Culture Report: A Defunct Brewery’s Art Unpacked | Voice of San Diego


Culture Report: A Defunct Brewery’s Art Unpacked

Displaying a history brewery’s artifacts, searching for poached bonsais and more in our weekly arts roundup.


Artifacts and mural fragments from the historic Aztec Brewery in Barrio Logan, the artworks saved from destruction at the last minute, are now displayed as part of a beer exhibit at the San Diego History Center.

The collection’s been in storage for decades and now much of it is being restored for display at the Mercado del Barrio in Barrio Logan in the coming months.

But not all of the pieces from the defunct brewery’s “rathskeller,” or tasting room, will make it in that collection, the city’s public art manager, Dana Springs, tells the U-T. So the exhibit is “an opportunity for people to see these special objects before they have to go back into storage,” she said.

You’re reading the Culture Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.

Landmarks and Mysteries

• A new sign for the Barrio Logan neighborhood features Mayan and Aztec imagery along with corn, fish, pyramids and “columns wrapped with snakes.” Community planner and landscape architect Vicki Estrada worked on the project. “I don’t think a sign will transform the neighborhood,” she said, “but my hope is that it will be a symbol that says, ‘We’re Barrio Logan, and, basically, don’t screw with us.’” (San Diego CityBeat)

• Nina Katchadourian, an artist with a master’s in fine arts from UC San Diego, photographs stacks of books so their titles form short poems. (Huffington Post)

• Six of the Japanese Friendship Garden’s 19 bonsai trees were recently stolen from the garden in Balboa Park. While the thieves didn’t take the garden’s most valuable specimens, each missing tree was worth between $300 and $400. (KPBS)

• Meanwhile, philanthropist and Kyocera Corp. founder Kazuo Inamori pledged $3 million to the garden for its new pavilion construction project. (U-T)

• ArtPulse, a visual art training and exhibition nonprofit, is moving from the Liberty Station arts district to Bread and Salt, a new arts space (where we held the last “Meeting of the Minds”) in Logan Heights. (U-T)

Happening Here

• On Saturday, a new audio, visual and theater piece about generations cycling in and out of poverty will premiere at a relatively new venue, the White Box Theater in Liberty Station. The artists behind the piece, called “Righteous Exploits,” include sound and multimedia artist Margaret Noble and writer and performer Justin Hudnall. (San Diego Reader)

• A married pair of dancers will premiere a 45-minute piece they call “A Spit of Wax” — an image from the last burst a candle makes when it’s going out. “This dance takes place in the moments preceding a life-changing event, a final chapter, a death,” says Kyle Sorenson, one of the dancers. “It’s about the human response to change, resilience and transition.” (U-T)

• A new documentary will screen for free at Sweetwater High School in a couple of weekends, exploring San Diego and Tijuana’s contributions to lowrider culture, including the role of Chicano Park in Barrio Logan.

• These screenings are on the other end of the price spectrum: A Carlsbad company sells a $35,000 device that lets homeowners screen first-run movies, for $500 a pop, in their home theaters. “There are thousands of people out there, if not tens of thousands of people, that could buy this product,” the company’s founder tells the Los Angeles Times. “We found the secret sauce to make billionaires act like little giddy schoolchildren.”

• Painter Ellen Salk and musical/sound artist Christopher Adler have worked together on a multi-sensory exhibit, “Synesthesia,” up now at the Oceanside Museum of Art. They’ll be talking in a panel discussion this Saturday about what it’s like to work together on such a project. Here’s a video of some of the exhibit.

• Starting with my pal Zack Nielsen at Sezio, a neat Pacific SD magazine feature asks 10 local artists about his or her work, and asked each to recommend another. You can follow the whole chain, along with photographs.

• A trio of violent dramatic productions on local stages caught the eye of our arts blogger, Libby Weber:

The time of year usually associated with new life has become a regular bloodbath on San Diego stages, with three new productions that feature heinous acts of violence at the center of the drama.

The San Diego Opera’s “Murder in the Cathedral” closed last weekend, but the other performances, at The Old Globe and Cygnet Theatre, are still going.

• George’s at the Cove chef Trey Foshee lists his favorite spots to eat, drink and shop in San Diego for a Food & Wine magazine feature.

• There are a lot of people in the world. The Museum of Photographic Arts will introduce you to photographs, videos and stories of thousands of them in an upcoming exhibit, “7 Billion Others.” The museum will add interviews with San Diegans before mounting the show in 2015. (U-T)

• Lisa Wagner, a rug cleaner and blogger answers questions about the art of rug maintenance in a feature for the New York Times, including how to tell whether your rug is legit.

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I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

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