Culture Report: Barrio Logan’s Art District Grows | Voice of San Diego

Arts/Culture

Culture Report: Barrio Logan’s Art District Grows

The Casbah and a local dance legend celebrate big milestones, the man behind those cool San Diego-themed videos, the hidden beauties of Tijuana and more in our weekly culture round-up.

Barrio Logan has steadily grown as an arts district in the last few years. As CityBeat writes, 2009 and 2010 saw a major spurt in galleries opening up in the neighborhood and events that celebrated the art and culture that makes Barrio Logan so special.

Thanks to groups and galleries like The Roots Factory, Bread & Salt, Voz Alta, The Strongholg (formerly known as The Spot), Woodbury School of Architecture, Glashaus, and many others, Barrio Logan has carved its position as a must-see destination for San Diego art. Now we can add La Bodega Studios & Gallery to that list.

Give the new space, located at 2196 Logan Ave., and its owners Chris Zertuche and Milo Lorenzana a warm welcome at the gallery’s opening exhibition and celebration, happening from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

The exhibition features artwork created on vinyl records from more than 50 artists, including Chikle, Jimmy Ovadia, Linda Halsey, Matthew Land, Jen Fong and Pixie Lopez Guzman.  The space will have studios available for rent, with various tenants already.

If anyone doubts Barrio Logan’s place in the local art and culture scene, the arrival of this new space should cement that the neighborhood and its important place in the scene is no fluke.

Lorenzana and Zertuche tell CityBeat that they believe the Barrio Logan Arts District has officially arrived.

“I think it’s here,” Lorenzana told CityBeat. “Now we just need to tighten it up as individual spaces and start taking it a little more seriously … We have our shoes on, and now all we need to do is tie our laces.”

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

Artsy Ponies, New Hires and More Arts News

• Artist Rizzo Michelle takes My Little Pony figurines and customizes them into beloved pop cultural characters, like Cheech and Chong, Batman and Darth Vader. Man, I would kill for a Tina Fey and Amy Poehler set. (Reader)

• The San Diego History Center hired Harry L. Katz as its new visual culture curator. He spent time as head curator at the Library of Congress and will be at the helm of two Balboa Park centennial projects by the center. (U-T)

• Big ups to Mexicali art! (Artbound)

• Filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker pays homage to San Diego with his cool, quirky video art. Read all about him and his work in CityBeat’s feature story.

• Part II of the Hill Street Country Club’s three-part Supper Club Artist Project, Appreciate, opens on Saturday. One of the few times the sequel is just as good as the original.

• Tijuana is not a place where beauty is obvious. You often have to see it in unexpected places. Artbound focuses on the hidden beauty found in the city’s abandoned suburbs, which are the subject of the exhibition “Fault Metaphors,” at The Collaborative in Long Beach, Calif. The exhibition closed. Here’s hoping it travels south.

• San Diego Art Institute hired Ginger Shulick Porcella as its new executive director. (CityBeat)

• We’re truly lucky in San Diego. Not only do we get to watch TV news reports about the Polar Vortex while eating popsicles in tank tops and flip-flops, but we also have beautiful ecosystems of all types all around us. Learn all about them at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s latest exhibition, “Ecosystems of San Diego County.” (KPBS)

• Project for Public Spaces’ president (say that three times, fast), Fred Kent, had some lovely things to say about Mingei International Museum and the art of place-making.

• There has been some major drama surrounding the Art Across America project, a documentary that would take local artists across the country to teach art to children in an effort to spread the importance of arts education in public schools. CityBeat gives us some of the dirt.

• Check out Alex Dikowski’s one-night-only exhibition, “Abstractions of Thought,” featuring his new collage works on canvas and wood panels. Head to Quality Social on Thursday to see the work.

Image courtesy of Alex Dikowski
Image courtesy of Alex Dikowski

• Yeller Studios is back in action with “Black Magic,” opening Friday at Subtext.

Happy Birthday Casbah, Celebratory Dance and More Culture News

• The Casbah is turning 25 this year, and celebrating with a slew of shows and special events. Happy birthday, Casbah! Blow out your candle and wish for quieter airplanes to be invented. (KPBS)

• Local dance legend Jean Isaacs is also celebrating a major milestone, her 70th birthday, with a huge dance concert. (La Jolla Light)

• A documentary delves into the history and beliefs of the kooky Unarius Academy in El Cajon. That place is … fascinating. (KPBS)

• Don’t miss the all-male ensemble dance concert from Compagnie Käfig on Wednesday. What can I say? Dancing men give me the vapors. (Art Pwr)

• The latest installment of my column, There She Goz, is out. This time around I tackle gender inequality and stand-up comedy in swoop.  (CityBeat)

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