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… A whole lot of artmaking in a one-of-a-kind visual arts space
By Linda Caballero Sotelo
If you haven’t made it out to the southernmost part of San Diego county, where the San Diego/Tijuana border meet, then you’ve been missing out on one of the most unique spaces and areas in San Diego: San Ysidro’s only space for art, culture, design and urbanism: THE FRONT.
Since its opening, THE FRONT has enabled the production of new social and cultural relations bringing together arts and social programming, affordable housing and urban research at the border, straddling San Diego and Tijuana.
THE FRONT is part of Casa Familiar’s Arts & Culture Division, under the able hands of its gallery Director, Leticia Gomez Franco, this space was conceived as a cultural think tank that would amplify the “neighborhood” of San Ysidro as a site of cultural production, while engaging local residents and claiming the border region as a unique artistic laboratory. The Salon is a second arts space in the area; housed in what was once a church, in fact, San Ysidro’s one hundred year old Catholic church. The structure was acquired by Casa Familiar and has been repurposed as a gallery and meeting space, serving as the second of Casa Familiar’s art galleries, and a part of an ambitious multi use development project entitled ‘Livingrooms at the Border’.
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Local Lowrider Documentary Needs Help for Post-Production Costs
By Brent E. Beltrán
In my neighborhood of Barrio Logan lowriders are a ubiquitous presence. They’re part of the cultural fabric that sews this community together. It’s not a new phenomenon. They’ve been around here for decades and are part of the history not only of Barrio Logan but of San Diego as a whole.
Recognizing a need to document and tell that history local lowriding legend Rigo Reyes joined forces with professor Alberto Pulido to create a documentary on the beginnings of San Diego’s lowrider scene. Though the film, Everything Comes from the Streets, might be their first these two longtime San Diegans know their stuff when it comes to lowriders and Chicano history.
Rigo Reyes is a founder of Amigos Car Club, which organizes the annual Chicano Park Day lowrider car show, and the San Diego Lowrider Council, which have been in existence since the late 1970’s. Dr. Pulido is the chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of San Diego. Both have been members of the Chicano Park Steering Committee for many years, Rigo since the takeover on April 22, 1970.
As a professor Alberto has come to recognize that all learning doesn’t happen inside the ivory towers of academia. A lot happens outside the hallowed halls of learning institutions. “As an educator one of the things that I’ve come to realize is that so much of the knowledge that we’re trying to do in the classroom is actually out in the community or like our film says its out in the streets.”