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Arts & Culture

San Diego Weekend Arts Events: 'Impermanence,' Denja Harris, Children's Film Festival, Pottery Tour, Voices of Our City Choir, FlowerSong Press, and 'My Fair Lady'

"Cells III," 2013, Stinson Beach, CA by Andres Amador will be on view at "Impermanence" at PHES Gallery beginning Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

This weekend in the arts: PHES Gallery, Mortis Studio, indie film for kids, pottery studio tours, "Hope for the Holidays" choral concert, poetry at Centro Cultural de la Raza and Broadway's "My Fair Lady."


Visual art

Carlsbad's PHES Gallery is opening a new show, "Impermanence," featuring the work of four artists whose art explores the temporary nature of life and art: Andres Amador, Michelle Kirtis Cole, Wendy Maruyama and Kathi McCord. I especially love Northern California artist Andres Amador's style of landscape art, where he finds an empty beach cove in between tides and rakes intricate swirls and patterns into the sand and snaps an aerial shot before the surf washes it away. Local woodworker and artist Wendy Maruyama's work is also fascinating — her "Tag Project" is a set of large-scale sculptural installations made of simple paper tags, inscribed with information about Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII.


As part of the exhibition, the gallery will also host a series of events with Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery, including talks and a sand mandala creation next Wednesday, followed by the "dissolution ceremony" next Saturday.

Details: Opening reception Sunday, Dec. 5 from 2-4 p.m. After that, gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday from 2-7 p.m. or by appointment. PHES Gallery, 2633 State St., Carlsbad. Free.

Denja Harris: 'Soft'

Visual art

Mortis Studio was founded in 2016 by Taylor Johnson and Dustyn Peterman as an art, animation, video and graphic design creative agency. They're opening a new studio in Golden Hill this week, with an art exhibition to kick things off. "Soft" is a collection of works by local textile artist Denja Harris of Brown Acid Goods, and it'll be on view beginning Friday through Jan. 16, 2022.

Courtesy of the artist / Mortis Studios
Work by Denja Harris will be on view at Mortis Studios in Golden Hill beginning Friday Dec. 3, 2021.

I love the way Harris plays with colors and shapes in her thick, rug-like tufted fiber works, and the patterns feel just as vintage as they do modern and surprising. The opening reception is Friday, with food and drink from the popular vegan TNT Pizza.

Details: Friday, Dec. 3 from 6-9 p.m. Mortis Studio, 1038 25th St., Golden Hill. Free.

FlowerSong Press
The cover of "Dreaming With Mariposas" by Sonia Gutiérrez, who will read at Centro Cultural de la Raza on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

FlowerSong Press Reading of California Authors


Looking for some in-person poetry? Do not miss this lineup of ten poets from across California, all publishing poetry collections under the same press (in the writing biz they call this "label mates").

FlowerSong Press is committed to borderlands and the voices of Latin America and the United States. The all-star evening at Centro Cultural de la Raza will include poetry performances from Briana Muñoz, Sonia Gutiérrez, Fernando Albert Salinas, David A. Romero, Gina Duran, Matt Sedillo and many more.

Details: Saturday, Dec. 4 from 7-9 p.m. Centro Cultural De la Raza, 2004 Park Blvd., Balboa Park. Free.

San Diego Children's Film Festival

Film, Family

One of my favorite parts of every Comic-Con is the San Diego Children's Film Festival, partly because there's always seats and it's a nice chance to escape the chaos. But once I'm there, it's always a delight, packed with sweet, short, boundary-pushing works of film and animation. This festival debuted last weekend at Comic-Con Special Edition, but will repeat — free for the public — on Saturday.

On my radar: "The Statue," a film about an immigrant child trying to get his one line right in the second grade play in the 1 p.m. block; the beautiful, illustrated stop-motion "The Bird and the Whale," in the noon block; and the silly and heartwarming "Blanket," in the 10 a.m. block. Find the full schedule here (scroll down for the Dec. 4 listings).

Details: Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in hour-long programs. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Ave., downtown. Free.

San Diego Pottery Tour

Visual art

This weekend is the 14th annual San Diego Pottery Tour, in hybrid format this year. Tour the work of dozens of potters in-person, or browse their work in the online galleries — in fact, two of the artists are only showing and selling work online.

There's a handy map here with ten stops mapped between Spring Valley and La Jolla and, combined with the online shop, it's an easy way to preview and pick your favorite studios to visit. Some work that caught my eye: Anna Cosimini and Warren Bakley of Clay Associates in Normal Heights, Ashley Kim (online only) and Amy Threefoot Valeiras (La Jolla).

Details: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4-5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Various locations. Free.

'Hope for the Holidays': A Celebration of Song with Voices of Our City Choir


San Diego's beloved Voices of Our City Choir will perform holiday classics alongside a jazz-funk ensemble. The group was formed in 2016 to offer choral music opportunities and community to people experiencing homelessness in San Diego — and they'd ultimately go on to receive the "golden buzzer" on America's Got Talent recently. The organization also fundraises to help members find permanent housing.

Courtesy of Michele Zousmer
Voices of Our City Choir is shown in an undated photo.

RELATED: Summer Music Series: Voices Of Our City Choir

The holiday-themed performance is all-ages, held at Music Box, and proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours is required. VIP tickets are already sold out.

Details: Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Music Box, 1337 India St., San Diego, Little Italy. $12-25.

More music: North Park's SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-Off is the place to be for a dozen outdoor performances this Sunday from 11 to 5 p.m., including Grampadrew, Chloe Lou and the Liddells, Scary Pierre and Low Volts. It's free to attend, but tasting tickets are $22-25.

Even more music: Baby Buskha returns to the stage Saturday night at the Casbah. You can read my feature on the show here.

'My Fair Lady'


Broadway San Diego's production of Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" just opened on Tuesday, with shows through Sunday evening. It's the story of Eliza Doolittle and her exceptional Cockney accent, plus the linguistic professor ('Enry 'Iggins) who takes her under his wing. Expect luxurious, intricate sets and costumes, and plenty of recognizable quips ("Women are irrational, that's all there is to that!") and tunes like "I Could Have Danced All Night."

Joan Marcus
Broadway San Diego hosts "My Fair Lady" at the Civic Theatre with shows through Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours is required. Masks are required indoors except while eating or drinking, and note that food and drink consumption is allowed inside the theater.

Details: Show information. Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. (ASL interpreters) and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $25+.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar, or sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter. You can read a recent newsletter here.