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Arts & Culture

San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Minerva Cuevas, 'Occupy Thirdspace,' Radio Axiom and more

Omar Pimienta
Mixed media photography work by Omar Pimienta will be included in "Occupy Thirdspace II," opening Saturday, Feb. 19 at the San Diego Central Library Art Gallery.

In the arts this weekend: Minerva Cuevas at ICA North; "Occupy Thirdspace II" at SDPL; Camarada at UC San Diego's new Park & Market space; Rabbitlight at Radio Axiom; and New Village Arts' "Desert Rock Garden."

In the arts this weekend: Minerva Cuevas' takes oil painting to the extreme at ICA North; "Occupy Thirdspace II" opens at the downtown library gallery; Camarada performs at UC San Diego's new Park & Market space; Rabbitlight livestreams art-pop via Radio Axiom; and New Village Arts' "Desert Rock Garden" commemorates the 80th anniversary of Japanese-American incarceration.

Occupy Thirdspace II: Plástica y palabra en TJ/SD

Visual art, Music


Occupy Thirdspace II follows 2014's Occupy Thirdspace I, which was held at Space 4 Art.

It's a project from curator Sara Solaimani, and this second installment will be on view at the downtown library gallery. It features many of the same components as the first exhibition nearly eight years ago, but focusing on the border region's unique and critical relationship between language and visual art, particularly from the 1980s until the present — grounded in the ways language can serve as a tool of colonization.

Artists include Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Cog•nate Collective, Omar Pimienta, Melissa Cisneros and many more, with live music from Sondiero Travesura at the reception.

The opening reception on Saturday will take place on the outdoor Dome Terrace on the library's 9th floor. Masks will be required, and entrance to the actual gallery will be limited to thirty at a time.

Details: On view Saturday Feb. 19 through May 2, 2022, with a reception this Saturday from 6-8 p.m. San Diego Central Public Library 9th floor gallery, 330 Park Blvd., downtown. Free.


Minerva Cuevas: 'Dark Matter'

Visual art
Minerva Cuevas' new exhibition at ICA North is literally coated in oil. The next artist in residence at the Encinitas branch of the new Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego is the Mexico City-based interdisciplinary, conceptual artist. There are three distinct parts to this exhibition: one is a gigantic mural, with red paint and black oil, with an easy-to-imagine fantasy world where the oil has taken over the natural world. Another is sculptural displays of vintage oil and petroleum-based products and advertisements, sprouting with plastic flowers.

Courtesy of the artist and Kurimanzutto, Mexico
Minerva Cuevas, "Deep blue," 2022, found object and chapopote (tar), 13.5"x10".

The third, my favorites of the exhibition, are landscape paintings — think serene ocean waves gently lapping against a rocky coastline. Cuevas dips the edge of each canvas in a viscous tar used for asphalt and roads ("chapopote" in Spanish). The tar adheres but oozes thickly off the canvas, ultimately drying into a sculptural element that's equal parts ominous symbolism and grotesque, ink-black stalactites.

Cuevas' work will be on view at ICA North from Saturday, Feb. 19 through May 1, 2022. Cuevas' studio work hours are February 19, 20, 26, 27, and March 5 from 3-5 p.m.

Details: Reception Friday, Feb. 18 from 5:30-8:30, on view through May 1, 2022. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. ICA North, 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas. Free/pay as you wish.

More visual art: See my feature on the Bruce Onobrakpeya retrospective exhibition and correlating Wole Soyinka program through San Diego State University's art, theater and Africana Studies departments. This is the first time Onobrakpeya, a notable Nigerian artist, has shown work in San Diego. The exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 18 from noon to 4 p.m.

Courtesy of the artist
The crossborder band Rabbitlight is shown in an undated photo.

Rabbitlight at Radio Axiom

Cross-border duo Rabbitlight have released a string of singles lately, with another on the way in a matter of weeks. San Diego arts insiders may know instrumentalist Francisco Eme as the Front Arte & Cultura gallery director, and Rabbitlight is rounded out by Monica Camacho (who also goes by the moniker Lucy Libre) on vocals.

Standouts from their recent releases include a video for the single "In Flames," beautifully illustrated and animated by San Diego artist Avia Rose Ramm.

Rabbitlight - In Flames

They also just put out a live, 360 degree video for their track "Waiting for You," which you can watch here.

Rabbitlight will perform a livestreamed set through Radio Axiom, a project helmed by Xavier Vasquez. Recently, Radio Axiom has been streaming live sets from regional bands, and taping them for a future video release. Each session includes several performances with a DJ between sets. In Saturday's show, John Jolley, Triokastra, Nathan Hubbard and Curtis Glatter will perform alongside Rabbitlight.

Details: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 at 8 p.m. Virtual/Twitch. Free.

'Heart': Camarada at Park & Market


Local chamber ensemble Camarada will perform a selection of works by composers from around the world, including Brazil's Dilermando Reis, Panama's Carlos Almarán, Mexico's Manuel Ponce and Daniel Catan, plus living composer and bassist Andrés Martín, who was born in Argentina but now lives in Tijuana and frequently collaborates with and composes commissions for Camarada. Martín will also perform on bass with the group. A pre-concert discussion begins at 7 p.m., with Rafael Fernández de Castro, director of UC San Diego's Center for US-Mexican Studies.

La Picosita by Andrés Martin | CAMARADA

This performance takes place at the new UC San Diego at Park & Market location, a gallery and performance space that just opened — and is also home of the new Digital Gym cinema.

Details: Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. UC San Diego at Park & Market, 1000 11th Ave., downtown. $40-$60.

New Village Arts: 'Desert Rock Garden'


New Village Arts (NVA) will open Roy Sekigahama's new play, "Desert Rock Garden" on Feb. 19, which will mark the 80th anniversary of executive order 9066 — the 1942 directive to create what we now know as the Japanese incarceration camps.

Sekigahama's play was written for NVA's 2019 Final Draft New Play Festival, and this will be its world premiere. It's set in 1943 and follows an orphan and an older Japanese immigrant who met in the Topaz War Relocation Center in central Utah. Topaz held more than 11,000 people, and the dry, high desert conditions were harsh. Fuzzy (played by Lane Nishikawa) and Penny (played by Chloris Li) build a friendship in the inhospitable-in-many-ways setting.

Daren Scott
Chloris Li and Lane Nishikawa appear in New Village Arts' production of "Desert Rock Garden," opening Feb. 19, 2022.

NVA executive artistic director Kristianne Kurner said in an announcement that this play also marked the company's first National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant. The production is directed by Yari Cervas.

Details: Runs through Mar. 13, 2022. Opening night is Saturday, Feb. 19. This weekend's showtimes are Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (preview), Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Oceanside Theatre Company, 217 N. Coast Hwy., Oceanside. $16-52.

RELATED: 5 plays to see in San Diego in February

More visual art: The family-friendly Creation Station project takes place again at the Timken all weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 pm. with an outdoor mural painting activity.

Note: Check with event organizers for last minute changes or COVID protocol before heading out.

For more arts events, including daily Editor's Picks, to submit your own event, or sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar here.