Rob Wellington Quigley describes the new Central Library as a distinctly San Diego design. The building embraces our nice weather by bringing the outdoors inside, he says, plus the overall tone is stately, but also casual, meant to put its sandal and shorts-wearing patrons at ease.  And that eye-catching dome is supposed to look unfinished, explains the library architect in VOSD’s Q-and-A, it serves as a metaphor for all the learning and literacy happening inside:

“Its intent is to be in the perpetual act of becoming something greater than it is,” Quigley says.

The impressive dome and the pretty building’s skin isn’t enough to get one VOSD contributor to brave the guts of the library again. While she thinks money would have been better spent funding several libraries in San Diego’s smaller neighborhoods, her recent experience also led her to worry that the new Central Library will soon be overtaken by the downtown homeless population.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Happening Here

• The government shutdown’s ripple effects have reached the San Diego Airport Authority’s symposium exploring how art, design and culture impact infrastructure. In a Facebook post, San Diego International Airport art program manager Constance White said the event, which was scheduled for this weekend, would be postponed. The event venue, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new Southwest Fisheries Science Center, has been impacted by furloughs.

• The head-turning Southwest Fisheries Science Center was actually one of several winners in last week’s Orchid & Onion awards put on by the San Diego Architectural foundation. The Grand Orchid winner of the night was “Fallen Star,” the crooked home heaved atop a seven-story building on the UCSD campus. (U-T)

Photo by Kelly Bennett
Photo by Kelly Bennett

• There seems to be a second wave of arts energy hitting southeastern San Diego. Agitprop gallery and community space in North Park has relocated to Barrio Logan. Multipronged arts organization ArtPulse has also moved its operations to the area, setting up shop at Bread & Salt in Logan Heights, where it’ll be celebrating its sixth anniversary Saturday. And the inimitable Bob Matheny has also taken up residence at Bread & Salt, running a small gallery for the next few months.

• La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls Festival featuring site-specific performances and plays last weekend scored rave and somewhat rotten reviews. (San Diego CityBeat and U-T).  KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone snagged some great photos of the Seafoam Sleepwalk puppet performance at La Jolla Shores.

• The Balboa Park Centennial 2015 website is up and, with just over a year to go, the culture community is getting itself prepared. The San Diego Museum of Art is busy curating a show from scratch that will eventually fill all the museum’s first-floor temporary-exhibit galleries. SDMA is also collaborating with the American Institute of Architects San Diego chapter on the Balboa Park Centennial Gateway Competition, which asks design students and professionals to submit ideas for envisioning Park Boulevard as the park’s front door. The museum has already scored some significant funding for its efforts. (U-T)

• A new entryway to Border Field State Park is currently under way. The structure will be constructed with trash collected from the adjacent Tijuana River Valley and estuary. (KPBS)

• Diversionary Theatre’s executive director is stepping down. (U-T)

• While San Diego’s food-truck scene seems to be continuously expanding, interim mayor Todd Gloria continues cracking down on those that set up shop on private property. (Scoop San Diego)

• The Art of Photography Show opens this weekend and includes this unsettling photo of an Iranian man in London who went on a hunger strike when he was denied asylum by literally sewing his lips shut.

Local Roots

• Joey Landwehr, artistic director for J*Company Youth Theatre, is a former award-winning roller-skate ballet dancer. The U-T’s Q-and-A digs deep into Landwehr’s artistic roots.

• Three of the six performances by nominees at the San Diego Music Awards Wednesday night are women —  Tristan Prettyman, Sara Petite and Sara Watkins. That’s an overdue record for the traditionally male-dominated industry, says the U-T, which offers up praise and criticism of the annual awards program.

• Mingei International Museum Director Rob Sidner has been thinking about an exhibition of chairs for a decade.  CityBeat talked with Sidner about his obsession:

“[Chairs] really evoke things for people,” Sidner says. “They are endlessly expressive of the human imagination. They have been designed and thought about over centuries, and they continue to fascinate designers.”

• A new Chula Vista collective hopes to invigorate the arts in its neck of the woods. (CityBeat)

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Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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