San Diego suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Are we a border city? Are we a beachy tourist trap? Are we a whale’s vagina? It’s hard to reconcile what San Diego is when we are so many things.
The U-T’s art critic Jim Chute believes MCASD and Balboa Park’s many art institutions have taken steps to assert San Diego’s identity through the work they’ve shared in 2013, and their plans for the future. Along with being the city with the most craft brewery shirt-wearing dudes per capita in the world, San Diego has the chops to become a world-class art destination.
“Especially in the past year, those institutions, whose leaders are working together through the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, have created a collective identity that is becoming increasingly powerful. And they’ve taken a proactive approach toward the 2015 Centennial Celebration (of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park),” Chute writes.
He gives a shout-out to the Art of Science Learning collaborative, the newly available Balboa Park Explorer Pass, many of the park’s museums and institutions’ ambitious plans for the upcoming Balboa Park Centennial and MCASD La Jolla’s plans to renovate and expand their space as proof of San Diego’s rise as a cultural city.
While I agree that MCASD and Balboa Park are the big guys in town that will help cement San Diego’s identity as a cultural city in 2014 and beyond, I feel that our smaller galleries and arts organizations have been absolutely killing it. The work exhibited throughout the year at spaces like Thumbprint Gallery, Art San Diego, Voz Alta, Space 4 Art, Parachute Factory, Low Gallery, Visual, Canvas, Zepf Alt, Bread & Salt, Distinction and many others, as well as the hard work done by art’s organizations like Hill Street Country Club, Art Pulse and more, are pushing this city so much further. Add the amazing work being produced in Tijuana, and I think we’ve got a recipe for an amazing 2014 in visual arts.
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