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"White Oleander" and "The Red Book" are works by artist Andrew Alcasid shown side-by-side. Alcasid's exhibition "Turning Pages" opens at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla on March 10, 2023.
Courtesy of Andrew Alcasid
"White Oleander" and "The Red Book" are works by artist Andrew Alcasid shown side-by-side. Alcasid's exhibition "Turning Pages" opens at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla on March 10, 2023.

San Diego weekend arts events: Andrew Alcasid, Vivaldi ballets and more

This weekend in the arts: Andrew Alcasid's "Turning Pages" at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library; San Diego Ballet's "Viva Vivaldi" at Grossmont College; Kevin Powell at Twiggs; Edra Soto and Narsiso Martínez at ICA San Diego-North; San Diego Theatre Month; Mark Siprut and Bonita Quartet at the Bonita Museum; Project [BLANK] at Bread and Salt and more.

Andrew Alcasid: 'Turning Pages'

Visual art
When I first saw Andrew Alcasid's work, it was a gigantic architectural intervention painted in place in the soon-to-close Helmuth Projects space in Banker's Hill. Shortly after that installation, Alcasid was diagnosed with cancer, and spent an extended period undergoing treatment and recovering. He turned his artist practice towards smaller canvases — small enough to be painted inside the hospital — of things he observed while at rest. And when he was home, this quiet, observational, small-scale practice continued.

In "Turning Pages," Alcasid will show a collection of simple, evocative figure drawings of his partner reading books at home. It's also a nod to the Athenaeum's origin story as a reading room, and to the stacks of books in the adjacent library. Following Friday's opening reception, Alcasid will also hold an artist walkthrough at 1 p.m. on March 18 , and an artist talk at 6 p.m. on April 11.


Details: Opens with a reception from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 10. On view through May 6, 2023. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. Free.

San Diego Ballet: 'Viva Vivaldi'

Dance, Ballet, Music

This performance from the San Diego Ballet is dedicated to the music of Vivaldi, with the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra playing live.

San Diego Ballet dancer Tona Lopez Gomez will perform in the "Ritmos Latinos" program Oct. 30-31 and Nov 6-7, 2021
Canela Photography
San Diego Ballet
A San Diego Ballet dancer is shown in an undated photo

They'll perform the west coast premiere of a work of choreography by the legendary dancer Sir Robert Cohan, who died in 2021. Cohan's setting of Vivaldi's "Stabat Mater" is powerful choreography, and feels contemporary and narrative. Also featured is Vivaldi's beloved "Four Seasons."

Details: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 9-10. Grossmont College Performing Arts Center, 8800 Grossmont College Dr., El Cajon. $10-$45. San Diego Museum Month $15 tickets available here.

"Grocery Shopping with My Mother"
Courtesy of The Book Catapult
Kevin Powell
The book cover for Kevin Powell's "Grocery Shopping with My Mother."

Kevin Powell poetry reading

Books, Poetry
Hip-hop writer (and biographer of Tupac Shakur) Kevin Powell is also a poet, and will bring his latest poetry collection, "Grocery Shopping With My Mother" to Twiggs Coffee House on Friday. The collection was inspired by Powell's weekly trips home to take his elderly and ill mother grocery shopping — and its also rooted in music, formatted like an album.

The Book Catapult will be on hand to sell copies.

Details: 7 p.m. on Friday, March 10. The Greenroom at Twiggs Coffeehouse, 4590 Park Blvd., University Heights. Free.

Edra Soto: 'Graft' and Narsiso Martínez: 'Rethinking Essential'

Visual art
Steeped in the history of iron screen-style architecture common in post-war Puerto Rico, artist Edra Soto's new residency and exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego's North campus will showcase large installation works. Breeze blocks known as quiebrasoles and iron gates known as rejas form the backdrop — almost a viewfinder — for Soto's work. Soto will be in residence through late May, and will be on site for "Meet the Artist" hours this Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Edra Soto, <i>Graft</i>, is shown installed in 2019.
Michael Tropea
Courtesy of the artist
Edra Soto's "Graft" is shown installed in 2019.

Soto's work makes me think of Jezabeth Roca Gonzalez's current exhibition at The Hill Street Country Club — particularly the use of Puerto Rican architectural elements. In fact, the two artists will host a discussion from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, so save the date.

Also new at ICA North is work by Narsiso Martínez, a Oaxacan artist whose work is informed by — and honors — his background as a farmworker and the experience of farmworkers in the U.S.. Martínez uses collage to represent the food industry alongside charcoal drawing, gouache and gold leaf in his works to show the human side.

"Legal Tender / Moneda corriente" is a 2022 work of art by Narsiso Martinez, shown installed in an undated photo.
Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery
"Legal Tender / Moneda corriente" is a 2022 work of art by Narsiso Martinez, shown installed in an undated photo.

Details: Meet Edra Soto: 3-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12. Gallery hours: noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. ICA North, 1550 S El Camino Real, Encinitas. Free.

San Diego Theatre Month

Theater, dance, music
San Diego Theatre Month is a discount ticket program from the San Diego Performing Arts League, in the same vein as Restaurant Week — but it runs all month. Here's how it works: go to the San Diego Theater Month website and search the available shows, and from there you'll find links or discount codes to buy $15, $30 or $45 ticket prices. Some are as cheap as two for $15 — for example, this weekend's Junior Theatre production of "How I Became a Pirate." And it's not just for theater, there's dance (like $15 tickets for San Diego Ballet's "Viva Vivaldi," mentioned above) and storytelling, too — but it's a lot of theater.

The cast of "The Outsiders" is shown in a Feb. 19, 2023 production photo at La Jolla Playhouse.
Rich Soublet II
The cast of "The Outsiders" is shown in a Feb. 19, 2023 production photo at La Jolla Playhouse.

More options this weekend include "The Outsiders" at La Jolla Playhouse ($45), North Coast Rep's production of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard," ($45), or "Slowgirl" at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista ($15).

Details: Runs March 1-31, 2023. Various locations. $15, $30, $45 and bundle ticket price options.

Work by Mark Siprut will be on view at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center beginning March 11, 2023.
Mark Siprut
Courtesy of Bonita Museum
Work by Mark Siprut will be on view at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center beginning March 11, 2023.

Mark Siprut: Photographic Portraits of Bonita / Bonita Quartet

Visual art, Photography, Music, Classical
Photographer Mark Siprut hiked the trails in the Sweetwater Valley area of the South Bay, using an aerial drone to take panoramic, fish-eye-style photos of the region. He also draws on significant architectural sites and landmarks in Bonita, including houses by Irving J. Gill and Alan Mead, the railway and more — juxtaposing the works with historic context. Siprut has lived in Bonita for 25 years, and has researched the natural landscape and history of the area while also watching it dramatically transform in recent years. Siprut's photography is curiously framed: the curvature of the panoramic lens renders the Bonita subjects as what appears to be the heart of a little planet — and maybe that's the point.

The Bonita Quartet, a local chamber group featuring Ronald Goldman and Julie Park on violin, Melissa Chu on cello and Adam Birnbaum on viola, will perform a free concert at the exhibit's opening reception.

Details: Opens with a concert and cocktail hour from 2-4 p.m. (music at 3 p.m.), and a reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m. On view through April 22. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Rd., Bonita. Free.

Musician Lexi Pulido is shown in an undated photo.
Courtesy of the artist
Musician Lexi Pulido is shown in an undated photo.

Project [BLANK]: 'Lingua Franca'

Music, Jazz, Pop, Experimental, Vocal
Saturday is the return of Project [BLANK]'s almost-monthly "Salty Series," a $10 or donation-based concert series held at Bread and Salt that features new music, contemporary experimental music and sound art from regional performers and composers. This weekend's program, "Lingua Franca," explores the manipulation of sounds and voices, as well as the way pop music informs other musical expressions. Batya Macadam-Somer, Dom Cooper, Joe Cantrell, Julien Cantelm and Lexi Pulido will perform.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 11. Bread and Salt's Brick Room, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. $10 donation or pay what you can at the door.

More weekend arts events we're covering:

It's a big film fest weekend. Check out KPBS' Beth Accomando's preview of the San Diego Latino Film Festival here. SDLFF runs from March 9-19.

Accomando also previewed the San Diego Arab Film Festival, which concludes this Sunday.

Michael Mizerany's "TEDxTalks: The Murder Room" play runs Thursday through Monday at Light Box Theater at Liberty Station. Accomando has a preview here.

For more art events, or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar. And be sure to sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter here.

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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