Suzzanne

5 to Try: San Diego Museum Month

Over 40 museums are participating in San Diego Museum Month and this is the last weekend to take advantage of half-off admission. Simply stop by any Macy’s to pick up your pass. Here are my top five picks for this weekend.

1. San Diego Natural History Museum

Be sure to check out the film Sharks 3D inside the Charmaine and Maurice Kaplan Theater. The film explores an amazing underwater universe inhabited by larger-than-life creatures which ruled the seas millennia before dinosaurs conquered the Earth and even face-to-face encounter with the “T-Rex of the Sea!”

2. Mingei International Museum

Through June 17, 2012, the exhibit A Fantastic Voyage – The Art of Ynez Johnston is on display. The exhibit will survey six decades of the artist’s wood and bronze sculptures, paintings, prints and ceramics from the 1940s to 2010, including recent works that have never publicly been shown.

3. San Diego Museum of Art

On display through May 31, 2012 is the Special Installation of French Modern Paintings. An important group of Modern French paintings from a local collection will be juxtaposed with the highlights of the Gluck Collection. The loans will include paintings by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Paul Serusier, Fernand Leger, Édouard Vuillard, and Pierre Bonnard, which will be shown alongside other Post-Impressionist and early twentieth-century paintings by Vuillard, Bonnard, Georges Braque, Amadeo Modigliani and others from the Gluck Collection.

4. San Diego Botanic Garden

A special feature at the Botanic Garden is the Sculpture in the Garden. Through April 16, 2012, 26 artists will present their sculptures set against the beautiful backdrop of dragon trees, fruit gardens, bamboo groves, and many more unique garden areas in Sculpture in the Garden.

5. The New Children’s Museum

A great exhibit at the Children’s Museum is TRASH. The artists in TRASH, each with differing prerogatives and intentions, share the common desire to draw attention to an invisible issue that increasingly dominates our lives. Did you know that in the United States, the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash every day? In this exhibition, their mission is to change how we see trash, and changing perspective starts by asking more questions.

Candice

Arts Month San Diego: Balboa Park Can’t Be Beat

The country’s largest urban cultural park, Balboa Park, has been one of my favorite San Diego spots since childhood. I can remember taking class field trips to the many museums, my 8-year-old self awestruck by their enormous grandeur. As an adult, I still love visiting Balboa Park. No matter how many times I wander the park’s vast Spanish Colonial walkways, I always find something new and exciting to explore that awakens my inner 8-year-old spirit.

To celebrate Arts Month San Diego, take your inner child to explore the arts offerings of the nation’s largest cultural park. With 15 major museums and spectacular performing arts venues, art lovers of all walks are sure to find something to marvel at. Here are just a few of the inspired offerings you’ll find this September in Balboa Park:

Legendary designer Zandra Rhodes serves as the honorary chair for this annual exhibition and special event gala at the Timken Museum of Art. Fashion enthusiasts will be bowled over by the extraordinary fashions inspired by 15 artworks from the museum’s collection. Proceeds from tickets to the grand celebration on Saturday, Sept. 24 benefit the Timken’s art education programs, and Art of Fashion programming will continue at the Timken through October.

Outrageous fashions take center stage at both the Timken Museum of Art and The Old Globe

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at The Old Globe

Fashion certainly plays an important role in this ground-breaking show that launched a cult phenomenon. The Old Globe’s stage production features all the outrageous music and characters created by Richard O’Brien, who wrote the original book, music, and lyrics for The Rocky Horror Show. Do the time warp back to Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter’s castle as it was meant to be seen – live onstage. The show runs through Nov. 6.

See the Spanish masters at the San Diego Museum of Art

From El Greco to Dalí : Spanish Masters from the Pérez Simón Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art

On view through Nov. 6, this momentous exhibition spanning five centuries showcases 64 masterful pieces from Spain’s most celebrated artists, including Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí. In addition to the big names, visitors will discover works by artists little-known in the U.S., such as the Romantic Manuel Barrón y Carrillo, or the Modernist Romero de Torres.

Innovative photography captivates at the Museum of Photographic Arts

Works from the Bank of America Collection at the Museum of Photographic Arts

From the Spanish masters to masters of photography, Balboa Park’s art museums are some of the best in the country. Be sure not to miss Imagine That! at the Museum of Photographic Arts, now through Oct. 9. Expect to see the unexpected in this exhibition that highlights unique perspectives, unknown realms and phenomena inaccessible to the naked eye and immediate senses.

Enjoy a free concernt at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion

Free Sunday concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion

Donated to the City of San Diego by John D. and Adolph Spreckels in 1914, the Spreckels Organ is one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, containing 4,530 pipes that range in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet. Since 1917, San Diego has had a civic organist, who performs free weekly Sunday concerts.

Want to experience all the Balboa Park has to offer for free? Leave a comment on this blog post  to be entered to win two Passport to Balboa Park certificates. Each Passport includes a one-time admission coupon to each of 14 museums, and the coupon booklet is valid for seven consecutive days. A winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, Sept. 28, so be sure to post before 10:00 am on Wednesday!

Courtney

Arts Month San Diego: Little Italy

This week, Arts Month San Diego is highlighting the cultural neighborhood of Little Italy.

Little Italy, located on the northern edge of the San Diego bay, is a vibrant neighborhood steeped in history and tradition. The area is well-known for authentic Italian restaurants and shops that stock Italian imports, but also boasts a nascent art and design district centered around galleries, design showrooms, and marquee arts and culture events.

WINDOW SHOPPING

With galleries, antique shops, and home accessory stores Little Italy North (North of Grape Street) has been dubbed San Diego’s newest Art & Design District.

The Art and Design District of San Diego’s Little Italy was modeled after New York City’s trendy SoHo and Chelsea districts

Two popular galleries are Meyer Fine Art and The Andrews Gallery. Meyer Fine Art specializes in limited-edition prints and works on paper, ranging from pieces by Miró and Chagall to vintage Italian posters. The Andrews Gallery is an artist space that combines the roles of art gallery, creative studio and performance venue in one interactive environment. The Gallery focuses on solo-exhibitions of emerging and mid-career artists, as well as hosts musical performances, poetry readings, and other creative happenings.

Insider Tip:  Many of the art galleries in Little Italy have limited business hours, but will open by appointment only. Kettner Nights is a great time to explore the area and get a lay of the land.

FALL EVENTS

Little Italy hosts Kettner Nights and Festa, two signature arts events that offer fun for the whole family.

  • Kettner Nights (Sept. 9): Discover the art, design and antiques on display and for sale in Little Italy during Kettner Nights, an art walk held the second Friday of every other month from 6pm to 9pm.

Authentic chalk art at Little Italy Festa

  • 17th Annual Little Italy Festa (Oct. 9): Celebrate the romance of Italian culture with authentic music, fine foods and specialty crafts. Don’t miss the Gesso Italiano chalk art painting exhibition created by more than 150 artists in two days.
Brent Bernasconi

Art & Culture Throughout San Diego this September

ArtWalk on the Bay

During the whole month of September, visitors and locals alike can enjoy the vibrant local arts communities and help celebrate “Arts Month San Diego” with a variety of exhibitions and events taking place across the county.

You can find out everything you wanted to know about Arts Month San Diego here. Below are few highlights:

  • ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair, Sept. 1 – 4
    Held at new the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in downtown San Diego, the event showcases works by more 500 artists and 60 local and international galleries. In addition to the gallery booths, special features include curated exhibitions, contemporary furniture design displays, solo-artist exhibits, video-based works, live performance art, art in public spaces and a lounge designed by noted architect Jennifer Luce.
  • Kettner Nights, Sept. 9
    An evening of art, design and shopping, this progressive exhibition is free and open to the public and offers the opportunity to stroll through all of the Kettner Art & Design District’s innovative galleries and cutting edge home design shops located in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres are served.
  • ArtWalk on the Bay, Sept. 10 – 11
    Held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront park, ArtWalk on the Bay pairs extraordinary art with an extraordinary setting. Visitors can meet and purchase art directly from the artists on display; the festival also includes live music and hands-on activities at a special “KidsWalk” area. Continue reading