Arts

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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Thumbnail image for Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

by Staff 04.05.2014 Activism

Recipient of the Phi Delta Kappa Unsung Hero Award

By Staff

On April 3, Ernie McCray was honored by the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. The Kappan awards bestowed earlier in the evening were for individuals and organizations that have made a substantive difference for those wishing to become educators and for children within the school system.

Ernie’s award came later in the evening, after the recognition of Partner in Education, Educator of the Year, and Leadership. Those of us who know Ernie would be hard pressed to sum up his presence and contributions in just one category– he is known by thousands of students, parents and colleagues as an extraordinary educator; he has been a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the streets and in our schools; you can find him from time to time on a stage, acting and reading his poetry; and he has a following on the San Diego Free Press and OBRag where he contributes essays and poetry. Unsung Hero is a pretty good fit and that was his award designation.

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Thumbnail image for Prune Nourry: French Artist’s Terracotta Daughters Are on the Move

Prune Nourry: French Artist’s Terracotta Daughters Are on the Move

by Source 04.02.2014 Arts

By Mic Porte

I love Paris, the city where people will stand attentively in line for hours to view an art exposition. Galleries, book stores and theaters are always packed. In France, food is art, clothing is art, life is art, and art is in their hearts from the beginning of recorded time– think of the beautiful Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings.

French children are taught art appreciation from day one and it reflects in the architecture and design and lifestyle all around the country. Visual art. The French invented photography and cinema to further the reach of art for the modern world. They are not afraid to expand the boundaries of acceptability, always challenging our perspective of the world, from Impressionism to Dadaism.

The 2014 Spring Equinox heralds the arrival of one of their own, Prune Nourry, young woman sculptress and multimedia artist, and her astonishing and powerful army of Terracotta Daughters, come to Paris to change the world. There is one word to describe this art show: Awesome.

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Thumbnail image for Belen Pereyra and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Costa Mesa

Belen Pereyra and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Costa Mesa

by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán 03.27.2014 Arts

How things not working out… worked out better in the end

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

It has been and intense week full of choreography and dance at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) in Costa Mesa. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has filled the cultural campus with never before performed works on the West Coast. A lot of us don’t get to go to New York. When these types of events come to the area, just a brief drive away, they are certainly a must see.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World.” It has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 71 countries on six continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition.

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Thumbnail image for Chicano Park Documentary by Redbird Films

Chicano Park Documentary by Redbird Films

by Brent E. Beltrán 03.23.2014 Arts

Video by Redbird Films
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 wether 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 is the classic Chicano Park documentary produced in 1989 by Redbird Films. The film, narrated by veteran actor Tony Plana, depicts the founding and history of this world famous historical site.

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Thumbnail image for Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Juried Art Exhibition to Open

by Source 03.04.2014 Arts

An all woman’s art exhibition, a film screening and a very womanly celebration

By Leticia Gomez Franco 

Casa Familiar’s THE FRONT will once again present their annual ode to women, this year called Sanctuary: 7th Annual Dia de la Mujer Art Exhibition. The group art exhibition features the work of 48 female artists from both sides of the border and will be on view from March 7  to April 24.

With over 50 art pieces on view, the exhibition is a wonderful collection of work, inspired by this years theme: Sanctuary. Artists were invited to explore the idea of sanctuary in its many manifestations as it relates to them as women and builders and creators of their own spaces. With this theme the exhibition curator honors the mission of Día de la Mujer. The art exhibition allows women artists to create real representations of themselves, to counter the powerful stream of visual stimulation spat out by the media, oversaturating our world, with foreign, unrealistic versions of women. Día de la Mujer fosters a safe space for women to be real women and to celebrate that realness, in all of its diverse beauty.

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