Echoes of Africa celebrates classical and contemporary artistic traditions by African and African American artists. This two-part exhibition features African artifacts from San Diego Mesa College's World Cultures Art collection coupled with artworks produced by local contemporary artists. A dynamic group of artifacts will be exhibited, featuring objects that demonstrate the mastery of African artisans in metal, wood, ceramics, beadwork, and textiles. The Fine Arts gallery will highlight artworks by contemporary local artists in conversation with select African artifacts, echoing and responding to aspects of their materials, symbolism, and creative process. The exhibition pays tribute to the ongoing cultural and artistic influence of African art on African American artists and celebrates our connections to the spirit and history of African and African American culture.
Curated by Dr. Denise Rogers and features work by Andrea Chung, Angie Jennings, Christopher Lloyd Tucker, Maxx Moses, and Jermaine Adeshola Williams.
Occupy Thirdspace II: Plástica y palabra en TJ/SD explores the relationship between the visual arts and palabra (word). It documents the history of this relationship from the late 1980s to the present, through the work of artists who have lived and worked in Tijuana and San Diego. Palabra as a concept speaks back to the oppressive function of “Language,” as a tool for colonization, assimilation, and exclusion—repurposing, translating, and changing it. Plástica y Palabra represents a collective force of impulses that cross geopolitical, racial, lingual, social, and economic borders. These practices live, give new life, and assign new meaning to their environment.
Ocupa Tercer Espacio II: Plástica y palabra en TJ/SD explora la relación entre las artes visuales y palabra. Documenta la historia de esta relación desde fines de la década de 1980 hasta el presente, a través del trabajo de artistas que han vivido y trabajado en Tijuana y San Diego. Palabra como concepto responde a la función opresiva del "lenguaje," como una herramienta para la colonización, la asimilación y la exclusión—reutilizándolo, traduciéndolo y cambiándolo. Plástica y Palabra representa una fuerza colectiva de impulsos que cruzan fronteras geopolíticas, raciales, lingüísticas, sociales y económicas. Estas prácticas viven, dan nueva vida y asignan un nuevo significado a su entorno.
Curated by Sara Solaimani and features work by David Avalos, Elizabeth Sisco, Louis Hock, Omar Pimienta, Cog•nate Collective, Adriana Trujillo, Jaime Ruiz Otis, Charles Glaubitz, Melissa Cisneros, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, and Comité Magonista Tierra y Libertad.
Sonidero Travesura will be performing LIVE at the gallery opening. The duo is composed of Tijuana native Omar Lizarraga and Dardin Coria.
Behind the Scenes
Clara E. Breed directed the San Diego Public Library for 42 years as a public servant advocating on numerous fronts, including the promotion of youth services, championing a child’s right to read by encouraging international and multicultural collections, undertaking an unprecedented expansion of the City’s Library system, and most significantly, advocating on behalf of the hundreds of Japanese American families that were incarcerated due to Executive Order 9066.
Breed was ahead of her time in her interest to promote cultural understanding and fight prejudice. Her steadfast commitment and activism broadens our insights about the role libraries play in working toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusionary future.
Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed & The Japanese American Incarceration is co-organized by guest curators Susan Hasegawa, Linda Salem, and the San Diego Public Library. This exhibition was made possible by a collaboration between the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, San Diego State University Library, and Simmons University Archives. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Behind the Scenes
WW-II Japanese American Incarceration Camp Replica
In 1942 the War Relocation Authority (WRA) had constructed ten centers in the harshest, most desolate places in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Arkansas in order to house all persons of Japanese ancestry who were incarcerated as enemies of the state after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Although there were no cases of spying or espionage by the Japanese immigrant community or their American-born children, approximately 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from and imprisoned in barbed-wire fenced camps.
Like thousands of young men eager to serve in the military and fight in WW-II, Frank Wada (pictured) volunteered for the army. Born and raised in Southern California, Wada was one of the first volunteers out of Poston, Arizona Incarceration Camp located on the Colorado River Native American Reservation. Wada joined thousands of Japanese Americans to serve in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Wada, his family and friends built this model barracks to tell the story of their WW- II incarceration.
This replica model, located on the ground floor lobby of the Central Library, was reconstructed as part of the Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed & the Japanese American Incarceration exhibition. This was made possible by the Wada Family. Special thanks to Frank Wada and his son, Greg Wada and Jeanne and Bill Elyea.
© City of San Diego Civic Art Collection
Behind the Scenes
© J. Paul Getty Trust
Print Culture showed fine graphic design created primarily in the 1950's and '60s by professional San Diego artists, many of whom made their living in the defense industry. Some of the works were produced for employers like Convair and NEL, others the artists created for their own purposes, such as greeting cards or print materials to promote their own work. Print Culture was more than an art experience; it was a study of graphic techniques from another era and a lesson in our region's history. Curated by Dave Hampton, featured artists included Bob Matheny, Tom Gould, Bill Noonan, John Baldessari, James Boynton, Barney Reid and Jim Sundell.
We humans have put ideas into form since the Stone Age. Drawings – scribbles and doodles to sketches and diagrams -- help make our ideas tangible and explain what words cannot. For studio artists, drawing is a fundamental skill, yet the concepts and media they explore and employ are limitless. This show offered thought-provoking, powerful works: anatomy lessons testified to an artist’s prolificacy, collaborative drawings served as artifacts of complex community investigations, figurative work referred to pop culture, political debates and the built environment. Featured artists: Joyce Cutler-Shaw, Dominic Paul Miller, Todd Partridge, Regan Russell, Barbara Sexton.
In 1623, Shakespeare’s friends collected the Bard’s works and published them in a single volume, known as The First Folio. Without it, 18 plays, including Macbeth and The Tempest, could have been lost. Today, the First Folio is considered one of the world’s most important books with only 235 surviving. The San Diego Public Library and The Old Globe co-hosted the Folio in its only California stop on a national tour organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC. More than 10,000 visitors viewed the First Folio free of charge in the Art Gallery.
Library visitors were given access to one of the best-kept secrets of the San Diego art community: Walter Pomeroy’s extensive private collection of works by local artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Pomeroy encouraged young contemporary artists by purchasing from them directly. The resulting collection represents a who’s who of San Diego contemporary artists of the period. Curated by Dave Hampton, artists featured included Martha Alf, John Baldessari, Don Borthwick, Fred Cooper, Dan Dickey, Michael Dormer, Don Dudley, Robert Fries, Ethel Greene, Harold Gregor, Tom Gould, Ed Hatten, Fred Holle, Marj Hyde, Ellis Jacobson, Frank Jones, Dudley Kendall, Sheldon Kirby, Donna Leavitt, Mary Ellen Long, Mark-Elliott Lugo, Bob Matheny, Cliff McReynolds, Richard Allen Morris, Barney Reid, Sarah Roberts, Guy Williams, and Jackson Woolley.
Significant Others was an exhibition of work from eight San Diego artists making up four married couples. The artworks on view were as diverse as the dynamics in each relationship. Some couples chose to work as collaborators; others pursued distinctly independent artistic practices and aesthetics. Featured artists included Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel; Jessica McCambly and John Oliver Lewis; Debby and Larry Kline; and Anna O’Cain and Richard Keely.
Works in this exhibit commemorated an unusual moment in our arid region's history and explored the element of water: its presence and absence, its mystery and allure, and the futility and absurdity of our attempts to control it. In 1915, San Diego‘s City Council accepted Charles Hatfield’s offer to make rain; it then poured more than 30 inches in four weeks, wiping out dams, homes and bridges. In 2015, twelve San Diego artists filled the gallery with watery sounds, sculpture, painting, poetry, photography, video and digital animation. Artifacts related to Charles Hatfield were also on view. The exhibition was curated by Susan Myrland and featured Adam Belt, Roman de Salvo, Michael Field, Lisa Hutton, Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz, Dominic Paul Miller, Margaret Noble, Scott Polach, Eva Struble, Joshua Tonies, Jim Wilsterman, and Sheldon Wood.
Since the first convention held in San Diego 45 years ago, Comic-Con has been bringing together comics, movie, and science fiction fans, and creating a lot of great art along the way. Providing unprecedented access to original art by over 60 comics artists, The Art of Comic-Con traced the history of Comic-Con through art and provided a sneak peek into the evolving process of creating comic art. Drawing from Comic-Con's archives, the exhibition highlighted how art serves as an integral tool in promoting the organization’s mission of creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms.
In 25 years of collecting, the Erika and Fred Torri Artists’ Books Collection at the Athenaeum has grown into an important resource for artists, researchers, and presses. In this exhibition, visitors had access to more than 50 of the Athenaeum’s rare and diverse books by 36 artists. From conceptual books of the late 1960s to 1970s to fine press limited editions and book objects, [UN]BOUND offered an unprecedented opportunity to discover the book as both object and idea in the hands of San Diego artists.
Hiding in Plain Sight examined the evolving state of contemporary photography, as new tools and new media inspire artists to rethink traditional photographic processes. Using techniques of collage, photographic sequencing, time, and persistence of vision, artists showed how the 175-year-old medium has been shaped into its present form and suggested that it is at the dawn of a new era. Curated by scott b. davis, featured artists included Andy Cross, Amanda Dahlgren, Judith Fox, John Brinton Hogan, Michael Mulno, Han Nguyen, Scott Polach, and Rebecca Webb.
Drawing is deeper than lines on a surface, as demonstrated by the convergence of concept, media and process visible in this show. Seven artists challenged assumptions about the medium by working with unexpected materials, such as cut paper, acrylic and glass, as well as the traditional charcoal, ink and graphite. Featured artists included Joshua Eggleton, John Halaka, May‐ling Martinez, Jessica McCambly, Bhavna Mehta, Herbert Olds, and Marisol Rendón.
The first Gallery exhibit in San Diego’s new Central Library celebrated the past success of the Public Library’s Visual Arts Program, and marked a new beginning. The VAP was created by Mark-Elliot Lugo in 1997 and curated by him until 2012. The program demonstrated the library's role as a cultural institution embracing a broad range of disciplines while helping San Diego's mid‐career and older professional artists achieve wider attention. The exhibition was curated by Kathryn Kanjo and featured artists who previously exhibited in the Visual Arts Program, including Faiya Fredman, Suda House, Jeff Irwin, Gail Roberts, Philipp Scholz Rittermann, Lynn Schuette, Ernest Silva and Vicki Walsh.