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Adrian Huth
"Sky to a Machine," by Adrian Huth, is a 54" x 54" work of oil and acrylic paint on canvas, and will be on view through March 11, 2023 at BFree Studio in La Jolla.

San Diego weekend arts events: AI-informed art, Tomeka Reid, Kelsey Brookes and more

Adrian Huth: 'Sky to Machine'

Visual art
Now on view at BFree Studio is a new exhibition of large-scale works by painter Adrian Huth. Huth enters text — short phrases — into an artificial intelligence (AI) image tool, adjusts the text until he gets an image result he likes, then renders it on an oversized linen canvas with paint. It's a process and results that he largely controls, but he admits he welcomes the feeling of collaborating with machines.

"There's some kind of communication, almost, seemingly happening, in which this program is going through this database of stuff and almost trying to be an artist and visually representing something," Huth said. "It could be just naivety and it just feels like that because, really, I'm making all the final decisions. I'm rejecting it or I'm saying no, I want to look like this, or I'm modifying it in this way, but there does seem to be an eye of the artist of the AI tool."

Adrian Huth
"Zeitgeit Perversion" by Adrian Huth will be on view through March 11, 2023 at BFree Studio.

A first glance at his paintings reveals straightforward portraits and studies, though abstract and dizzying. If you've spent enough time with AI art, you might recognize some remnants of the glitchy idiosyncrasies and algorithm weirdness hallmark of the generators, but Huth's pieces are still the work of a human and a paintbrush.

Huth has been working with AI in his art for about a year and a half, long before the rise of AI image and writing tools and subsequent debates about plagiarism and ethics hit the mainstream.

He understands the hesitation and complaints but recognizes the history of "sampling" work, like in hip-hop or collage art, and also wants to honor the ways AI has enriched his artistic practice — that's what he wants viewers to take away from this exhibition.

"There's this moral panic right now, and I'm sitting here looking at this moral panic and I'm finding a lot of value in this, and it's helped me make a lot of works, and I'm finding it stimulating my creativity and adding to my creativity, not taking away from it," Huth said. "And so I kind of thought that would be interesting for the art community of San Diego to see. And maybe take a step back in the debate about AI and artists and maybe see how it could be used to enhance creativity."


The exhibition title comes from the first phrase he entered into a generator, and each artwork is named according to a phrase input for that work. There are 10 large paintings on view, some as large as 60 inches by 60 inches.

Details: On view through March 11. Opening reception is 5-7 p.m. March 4, with an artist talk from 1-3 p.m. on March 5. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. BFree Studio, 7857 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free.

Hausmann Quartet: 'Then and Now'

Music, Classical/Quartet
The Hausmann Quartet will kick off their eighth season this weekend, featuring work by contemporary composer Tomeka Reid, a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. They're performing Reid's "Prospective Dwellers" quartet, an energized, lush and beguiling piece of music.

Composer Tomeka Reid is shown holding a cello, looking down, at rest.
Courtesy of the artist
Composer Tomeka Reid is shown in an undated photo.

And, this being Hausmann's "Haydn's Voyages" concert series, they'll pair Reid's work with two works by Haydn's vast quartet cycle, as well as Mendelssohn's "D Major Quartet." The concert takes place at the Maritime Museum's historic Berkeley ship, docked in place.

Details: 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26. Maritime Museum, 1492 N. Harbor Drive, downtown. $10-$55. $40 for museum admission plus general admission concert ticket.

Lile Kvantaliani
Artist Kelsey Brookes is shown working in his studio in an undated photo.

Kelsey Brookes: 'Cosmic Symmetries'

Visual art
Quint Gallery star Kelsey Brookes returns to its main gallery with an exhibition of new paintings. Brookes' work is scientific, mathematical, psychedelic and grand in both scale and detail — and the works in this show explore symmetry. Within the seemingly kaleidoscopic patterns, Brookes has embedded text and small illustrations, so lean in to get a closer look.

Details: Opens with a reception from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. On view through Apr. 8. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. 7655 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free.

Beethoven's Concerto No. 3 and Symphony No. 4

Music, Classical
Guest conductor Case Scaglione leads the San Diego Symphony in two concerts, featuring a duo of works by Beethoven with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor. The symphony will also perform Stravinsky's fanciful, intricate and chaotic "Symphonies of Wind Instruments," the 1947 revision in which Stravinsky removed some of the more obscure instruments from the original. The piece was apparently dedicated to Stravinsky's mentor and primary influence, Debussy — though I just happened upon a little classical music gossip wherein Debussy referred to Stravinsky as "a spoiled child."

Details: 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $25-$90.

Markus Bacher: 'Familie' and Claire Chambless: 'Endgame'

Visual art
Oolong Gallery welcomes two artists to town with side-by-side solo exhibitions. Austrian abstract painter Markus Bacher will display large-scale works that are vaguely figurative, vaguely landscape rendered in textured, muted tones periodically splashed with saturated yellows and other vivid hues. Claire Chambless, a recent Cal Arts Master of Fine Arts graduate, will display a collection of striking sculptures. Her work often features curved and looped antler-like works adorned with jewels or beading.

Courtesy of Oolong Gallery
Markus Bacher's "C/2022 E3 (ZTF)" is a 2022-2023 oil painting on view through March 31, 2023 at Oolong Gallery.

Details: Opens with a reception from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. On view through March 31. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday or by appointment. Oolong Gallery, 349 N. Highway 101, Solana Beach. Free.

'From Paris, with Love'

Music, Chamber/Vocal/Jazz, Visual art
Chamber group Camarada will mix music and wine tasting on Sunday afternoon in the Bread and Salt Brick Room, featuring Sacha Boutros on vocals. The chamber musicians will perform French love songs on flute, violin, two guitars and double bass, including "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "Sous le ciel de Paris."

Bread & Salt's various galleries will also be open during the concert, so don't miss Sofie Ramos' immersive "Life Raft" exhibit while you're there.

Details: 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25 (concert starts at 7:30 p.m.). Bread & Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. $35-$45.

More weekend arts events we're covering:

The Oceanside International Film Festival continues through this weekend at the Brooks Theater in Oceanside. Check out Beth Accomando's preview here.

On Friday at 7 p.m., the 28th annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea wraps up four days of Pulitzer Prize-winner author interviews with N. Scott Momaday. Momaday appeared on KPBS Midday Edition this week, and you can check out that interview here. And I interviewed Tuesday's featured author, Anthony Doerr, here.

Diversionary Theatre's production of Temi Wilkey's 2020 play, "The High Table," follows an LGBTQ couple facing traditional Nigerian parents. I recently interviewed director Niyi Coker Jr. and actress Andréa Agosto.

Rain, again? With endless playgrounds and parks at our fingertips — and mostly dry weather — parents can be stumped when the weather turns rainy. My colleagues and I rounded up a few kid-friendly museums, entertainment and activities in San Diego when you have to stay indoors.

Julia Dixon Evans writes the KPBS Arts newsletter, produces and edits the KPBS/Arts Calendar and works with the KPBS team to cover San Diego's diverse arts scene. Previously, Julia wrote the weekly Culture Report for Voice of San Diego and has reported on arts, culture, books, music, television, dining, the outdoors and more for The A.V. Club, Literary Hub and San Diego CityBeat. She studied literature at UCSD (where she was an oboist in the La Jolla Symphony), and is a published novelist and short fiction writer. She is the founder of Last Exit, a local reading series and literary journal, and she won the 2019 National Magazine Award for Fiction. Julia lives with her family in North Park and loves trail running, vegan tacos and live music.
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