5 to Try: Art Rules at Museum Month

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Sure, the great weather and beautiful beaches are what San Diego is best known for, but away from the shore are some of San Diego’s real treasures: great art museums.  With Museum Month happening through February 28, now is the perfect time to soak up some color (and I don’t mean by working on your tan).

Swing by any Macy’s store in San Diego County, Imperial County or Riverside County  to pick up your free Museum Month Pass.  The pass is good all month long and will get you and up to 3 family or friends half off admission at more than 40 museums!

From Balboa Park to Oceanside and La Jolla to Encinitas, you’re never far from world class works of art.  Here are 5 San Diego art museums not to miss during Museum Month:

Carlos Amorales from Mexico: Expected/Unexpected

Museum of Contemporary Art

Opening Feb. 5 at their La Jolla location, MCASD presents Mexico: Expected/Unexpected featuring more than 100 artworks from one of Mexico’s most comprehensive contemporary art collections, the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection.  Juxtaposing contemporary Mexican artists like Carlos Amorales with more traditional historical figures like Gordon Matta Clark, Mexico:Expected/Unexpected is sure to stir up visitors’ perceptions of how art is categorized and the conversations that different artists and artworks create amongst each other.

Alison Saar at LUX

LUX Art Institute

On view through March 16 is LUX artist in resident Alison Saar.  Saar’s sculpture explores issues of identity in captivating and surprising ways.  Influenced by African and Haitian folklore, contemporary African-American culture, Catholicism, mythology and voodoo, Saar invites viewers to contemplate heavy subjects such as fertility, politics and human vulnerability with a little bit of humor.

Duane Michals from Imagine That!

Museum of Photographic Arts

It’s hard to pick which exhibition will captivate visitors to MoPA more: Imagine That! or Streetwise: Maters of 60s Photography.  Culled from the museum’s permanent collection, Imagine That! showcases photographers who create images beyond just what the eye sees, while Streetwise, opening Feb. 5, includes  documentary style portrayals of life on the street by iconic photographers including Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand and more.

Thomas Gainsborough

San Diego Museum of Art

Though he may be best known for his portrait of “Blue Boy,” the San Diego Museum of Art explores how Thomas Gainsborough portrays women’s role in society with Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman.  On view through May 1, the exhibition looks to Gainsborough’s portraits of women as a way to understand art, fashion and gender roles in the second half of the eighteenth century.

Artwork by Michelle Monjoy

Oceanside Museum of Art

On view through May 22 are the breathtaking botanical images of Imogen Cunningham, a pioneering photographer whose work with natural elements emphasize pattern, texture and detail.  And don’t miss Whole: Michelle Montjoy before it closes on Feb. 20.  Montjoy’s unexpected pieces transform old maps, fabric and pieces of clothing into delicate works addressing themes of memory and mapping systems.

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About Candice

Foodie, craft beer nerd, shopaholic, music geek, photographer and contemporary art fan could all be used to describe me. I’m a big proponent of highlighting San Diego’s hidden gems and local businesses and breaking stereotypes about our city. We’re more than just sunshine and beaches (though those are nice, too!).

What would you do on your ideal San Diego Day?

Eating and shopping around my favorite neighborhoods: Golden Hill, South Park, North Park, Little Italy and Hillcrest. Then popping into one of our great art museums and capping off the night with some live music and a a local beer at The Casbah.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Does shopping count as an outdoor activity? Or checking out the public art around town, like at Chicano Park? I do love visiting the La Jolla tide pools in the summer and ice skating at the outdoor rinks that go up each winter.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Let's get one thing straight here: San Diego craft beer goes with everything, not just burgers. Though it is really good with a burger.

Latest music purchases for my iPod player are…

I’m lucky to be married to a music journalist, so advance copies of the newest albums are constantly available to me for free. But I can’t seem to stop playing the new album by CHVRCHES, and San Diego band Rocket from the Crypt have been on repeat a lot lately.

Follow Candice on Twitter @candicesd

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