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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: Frida Kahlo, JFest and a poetry lab

Frida Kahlo is shown photographed against a blue wall, looking at a small idol sculpture she is holding in her hand. She wears fuchsia lipstick, a patterned black, orange and red top, and pink flowers and ribbon braided into her hair.
Courtesy of CCAE
Nickolas Muray's "Frida with Olmeca Figurine," 1939.

'Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray'

Visual art, Photography
This touring exhibition opens at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Saturday and features dozens of photographs of artist Frida Kahlo, all by photographer Nickolas Muray — a friend and erstwhile lover. Besides Kahlo's self portrait paintings, some of the most iconic and recognizable images of Kahlo are photos taken by Muray.

The two met in 1931 when Muray visited Mexico, and they started an affair. Even after the affair ended, Kahlo and Muray remained close friends until she passed away in 1954. The portraits are a reflection of this intimacy, as well as the dynamic of inspiration and collaboration between the two — and what it means to be a muse.

Ephemera, such as letters and prints of Kahlo's works are also included in the exhibit (including a letter sealed with a vivid lipstick kiss).


Also opening this Saturday is an immersive installation by animator and artist Nan Coffey, "Positively Animated."

Details: On view Saturday, June 10 through Nov. 5. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $12.

Jason Magabo Perez + Space 4 Art Open Studios

Poetry, Visual art
Space 4 Art's monthly Open Studios event includes a special pop-up "poetry lab" with San Diego poet laureate Jason Magabo Perez. Perez will hold court in studio space where visitors can write their own poetry alongside him.

Black and white headshot of 2023-2024 San Diego poet laureate, Jason Magabo Perez
Blake Schilling
San Diego poet laureate Jason Magabo Perez is shown in an undated photo.

I am making my way through Magabo Perez's "This is for the Mostless," and it's a powerful, rich and mesmerizing collection of poetry and stories that seem to play with the page.

Magabo Perez will perform a reading at 6:30 p.m. Other Space 4 Art studios will also be open, showcasing works by the residents — visual art, music, sound and more.


Details: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, June 10. Space 4 Art, 340 16th St., downtown/East Village. Free.

'JFest': 30th Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival

This weekend, The Old Globe is host to several performances from the six week-long JFest. It's part of The Whole Megillah Jewish New Play Festival, and Sunday's performance spotlights a family-friendly musical called "Hereville," based on Barry Deutsch's graphic novels.

JFest continues throughout the county through July 16, including more The Whole Megillah readings at New Village Arts, musical performances (including Reggae sensation Matisyahu at Belly Up on June 20) and an Eco-Jewish Play Fest to close things out.

Details: 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. $18.

Young Lions Jazz Conservatory All-Ensembles Showcase

Music, Jazz
Local jazz hero Gilbert Castellanos' Young Lions Jazz Conservatory will hold its annual showcase at the Loft at UC San Diego on Saturday, featuring short performances by all of the youth conservatory's ensembles, ranging from small groups like quartets to larger jazz orchestras. These kids are phenomenal musicians and well-trained performers, and their shows are fun, if not a bit "what am I even doing with my life?"

A new ensemble takes the stage every 20 minutes, and the show is free, which makes it easy to just drop in for a few sets when you can. The Loft is close to the Blue Line trolley station on campus.

Details: 11 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Saturday, June 10. The Loft, 911 Lyman Ln., UCSD. Free.

Edward Simon: 'Femeninas' featuring Magos Herrera

Music, Jazz, Latin
Venezuelan piano player and composer Edward Simon will kick off the Athenaeum's summer jazz series on Sunday with his trio and the powerhouse Magos Herrera as the featured vocalist. The program, "Femeninas," celebrates Latin American women songwriters like Violeta Parra, Chabuca Granda and more. Simon will debut a new work, "Latino Soy."

Herrera recently performed in San Diego with frequent collaborators Brooklyn Rider, so if you missed that show (or can't get enough), here's another chance.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11. The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. $40-$45.

'No Exit': A Chamber Opera by Andy Vores

Music, Theater
Contemporary composer Andy Vores wrote the music and libretto for this new adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre's existential play "No Exit." The adaptation's subtitle? "A chamber opera in hell."

Chamber opera is fascinating as a genre from the starting gate, bringing the grandiose performance and untouchableness of opera down to an intimate level — not necessarily watered down but certainly more up-close and within reach. And Project [BLANK]'s production of "No Exit" at Bread and Salt promises a bit of weirdness, too. Performers are tenor Miguel Zazueta-Cervera, soprano Mariana Flores-Bucio, mezzo-soprano Leslie Ann Leytham and baritone Jonathan Nussman.

Details: 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, June 9-10; and 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. Bread and Salt (Brick Room), 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. $15-$25.

Music on the Move: 'Border Stories'

The Center for World Music's "Music on the Move" series heads to the South Bay this weekend. The Front Arte & Cultura will host Drummers Without Borders, a local project formed in 2004 that uses drumming to build community and bring music education to students who otherwise would not have access. The performance will include drummers whose work is inspired by the border. Also performing is Francisco Morales, composer, musician, producer, artist and curator. The project is intended to honor both World Refugee Day and World Music Day later this month.

Details: 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. The Front, 147 W. San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro. Free.

TEDxSan Diego: 'Seeds of Change'

Books, Virtual
San Diego authors Jesse Leon, Madhushree Ghosh and Shelby Stanger are speakers at this weekend's sold-out TEDx program in San Diego, among many others. If you don't have a ticket, you can buy a virtual pass to livestream the event, which also includes a slate of performances and resident artists — Katie Ruiz, Jay James, TranscenDANCE and more.

Details: 2-5:30 p.m., Sunday June 11. Virtual (held in-person at The Conrad). $20. Registration closes Saturday.

More weekend arts events we're covering

I spoke with Keiko Green, playwright of Cygnet Theatre's "Sharon," which just opened and runs through July 2. The play is an absurdist, Hitchcockian dark comedy about a very odd mother-son dynamic. You can check out our full conversation here.

There's a new outdoor exhibit at the New Children's Museum downtown, a garden cultivated by seventh graders at the Barona Indian Charter School in conjunction with the Barona Cultural Center and the San Diego Audubon Society. KPBS reporter John Carroll has the story.

The 4th Annual Blue Water Film Festival is held at MOPA this weekend. Beth Accomando has a preview of the environmental fest.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea will discuss his new book, "Good Night, Irene," at the Coronado Public Library Friday Night. Urrea appeared on KPBS Midday Edition this week. Listen here.

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