In honor of Earth Day and the fair coming this weekend, here are illustrations of just some reasons that Earth Day needs to be every day. Humans consume earth’s resources and, in turn, poison her even as our plastic poisons us. Industrial uses crowd residential districts. Climate change fuels year-round “fire season.” Beneath it all is the trash and litter we all leave behind us. Stay conscious, San Diego. [Read more…]
By Sadé Graves
We dripped from the hands of the Creator
Wonderstruck by the possibilities
Beaded there together, a bright and motley crew
The rapture of our ignorance obscured the inevitable [Read more…]
This Voice of San Diego video by Adriana Heldiz features Southwestern College professor Perry Vasquez introducing us to highlights of an art project that incorporates the controversial border wall prototypes near the U.S.-Mexico border at Otay Mesa. The project was a collaboration among Vasquez’ students and two other local artists: Jill Holslin and Andrew Sturm.
Jill Holslin is also an occasional contributor to the San Diego Free Press and Perry Vasquez is the artist and illustrator for San Diego Free Press columnist Jim Miller’s latest publication: Last Days in Ocean Beach (City Works Press, 2018). [Read more…]
From the artist Memo Atken’s web page, a description of his series Learning to See informs us that it’s:
an ongoing series of works that use state-of-the-art Machine Learning algorithms as a means of reflecting on ourselves and how we make sense of the world. … Artificial neural networks loosely inspired by our own visual cortex look through surveillance cameras and try to make sense of what they are seeing. Of course they can see only what they already know. Just like us.
“What they know” are “tens of thousands of images scraped from the Google Art Project, containing scans from art collections and museums from all over the world.” That is how mundane objects such as cloths, keys, plugs and hands become transformed into seascapes, flowers and flames.
The music selected to accompany this visual exploration is Gloomy Sunday sung by Diamanda Galás, a San Diego native. [Read more…]
Perhaps this might be a metaphor for how, occasionally, how difficult it feels to navigate through life. According to the YouTube page:
Suspended from automated grids, more than 400 pendulums are activated to initiate a sweeping 15 part counterpoint of tempi, spacial juxtaposition and gradients of centrifugal force which offers the spectator a constantly morphing labyrinth of significant complexity. The spectators are free to attempt a navigation of this statistically unpredictable environment, but are requested to avoid coming in contact with any of the swinging pendulums. This task, which automatically initiates and alerts the spectators innate predictive faculties, produces a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies.
By George Howell
So, I find myself sitting in an old stuffed chair with worn arm rests, waiting for artist-activist Rocio Hoffmann to paint my portrait (video). As she preps her canvas with a wash of flat red acrylic, Rocio chuckles. “I always start with rojo, red, because this is the name of my gallery, ‘Roho!’”
A small, round-faced woman with a permanent smile and a sharp sense of humor, Hoffmann regularly interviews Baja artists, musicians and dancers while she does their portraits, posting the live feeds to her Facebook page as part of a project called “Conversaciones in ROHO.” Galeria RoHo, her small, but vibrant studio-school-market space, is located in the artisanal district along Boulevard Popotla, just south of the big hotels and tourist shops of downtown Rosarito.
Today, we’re switching roles. Ever since I met Rocio a few years ago at Festiarte, Tijuana’s exuberant celebration of the arts, I have wanted to interview her because she is a rich source of information about art and culture in Baja Norte. [Read more…]
Logan Avenue Consortium Doing Good Work on the Avenue
Change is coming to Barrio Logan. Some of it good, and some of it bad. But what hasn’t changed is this working class community’s cultural ethos rooted in its history.
Hipster galleries may have opened selling thousand-dollar bongs and tours of the neighborhood, but there are still people and organizations doing solid work trying to keep barrio culture alive. Groups like the Logan Avenue Consortium (LAC).
The LAC promotes Barrio Art Crawl and organizes the bi-weekly summertime La Vuelta Car Cruise that has been a hit among the lowrider set. They also support each member’s endeavors from the weekly Latin Jazz Jam to the Logan Avenue Flea Market to the various events that take place at many of the different cultural spaces along Logan Avenue. [Read more…]
As we were sitting in Victor Ochoa’s studio garage in Golden Hill the other day, I realized that even though we’d been friends since the late 1970’s, I didn’t know a whole lot about his earlier life before those heady days of the Seventies decade. I was wondering whether he remembered that I had helped arrange for him to be hired to paint murals at the Che Cafe up at UCSD – way back in in 1980 and 81. He did but he had a few different details.
“This is my favorite garage,” Victor said, as we settled in for our talk. Surrounding us on three sides inside the garage were painting materials and large plastic bins holding more painting stuff stacked up on shelves, brushes, cans of paint piled on each other, cans of spray paint in a shallow closest. There was a gas-powered airbrush machine that looked like a cross between a lawn mower and a Mars Rover.
In one corner, he had set up a type of shrine to his past, his family, his culture, with various memorabilia of his life. On another wall were posters of Pancho Villa and of more recent Chicano heroes, like Corky Gonzalez, and local activist Marco Anguiano. And along part of one of the walls were the books, the notebooks, the 3-ring binders, paper records, the manuscripts, the slides. [Read more…]
I shakily tried to take a picture with my AT&T 3G cell phone of a cactus painted by Mario Chacon. I acquired it from him a while back in Chicano Park. I had to shade the painting from the glare of a blue sky with the sun shining high and bright and far and wide and finally I got about as good a picture as I was going to get no matter how hard I had tried.
Trite as it may seem my persistence in getting this snapshot was based on Mario telling me that the protrusions reaching out from the cactus spoke to the persistence of the indigenous people.
Being a simple minded person, that colored my thinking as I walked around the park with other people who were there, like me, to celebrate the restoration of the murals. Murals, as I see them, that stem from the long trail of heartaches that have plagued the Americas since the Spanish came by in drive-by style and created a reality wherein folks who had hunted, farmed, and gathered on those rich lands for thousands of years suddenly found themselves in poor standing in the only world they had ever known. [Read more…]
By Maria-Elena Ugalde
On January 11, 2017, Chicano Park was recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Native San Diegans and art historians are probably unaware of the hidden history behind San Diego’s Chicano Park murals. These murals appear to be linked to Mexico’s rich history and to legendary muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, who inspired Gilberto Ramirez, and Guillermo “Yermo” Aranda, artist and chairman of Toltecas en Aztlán – a local Chicana/o artists’ collective group who also initiated the murals at Chicano Park.
San Diego’s Chicana/o murals did not simply materialize; a timeline suggests they appeared through a series of events. “It was turbulent in the late 1960s and early 1970s with protests of the Vietnam War and for human rights” recalls Jim Brega, San Diego State University (SDSU) alumnus. [Read more…]
It appears that our own Rep. Duncan Hunter has pulled a “Trump-like” distraction in order to manipulate the press away from something else that was embarrassing. It’s a case of Animal House.
Donald Trump has become infamous for making tweets or taking efforts to manipulate the press that are often distractions to more questionable or controversial elements of his campaign and transition. For instance, his press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 11th – the first in 6 months – was a distraction to embarrassing and controversial statements by his cabinet nominees, whose hearings were being held at the very same day in Congress.
And now Hunter has pulled a rabbit out of his Trump hat.
On Friday, Jan. 6, Hunter pulled down an award-winning but controversial painting from a wall in a Capitol hallway. The painting depicts a street clash between police and protesters, most of whom are Black. The painting shows some police officers and protesters as animals. [Read more…]
By Ernie McCray
I had moments not too long ago when I thought that I just might not be around in 2017 – based on the complete lack of energy I was enduring day after day, with my belly under siege by some bacteria that just didn’t want to leave.
But I’m still here on the scene, happy as a lark, slowly getting back to my routines. Wanting to write something regarding my making it to 2017, I checked a writing prompt website and chose number 17 of the choices, as a symbol for 2017, and it read: “In 400 words create your ideal place.”
That put me in a nice place because the prompt could have been something like “Write a 150 word profile on somebody named ‘Margaret Mallory’” or write about “something wrapped” which would have called on more creativity than I wanted to own. I just wanted to kick the new year off in a nice tone. [Read more…]