Photo by Sam Hodgson
The Spanish Village in Balboa Park houses working artists' studios and galleries. It was built for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.
Colorful murals that once hung in a brewery on Main Street in Barrio Logan are coming out of storage this week. Conservators will work to restore and touch up the artwork’s paint. The city expects to install the old Aztec Brewery art in the new Mercado development in Barrio Logan in about a year.
KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone and I teamed up to tell the stories of this post-Prohibition artwork earlier this year. We found out that the city had saved a roomful of artwork and decoration from the old 1930s brewery, and had been keeping it in storage ever since. Now the artwork will be returning to the neighborhood.
You’re reading the Arts Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.
• John Wilkens appraises the state of the vibrant Imperial County art phenomenon Salvation Mountain, and the legacy of its creator, 81-year-old Leonard Knight, who is living in a care home in El Cajon.
• Architect Graham Downes has a vision for his adopted Bankers Hill neighborhood, one that doesn’t include keeping a beloved Chinese restaurant, Mandarin House. “It’s run its course,” he tells San Diego CityBeat. He hopes to build an “ultra-modern apartment building” and call it “Mandarin Haus.”
• After nine hours of negotiating last week, the musicians’ union and local chamber organization Orchestra Nova still didn’t come up with a satisfying deal. The organization wants to hire musicians for one concert at a time, rather than sign three-year contracts with the same musicians. (KPBS)
• CityBeat music editor Peter Holslin is not shedding any tears for Sam Goody, closing up shop in Horton Plaza for good.
• A local arts nonprofit, ArtPulse, has its eye on the site of an old elementary school in Encinitas. But before it can turn it into an arts center, the group would need City Council approval to allow for some residential development on the site, which is near the beach. The council delayed giving that approval last week. (U-T)
• Organizers of the recent Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair have posted a few video interviews with attendees and exhibitors, including the San Diego Museum of Art’s Alexander Jarman, who said he was excited to bring the nonprofit museum into the mix with for-profit galleries to highlight local contemporary artists.
• How should the next mayor think about arts and culture? Developer David Malmuth and Youth Symphony leader Dalouge Smith discussed that on KPBS last week.
Malmuth said the mayor should see arts and culture “not just as an extra frill, but as an essential component of our economic development strategy. It’s gotta be somebody who will stand up and say ‘this is where our future lives.’ “
• Roger Showley checks in on the status of several downtown parks, like the ones planned for Horton Plaza and the former parking lot at the County Administration Center. (U-T)
• Take the kids in your life (for free!) to lots of cultural and arts institutions in October, including the San Diego Zoo, Lux Art Institute and Legoland.
• The arts center in Escondido has had a financially rough couple of years, but the guy who was working to turn it around as temporary CEO, Jon Teeuwissen, has moved to town and will be a full-time employee. The center ended its last year without a deficit and will now try to work on putting flesh back on its bones for this next season, he told the U-T.
• Local theater pros are looking forward to this season on local stages, including “Allegiance” at The Old Globe, a couple of shows at Moxie Theatre and the touring musical “Jekyll and Hyde.” (U-T)
• Chris Thile, an exceptional mandolinist, was named a recipient of this year’s “genius grants” from the MacArthur Foundation — no-strings-attached grants of $100,000 a year for five years. (New York Times)
Thile spent some of his childhood in Oceanside. Southern California was a good place to learn to create music, he told the U-T.
“Because it’s such a melting pot among melting pots, whether something is in a pure, unadulterated form is not so important to people,” he said. “And that’s what I think is most exciting in music to me: Not making distinctions between classical and rock, or bluegrass jazz. It’s all about notes being assembled thoughtfully and skillfully. Great music can come from anywhere.”
Musician Claire Chase, also a former San Diegan, was named among the genius grant recipients yesterday, too.
• The Old Globe is launching an effort to teach the art of bringing a story together for the stage. Globe staff will work with groups from rec centers and churches to help them create their own plays. (U-T)
• Jack Tygett, a longtime musical theater actor and director, died in San Diego last month. He cofounded the School for the local Creative and Performing Arts and directed shows at Starlight and The Old Globe, among others. (U-T)
• The La Jolla Playhouse-created “Hands on a Hardbody” musical will open on Broadway in the spring. (New York Times)
• One of our readers, Debbie O’Toole, chimes in on our post about favorite places in Balboa Park with hers:
“My grandmother had a studio in Spanish Village for many years,” O’Toole wrote. “I would spend a lot of time exploring the artist galleries and the Gem and Mineral building. We would have lunch over at the zoo and she would paint the animals with a tiny watercolor set (1″x2″), which I have passed on to my artist daughter.”
What about you? What’s your favorite place and time in Balboa Park? What project do you think should be picked off next? Tell us.
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