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Arts & Culture

San Diego Weekend Arts Events: 'Crying on the Blue Line Trolley,' soundON Festival, Mission Trails, Preston Swirnoff and more

A photograph from Andrés Hernández's exhibition, "Crying on the Blue Line Trolley," depicting freeway overpasses.
Andrés Hernández
A photograph from Andrés Hernández's exhibition, "Crying on the Blue Line Trolley," which opens at The Hill Street Country Club Jan. 8, 2022.

This weekend in the arts: a solo show by Andrés Hernández at Hill Street Country Club, the 14th annual soundON new music festival, 'Nature's Abundance' at Mission Trails, 'Stained Glass Enters the Stream' at Swish, a new Hershey Felder film and Le Salon de Musiques.

'Crying on the Blue Line Trolley'

Visual Art, Poetry

Andrés Hernández's photography in "Crying on the Blue Line Trolley" features landscapes, bridges and overpasses on the route she takes when crossing the border.
Andrés Hernández
Andrés Hernández's photography in "Crying on the Blue Line Trolley" features landscapes, bridges and overpasses between the US and Mexico. The exhibition opens Jan. 8, 2022.

Mexican artist and writer Andrés Hernández will kick off the year for Oceanside art space The Hill Street Country Club. I recently featured Hernández's graphic novel, "we used to move through the city like doves in the wind," which was about the COVID-related border closure. This exhibition, Hernández's first show of photography, is almost like a follow up: What happens when the border technically reopens, but landscapes, natural and architectural, stand between the artist and her love?


Hernández said that when the border reopened, she was struck by things like the physicality of bridges and estuaries as she took buses and trolleys in San Diego. For years, when Hernández felt uprooted and unmoored, the trolley from San Ysidro became something of a home for her. The exhibition features collaged analog photography as well as video and poetry. Hernández's work is vulnerable, sparse and powerful.

Details: Opens Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 with a reception from 1-4 p.m. The exhibition will be on view by appointment through Feb. 28. The Hill Street Country Club, 530 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside. Free.

A collage of paintings by Mauricio Muñoz depict mugshots of Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and Shia LaBeouf
Mauricio Muñoz
Three individual paintings by Mauricio Muñoz depict mugshots of Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and Shia LaBeouf. Muñoz's "A thirst for misery" exhibition will be on view at Best Practice — alongside their partner Andrew Roberts' solo video exhibition — from Jan. 8 through Feb. 12, 2022.

More visual art: On Saturday, Best Practice gallery is opening two solo exhibitions by two Mexico City-based artists (and frequent collaborators), Mauricio Munoz and Andrew Roberts. You can read my feature on the exhibitions here.

Even more visual art: While you're in Bread and Salt, check out the Maggie Shen installation and edible performance, "___SCAPE," at the Athenaeum Art Center, Saturday at 6 p.m. Shen's work was included in "5 works of art to see in San Diego in December," and this is the final performance.

'Surreality': The 14th Annual soundON Festival



The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library and San Diego New Music are presenting their 14th annual festival of new music this weekend, featuring SDNM's house ensemble, NOISE. The "surreality" in the title refers to the idea of a cautious return to normalcy. Their curated selections reflect the same surreality, and also include three works that were selected for the postponed 2020 soundON Call for Scores — Uri Kochavi's "Obsessive Compulsive [dis] Order" is in Thursday's program, and Saturday features both João Pedro Oliveira's "Tension-deformation" and Lansing McLoskey's "This Will Not Be Loud And Relentless, Part ii: This Will Not Be Loud."

Musicians perform at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library for the soundON festival.
Courtesy of soundON Festival
Musicians perform at a previous soundON festival at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library.

On Friday, don't miss "Rapt (2021)" by composer Derek Keller. It's a world premiere, featuring soprano Bernadette Mondok Keller. This is part of a larger work, a one-act, multimedia opera, "Neurotica," based on the poetry of Bradley Buchanan. It's unsettling and fascinatingly crafted: part rock, part spoken word, part melodic vocals, part complex composition.

Saturday's program includes "Cineshape 1," a mesmerizing 2003 work by composer Amy Williams for flute and percussion. There's also a 2021 work for electric guitar, "Revealing the Divide," by composer Anthony Tan.

The festival will be held at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla, in the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Room, which will be at 70 percent capacity or lower. Series passes or individual concert tickets are available.

Details: Thursday, Jan. 6 through Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. The Athenaeum, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. $10-75.

'Nature's Abundance' at Mission Trails Regional Park

Visual Art

Just opened on Sunday in the Mission Trails Visitor Center, this exhibition marks the long-awaited return of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation's art program since the beginning of the pandemic. "Nature's Abundance" features the work of five regional artists working with paint, mixed media and ceramics. I love the vivid characters and recognizable locales in painter Wendy Kwasny's work, as well as the dreamy, bold-brush landscapes in Tara Sood's paintings. Other artists are Amy Schindler, Ken Roberts and Ray Khalife.

"Steel Bridge 2" by Wendy Kwasny is part of the "Nature's Abundance" art exhibition opening at Mission Trails Regional Park on Jan. 2, 2022.
Wendy Kwasny
"Steel Bridge 2" by Wendy Kwasny is part of the "Nature's Abundance" art exhibition opening at Mission Trails Regional Park on Jan. 2, 2022.

The beautiful visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is situated near several trailheads for hikes, runs or mountain bike rides of varying lengths — including the paved, stroller-friendly Father Junipero Serra Rd. Hiking or not, be sure to step outside to the visitor center's back terrace for some of the best views in the park.

Details: On view through Feb. 11, 2022. 9-5 p.m. daily. MTRP Visitor Center, 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos. Free.

'Stained Glass Enters the Stream': Preston Swirnoff at Swish

Music, Performance, Visual art

Preston Swirnoff's latest multidisciplinary work is called "Stained Glass Enters the Stream," and it's a circular composition for organ, tape loop and kinetic sculpture, with no clear beginning or end. The apparatus Swirnoff uses to perform the piece involves an intricate analog tape looping between two machines, emitting a dynamic, tuned chord, and it's connected to an organ. Swirnoff has collaborated with artists Spenser Little, known for his intricate and text-based wire sculptures, and Richard Isabella. It's immersive and meditative, and the installation will remain on view through Jan. 16. RSVP with Swish for access to the free performance, to reduce the number of guests indoors. The performance will also be livestreamed on Instagram.

Details: Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 at 7 p.m. (or by appointment through Jan. 16). Swish Projects, 2903 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Free.

'Mozart and Figaro in Vienna'

Theater, Film, Music

San Diego Repertory Theatre will stream the latest in playwright Hershey Felder's collection of musical biopic, filmed plays that have been streaming during the pandemic — filmed in Felder's home base of Florence, Italy. "Mozart and Figaro in Vienna" focuses on Lorenzo da Ponte, who collaborated with Mozart on "The Marriage of Figaro." The film follows the development of the opera. Felder fans can find a variety of ticket and pass options, including a 7-film series.

Details: Streams Sunday at 5 p.m. with a week-long pass to view on demand. Virtual. $50-55.

Le Salon de Musiques: Concert 4


Recently relocated to La Jolla from Los Angeles, Le Salon de Musiques is an intimate chamber music concert series that pairs a pre-concert talk from a musicologist (in this weekend's case, Nuvi Mehta) with a performance and some refined refreshments. This weekend, however, they're pausing the champagne and sending a take-home box of snacks so that guests will not have to remove their masks. The show is still on, and it will feature string quartet works and piano works by Mozart, Rossini and Beethoven.

Details: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 at 4 p.m. La Jolla Women's Club, 7791 Draper Ave., La Jolla. $45-$95.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar, and be sure to sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter here.