A decorated wooden bar built and painted for a 1930s brewery in Barrio Logan has seen some things. A gas chamber this weekend is just the latest.

The bar was born in the Aztec Brewery on Main Street after Prohibition, where Spanish artist Jose Moya del Pino painted it. It remained there even after the brewery closed down in the 1950s and tire companies bought the property. When a developer wanted to raze the building in the 1980s, artists and activists found and rescued the bar, some decorated roof beams, murals and stained glass windows. The whole lot was in storage for years, and now the city is working to restore several pieces to install in a new restaurant in Barrio Logan. We unraveled that saga with KPBS earlier this year.

But the city’s public art manager got an urgent call last week. Termites had struck the bar. It’d need to be fumigated before entering the pristine art conservation environments. So handlers put the bar in a storage container at Lloyd Pest Control this weekend and gassed it to eradicate the vermin. Read more in our post.

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

Tension and Connection

• The conflict between Orchestra Nova administrators and musicians boiled over this week. The group’s conductor, Jung-Ho Pak, resigned abruptly. The organization cancelled its weekend shows. From KPBS:

Pak has been Orchestra Nova’s evangelical leader on a mission to save classical music. Now the orchestra has to move forward without him and his successes.

The musicians are left without jobs and a stage to play. In the end, nobody wins, including the audience.

For a time after the San Diego Symphony went bankrupt in the late 1990s, Pak served there as conductor.

“When it became clear the reorganized orchestra needed a more experienced, established conductor and he would likely not be considered, he resigned in 2001,” wrote the U-T’s James Chute.

Blogger Garrett Harris said some of the orchestra’s players went to the hall where the concert was scheduled Saturday in case audience members came not knowing the show was cancelled, but a security guard asked them to leave. (San Diego Reader)

• I love Ann Jarmusch’s series about masterpieces that belong to local museums and institutions. Here’s her latest: A look at a renowned Mexican photographer’s image called “The Lovers of the False Moon,” taken in the early 1970s. It now belongs to the Museum of Photographic Arts. (U-T)

• Remember that production of the “Odyssey” that involved community groups, churches and all sorts of people from around San Diego? The stage manager for The Old Globe production shared her reflections on how that show is sticking with her one year later.

“I’ve always known that theater enlightens, entertains and educates its audiences,” she wrote. “Throughout the Odyssey process, I witnessed theater doing the same and more for its participants.”

• Another local conductor announced his resignation this week: David Atherton is stepping down from Mainly Mozart, a popular local music festival he co-founded that brings in top symphony players from around the country. He conducted the San Diego Symphony from 1980 to 1987 and started Mainly Mozart in 1989. (U-T)

• Local watercolor painter Ed Wordell once pursued his art as a moonlighter. He was an IRS special agent for 21 years, but focused on his attention to his art after he retired. Wordell passed away at age 85 earlier this month. (U-T)

Happening Here

• Worth a click for the photo of cute kids clutching horns atop this roundup of events happening across the border, including a fundraiser for a program that teaches music to low-income kids in Tijuana. (U-T)

• Artist Wes Bruce is assembling a structure out of pallets at Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, filling it with poems and photographs he’s collected all year. The exhibition opens Thursday; KPBS has a video peek.

• The City Council approved an increase over the next several years in the share of hotel-room taxes that goes to arts and culture. The funding will more than double by 2017 to reach nearly $18 million. Councilmembers pushed Monday to make sure at least $1 million of that increase specifically supports arts programs for schoolchildren. (City News Service)

Part of the proposal gives $1 million to help with plans for the 2015 centennial celebration in Balboa Park. (U-T)

• A highly anticipated group meant to connect private philanthropy with the needs in Balboa Park has yet to realize the special relationship with the city that was the impetus for its creation.

• The San Diego Children’s Choir added new sites to its “Neighborhood Choir” initiative — free programs for kids living in Oceanside, Escondido and Vista on top of its existing sites in Chollas View, City Heights, National City and Nestor. We visited some of those rehearsals earlier this year in an “embedded” look at the behind-the-scenes work involved in mounting a giant choral production.

• Casa Artelexia is a shop bursting with color and interesting art and craft pieces from Mexico. It just opened a big showroom across the street from its old cottage in Little Italy, and NBC San Diego’s Diana Guevara stopped by to check it out.

• Jim Chute has more details on the San Diego Symphony’s $580,000 grant to pursue a music project designed to engage “traditionally underserved San Diego neighborhoods.” The San Diego Museum of Art is up to something, too:

“Its grant will underwrite the creation of four permanent, iconic works of public art in San Diego neighborhoods, starting with Logan Heights and Lincoln Park in 2013,” according to the U-T.


• A real estate agent found tens of thousands of maps in a house soon to be demolished and turned them over to the Los Angeles Public Library, a find that will launch the library’s collection into the top five nationwide. A map aficionado from La Jolla, dealer Barry Ruderman, noticed the oldest one in the collection: a 1592 map of Europe.

“I think he wasn’t looking so much for maps as they were finding him,” he told the L.A. Times.

• Last week I mentioned my band’s releasing a new record this Saturday at the Birch North Park Theatre with our collaborators from Camarada, a local chamber music ensemble. It was our great challenge this summer to wrangle all of the instruments together in recording. Here’s a video look at that process.

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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 is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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