Photo by Sam Hodgson
Oakland-based artist R. Black
R. Black finds parallels between the opera world and the Occupy protesters for whom he designed posters last year. The artist who designed six posters for San Diego Opera’s season beginning later this month tells us more in a Q-and-A:
… when I view opera, I view the stage. I view the artists. I view how stage theater has been so instrumental in changing people’s minds, and working with movements, and creating revolutions.
The opera season opens in a couple of weeks with “The Daughter of the Regiment.” Charlene Baldridge has a guide to the season at Uptown News.
You’re reading the Culture Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news. We were off for a couple of weeks for the holidays, so here are some highlights from the last few weeks.
Another Year Over; A New One Just Begun
• A pair of features in CityBeat asks local arts people for their favorite local works last year and what they’re looking forward to in 2013. One gallery manager predicts Barrio Logan will be “the art district of San Diego!”
A third piece rounds up 19 interesting indoor and outdoor spaces the alt-weekly’s writers are keeping an eye on, like the Bread and Salt arts center opening in Barrio Logan.
• A wave of adventurous and tried-and-true ballet will wash over local stages in the first half of the year, U-T dance critic Janice Steinberg reports.
• U-T theater critic Jim Hebert raved about The Old Globe’s “Allegiance” as the hit of 2012. On his radar in 2013: a series of plays in unusual locations by the La Jolla Playhouse.
• Last year, arts writer James Chute got his socks knocked off by a 78-work donation from the estate of notable, if estranged from San Diego, art collectors. “Although the total gift was conservatively valued at approximately $45 million, it is in fact priceless,” Chute said. (U-T)
• Dana Springs is at the helm of the city’s Arts and Culture Commission until the city finds a new leader to fill the spot vacated by Victoria Hamilton, the commission’s founding director. Springs directs the city’s public art program and found herself on San Diego Magazine’s 50 People to Watch list.
The U-T’s Chute says the seat is one to keep tabs on for an indication of the mark Mayor Bob Filner wants to make on the local arts scene.
• A local 26-year-old ballerina dishes to the U-T about her 23 years as a dancer. “Ballerinas’ feet are not really that gross,” she says, “… until the nails come off, or when the skin peels off, or when the nails are black … OK, I guess they usually are.”
— Maybe these people can help her out: A small local company announced a partnership to try to create body parts on 3-D printers. The company’s chief says they can already print a slice of a liver by telling the printer where to put cells. “Longer term, the question is, can we make an entire liver?” (New York Times)
• Artist Kelsey Brookes had a productive month: He sold all of the pieces he’d made for a show at La Jolla’s Quint Contemporary Art, and he and his wife had a baby girl. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego was among the buyers. (U-T)
We visited Brookes’ studio for a Q-and-A recently about his latest molecule-inspired work and his recent experiments with meditation.
• Artist Margaret Noble’s High Tech High Media Arts students were at it again in December: Groups of high-schoolers presented toy theater performances, “with hand crafted originally designed paper puppets” and their own animations, sound and video to go with it. (Margaretnoble.net)
• Michael Arthur, the artist who sketched rehearsals for La Jolla Playhouse’s recent “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” released a few more Yoshimi drawings in a recent interview. (Trip City)
Arthur and the Playhouse shared a few with us in November.
• Contemporary music champion Claire Chase grew up in San Diego and now runs the International Contemporary Ensemble in New York City. She received a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation last year. ICE will perform a free concert this Friday at UC San Diego. (U-T)
Revamps and Renewals
• A video tagalong with Paolo Giachi, a visiting professor to the NewSchool of Architecture and Design, highlights his work on a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and a handful of other projects in Dubai, Hong Kong, Italy and Kazakhstan.
• Anthology, a popular supper club and live music venue in Little Italy, has closed its doors. (NBC San Diego) The U-T reported the owners are looking for buyers; the spot could be overhauled and reopened.
• If you make cookies and jam in your kitchen at home, you can sell it legally now. Before, anything like that had to be made in a commercial, inspected kitchen. (KPBS)
• It’s been a rocky financial year for the New Village Arts theater company in Carlsbad, but its director says things are getting better. One of the biggest issues was real estate: The company began in a 60-seat theater in the corporate offices for Jazzercise, whose founder is married to one of the company’s actors. Moving to a larger space and paying rent proved a challenge. (U-T)
• The Arts Tix Booth in Horton Plaza is coming down after nearly a quarter-century. Eventually the ticket discount operation will move into the box office at the nearby Lyceum Theatre. (NBC San Diego)
• Watch for the red sky at night with artist Spencer Finch’s new “Weather Report” piece installed atop the Grande condo towers on Pacific Highway. (U-T)
• Early this month, crews will be preparing for the return of the “kiss” — the once-temporary statue called “Unconditional Surrender” that will soon be a permanent fixture on the waterfront. (KPBS)
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