After seeing the awesome Charles Reiffel exhibition, “Charles Reiffel: An American Post-Impressionist,” at The San Diego Museum of Art, Oceanside Museum of Art director Daniel Foster had one question: “What’s going on now in the San Diego arts community with the interpretation of landscape?”

I like the way you think, Foster.

He brought San Diego History Center’s director, Charlotte Cagan, into the discussion, and together they enlisted Bram Dijkstra, curator of SDMA’s Reiffel exhibit. With those three brains set to “discover local landscape art” mode, the question posed by Foster was answered.

The result is “Nature Improved: San Diego Artists Interpret Our Landscape,” the very first collaborative exhibition between the San Diego History Center and Oceanside Museum of Art.

“Landscape is one of the critical, reoccurring subject matters in art history,” Foster tells the U-T. “And obviously, this is something that excites our curatorial department — to take something like landscape and attack it from five different vantage points with our galleries.”

The exhibition features 25 artists, including Perry Vasquez, Eleanor Antin, Scott B. Davis, Carol Lindemulder and Roman de Salvo. View pieces at the San Diego History Center through March 3, and at Oceanside Museum of Art through Feb. 23.

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

Reiffel’s No. 1, Cheech’s Big Art Out and More Local Art News

• Speaking of that Charles Reiffel exhibition, L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight named The San Diego Museum of Art’s exhibition the best art moment of 2013. It’s too bad the exhibition closed in February, otherwise we’d hit it up and run a victory lap. (L.A. Times)

• The San Diego Museum of Man received a three-year $240,500 grant from the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR).  They’ll use it to catalog more than 30,000 hidden archeological, archival and photographic artifacts and a giant boulder that will crush anyone who attempts to steal one of the artifacts. OK, the last one is an Indiana Jones-based lie, but wouldn’t it be the coolest?

• Cheech Marin is doing Chicano art lovers a solid and sharing a small section of his expansive collection of Chicano art at MCASD for “Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection (size doesn’t matter),” running through March 23.

“Chicano art was being overlooked, and I had the opportunity,” Marin tells San Diego CityBeat. “My mantra has been that you can’t love or hate Chicano art unless you see it, so that has been my goal — to get people to see it.”

He’s certainly doing that. This is the second time the “Cheech & Chong” star shares his vast collection with general audiences. He took his full collection, amassed over 30 years, on a 12-city museum tour.

•Enjoy quirky videos that give a slice of San Diego life? Of course you do! Cy Kuckenbaker, recipient of the Museum of Photographic Arts’ grant financed by the San Diego Foundation’s Creative Catalyst Fund, just released a new video installation as part of his San Diego Studies series. Learn more about the series here, and watch the new video here.

• Back in October, Lauren Siry, owner of Eighteen o Five Gallery, launched Art Above San Diego, an open-air contemporary art fair featuring work from emerging San Diego artists and galleries on the rooftop of the Porto Vista Hotel. The event was such a success that Siry is bringing it back to the hotel in 2014. It is scheduled for March 15. Siry is currently accepting applications from galleries and artists interested in participating. Contact Siry at 619-888-8288 or info@EighteenoFiveSD.com.

• Hear local art makers talk shop, and join in the discourse, at ART SPEAKS, a salon discussion project brought to the local scene by TPG2 Gallery, Bamboo Lounge and museSalon Collaborative on Dec. 27. While there, make sure to check out art by Kim Niehans, Hill Young, Mr Benja and others at TPG2’s exhibition, Power Animals IV.

The Casbah’s Birthday, Being a Who and More Music and Performance Goodies

• The Sharif may not like it, but I for one am happy The Casbah is still rockin’ after 25 years. The U-T talks to owner Tim Mays, Rocket from the Crypt’s John Reis and The Dragons’ Mario Escovedo about the iconic local venue and its impact on local music culture.

In the piece, Mays shares this interesting anecdote about how Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder almost came to own The Casbah.

“Eddie came to see Jonathan Richman perform one night at The Casbah, back in the mid-1990s,” Mays tells the U-T. “Afterward, we were all hanging around, playing pool in the backroom, and somehow he and I ended up playing against each other. He was a really good pool player, and I wasn’t very good at all. But we kind of made a bet that if I won, I would get his (music) publishing royalties, and if he won, he would get the club. Of course, he beat me soundly! He never took ownership, thankfully.”

• While it would be way more badass to be a member of The Who, it would definitely be less whimsical or fun. At least that’s the impression I got from this first-hand account of being a Who for The Old Globes’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” (U-T)

• Chinary Ung, a member of UC San Diego’s composition faculty, won a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation. Man, we’ve got a bunch of awesome grant winners in this town, don’t we? (U-T)

• Hear the year’s most hilarious/poignant/painfully awkward true stories from local writers at local lit group So Say We All’s Best of 2013 – Part 2 show, happening Thursday at Whistlestop.

On behalf of VOSD’s Culture Report, I’d like to wish our readers a happy holiday! May your stockings be coal-free! Merry Chrimbus! xoxo Alex

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Alex Zaragoza

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

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