It seems like I’ve been talking about sad losses to the San Diego art and culture community a lot lately, and unfortunately there’s another to report. Leonard Knight, the man who singlehandedly built the famous Salvation Mountain, passed away at age 82 at an El Cajon care center.
Dan Westfall, Knight’s friend and president of Salvation Mountain Inc., told KPBS that one of the last things Knight said to him: “All of my dreams have come true. More than I can possibly ask for.”
Knight’s rich and fascinating life, and the kindness he showed to all friends and strangers who visited Salvation Mountain, made him an unforgettable character. His one message to share with the world was the one he painted upon his mountain: “God is love.” Whether you’re an atheist, devout Christian, agnostic, Wiccan, miserable old fogey or a disaffected teenager scribbling in an angsty journal, he wanted you to be loved. His kind and generous spirit may account for the outpouring of emotion his death has caused on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media outlets.
KPBS reports that part of Knight’s ashes will be interred at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma, since he served in the Korean War, and part will be spread at Salvation Mountain.
Mr. Knight, you will be sorely missed, but the work you created and legacy of love you leave behind will live on.
You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.
Printer, Panca and More Art News
• Photographer Andrew Printer is calling it quits on San Diego and photography inspired by the LGBT experience.
“I’m done,” Printer told CityBeat in his dark basement studio in Golden Hill. “For 25, 30 years, this is what my work has been about, and I don’t think I want to do anything about this anymore.”
View the last of that series of photographs at Space 4 Art from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday for his exhibition, “At the End of the Day.” Printer will be in attendance, but will be moving to Florida sometime in the near future. (CityBeat)
• Tijuana street artist Panca debuts her very first solo exhibition in San Diego. View her colorful, illustrative pieces at Border City Blues, opening Saturday at The Roots Factory. Seriously, don’t miss this one.
• Tijuana’s Marcos Ramirez Erre is displaying art at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach now through July 13. Make a day trip, if you fancy supporting local artists in other cities. (Artbound)
• Love is in the air at HeARTwork, the next exhibition in Thumbprint Gallery’s Tuesday night residency at Basic. Though that scent might just be delicious pizza, my one true love.
• Some people just want to cry all day and party all night. Escondido-bred artist Ashlona Hinojosa, who now lives in L.A., is one of them. She’ll be showing off artistic depictions of her daytime sobs and nighttime raging at Tin Can.
• Have you been to Oceanside Museum of Art’s Art After Dark event? If not, you definitely need to get on top of that. Happening on Friday (aka Valentine’s Day), this installment will celebrate vintage pop culture, music and art from the 1950s through the 1980s. Sip cocktails while watching dance performances from Fed Astaire Dance Studio, perusin’ OMA’s pop art mosaic sculpture exhibition, “Jean Wells: Icons of Desire” and even get married by an ordained minister under a giant Hershey’s Kiss sculpture. That’ll save you a few thousand bucks.
• Carlsbad is pushing to becoming a prime arts and culture destination in the county. (CityBeat)
• Matt Devine celebrates a few firsts with his latest exhibition of sculptures: the first time he works with chrome and the first time he includes a flourish of color in his art.
“I feel like this is probably the most thought I’ve put into a show that I’ve done,” Devine told CityBeat. “I stood back and really looked at my work from a distance and then put that energy into the show and into the new work.”
“Between the LINES” opens from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Madison Gallery. It also features pieces by Jeff Kahm.
• If you didn’t make it to the opening of Lure, a group exhibition for which artists created pieces that examine the idea of attraction, repulsion, satiation and deception, you still have time to check out the incredible pieces on view. CityBeat talked to participating artists Curtis Bracher. Get up to Mesa College Art Gallery before Feb. 27 to see the work before it closes.
Summer Pops, Broadway and More Music and Performance Bites
• The 2014 Summer Pops lineup has been announced. This summer you can look forward to music from the films of Tim Burton, a screening of “Star Trek” (the 2009 movie version) with live soundtrack, Video Games Live and other fun, albeit less awesomely geeky, concerts.
• Former and present theater nerds rejoice! The 2014/2015 season of Broadway San Diego is going to be awesome! I’m really looking forward to catching “Kinky Boots,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Motown the Musical” and “West Side Story. ”
• Watch the future of dance perform at the San Diego Young Choreographers Showcase on Saturday. These kids will amaze you with their skills that go beyond twerking.
• The Moscow Ballet Festival comes to the Copley Symphony Hall. The elite dancers perform “Swan Lake” on Feb. 11 and “Sleeping Beauty” on Feb. 12. We’re sure the San Diego Symphony will provide these outstanding Russian performers with running water and hotel rooms with roofs properly installed.
• A tribute concert in honor of the late János Négyesy, renowned violinist and longtime music professor at UC San Diego, is happening on Feb. 14. Here’s a piece looking back at the musician’s life. Concert info can be found here.
Food Fight, Cute Chefs and More Culture Goods
• This interview with former San Diego restaurateur Jay Porter, in which he talks about why he left town for Oakland and shares his gripes about San Diego, has received major, uh, feedback. People are pissed, guys. Not everyone was a fan of Porter’s food (he owned North Park’s The Linkery, El Take It Easy and Hubcap), myself and our own Randy Dotinga included. Others think the guy makes some good points. The comments section is popping off. Matt Gordon, owner of Urban Solace, Solace & the Moonlight and Sea & Smoke, even penned a rebuttal to Porter’s comments. Can someone say “food fight”?
• Not only does Cusp’s chef, Donald Lockhart, cook good food, he also writes children’s books. Way to hit every lady in America square in the heart with your cuteness, Lockhart.
He tells The Reader: “I enjoy playing with food ingredients and words. In both, the simplest things work best. It’s amazing what you can do with just a few items or a few words.”
• Karl Strauss Brewery celebrates 25 years of making dudes in cargo shorts proudly wear their T-shirts at every beer festival in the city. Happy birthday to San Diego’s first brewery!
• A new documentary exploring how today’s youth freely and openly uses the n-word will be screening at the Urban League of San Diego County on Thursday. This is a good chance to take your wankster child/cousin/niece/nephew/racist friend and teach them why it’s not effing OK for them to use the word just because Drake uses it. HE CAN. YOU CAN’T. SO STOP.
• A night of comedy ridiculing Valentine’s Day is happening at Whistle Stop on Thursday. Listen, guys. I’m in love with someone and think Valentine’s Day is stupid. But I’ll never, EVER refuse free food or gifts, because I’m not an idiot. So bring on Valentine’s Day, Flag Day or any other excuse for a free meal.
• The Roots Factory parties it up to celebrate four years of bringing awesome art and cultural events to San Diego. Move your nalgas at the Casbah for their anniversary party on Sunday, which will feature a line-up of Latino bands, including Cumbia Machin, Chicano Batman and Las Cafeteras.
• Attempting to plan a romantic Valentine’s Day for your sweetie? Turista Libre’s Derrik Chinn tells San Diego Magazine readers why you should consider heading south to Tijuana for a night of romance.
• Local comic books publisher IDW will release a comic book based on Angry Birds. Let’s hope the comic book doesn’t give me carpal tunnel resulting from nonstop usage. (Reader)
• In the latest installment of my column in San Diego CityBeat, There She Goz, I take my vagina out on a date as prescribed by sex therapist, Jenn Gunsaullus. That’s right, my lady business. Here’s a sampling:
“When I got home, I put on fresh makeup, fixed my hair and put on new sexy lingerie bought from the underwear section at Marshall’s. Nothing screams sexiness, elegance and glamour like a push-up, control-top teddy purchased from a rack literally three feet away from kitchen pans and luggage.”
I’ll be sharing more from the CityBeat’s Sex Issue next week when more stories are available online.
• Today is the very important mayoral special election. If you haven’t already voted, make sure you hit up your local polling station to help decide the future of San Diego by performing your civic duty. Not sure which is your polling station? Check here.