Over the past few interesting months in San Diego public art, we’ve weighed wings, found kerfuffles in kisses and wondered what art would show up in new building projects. After our look last week at the art planned for the new federal courthouse downtown, I poked around a few of the more interesting pieces for an update.

The “Wings of Freedom,” 500-foot titanium pieces proposed for Navy Pier, next to the USS Midway Museum, are being studied. The “Unconditional Surrender” or “kiss” statue of a sailor kissing a nurse is being recreated in a permanent version and will go up later this year on the waterfront. And downtown’s central library artists are on board to make pieces and install them in the coming year. You can read more here.

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Contentions and Conventions

• The funding that the city of San Diego sets aside for arts sparked jealousy at a theater conference in Boston recently (Boston Globe):

“At one session, the entire room snapped to attention when a San Diego theater executive mentioned that in his city, a portion of the hotel occupancy tax is earmarked for the arts. You could almost hear a collective sigh of longing.”

• Because they often work for themselves or in small collectives, it’s can be difficult for artists to count on steady income and benefits. ArtInfo has a breakdown of what artists can expect from President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation, the bulk of which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last Thursday.

• A play opening next week at The Old Globe looks at the dueling murals and personalities of da Vinci and Michelangelo — a slice of history that UC San Diego researchers have been fascinated by in their search for a missing masterpiece in Italy. (U-T San Diego)

• There’s a small mod movement in Tijuana, and Alex Zaragoza spends a day in the life with a few of the scooter-driving, smartly dressed members. “At first it was just the Vespa,” one of them tells her. “Once I was in, I realized it’s not just the bike; it’s also a way of life. It’s the ideals and the style of the ’60s. You just make it your own in this day and age.” (CityBeat)

Happening Here

• A chalkboard mural popped up over the weekend on the side of Alibi, a Hillcrest bar. You can walk past and fill in the blank after the phrase “Before I die I want to…

• What’s the line between comic art and fine art? Blogging for the U-T San Diego, Susan Myrland argues that line is blurry at best, and that perhaps we should consider Comic-Con differently. “Maybe it’s time to embrace the Con, this good thing that we’ve had going for more than forty years, and see it for the art form that it is,” she writes. Check out her rundown of a ton of interesting art shows and happenings, coinciding with next weekend’s convention.

• The Museum of Art this summer is displaying centuries-old, giant tapestries that tell the stories of Portuguese conquests in Africa. A curator from the museum points out what to look for in each of the four tapestries. (U-T)

• Local artist and pal of mine Wes Bruce launched a website yesterday for a collaborative project coming up at Lux Art Institute. Bruce is asking “friends as well as total strangers to dig up memories, photos, and emotions about important structures in their life” and to send their finds to him in the mail. (Sezio)

• The first time Cygnet Theatre chief Sean Murray played Cervantes and his alter ego Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha,” he was 17 and a high school student at Poway High. He took on the role again more than 20 years later in North County, and now he’s taking the stage again at Cygnet.

“I’m finally the age I’m supposed to be,” Murray tells the U-T.

• The centerpiece of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” onstage now at The Old Globe is the character Rosalind. Theater critic Anne Marie Welsh raves about the actor embodying her, Dana Green, who “fills the role of Shakespeare’s smartest, most spontaneous heroine with her mellifluous voice, commanding presence, and robust beauty.” (North County Times)

• Reviewing the Globe’s “Richard III,” theater critic David Coddon finds that the staging and “contemporary trappings” of graffiti-covered walls and videographers serve to “quicken the pace and deepen the psychology of Richard’s ambition and malevolence.” Coddon has a great roundup of what’s on stage at the moment around the county, too. (CityBeat)

• Next time you’re using the bathroom at Ocean Beach, look up: There’s new art on the ceiling, made by Shinpei Takeda. The bathroom’s architect was Kevin DeFreitas. (KPBS)

• A Del Mar couple had their first date at the Fleet Science Center to see the very first underwater IMAX film in the 1970s. Now, Howard and Michele Hall make their own underwater IMAX films, including “Deep Sea,” showing all summer at the Fleet. (Balboa Park blog)

• It takes 20 minutes to slather green paint all over her arms, face and neck — you can watch the nightly transformation for “Wicked” star Nicole Parker, behind the scenes at the Civic Theatre. The touring production is here until July 15. (CBS 8)

• I always love to learn about our local museums’ permanent collections — paintings and sculptures and artifacts that live in our midst but that we might never know about them hidden away in storage facilities and in the basements of Balboa Park. Three local museums are teaming up this fall to bring out some pieces from their permanent collections, made by American artists. The show between the Timken Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Museum of Art is called “Behold, America!” (U-T)

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Kelly Bennett is the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach her directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org 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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