Two City College student groups spearheaded the making of a mural in honor of Diana Gonzalez, the 19-year-old student who was murdered on campus by her estranged husband in 2010.  Visionary Feminists and Bringing Education and Activism Together (BEAT) say the community artwork was meant to bring attention to all victims and survivors of domestic violence, while invoking the memory of Gonzalez, but when the day came to unveil the finished mural on campus, college administrators balked.

Interim City College President Lynn Neault told me the installation of the mural will be delayed while the school works to implement a college-wide process for addressing mural and art installation requests. The student groups issued a statement saying college administrators also expressed concerns “surrounding the specific focus of the mural and how the focus will be framed in years to come.”

An article about the mural’s delay by City Times, the college’s student newspaper, further stirred the controversy, the student groups say, by including inaccurate quotes and details divulged in an off-the-record emergency meeting the day of the planned unveiling.

While the student groups and college administration work to hash out a compromise, the mural will indeed be unveiled at a Dia de los Muertos event at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park Nov. 1, but Visionary Feminists member Arny Brenes says they won’t rest until the piece of art ends up where it was intended.

“We want the mural at City College,” Brenes says. “It was made by City College students, faculty and saff and we want it viewed by City College students, faculty and staff. Since the murder happened here, we want attention brought to our own community here.”

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

An Armed Comic’s Permanent Prompt

Patrick Yurick’s new tattoo is suddenly getting lots of attention.  The local comic artist used an about-to-expire Groupon deal back in August to get inked with a blank comic-strip panel, which he fills in daily with an original comic, then photographs and posts on his hugely popular Tumblr,

Photo courtesy of Patrick Yurick
Photo courtesy of Patrick Yurick

Yurick says the attention is nice, but a little strange and unexpected.

“I am super excited [about] all the press the blog and tattoo is getting,” he said. “It is weird to have put so much work into so many projects over the years and to be recognized in a grandiose way for one that took so little effort.”

Visions of Art

• Mayoral candidate and former city attorney Mike Aguirre wants to build “a Louvre for the Western Hemisphere.” (VOSD). The U-T captured Aquirre’s colorful quote at a forum last week:

 “No one has built a western hemispheric art gallery of the type I’m talking about.”

• San Diego Mesa College Art professor Alessandra Moctezuma says she has some problems with the recently opened Frida Kahlo exhibition at Liberty Station. She told the U-T that the show is touted as an exhibition of paintings by Kahlo but is, in fact, a show of replicas.

• ArtPulseTV’s latest episode puts painter and muralist Alonso Delgadillo, performance artists Debby and Larry Kline and fiber artist Bob Leathers in the limelight.

• In last week’s Culture Report, I asked readers to email me their thoughts on whether artists should enter exhibitions with entry fees. Joel Pointon bemoaned the pay-to-play model, saying it too often amounted to art fairs filled with kitschy manufactured art. “The high price of entry to a San Diego ‘art show’ certainly does not ensure quality art,” he said. Meanwhile, Paul Girard simply said it costs time and money to host an art exhibition.

“A remuneration for the costs and time (=money) is certainly justified,” he wrote.  “The host is providing a service to the artist.”

• I recently discovered and covered a photographer who captures dance on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. (CityBeat)

Edible Underdogs

• VOSD Radio invited food dude Troy Johnson onto the airwaves to chew the fat about local news and tips for foodies, including a breakdown of some of San Diego’s most underrated restaurants. Eater SD, which asked folks to weigh in on the area’s most overrated eateries last week, is working to compile a list of local underrated restaurants this week as well.

• San Diego food trucks are stalled, stuck in legal limbo while the city ponders new operational regulations. (U-T)

Music Notes

• Meet the former dancer and cultural maven behind the San Diego Symphony’s trip to China. (U-T)

• While many large orchestras around the country are struggling, the San Diego Symphony’s unique structure has helped keep the organization on financially stable ground. (U-T)

• Jan. 7, 2014, will go down in local lore as Casbah Day. The iconic music venue will turn 25 in January and the city is helping to mark the momentous occasion by issuing an official proclamation.  SoundDiego also reports that famed street artist Shepard Fairey will be designing a commemorative T-shirt for the anniversary event.

• Local musician Steven Cox is the brains behind TakeLessons, a quickly growing online marketplace where instructors can connect with students. (U-T)

Thoughts on Theater 

• CityBeat calls La Jolla Playhouse’s tribute to Paul Robeson a “journey into the courageous, if conflicted, soul of a man who should never be forgotten.”  The world premiere of “The Tallest Tree in the Forest” runs through Nov. 3.

• Ion Theatre’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” is wracking up good reviews. The U-T says the wrestling-themed comedy is an entertaining,  fresh, bold, funny and imaginative satire of the American dream.

Happening Here

• The Living Coast Discovery Center will remain open thanks to a last-ditch effort that raised $401,000. (10News)

• Halloween is happening. Here’s a great roundup of local ghost, goblin and pumpkin-themed events. (NBC San Diego)

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Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Diana Gonzalez.

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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