Arts

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

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

by Source 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 Source 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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Thumbnail image for With Our Words We Celebrate the Voz Alta Project Gallery

With Our Words We Celebrate the Voz Alta Project Gallery

by Brent E. Beltrán 03.02.2014 Arts

Art space that helped start the Barrio Logan Arts District closes

By Brent E. Beltrán

This past Thursday night the Voz Alta Project Gallery in Barrio Logan closed its doors as a physical space. Though curator Carlos Beltrán (no relation to the author) will keep Voz Alta going through collaborations with other spaces the physical space that was Voz Alta is no more.

Due to a variety of reasons Carlos chose to close the space that helped start the revitalization of the arts in Barrio Logan. If Chicano Park is the grandfather of Chicano art and culture in San Diego then Voz Alta is the child that became the big daddy to most of the recent spaces that have opened up over the last four years. Places like The Roots Factory, The Spot, Stronghold, Chicano Art Gallery, La Bodega and The Nest all owe their existence to Voz Alta and those that made Voz Alta possible.

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Thumbnail image for Astronomers Discover New Planets on the Day Ernest Silva Died

Astronomers Discover New Planets on the Day Ernest Silva Died

by Source 03.01.2014 Arts

A Personal Reflection

By Karen Kenyon

Yesterday I heard the news about the planets, and later in the day the news that artist Ernest Silva died. Both startling and hard to believe – a great discovery, a great loss.

Ernie (as those who knew him called him) had been a Professor in the Visual Arts Department at UCSD since 1979 — and was an internationally known visual artist.

I only knew him because I was fortunate enough to interview him on two occasions, and then because I live near UCSD, I experienced the synchronicity of running into him several times — at Trader Joe’s, at Whole Foods, at the campus credit union, at Peet’s…..

But I had not run into him for about two months, and wondered why.

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Thumbnail image for Higher Education: When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

Higher Education: When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

by Staff 02.10.2014 Arts

When is enough going to be enough? When are we as a nation going to get our priorities straight about higher education? When did it become the rule that the cost of higher education was lifelong indebtedness?

Via Occupy*Posters, a group that says it speaks with and not for Occupy Wall Street we present a handy-dandy cartoon (inside) that pretty much says it all about how our system of higher education is failing.

Here’s the About section of their website. There’s lots more great stuff where this came from:

Born of solidarity with the Occupy Movement’s grievances during its earliest September 2011 days, the straightforward, high-contrast designs and impact-filled visual messages of Occupy* Posters have helped change national conversations. Occupy* Posters has contributed hundreds of well-received visual messages to activists, numerous of which have become iconic images speaking to recent times. 

Dozens of Occupy* Posters have gone insanely viral on the Internet, some with millions of shares. Some have also been featured on the BBC, Current TV, the Huffington Post, Upworthy, MoveOn.org, DailyKos, and more. Some even appear in brick-and-mortar museums, and one is in a major college textbook. 

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Thumbnail image for Community Radio Coming Soon to the Greater Logan Heights Area

Community Radio Coming Soon to the Greater Logan Heights Area

by Brent E. Beltrán 02.09.2014 Arts

Radio Pulso del Barrio will focus on arts and education

By Brent E. Beltrán

For the past few months there have been meetings at various locations throughout the Greater Logan Heights area to implement a public art project called Open Spaces. Open Spaces is a two-year public art initiative that is funded by the James Irvine Foundation through the San Diego Museum of Art to create a community based art project.

This is the second Open Spaces project in San Diego. The first is ongoing in Lincoln Park.

“Open Spaces goes out into communities and allows community members and residents to be the decision makers on what public art should look like in their area. And that would be content, medium and location,” says project coordinator Irma Patricia Aguayo Esquivias.  “Coming into these communities we never know what it is going to be. We have no idea until we are actually participating in the community meetings then people start to voice what they’d like to see.”

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Thumbnail image for La Bodega Grand Opening Celebration a Big Hit

La Bodega Grand Opening Celebration a Big Hit

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.19.2014 Arts

Barrio Logan’s newest art space launches to large, art hungry crowd

By Brent E. Beltrán

La Bodega Gallery and Creative Studios held their grand opening celebration on Saturday night to a massive, art-loving audience. Hundreds of people from throughout San Diego made their way to Barrio Logan for the inaugural event.

“It’s great to see all the people come out and support,” says La Bodega’s Milo Lorenzana. “Everyone is excited.”

La Bodega, the creation of Milo, Chris Zertuche, Max Bojorquez and Bucky Montero, is located on the corner of Logan Ave. and Sampson St. In addition to housing a gallery it also hosts artistic studios from area artists and designers including The Spot, DJ V-Rock, Dos Caras Swimwear, San Diego Taco Company, Border X Brewing, Waist Knot Want Not, Spencer Little, Valor Fight Club and others. About eighteen artists studios will eventually be housed inside La Bodega.

Milo says that “we still have a lot of work to do.” The renovations to the building are about 60% done but enough work has taken place that the Bodega crew felt comfortable holding a grand opening.

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Logan Gateway Sign Project Breaks Ground

Barrio Logan Gateway Sign Project Breaks Ground

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.16.2014 Arts

“This design is of the community, by the community, and for the community.”

By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan, San Diego’s most historic Mexican neighborhood, is getting what most other local communities have: a gateway sign. This soon-to-be community landmark will span Cesar E. Chavez Parkway between Main St. and Newton Ave.

The Port of San Diego, in partnership with SANDAG, Caltrans and the City of San Diego, is the sponsor of the $1.7 million Proposition 1B funded Barrio Logan Gateway Sign and Port Access Improvements project.

In addition to the iconic sign this project includes crosswalk enhancements, lane adjustments and beautification improvements in the Barrio Logan area near the Tenth Avenue Terminal.

A ceremonial groundbreaking took place on Monday, January 13 with presentations by Bob Nelson, Incoming Chair of the Board of Port Commissioners, City Councilman David Alvarez, SANDAG Chairman Jack Dale, Caltrans Deputy District Director of Planning Bill Figge, and artist Armando Nuñez.

“This gateway design honors the legacy of Chicano Park and is an appropriate statement from and for the community,” said Bob Nelson.

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Thumbnail image for Organizations Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising

Organizations Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Zapatista Uprising

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.05.2014 Activism

Enero Zapatista Committee Organizes Month Long Series of Events

By Brent E. Beltrán

Twenty years ago on January 1 an unknown, rag tag rebel group walked out of the fog and rain forest of Chiapas, Mexico and into the imaginations of millions of Mexicans, indigenous people and lefties throughout the world.

On that fateful day, from below and to the left, the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN/Zapatista Army of National Liberation) made their first of many appearances upon the world stage.

Named after the great Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata the Zapatistas demanded work, land, shelter, food, health, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace not just for themselves but all Mexicans and oppressed people throughout the world.

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Thumbnail image for Using Creativity in the Battle for Barrio Logan

Using Creativity in the Battle for Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 12.29.2013 Activism

Maritime Industry Has Money, We Have Our Imaginations

By Brent E. Beltrán

How does one fight what is possibly the largest industry in San Diego, an industry that has millions of dollars at its disposal? We use our creativity!

Barrio Logan is a laboratory of creative, artistic thinkers. Movements have sprung forth from its streets, homes, alleys and parks. With that kind of history it is no wonder that artists have decided to take on the behemoth that is Maritime Industry and their surrogates.

The first of many artistic projects has already begun. You won’t find this one in a gallery or on a pillar at Chicano Park. This project is only visible on the internet.

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Thumbnail image for Support Local Artists, Artisans and Small Businesses, Buy Independent for the Holidays

Support Local Artists, Artisans and Small Businesses, Buy Independent for the Holidays

by Brent E. Beltrán 12.04.2013 Arts

By Brent E. Beltrán

The holidays are upon us and the time for gift giving is here. Instead of shopping at the malls and giving your hard earned cash to a corporation why not purchase items from local artists and artisans?

Here is a short list of holiday art bazaars and small businesses that deserve to be patronized this holiday season.

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Thumbnail image for A Place Called I-Park: Erasing the Separation between Life and Art

A Place Called I-Park: Erasing the Separation between Life and Art

by Source 11.24.2013 Arts

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

On September 17, 2013, I awakened in a small boat house on a pond in the wooded Connecticut countryside of East Haddam. A thin smoky mist wrote in calligraphy just above the water. My roommate, Roger Rigorth, peeked his head through a curtain separating our two beds and whispered, “Welcome to I-Park!”

I-Park is 450 acres of living art married to nature. International artists experienced in a variety of mediums are invited to spend 3 to 4 weeks living and working in the idyllic setting reminiscent of Thoreau’s Walden Pond.

Founded by Ralph Crispino in 2011 as an “unconventional memorial to a friend,” I-Park evolved into a residency program for artists. It’s almost sacrilegious to write about a place imbued with an uncompromising respect for the mystery of life and art. I-Park defies simple categorization so it will be impossible to capture it in prose.

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Thumbnail image for Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.24.2013 Arts

Día de los Muertos Commemorated for Thousands of Years in the Americas

By Brent E. Beltrán

Los días de los muertos have been commemorated for thousands of years in the Americas. It started in what is now México and has spread throughout the United States and the world. Today these days are celebrated by people of many different colors and cultures.

November 1 is Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) when deceased children are honored and November 2 is known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where we pay tribute to adults who have passed away. These dates correspond with the Christian holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day.

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Thumbnail image for Reflecting Upon the First Year of Desde la Logan

Reflecting Upon the First Year of Desde la Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.12.2013 Activism

By Brent E. Beltrán

One year ago today, October 12, 2012, my first Desde la Logan column was published here at San Diego Free Press. To date I’ve written forty-nine pieces: forty-four Desde la Logan columns and five articles on Comic-Con. If I had more time I probably could’ve written fifty more.

Like all SDFP writers I do not get paid to write. I write because the stories that I want to share rarely, if ever, get covered by the mainstream press. And the community I live in and write about doesn’t get much positive media attention.

I’ve taken it upon myself to cover the stories and issues that don’t get covered. To unashamedly champion the places, people, issues and causes that are near and dear to my community and myself.

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Thumbnail image for They Danced in the Barrio

They Danced in the Barrio

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.09.2013 Arts

Trolley Dances Come to La Logan

By Brent E. Beltrán

For the past two weekends three different public sites within Barrio Logan were pleasantly invaded by the light-footed moves of hand-selected dancers. The 15th annual Trolley Dances shared the talents of local dance aficionados with the Logan community and those that came from outside the neighborhood.

Organized by the San Diego Dance Theater, under the direction of Artistic Executive Director Jean Isaacs, and in partnership with the Metropolitan Transit System, the concept of Trolley Dances is to “bring dance to the people using public transportation and introduce people to new neighborhoods and places.”

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Thumbnail image for Las Monthly Ondas October Edition: The Art and Heart of Lucha Libre

Las Monthly Ondas October Edition: The Art and Heart of Lucha Libre

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.01.2013 Activism

Ruben Torres’ 2nd Annual HeART of LUCHA

By Brent E. Beltrán

Local music and video producer, curator, lucha libre lover and all around cool vato Ruben Torres is organizing his 2nd annual HeART of LUCHA event. It is being billed as the “largest lucha art and culture exhibition in the nation.”

Last year’s inaugural exhibition took place at The Spot Barrio Logan. For the second installment Ruben has taken over the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park where his other art series, HeART of Lotería, took place earlier this year. In addition to these two series he also organizes an annual winter toy and clothing drive for San Diego and Tijuana youth called Love Thy Neighbor (I wrote about it here).

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Thumbnail image for Opening of the New San Diego Central Library: a Grand and Glorious Occasion

Opening of the New San Diego Central Library: a Grand and Glorious Occasion

by John Lawrence 09.29.2013 Arts

Saturday, Sept. 28, will go down in San Diego history as the day the much awaited central library opened in San Diego.

The opening ceremonies started at 11 a.m. and lasted for about an hour. All sorts of dignitaries were seated on the platform, and many of them spoke. The event was presided over by Mayor pro tem Todd Gloria. The gay men’s chorus warmed up the crowd as if they needed any warming on such a beautiful sunny San Diego day. The navy band did their John Philip Sousa thing and the children’s choir sang the national anthem.

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