water’s reflections
with electro-convulsive
flashes of dendrites in chlorine

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Thumbnail image for To Be a Warrior Poet

To Be a Warrior Poet

by Will Falk 04.18.2014 Activism

By Will Falk

I tried to kill myself a year ago.

In the year since, I quit my job as a public defender, spent weeks in group therapy, went on Phish tour, tried to kill myself again, searched every corner of my soul and began writing earnestly.

Sometimes, I think writing has kept me alive. Writing my poetry and essays allows me to fill my world with a meaning that is under attack.

The world is burning at an ever-faster pace. We are at war. Many of us may be imprisoned, tortured, raped and ultimately killed. Before I tried to kill myself, I let myself wander too far with clogged ears deaf to the friends – both human and non-human – that fill this world with meaning.

Armed with my experiences, I know that art can – and must be – a weapon used in defense of the world.

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Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day: “notes from Hillcrest/one year after suicide attempt” by Will Falk

Poem of the Day: “notes from Hillcrest/one year after suicide attempt” by Will Falk

by Will Falk 04.17.2014 Arts

4/16/14

By Will Falk

I am looking for a pick-axe
a long one with a thick handle
one to chip my way
through the asphalt covering
everything

I want to hear crickets
tall grasses at my heels
the shift of sand
the suck of mud

starlight

this is what I think about
wandering San Diego at night

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Thumbnail image for New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.16.2014 Arts

44th annual Chicano Park Day Celebration this Saturday

By Brent E. Beltrán

The Chicano Park Steering Committee and thousands of their friends will be celebrating the 44th anniversary of the takeover of Chicano Park this Saturday in San Diego’s Barrio Logan. The theme of the celebration is “La Tierra Es De Quien La Trabaja: The Land Belongs To Those Who Work It.” 

Last year I wrote:

“On April 22, 1970 a rag tag group of artists, activists, and community members joined forces and took over the land underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan. At the time, construction was about to begin on the building of a California Highway Patrol substation. For many years, residents of Barrio Logan had been promised a park. Seeing the pending creation of a CHP substation was the straw that broke this barrio’s back.”

Every year the community of Barrio Logan, as well as Chicanas and Chicanos from all over, and our friends and allies, all come together to celebrate the takeover of the area underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Logan: Arts and Culture

Barrio Logan: Arts and Culture

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.13.2014 Arts

Film by Media Arts Center’s Teen Producers Project
Intro by Brent E. Beltrán

With the ballot battle looming over the future of Barrio Logan, due to Maritime Industry’s refusal to accept the Barrio Logan Community Plan update, I feel it is necessary to give voters of the city of San Diego a little history of Barrio Logan and highlight the issues residents face. In June, eligible San Diego voters will go to the polls to vote on whether to approve the community plan or reject it.

Over the next few weeks I will post a video on Sundays that highlights the community of Barrio Logan and the beauty within San Diego’s most historic barrio.

This week’s video, Barrio Logan: Arts and Culture, is about how arts and culture are an integral part of Barrio Logan’s identity.

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