Since 2009, Art San Diego has helped put our lovely, art-filled city at the cultural forefront by introducing people to inspiring work created regionally. Galleries from all over bring work to share at the four-day event, which kicks off Thursday in Balboa Park.

While many of the city’s biggest collectors won’t be highlighted at this year’s fair, the Art San Diego’s Art Labs still has plenty to offer from Tijuana and San Diego makers, the U-T reports.

These noncommercial and more experimental presentations give creative minds space to explore and innovate, featuring special projects curated by San Diego art institutions, spaces and universities.

This year, check out “The Gates of Heck,” Perry Vasquez’s immersive performance piece that melds comic books, punk rock, fine art and video to tell immigrants’ crossing stories. Definitely don’t miss Cesar Vazquez and Claudia Ramirez Martinez’s “Limites/Boundaries,” an installation piece on breaking boundaries or  Steven A. Lombardi and Magpie Collective’s “Weightless Lounge,” an installation where we can all take a quick rest. Truth be told, everything happening in the Art Labs looks awesome.

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

Gift Shops, SDMA’s Latest Exhibition and More Visual Art News

• San Diego Museum of Art’s latest exhibition “Gaugin to Warhol” is frickin’ fantastic, with pieces on view from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s breathtaking collection. (U-T)

• CityBeat’s Urban Scout explored some of the best museum and gallery gift shops to buy neat knick-knacks and more.

• Celebrated artist Marcos Ramirez Erre is exhibiting his border-inspired work at SDSU Downtown Gallery. CityBeat talks to the man who goes by ERRE.

Malashock, Mozart and More Music and Performing Arts Pieces

• For the last five years, Malashock Dance has brought innovative, experimental dance to the local stage as part of its RAW series. The company gives us another round of edginess with its fifth installment , which the U-T tells us will feature one choreographer’s work from the last 25 years.

• The new music director of the Mainly Mozart Festival is shaking things up in his first year by focusing on performing mainly Mozart. Yeah, I’m cocking my head to the side too. (U-T)

• The California Ballet starts its season with a classic – “Giselle.” Not Bundchen. (U-T)

Catcalling, Harry Potter and More Culture Crumbs

• Catcalling women is one of the grossest things men can do. In my CityBeat column, There She Goz, I turn the tables on street harassers.

• Potterphiles, take note: You can take a crash course in potion-making from professor Severus Snape, or rather a damn good lookalike, at Cal State San Marcos. Personally, I’d rather take Transfiguration with professor McGonagall but I wouldn’t mind learning to make a batch of Felix Felices. Yeah, I read a lot of Harry Potter. (U-T)

• The San Diego Jewish Book Fair turns 20 this Saturday. It can’t drink yet, but can keep giving us great lit from Jewish authors. (U-T)

• BeerAdvocate listed the top 250 beers in the world and guess what? Twenty-seven are from local breweries. (U-T)

• Halloween might be over, but there’s no reason not to keep enjoying a host of creepy, spooky, scary flicks. CityBeat lists hour upon hour of terror to watch on Netflix to keep your spine tingling until Christmas.

• So what’s happening at the San Diego Asian Film Festival? KPBS has a preview.

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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