It’s looking like the Balboa Park centennial is going to be more of a cen-four-nnial after the group planning what was set to be a huge, $100 million event made like Guns ‘n’ Roses and disbanded. As far as I know, there were no Axl Rose-level mondo egos involved.

Anyone who has been following the progress of next year’s 100th anniversary celebration of San Diego’s beloved park knows that the hype has been huge. So the news of the planning group evaporating is troublesome. WTF happened here?

KPBS reports that by the time interim mayor Todd Gloria started looking around, it was evident that something in the pudding wasn’t right.

“I was surprised to find out the many changes that were made,” Gloria told KPBS. “You know so much time and attention was paid to the logo, with very little to no time being spent on fundraising.”

Turns out, the committee that was formed in 2011 didn’t start fundraising until halfway through 2013.

There have some other missteps in the planning of the Balboa Park centennial, which you can read in the full piece. While the planning seems to be behind schedule, Gloria thinks that what has been planned isn’t completely lost. I and all those who were excited for the celebration hope that the city’s Special Events Department, which will take over the planning, comes up with something spectacular. There are some people out there who doubt they can deliver big, but I love a good underdog story. Still, I have to quote Ru Paul in this situation.

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

Tribal Pop, Pretty Paper and More Visual Arts Nuggets

Tribal pop in Baja by Mexican painter and sculptor Jaime Carbo Marchesini. Get familiar with it. (Culture Buzz)

• Artist Bhavna Mehta gets that paper and makes beautifully intricate cut-out art on paper. The artist told CityBeat that strong women and her Indian roots have been deeply influential in her pieces.

“Art is part of everyday life in India,” she says. “Well, you don’t call it art, but there’s old temples everywhere and just the way women dress and the colors and patterns. … I was feeling a lot of loss of language and cultural ritual and just visual-art things that I really took for granted when I was growing up in India. I wanted to connect back to that.”

• A beloved Chicano mural created from 1968 to 1970 by Mexico City artist Gilberto Ramirez at San Diego State found a new home on campus. Anthropology department chairman Seth Mallios told the U-T that Ramirez was “so inspired by the young folks in the San Diego area that he agreed to paint them this spectacular set of murals.” Make your way through the hungover frat boys and sorority girls and see this piece of Chicano history.

• Easter Island is so far away, but if it’s large, strangely hypnotic sculptures of heads you’re after, check out Chris Warr’s work. (CityBeat)

• Perry Vasquez’s “The Gates of Heck” returns for an encore performance.

Culture Buzz has a Q-and-A with artist Terri Beth Mitchell. She describes her aesthetic as such:

“If Lisa Frank, Nancy Drew and a disco ball were smooshed into one entity, wherein that entity goes through a traditional graphic design program — something like my work might come out.”

Terri Beth Mitchell, you had me at Lisa Frank.

• Get abstract at “Nucleus,” an exhibition of oil and ink paintings by Sergei Rusakoff opening at Low Gallery this Wednesday.

• Artists Anna Stump and Daphne Hill stop, collaborate and listen. (CityBeat)

• “South of You No. 3” is an art show featuring “surf, skate, life” art and photography from a group of artists that includes Terry Gillard, Greg Broadfoot and Nathan French. It sounds so Inside So-Cal it hurts, but the pieces on view should be great. And it’s a chance to check out Barrio Logan’s La Bodega Gallery.

Comedy, Reboots and More Music and Performance Bites

• Three comedies are coming to the local theater stage, and Culture Buzz has the scoop.

• Making music gives folks a needed escape from their regular work. Who knew? Everyone, but this is still an insightful piece. (U-T)

• If you happen to be attending SXSW this year, there are a few San Diego bands that’ll be kicking out the jams at the music component of this indie multimedia, music and film fest. Check them out if you’re not too drunk and can find your pants.

• The Kronos Quartet will be at Mandeville Auditorium Tuesday night. Check ’em out and get the Katy Perry out of your brain for a little while.

The New China, Crispin and More Culture Crannies

• Is Tijuana the new China? (New York Times)

• Crispin Glover, of “Back to the Future” and being-a-weirdo fame, came to La Paloma Theater last weekend to present two films. Culture Buzz and CityBeat did a write up on the actor and filmmaker. The takeaway: Yeah. He’s kind of a weirdo, but wildly entertaining.

• One reboot I’m actually excited for? The Sledgehammer Theater! Sorry, RoboCop. (U-T)

Sixes and Sevens artist collective presents The CAAT Market. I really wanted it to involve actual cats but this event is a “community arts and trade” showcase that gives artists, musicians and artists a chance to meet, hang out and establish a connection that can lead to more opportunities.

• Bestselling author James Patterson gave two San Diego bookstores a hefty grant. Kearny Mesa’s Mysterious Galaxy and Liberty Station’s Yellow Book Road will get a sweet check signed by the guy who brought the world the Alex Cross series. (KPBS)

• Rep. Juan Vargas launched the 2014 Congressional Art Competition, for which high school students are invited to submit original art work. If you’re a teenager, know one or made a baby that is now one, enter here. The deadline is April 18.

TEDxEncinitas wants y’all to jump in.

• Peter Holslin breaks down a Buzzfeed article on Invisible Children post-Kony 2012. His piece does not tell you which “New Girl” character or which type of sandwich you are, so don’t even ask.

• And now, another installment of my column, There She Goz. This time around I tied to find answers for a broken heart in a sensory deprivation tank. It seemed like a good idea.

Finally, here’s the photo of the week.


This is a spooky 100-year-old house in University Heights. It’s probably haunted.

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

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