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Culture Report: New Music and Arts Festival Wants to Bolster the Local Scene

Carne. Asada. Fries. Fest. Plus: other, non-carne asada fries happenings in the world of arts and culture.

chris warren san diego art

“The Omni Echo” by Chris Warren is one of the art installations that will be on display at the A Ship in the Woods Music and Art Festival at Felicita Park on June 16-17.

Felicita County Park in Escondido will serve as a stage for an ambitious new music and arts festival.

More than 20 musical acts and 25 art installations will be spread across the 50-acre park as part of the inaugural, family-friendly A Ship in the Woods Music and Art Festival happening June 16-17.

“We’re imagining it as an art village,” said Lianne Thompson Mueller, co-executive director of A Ship in the Woods, the arts nonprofit that organized the fest.

While this weekend’s event will be A Ship in the Woods’ biggest fest yet, it isn’t its first. In 2015,  it curated a smaller, successful arts and music festival at Cabrillo National Monument.

The festival lineup includes puppet and fashion shows, interactive sound installations and other art and music by both San Diego and touring artists. Built to Spill, Bill Callahan, Pall Jenkins and Treepeople are among the musical acts performing at the fest, and artists including Ingram Ober, Perry Vasquez, Chris Warren, Lissa Corona, Jason Sherry, Saratoga Sake and Aaron Rose will be building installations throughout the park.

Much of the art will explore environmental themes. The San Diego River Valley Conservancy, for instance, will be putting together an exhibit on San Diego watersheds.

Other work will be more participatory and experimental. Rose, an artist and the director of the “Beautiful Losers” documentary that profiles artists like Shepard Fairey, Harmony Korine and Barry McGee, will be building what he calls a “movable art bar,” a pop-up handmade bar filled with artful objects like designer cocktail napkins. And Vasquez will be hosting a participatory art project, asking attendees to help him define who the words “We the People” refer to in the preamble to the Constitution.

By putting San Diego artists and bands alongside national artists, Mueller said she hopes the event will help raise the city’s profile and help put an end to San Diego’s tendency to trash its own art scene.

“We want people to see that there is a strong art scene here,” Mueller said. “We really want to showcase San Diego and share what we have.”

You’re reading the Culture ReportVoice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Liberty Station Arts District Status Update, City Funds for the Chicano Park Museum and More Arts and Culture News

• Arts District Liberty Station has the potential to become a regional cultural destination. It’s a city-owned space, but city leaders, the public and the tenants who rent studios there have virtually no say over its direction. A group of artists wants more of a say in how the arts district develops. Some resident artists also have concerns about the lack of diversity among the tenants, and they’d like to see bigger, more diverse crowds show up to events there.

arts district liberty station

A sign promoting the first Friday art walks at Art District Liberty Station. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

 The San Diego City Council unanimously adopted a budget on Monday. It includes $500,000 for a Chicano Park Museum in Barrio Logan. (Union-Tribune)

• Target is getting ready to set up shop in North Park. The company has plans to possibly paint over the bright dinosaur mural by Mark Paul Derek on the side of the building. A Target spokeswoman said via email that the company is “considering a new mural for the store’s building that will be influenced by local perspectives and will represent the spirit of the neighborhood.” She said it’s “common for us to commission a local artist to create artwork in or on our stores as we open new locations across the country.” But some folks don’t like that plan and want the current mural to stay.

• There weren’t many award winners with San Diego ties at this year’s Tony Awards. (Union-Tribune)

• The California Arts Council just announced its latest round of grant recipients. More than $16 million went to nearly 1,100 arts and culture projects across the state, many in San Diego.

• The San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory’s is losing its leader, CEO, Dalouge Smith. Smith got a new gig as CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music. Under his leadership, the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory has had big success with its music program in Chula Vista and has done work to make music education more accessible.

• As part of the Port of San Diego’s public art program, artist Randy Walker installed two new temporary public art works at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and National City Marine Terminal. The pieces will be on view through February 2019.

public art port of san diego

A public art installation by artist Randy Walker / Photo courtesy of the Port of San Diego

• Move over Comic-Con, there’s a new “Con” in town. It’s called InterGalactiCon and its founder says “It’s a con that’s created by fans, for fans.” (CityBeat)

• Oceanside comedian Vicki Barbolak advanced in the latest season of “American’s Got Talent.” Even notoriously cranky judge Simon Cowell had lots of compliments for Barbolak. (Patch)

• It’s that time of year again: Nonprofits across the region are lining up at the County Administration Center, vying for a slice of $6.2 million in grant money. (CBS 8)

• If you’ve spent any time at Shelter Island, you’ve likely noticed a Toyota truck with a decked-out camper that often parks there. The Reader has the story behind it.

shelter island truck

This decked-out truck can often be found parked on Shelter Island. / Photo by Kinsee Morlan

• If you’re on Instagram, your feed has probably been inundated with cool photos from the Wonderspaces exhibition that opened last week. The show attracts large crowds, which makes some folks in the local art scene question why San Diegans will show up for what they say is soulless entertainment art that exists for selfie-snapping purposes, but not for the rest of the local art shows happening around town.

• Vanguard Culture dropped in for a studio visit with textile artist Irma Sofia Poeter, who lives in Tecate, Mexico.

• La Jolla Music Society SummerFest music director Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin will step down after this year. He told the Union-Tribune he plans to ditch his usual musical parameters and give the people who show up to the annual chamber-music celebration a great show.

• SDVoyager has new Q-and-As with San Diego artists Chris Puzio and Janelle Despot.

• This story serves as a good reminder that alongside the fried food and rides at the San Diego County Fair, there are actually some great art and craft exhibitions. (Union-Tribune)

The Kinsee Report: Here’s Where I Want to Be This Week

• The high desirability of this event is all in its name: The Carne Asada Fries Fest, which features a performance by members of Tijuana’s famed Nortec Collective, is happening Saturday in Chula Vista.

carne asada fries fest

Carne asada fries / Photo courtesy of San Diego Media Group

• Shhhhhhh. Do not tell anyone about the Secret Society of Adultologists and the fun things they do at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Food, Cannabis, Beer and Booze News

• San Diego breweries are known for making some of the best IPAs in the world. But breweries in San Francisco have a new twist on the IPA that’s making its way into some local brewers’ recipes.

• The Taste of Little Italy event is Wednesday. (Times of San Diego)

Image via Shutterstock

• Making the trek to Rosarito Beach this summer? Here’s where to eat. (Eater)

• Surfer Rob Machado, skateboarder Alphonzo Rawls and other local athletes are part owners of a new North County coffee company. (San Diego Magazine)

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