San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Art That Reframes American Independence
For the July 4th weekend, a mini art tour of exhibitions by Javier Arreguin Villegas, Kim Sweeney, Andrew Alcasid, and the group show ‘And We Will Sing In The Tall Grass Again’
Friday, July 2, 2021
Credit: Courtesy of The Hill Street Country Club
For the 4th of July weekend, we brought in cultural strategist and arts professional Andrea "Angie" Chandler to help us put together a mini, local art tour. Four exhibitions of visual art each suggest a wider view of who we consider American and what it means to have a connection with the land.
The picks feature new works on view now by Javier Arreguin Villegas, Kim Sweeney, Andrew Alcasid, and the group exhibition "And We Will Sing In The Tall Grass Again."
"We're looking — with this exhibit and a few others — at the many ways that Americans from different backgrounds connect to the actual physical land here and what that complicated feeling is like," Chandler said.
"And that feeling really comes across in Javier's work. He's using organic materials like wood and very normal objects to tell these stories about how he's exploring masculinity, how he's connecting to the women in his life, and he's using colors and lines that would look really simple on a fast glance. But as you look into the story he's telling, you're really, really taken in by the work."
The exhibition is on view at The Hill Street Country Club, featuring a variety of new works, much of it created this year. Arreguin Villegas works with woodcut prints, textiles and other mixed media formats to create bold images that dig into his identity and relationships.
"It's pretty gorgeous to see in person. And his relationship to America and its values is really tested as an artist creating work. It's very 2021, very much the experience we're all having," Chandler said.
Details: On view now through Aug. 20, 2021 by appointment, Tuesdays through Saturdays. 530 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside. Free.
Music, Visual Art, Food
The Hill Street Country Club and Club Boutika's fundraising gala next weekend will feature performances by Thee Sacred Souls, Irenie, T. Rexico, Chulita Vinyl Club, H/lf and The Renters, with food and refreshments.
The concert and tea will take place at Goat Hill Park in Oceanside.
"For the last nine years, they've used their gallery space to advocate for social justice and equality long before it was trending. And they really wanted to be thoughtful about how they showed up in the fundraising space. They're using [Arreguin Villegas'] exhibit and the opportunity to hold space for other artists, especially San Diego's own Thee Sacred Souls, which had a major, major splash onto the music scene in 2020, to kind of give all of these artists a larger platform and then to also raise funds," Chandler said.
"They're joining up with a collective called Club Boutika, which is a culinary and craft set of women working together. And they're using a mutual aid approach, which is also something we saw a lot of nonprofits and small collectives use in 2020 to raise funds by holding up a lot of different issues at once. So they're sticking very close to their mission and how they've operated there in Oceanside to bring the larger San Diego community of artists and musicians together and outdoors."
Details: Sunday, July 11 at 4 p.m. 2323 Goat Hill Dr., Oceanside. Donation/ticket levels vary, $0-250.
Visual Art, Food
Artist Kim Sweeney is in residence at Art Produce in North Park, and will close out her exhibition, "Cash Only" with a free community potluck Friday.
Sweeney's work is informed by food, intergenerational memory and her identity as a second generation Cambodian-American. I first noticed her work in the Domestic Geographies exhibition at The Front, one painting called "Fish Loop Soup," which beautifully and absurdly showed how her American childhood coexisted with family memory.
"As we look at easing our way back into communal experiences, this sort of community potluck in a nontraditional space feels like a good way to get back into that," Chandler said. "And this weekend is all about gathering with food, and communities of color have always found really interesting ways to do that. So I'm looking forward to eating some yummy things and seeing her new work."
Details: Friday, July 2, 2021 from 6-8 p.m. 3139 University Ave., North Park. Free.
Art Power Equity will open the second exhibition during their curating residency at J. Walcher Communications, a Victorian house-turned-office in Sherman Heights. There's an opening reception and artist talk Saturday afternoon.
"In this current show with Andrew Alcasid, what we're seeing are his really large scale works being shrunk down. So they're smaller, but they're such intense colors and conversations. And that's kind of what Art Power Equity is like at their base. They are trying to give a platform to artists of color and other artists to have people look at their work in a different way, to have their work be in a space where maybe they wouldn't have been seen before," Chandler said. "The viewers will get a chance to be really up close with this work."
Details: Artist talk at 3:30 p.m. and a public opening reception from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, 2021, or by appointment through July 25. 1940 Market St., Sherman Heights. Free.
Visual Art, Film
Read our KPBS feature on this new group exhibition at The Front Arte and Cultura in San Ysidro to learn more. The exhibition will be on view during gallery hours from Tuesday through Saturday beginning July 6.
It's about an imagined future with no boundaries or colonial constructs like gender.
"[The works] are looking at the ways that artists of color have operated outside of traditional art pathways. July is Pride in San Diego. And I think the title of the exhibit tells us that we're going post-gender and this conversation about the intersection of nonconforming gender identities as well as artists of color, it's one at the forefront of the American art conversation right now," Chandler said.
"And as America turns 245 this coming weekend, it's really still figuring out how we exist and how many identities show up — racially, class-wise gender. So I think what's happening in San Ysidro is going to be really on point with what we're exploring this week and looking forward to it."
Details: On view during gallery hours or by appointment, Tuesday through Saturday, July 6 through September 1. 147 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro. Free.
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