Culture Report: Art Deco in City Heights
A ballet company birthed after a waterskiing incident, new cultural spirit in Tijuana, free concerts and more in our weekly arts roundup.
A rundown structure blends in with the other beige, discount furniture-selling buildings near the corner of University and Euclid avenues in City Heights. But, as Speak City Heights’ Brian Myers and Megan Burks suggest, look up:
Elegant art deco curves on the second level begin to tell a story of 1930s glamour, couples reuniting at postwar dances and visits from music legends like Kitty Wells — if you can look past the peeling paint and ragged curtains.
You’re reading the Culture Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.
• In storm drains, potholes and bumpy sidewalks, some artists find inspiration. My colleague Liam Dillon rounds up some notable artistic takes on the underbelly of infrastructure.
• Local writer Dave Hampton weaves a fascinating story of an anti-war protest, a mysterious clay sculpture and a story surrounded by myths on the UC San Diego campus. (KPBS)
• Maps and details of the mayor’s proposed Plaza de Panama plan are up on the Balboa Park website.
• The founders of a puppet company with productions for adults are moving into the arts collective Space 4 Art in East Village for their next performance, this Friday.
• That company and others will feature prominently in a new local Fringe Festival inspired by a festival for emerging theater and performance in Scotland, coming in July. (U-T)
• Maxine Mahon, the woman who founded San Diego’s oldest professional dance company, was a state accordion champion “until a career-ending waterskiing injury,” I was fascinated to learn in a U-T profile of Mahon and the California Ballet.
• A noted scene designer who’s worked on a number of big-deal theater productions locally will be the La Jolla Playhouse’s artist in residence. The designer, Robert Brill, went to UC San Diego and co-founded the erstwhile Sledgehammer Theatre, a popular local company for many years. (U-T)
• The latest appraisal of Tijuana’s burgeoning cultural identity highlights the role locals play. From the Los Angeles Times:
“The tourists weren’t coming, and so we had to take over empty spaces,” said Jesus López, a Tijuana native, DJ-producer and promoter. “That’s the thing with TJ: I’ve seen it change completely three or four times. I don’t know where it’s going to land, but I know it is shifting.”
• One of the latest artists to make a mural for a collection in La Jolla said before this opportunity, he’d sworn off public art — too much time and bureaucracy to deal with, he said. (La Jolla Light)
• A film centered on the U.S.-Mexican border that won a critics award at Cannes Film Festival in 2012 is screening for a couple more days at the Media Arts Center San Diego.
• Keep an eye out for the high-schoolers competing for performance scholarships from The Old Globe. (U-T)
• Rogue knitters made an Etch-A-Sketch sweater for a rec center sign in Clairemont, imploring passersby to “PLAY.” City workers didn’t quite take the mission to heart; they took the piece down. (U-T)
• This is the fifth year Target has given the New Children’s Museum $50,000 to grant free admission on the second Sunday of every month.
• The Pacific Arts Movement’s mobile movie operation, Drive-by Cinema, will screen a skateboarding film this Friday on El Cajon Boulevard.
• Jory Herman, a bassist with the San Diego Symphony, recently made a recording of Bach music and will celebrate its release with a free concert at a monastery in Carmel Valley, next Monday. Herman played his bass as part of his Meeting of the Minds presentation at Horton Plaza last summer.
• Another “Meeting of the Minds” connection, another free concert: Chamber music group Art of Elan will perform on Wednesday, May 29, at the Malcolm X Library in Valencia Park. We featured Art of Elan’s atypical concert format at our first Meeting of the Minds.
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I’m Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0531.
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