Culture Report: Thinking Outside the System

Arts/Culture

Culture Report: Thinking Outside the System

Comic-Con descends on the city, five theater companies ring in a decade of work and more in our weekly culture roundup.

Sometimes working within the system just doesn’t pay off. That’s at least how artist Roberto Salas feels after his proposed public art piece, “Four Corners of Life,” was rejected by a team that included members of the Arts and Culture Commission and other city staffers. The piece – intended to bring light to what has long been called the Four Corners of Death for its violent history – was to be a part of the San Diego Museum of Art’s Open Spaces project.

The installation, which consisted of LED lights that encircled the busy intersection of Euclid and Imperial avenues in Lincoln Park, was considered a risk to people and property, according to the commission. It took six months for the team behind the installation to get feedback, which leaves them little time to draft a new proposal for the Arts and Culture Commission and the city to review.

Salas told Voice of San Diego that with all the red tape they’ve already had to go through, the team isn’t too keen on dealing with the Arts and Culture Commission again.

So where does that leave Salas, the rest of the Open Spaces team and their Lincoln Park project?

Salas plans to propose creating an installation that would not require city permits or approval from the Arts and Culture Commission, in effect working outside of the system to bring a new piece of art to the community. Read more about it in our full report.

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

Strange Stuff, Brain Trash and More Visual Art

• KPBS reports that the Timken Museum of Art’s new executive director will run operations from New York City, because we outsource everything nowadays. The new man in charge has some stellar qualifications, though.

• Hopefully, the Timken’s new executive director will create cool exhibitions like the current avant garde exhibit on view there, “El Lissitzky: Future Portfolios.” (U-T)

The Barrio Art Crawl returns to Barrio Logan this Saturday. Check out open studios, gallery exhibitions, live music, the historical Chicano Park murals and mucho más.

• Space 4 Art and the experimental music series Stay Strange teamed up for a weird art and sound exhibition catered to Comic-Con fans and attendees. CityBeat talks superheroes, noise and more with Stay Strange’s faithful and freaky leader, Sam Lopez.

• Want more Comic-Con-centric art? Of course you do! From Thursday to Saturday, 47 artists will showcase works ranging from low-brow to comic art at the Wonder Bread factory for ArtExpo. CityBeat has details on the awesome event.

Craft beer and art, together, in order to benefit a great cause? Yeah, we’re into that!

ARTS (A Reason to Survive) will present a free exhibit on Wednesday. Support the students making great art and an organization making a great difference. (U-T)

• The U-T is very into MCASD’s Brain Trash.

• San Diego IndieFest is packing up its bags and heading to City Heights. (U-T)

Symphony Goodness, Theater Birthdays and More Music and Performance

• It’s theater review time! Moxie’s “Jade Heart” is a time-flipping love story, Vista’s “Mary Poppins” does away with the spoonful of sugar, Cygnet’s “Pageant” is a beaut and things are complicated in the “Ether Dome.”

• Danny Elfman and Tim Burton have a long history of collaboration, with Elfman creating moody, whimsical and often dark musical scores to soundtrack some of Burton’s most iconic films, including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The San Diego Symphony will pay homage to those scores with a live concert this Friday at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Come in costume if you’re feeling so bold!

If Burton and the mind behind “Dead Man’s Party” isn’t your cup of goth tea, there will be a screening of the 2009 “Star Trek” film accompanied by members of the San Diego Symphony and the SACRA/PROFANA chorus this Saturday. Live long and prosper, trekkies!

The U-T helps five local theater companies – Cygnet Theatre, Ion Theatre, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, Moxie Theatre and New Village Arts Theatre – blow out 10 birthday candles. Company members look back on the last decade of their work.

• The San Diego Fringe Festival wrapped last week, and some shows made a huge impression. Check out who won trophies at the Fringe Awards. (KPBS)

Comic-Con, Cinema and More Culture

• Comic-Con is descending upon America’s Finest City, bringing hoards of comic lovers, pop culture fanatics and hundreds of thousands of people that hardcore nerd-out on any number of topics. Anime furries, anyone? KPBS talks about the mega growth of the event and DiscoverSD has a guide to non-Con events that are geared for the sweaty masses as well as cheap eats and late-night eats to grab while hanging near the Convention Center and a party guide for those who want to rage hard with some dude dressed like the Joker.

• Looking for new comic and graphic novel reads? The U-T has you covered.

KPBS’s “Midday Edition” shared a story on how mentally ill animals can help people. Get ready to cry Sarah McLachlan-level animal-loving tears.

Why Cinema Under the Stars totally rules, by KPBS.

Ian Campbell and the San Diego Opera finally settled. Can we all move on now? (KPBS)

• This Thursday, art and science educators will showcase awesome STEM projects in Balboa Park for Art of Science Learning’s Play Day. It’s like the Magic School Bus in real life!

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