The Timken Art Museum was the first museum I visited in San Diego after moving here to go to university. It’s free to enter, which suited my paltry student budget just fine.

But did you know the Timken has a robust, important collection of old art? We sat down with museum chief John Wilson to learn about the collection and its challenges to tug its old art (the youngest painting there is a sprightly 110 years old) into the new era, with things like iPad apps and fashion shows. And Wilson gave us a crash course in history and significance of two of the Timken’s masterpieces.

On Facebook, a reader commented that she “loved his explanation of these pieces. Boy that woman in the green dress has got ATTITUDE! Love it!”

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

Made in San Diego

• Hailing from El Cajon, pianist phenom Joshua White took second place in a big contest in D.C. last weekend, and got a wee-hours text message that he’d get to meet President Obama soon after. In the U-T, he reflected on his big week, which included a resounding appraisal from jazz great Herbie Hancock: “Joshua has immense talent.” (U-T)

On our post, reader Nicole Larson commented that White is a delight: “We are so privileged to have him resident in San Diego and performing for jazz lovers here.”

• Children’s author Brian Selznick, who lives in La Jolla, cheered when he heard a kid’s appraisal of his novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”: “Oh, that’s the book that you have to read the pictures.” His follow-up novel came out last week, and Martin Scorsese is making a 3-D film version of his first book that will come out the day before Thanksgiving. (U-T)

• Shopkeeper Samantha Wilson’s North Park storefront “The Striving Artist” features local work. (CityBeat)

• Bach Collegium San Diego, an early-music group we’ve written about, performed Mozart’s “Requiem” this weekend. Ensemble chief Ruben Valenzuela addressed some myths surrounding that piece of music for the Union-Tribune last week.

Reviewing the Friday performance for, classical music critic Kenneth Herman said Valenzuela has “made an enviable reputation giving fresh, invigorating interpretations to the classics of Baroque choral — and even operatic — repertory” and that this performance furthered that reputation.

On our post, reader Dennis Schamp wrote about singing the “Requiem” the weekend before with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus:

The presentation of the Requiem last Sunday drew a crowd of about 850 or so, only 100 of which made up the chorus. The rest were members of the community to came to either listen or – with scores provided by us – sing along, joining their voices with ours to create a memorable memorial. …

Rather than applaud at the end, the sound of the organ faded away into silence, and the community left the same way. Personally, a truly moving experience.

• Artist Greg Brotherton, who moved to L.A. a few months ago from San Diego, says his popular Device Gallery “isn’t closed forever, just ‘on hold’ for now.” (CityBeat)

• A former art dealer, Matthew Taylor, who apparently owned a gallery in San Diego for a time and learned about art in the process, was arrested in South Florida last week. Prosecutors accused him of changing works of art by obscure artists and claiming they were masterpieces by artists like Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko when he sold them to an unidentified art collector in L.A. (Huffington Post)

• Illustrator Everett Peck, who lives in Carlsbad, put up a large-scale show in Oceanside of the last 30 years of his work, like his television show “Duckman” and his pieces for publications like Rolling Stone and the New Yorker. (North County Times)

• Artist Dani Dodge (readers remember her as our Guide from the Inside blogger for several months) answers questions about her transit-themed recent work. (Joe Nalven’s blog)

• How the stories of three statues of William Shakespeare intersect the history of The Old Globe theater in San Diego. (Finding Shakespeare)

• Darko Tresnjak was artistic director for the Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Festival from 2004 to 2009; the 45-year-old’s new gig is artistic director of Hartford Stage in Connecticut. (New York Times)

Happening Here

• Among the Southern California museums giving free admission on October 2: the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. (Los Angeles Times)

The museum opens its biggest show ever on Friday as part of the Getty-sponsored “Pacific Standard Time” massive exhibition of post-WWII art in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

• “Trolley Dances” happens this weekend, the annual transit-tied dance performances by San Diego Dance Theater, and choreographer John Diaz has been blogging about the experience of finding the right location and auditioning dancers. (U-T)


I’ve found a bunch of stories this week that have somehow inspired, intrigued, provoked or otherwise diverted my attention, and I thought you might be into them, too. (Follow me on Twitter for more of this kind of thing.)

• Great interview with Maurice Sendak, author of “Where the Wild Things Are,” on creating his first book since 1981. (The Horn Book)

• Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology trying use 3-D printing technology to “print” a house. (DiscoveryNews)

Eighty boxes of Liberace artifacts, from the attic of San Diego nonagenarian Helen Myers, shipped to upstate New York for sifting. (New York Times)

• A making-of video for an instrument whose invention Bjork commissioned, called a gameleste.

• A newly discovered potential “Goldilocks” planet, 36 light years away, that might have the right combination of position and elements for “liquid water to exist on its surface — and thus, perhaps, to host life, as we narrowly imagine it.” I was happy to augment my vocabulary with scientist smack-talk, the insult “terracentric” near the end of the story. (New York Times)

(Want to recommend this arts newsletter to someone? Share this sign-up link.)

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.

Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.