This week Voice of San Diego kicked off its year-end campaign to raise $100,000. We’re a nonprofit news organization so we rely on the financial support of readers like you. If you appreciate our arts and culture coverage and enjoy coming to events like Meeting of the Minds, please take a few minutes to make a donation. Remember, it’s tax deductible. Those who give $51 or more will receive an American Apparel “Be the Beacon” T-shirt – proving it’s literally fashionable to support VOSD. Donate now!


Led by the San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN), the DNA of Creativity has funded fascinating projects that meld art and science in powerful, unexpected ways that can actually make a difference in our natural and urban environment. With the $30,000 received from various grants, The DNA of Creativity projects have explored preserving wildlife in urban areas (Urban Succession) and have created a smart phone app to help locals find art events (SD View Art Now).

Another project, Sea Changes: ACT, explores climate change, pollution and dwindling fish populations. After two years of hard work, the project took a major step in the “what the whaaat?” direction.

Glass art created by San Diego artist Michelle Kurtis Cole were placed in a tank at the Birch Aquarium more than five months ago to test coral regeneration. A few weeks ago, coral began to grow upon the glass art, which Kurtis Cole says has “exciting implications for what could be possible at a larger scale” since coral reefs are currently dying in unexpectedly high rates in the wild.

While I can’t fully comprehend the scientific consequences of this finding (Sadly, I can barely figure out the 20 percent tip at dinner), I can say that the results are beautiful to view.

The team, which also features leader Kira Carillo Corser and scientist Dale Sweetnam of the Southwest Science Fisheries Center, will be submerging a larger glass coral piece into the Pacific Ocean next year to continue their research. They, along with the four other DNA of Creativity project teams, will also exhibit their works at Oceanside Museum of Art starting in April.

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

A Sad Loss, OMA’s Winter Wonderland and more art news

• Anyone who was lucky enough to work with Angela Sahyoun knows that her passion for the arts was boundless. As director and curator of Arte Fresca, Angela put on some of the most exciting art shows in town, specializing in giving emerging artists their break in the local art scene. Sadly, Sahyoun lost her battle with breast cancer on Dec. 1. Her loved ones will be holding a gathering in celebration of her life on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Mosaic Wine Bar. Feel free to bring photos or art dedicated to Sahyoun to share.

• Usually, mall art consists of cheesy dolphins leaping over glittery, LED-illuminated water. Seriously, who buys those? Oceanside Museum of Art’s Exploring Engagement Artist-in-Residence series, however, is taking mall art to the next level with its kickoff installation at Carlsbad’s Westfield Plaza Camino Real by artist Armando de la Torre.

“Armando created a really magical environment where all these interesting interactive elements will take place,” Tara Smith, deputy director and chief curator at OMA, tells CityBeat.

Among those magical elements on view at “Winter Wonderland” are a mural, props and a makeshift stage that will host a lineup of performance-art pieces by guest artists. Check out the line-up here and plan a visit.

• Friday the 13th is usually the day to avoid black cats and campsites where masked psychos rip you to pieces with a chainsaw. MCASD, however, is hoping to get lucky on donor support. The museum wants to raise $13,000 in 24 hours on Friday the 13th by asking art lovers, members and all-around generous folks to give $13 that day. Be kind and give. It’s the cost one of heavy helping at the Whole Foods salad bar that will go a long way. Learn more here.

• Design geeks! The NewSchool of Architecture and Design will host a panel of international designers who will share their visions on design on Dec. 12. It should be fascinating and informative.

Local darling Kelsey Brookes has a collection of his trippy, psychedelic art currently on exhibition in New York City’s Judith Charles Gallery. Yay! Go get ‘em, Kelsey! (Art Pulse)

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Photo by Sam Hodgson

• Not to sound like a two-bit hussy, but people on the Internet can be such prudes. Artist Krissy Fernandez found that out the hard way when an anonymous person reported images of her art as inappropriate on Facebook. She was banned from the social media site for 24 hours after someone pointed the finger at her piece, “Obliged,” which features a ghostly character with a single exposed breast. As a result, she couldn’t promote her participation in an art show at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge. Still, things worked out in the artist’s favor.

“However, in the same 24 hours, I have received an overwhelming amount of posts, shares, likes, comments, messages, emails, phone calls and texts from friends near and far who have expressed outrage and support,” Fernandez shared on her Facebook page. “Even FB friends I have never met before came to the show to give me some high-fives. Consequently, last night’s event was more successful than I had expected, and I was offered the opportunity to partake in two future shows.”

Fernandez also shared that the experienced “solidified” her passion for art making and even thanks the anonymous flagger for the boost in her career.

A Week in Awesome Art

Art lovers are getting a smorgasbord of cool exhibitions this week. Here are a few not to be missed.

• Kim Niehans will be at Eighteen o Five Gallery to discuss her art installation, “When Words Fall Away” on Thursday. If you like bunnies painted with beautifully soft brush strokes, you should check it out.

• Buddies (and roomies) Matthew Land and Acamonchi will be joined by Invisible God for Lateralization, opening Friday at Visual. Beware: There will be penises on the canvasses.

• If you just moved to San Diego from a barn in rural Canada and want to see some of the best art our city has to offer, make sure to stop by Fast Forward at Low Gallery. More than 40 of San Diego’s most talented artists, including Carrie Anne Hudson, Bradford Lynn, Eric Wixon and Joshua Krause, will show off new and old works.

• Kettner Arts Studio is celebrating its one-year anniversary with an exhibition that coincides with Kettner Nights. Put on a warm scarf and check out work by Amber Jahn, Christian Michaels, Ginger Louise and many more.

• The art world and the rap world have long been connected, since the early days of graffiti. See those world collide some more at The Gift, a hip-hop/art show happening at Barrio Logan’s The Stronghold Creative Studios and Gallery, formerly known as The Spot.

• Pick up some great art priced under $100 at Ambition. Wait a minute. I thought Black Friday already came and went?

• Artists MR. DVICE and Scoph will be giving us a lesson on what it means to be High on Fives, an exhibition of their newest pop surreal, street-inspired works, happening at Thumbprint Gallery.

• And now for something completely different – fine art. View more traditional contemporary works by 14 artists, including Patrick McMahon, Tamara Juan Daffron and Lena Gardelli, at Light, opening at the Art of Pride offices Dec. 14.

It’s Which Craft

Looking to buy some handmade arts and crafts from some of San Diego’s most creative makers? Of course you do, you twee little monkey.

• The Magic Brotherhood art group will hold a handmade trade show and sale.

• The Bar Pink Bar-zaar is the place to find a great gift for the stone cold weirdo in your life. And maybe even your mom.

• Finish off your Christmas list at Blind Lady Ale House’s Craft & Draft. Tons of local designers will be selling their wares, and there’s beer there. Shopping is just so much nicer with a frosty beer in hand, isn’t it?

Alex Zaragoza is a freelance writer covering arts and culture in San Diego and Tijuana. She also writes the column "There...

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.