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I wasn’t in San Diego in the late 1990s when Nancy Rubins’ boats-themed sculpture was proposed for Harbor Drive. The proposal was killed after a public dispute between arts experts and regular Joes who complained the sculpture would remind them of a shipwreck as they drove past the waterfront and airport. The event was a milestone in local arts lore, feeding an opinion that San Diegans’ taste for art is lame.

Last week I came across this neat peek at the work of building a new Rubins sculpture at Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y.

Rubins is the artist who in 2006 made the permanent boats sculpture that you can see on the back of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s La Jolla location. (Photo below courtesy of the museum.)

I asked you: Do you like that piece? Should San Diego have installed a piece of Rubins’ boats work on Harbor Drive?

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Funny you should bring that up, Richard Gleaves wrote me last week. Gleaves is an artist and public art advocate who blogs about San Diego’s public art collections for the Union-Tribune. He’s planning to talk about the Rubins episode as part of his lecture next week at the San Diego Museum of Art. Ahead of time, I’ll be interviewing Gleaves this week. What should I ask him?

You’re reading the Arts Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.

Discomfort and Secrets

• When the nonprofit Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Art announced it was dissolving last week, it disturbed supporters who had been seeing edgy stuff at the venue for more than 30 years. Angela Carone dove into some of the reasons for its collapse in a radio feature last week. A board member admitted in the story it’s tricky to find corporate sponsors for works that often left people in tears or made them walk out. (KPBS)

• Carlsbad artist Bryan Snyder gives Kinsee Morlan a behind-the-scenes account of his recent endeavor to dress up the Cardiff Kook statue in honor of Vincent van Gogh’s birthday. (CityBeat)

• I have a not-secret dream to be a mail carrier before the postal service is a thing of the past. But this story about the mailman-by-day, creative-director-by-night of So Say We All, a local writing and performance group, makes me think twice. He chronicles the adversarial dogs he encounters on his blog. (CityBeat)

• In a forum for World Refugee Day at the Museum of Photographic Arts recently local artists, including VOSD’s Sam Hodgson, and refugees gave audience members a glimpse of what it’s like to flee from their tumultuous homelands to the United States.

• Though most of what we’ve heard from readers is that yarn bombs — those fuzzy street additions made by guerrilla knitters or crocheters — are a welcome neighborhood addition, they are technically illegal, we learned last week. I shared that nugget and more in our weekly TV spot with NBC7 San Diego.

Made in San Diego

• Still wowed by how many lines Miles Anderson had to memorize (more than 1,700) between his two starring roles in the summer festival at The Old Globe, I asked the theater for more digits to get our arms around the scope of the annual festival.

• Taking a cue from Jean Isaacs and San Diego Dance Theaters’ “Trolley Dances,” an upstart theater company in L.A. stages a play along five stops of a light-rail line. (Los Angeles Times)

• After four years there, downtown’s New Children’s Museum executive director Rachel Teagle said last week she’ll step down later this year.

• Reviewing for the L.A. Times, Reed Johnson said The Old Globe’s “Much Ado About Nothing” is “one of the handsomest I’ve seen.” (LAT)

• Internationally collected artist John Modesitt wants you to come over. The Solana Beach landscape painter’s opening his home to the public through July 20. (North County Times)

“Having the works in a house is nice because it gives people a place to sit, not just a hard bench,” he said.

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Kelly Bennett is the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach her directly at or 619.325.0531. Or you can keep up with her on Twitter @kellyrbennett or on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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