Culture Report: Aztec Brewing Artwork Finds a New Home - Voice of San Diego

Arts/Culture

Culture Report: Aztec Brewing Artwork Finds a New Home

We almost lost the stunning murals inside long-gone Aztec Brewing Company. Now you can visit Logan Heights Library to see them for yourself. Plus, architect Irving Gill’s eye-crossing work, Shakespeare for the masses and more in our weekly culture round-up.

After decades tucked away in storage, the artworks salvaged from Barrio Logan’s long-gone Aztec Brewing Company have found a new home inside the Logan Heights Library.

The brewery’s artwork has a storied past, which we detailed when the murals were still kept in pieces inside a warehouse. Aztec Brewing thrived post-Prohibition, until a Detroit brewing company bought it out in 1948. A few years later, former VOSD reporter Kelly Bennett reported, the place shuttered, and the art met a fate that felt straight out of an “Indiana Jones” flick:

Now it’s a parking lot. And the art would’ve been lost forever if not for an 11th-hour fight to save it from the wrecking ball in the 1980s. The city of San Diego picked up the art and furniture for safekeeping then, promising to bring it all back to the neighborhood. Over the years, the collection has moved from place to place, a portion ending up today in crates in a storage unit in El Cajon.

For a while, it looked like the murals would find new life inside the Mercado del Barrio project, but no commercial tenant could meet the requirements to exhibit the collection. Dana Springs, executive director of the city’s arts commission, said the new arrangements on city-owned property “in the Barrio Logan/Logan Heights neighborhood” was a good compromise.

“A lot of discussion has been had about the historic nature of the pieces and the value of the pieces, but I think people are going to be amazed at the sheer beauty of this work when they see it,” Springs told CityBeat. “And hopefully it will inspire all of our local tasting rooms to engage artists in their interior design work.”

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

Historic Art, Experiments and More Visual Art Goods

• Dave Ghilarducci’s experimental art draws from his engineering background and a fascination with authority. (CityBeat)

• The La Jolla Historical Society will exhibit the work of architect Irving Gill as photographed by Philipp Scholz Rittermann. The images present the past with the present in a way that makes your eyes cross – in a cool way, of course. (U-T)

Globe for All, New Seasons and More Music and Performance Stuff

• The Old Globe Theatre’s “Globe for All” program brings Shakespeare’s greatest works to people and places that could use a bit of arts love. One stop took them to a homeless center in East Village. (U-T)

• The La Jolla Playhouse unveiled its 2015-2016 season, with four premieres hitting the stage. Among the plays coming is a new musical from the minds that brought your children the music from “Frozen.” (U-T)

• The La Jolla Symphony and Chorus’ new season is also set to kick off with composer Nathan Davis. The U-T chats with the music man and his ambitious project that involves audience members to actually use their cell phones during the performance. Why, I’ve never heard such a thing!

• “Ballet and Beyond” kicks off Thursday, offering a collaborative dance experience at Spreckels. (U-T)

• Ion Theatre Company gives the U-T a peek behind the curtain of its “Out of the Box” series.

Radio News, Asian Film Fest and More Culture Crumbs

• Whoa, big local radio news. Tim Pyles is leaving 94/9 to head back to 91X. (Reader)

• The San Diego Asian Film Festival is in full swing. (KPBS)

• Homebrewing is so hot right now. So hot. (San Diego Magazine)

• DiscoverSD talk to accessory line Rais Case creator Julie Ellis to talk art, laptop cases, design and more.

• San Diego Magazine honors veterans by sharing the history and intricacies of the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

• Tijuana’s evolution from tourist trap to ultimate travel destination has been rocky, bloody and gringo-filled. San Diego Magazine talks about its revitalization and how it can continue to grow without selling out. Derrick Chin shared some insight on that during our Meeting of the Minds last month.

• NTC’s Liberty Station received a $1.5 million donation from Point Loma resident Richard “Dick” Laub. The funds will go toward the complex’s arts and culture district. The Naval Training Center on site will now be called the Dick Laub NTC command Center in his honor. (U-T)

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