The Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park is at a crossroads. Next year, the museum celebrates its 50th anniversary just as Balboa Park as a whole will be in the midst of celebrating its centennial. To ring in this monumental anniversary year, the museum opened an exhibition revolving around an iconic 16th century painting by the master artist Raphael, ousted its director and curator John Wilson and hired art conservator David Bull to check in periodically throughout the year and lend his expertise and connections to the museum as staff do the day-to-day managing.

While the first change has been met with excitement, not everyone was super pleased with the latter two choices. As Kelly Bennett reported for us earlier this week, the Timken is facing some major decisions about how it will be run and how the building itself will look in the next year and beyond. Bull says his involvement with the museum is only slated for 2015, not beyond that, leaving people wondering whether the board will continue with the same model or re-hire a director/curator to run the free museum. The U-T spoke with Bull about his plans for the museum and his new role. There have also been talks of reconstructing parts of the museum, which boasts beautiful mid-century architecture.

The Timken is a vital part of Balboa Park’s cultural and artistic offerings, and sustaining its survival is critical. Whatever course the museum takes, we hope it leads to more important conversations on art and arts organizations.

The Best Art of 2014, SDIA Hires a New Arts Manager and More Visual Art Goods

• CityBeat challenged some big names in the local art community to name their favorite exhibitions of 2014. Among those that got the hat tip are Scott Polach’s solo exhibition “OVERFLOW,” Jamex and Einar de la Torre’s “Whysidro” and the group exhibition “Spitting in the Wind.”

• The San Diego International Airport named its new art program manager, and she’s looking to grow the airport’s temporary exhibitions and performing arts programs. Go get ‘em, tiger! (U-T)

• Lauded performance artist Marina Abramovic is coming to UC San Diego to workshop a new piece, and is looking for people to participate. I already signed up! (U-T)

• UC San Diego-trained artist Nina Waisman is heading to the SETI Institute as its new artist-in-residence. (U-T)

• When their mural was destroyed by a union, one husband and wife artist team decided to file a federal complaint. Shots fired! (Reader)

Year in Review and More Music and Performance Chunks

• CityBeat also gives a mighty set of jazz hands to the finest theater created in 2014, including the Reps’ “Red,” La Jolla Playhouse’s “The Who and the What” and the Old Globe’s “Tine and the Conways.”

• The U-T looks back on the arts of 2014, focusing on the transitions in classical music’s main organizations, cool collabs at local dance companies, the milestones that marked San Diego theater and the issues facing visual arts organizations.

Cool Cartoons and More Culture Bits

• In my CityBeat column, There She Goz, I give a high-five to those who have risen up and fought back in 2014 and have a few strong words for racism.

• San Diego cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz created an animated series that tackles immigration that will debut on Fox next year. (KPBS)

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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