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Weekend Preview: Local Art Shows And Boozy-Themed Dinners

Credit: Courtesy photo

Above: "Sunbathe Barbie at Bombay Beach," a painting by the late local artist Jen Trute.

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The holiday season is in full swing, and officially kicks off here in San Diego on Friday with the annual December Nights in Balboa Park. But if you need a break from the usual holiday parties, there are plenty of other events to get you out of the house. From local art shows to unique, four-course meals inspired by the drinks they're paired with, here are a few events to check out this weekend:

Local artist Jen Trute was known for creating surreal, colorful, detailed paintings with an eco-conscious theme. Combining her experience as a commercial artist with fine art sensibilities, Trute used her canvasses to help raise awareness of environmental degradation. Unfortunately, in 2011, she lost her long battle with breast cancer and passed away at age 51. A new exhibition, “Enviroscapes: Jen Trute Retrospective,” opening Saturday at the Oceanside Museum of Art, celebrates her life and work. The exhibition runs through April 21, 2013.

There's more to holiday drinks than just mulled wine and egg nog. The Grant Grill, inside downtown's US Grant hotel, is hosting a Mixology Dinner, showcasing its "avant garde cocktail culture," December 8-14. The four-course menu, curated by Grant Grill mixologist Jeff Josenhans, features a wide range of elixirs — from whiskey and gin to plum wine — paired with creative, seasonal entrees. (View the menu.)

San Diego sculptor Tom Driscoll will present brand new works Friday, December 7, at the ICE Gallery in North Park. This will be the last show at the artist-run space; due to circumstances beyond their control, the four artists who run the ICE Gallery are closing their doors on 30th Street by the end of this month. However, they do have plans to relocate in the new year. Driscoll's work will be on view for approximately two weeks (after Friday night's opening, you can view the show by appointment.)

For those who prefer suds to liquor with their dinner, Union Kitchen & Tap in Encinitas is hosting a Beer Dinner with Avery Brewing tonight (December 6). The four-course meal features eight rare beers, including several barrel-aged beers brewed by the Colorado-based Avery Brewing, and even some from brewery president Adam Avery's own personal collection.


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