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A local real estate development firm led by Greg Strangman is gearing up to introduce its newly rehabbed apartment buildings in Barrio Logan.
The L.W.P. Group will open Community@ Mi Apartamento, two buildings next door to each another at 2605 National Ave. and 2611 Logan Ave. As the firm’s done with three of its past projects around the city, it’s kicking things off with a huge public art exhibition from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Strangman said he wanted to fund and host an art exhibition, in part, because the project is so close to the neighborhood’s emerging arts district centered just down the street on Logan Avenue, where venues like La Bodega Gallery and the Chicana Art Gallery are located. He said the show is more than just a creative marketing ploy to help rent out units.
“It’s just the right thing to do, especially in Barrio Logan,” Strangman said. “The apartment market is so tight right now, I don’t need to do an art show to fill up my building. I do it for the enjoyment and to see people’s reaction to seeing art installations inside an apartment building. … The property becomes one big cultural center for people to explore. It’s neat.”
For the show, Strangman’s handed the reins over the nonprofit arts organization Sezio, and a local arts collaborative Cohort Collective, essentially giving the groups total control over the art that’ll end up in the currently vacant building for the one-night pop-up exhibition.
Behind Sezio and the Cohort Collective are artists Christopher Konecki and Carly Ealey. The pair has invited dozens of local artists to participate and essentially passed on the freedom to create and experiment, giving each artist a vacant apartment of their own or a nook or cranny to do whatever they want with. Artists like Aaron Glasson, Celeste Byers, Dolan Stearns, EXIST1981, Mario Chacon, Mike Maxwell, Rob Benavides and Spenser Little are on the lineup.
“The idea is that each room is its own sort of universe, if you will,” Ealey said. “Each room will have its own feel, its own vibe, and we want people to wander around and find what attracts them.”
Konecki and Ealey said the event is the official relaunch of Sezio, a nonprofit once known for its visual art and music shows presented at alternative venues around town. Their new connection with the nonprofit will allow them to go after grants and other funding sources and do bigger and better events that blend together both visual art and music. They said they’ll be announcing more cultural events soon.
“Basically, we want to elevate the arts in San Diego,” Konecki said. “We’re trying to bring it up to a level where we see other cities in terms of art and public art.”
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Dubbed “Noshua w/ Joshua,” the event series includes a group art show curated by Krause and a live conversation led by him at the opening. The next one’s at 6 p.m. Thursday and features a talk with mother-son duo Anna Zappoli, a visual artist, and Pall Jenkins, a musician.
“Each talk we do, I want it to have a different kind of spin,” Krause said. “They’re not necessarily art talks, they’re really talks about art life and they’re real, honest and candid conversations. … With Anna and Paul, I know them well, but I don’t know them together. Creative families; to me that’s an interesting topic.”
Krause said the series is part of his effort to be more self-reliant in a city with an art scene that’s not always viewed as supportive.
“It’s about not waiting on galleries to call me and museums to call me because, to me, those are just kind of pipe dream ideas at this point,” he said. “And I realized that the only way I’m going to figure my art thing out is if I’m the one creating the opportunities and doing it and partnering up as opposed to waiting for the phone to ring.”
Krause recently quit his full-time job and is prioritizing making a living off his art. It’d be easy for him to complain about the lack of opportunities in San Diego compared to places like Los Angles and New York, he said, but he wanted to spend his time creating the kind of arts community he’d like to live in.
“If we want to make these changes, we need to make the changes ourselves,” he said. “We cannot wait for civic organizations, society, the government or other people. We should not be waiting, we should start creating the things we want to see in this town.”
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• At 4 p.m. Thursday, the Chula Vista City Council will host a workshop to get input on the city’s Chula Vista Cultural Arts Master Plan. (Facebook)
• KPBS launched its new show about San Diego’s craft beer culture, “King of the Craft,” last week. The first episode is here. Starting in February, an online television series centered on San Diego Beer, “What’s On Draft?” will launch. Here’s a preview of that show.
• The San Diego Foundation has announced its latest Creative Catalyst grant opportunity for local artists. Last year, after the foundation lost its arts guru Felicia Shaw, I wondered if the program would keep going. (CityBeat)
• If you are at all hungry and you, like me, swore to eat healthier in 2016, do not click this link to a roundup of San Diego’s best mac n’ cheese dishes. Seriously, just don’t do it. (Discover San Diego)
• A National City native is the first Latino to win the prestigious John Newbery Medal for literature. (NPR)
• Encinitas muralist Skye Walker will be the next artist to color the so-called “Carlsbad Art Wall.” (Facebook)
• The San Diego Symphony’s Upright & Grand piano festival continues. The U-T has picked out some of the events you won’t want to miss.
• Ramen is so hot right now. (U-T)
• San Diego Eater’s Candice Woo has all kinds of food news for you, from a trailer-park themed bar opening downtown to the most anticipated restaurant openings slated for 2016. And San Diego Magazine’s Troy Johnson finally admits that Regents Pizzeria makes a damn good pie.
• “The History and Hair Story: 400 Years Without A Comb” opens Saturday at the California Center for the Arts. KPBS talks to people involved in the exhibition that explores black culture and identity.
• Check out photos of this ephemeral art installation at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights. (Facebook)
• San Diego-based company Guru makes smart phone apps. They’ve made one for the San Diego Museum of Art and other cultural institutions around the country. Read an interview with Guru’s CEO on TechMalak.
• Cygnet Theatre scored a grant for $187,000 from the James Irvine Foundation’s Exploring Engagement Fund. (American Theatre)
• Bugs are beautiful and these photos prove it. (U-T)
• The San Diego History Center’s CEO stepped down. (U-T)
• The Old Globe Theatre kicks off a three-day celebration of brand new plays.
• “Cuatro Corridos,” a chamber opera based on real stories of victims of human trafficking, will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Conrad Prebys Music Center at UC San Diego.
• Choral ensemble SACRA/PROFANA will team up with Art of Élan this week.
• Sophia Narrett, who creates embroidered paintings, starts her residency at Lux Art Institute.
• Dorkbot sounds like an interesting event.
• See an art show at Mike Hess Brewing in North Park.
• Artist Andrew McGranahan will show his work at a new City Heights gallery.
• The Museum of Man is pairing beer with desserts in an upcoming event.
• The Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History is hosting a pop-up satellite exhibition at UCSD on Thursday.
• The Blvd Market is happening Friday.
• See new drawings and mixed-media works by Philip Petrie at a show opening at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan Friday night.
• Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater will start the New Year with three days of dance.
• The San Diego Beer Fest is Saturday at Liberty Station.
• Take a tour of some of Tijuana’s street food.
• Margarat Nee and Kim Schwenk of Grrrl Zines A Go-Go will give a quick history lesson on San Diego’s punk culture.
• The Whistle Stop Bar in South Park is hosting a record swap.
• See photographic works by artists Rebecca Webb and Jesse Burke at a show opening at the San Diego Art Institute Saturday night.
• Adelman Fine Art in Little Italy is opening a show Saturday night.
• Downtown’s Sparks Gallery opens a new group show.
• San Diego Restaurant Week begins Sunday.
• The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade is happening from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Pianist Garrick Ohlsson opens the La Jolla Music Society’s 47th Season Frieman Family Piano Series this week. On Saturday, LJMS presents the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour.
• San Diego Early Music Society focuses on chamber music of 17th century Germany.
• Marjorie Nodelman’s paintings are featured in a new exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art.
• La Jolla’s Monarch | Arredon Contemporary opens a new show Saturday.
• The annual Multicultural Festival is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ruocco Park downtown.