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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: 'Lightscape,' food art, math and teen girl punk

The "Floraison" installation at Lightscape at the San Diego Botanic Garden is shown in an undated photo.
Courtesy of Lightscape
The "Floraison" installation at Lightscape at the San Diego Botanic Garden is shown in an undated photo.
Four people, rendered in silhouette and in a reflection in the wet ground, walk through a golden light installation at Lightscape at the San Diego Botanic Garden.
Courtesy of Lightscape
An installation at Lightscape at the San Diego Botanic Garden is shown in an undated photo.

Top picks

Lightscape at San Diego Botanic Gardens

Visual art / Winter holidays
Ready for the holidays? It doesn't matter; they're here anyway. One outdoorsy and artsy way to ease into the festive spirit is the annual Lightscape at Encinitas' San Diego Botanic Gardens.

The experience involves an approximately one-mile trail around the Botanic Gardens' expansive property, with lights dotting the landscapes, plants and trees in site-specific installations by artists from around the world. My favorites: the light-up California poppies, an immersive tunnel (perfect for those photo backdrops), a mesmerizing "liquid sky," trees completely lined with hundreds of tiny lights and more. Concessions are also available, including dinner and festive treats like hot chocolate and hot toddies.


Details: Lightscape. Runs Nov. 17, 2023 through Jan. 1, 2024. Open 5-10 p.m. (last entry 9 p.m.) on select dates. San Diego Botanic Gardens, 300 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas. $13-$32 (prices vary for members, children and peak times).

For more arts events, or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar. If you want more time to plan, get the KPBS/Arts newsletter in your inbox every Thursday to see event picks for the weeks ahead.

The Linda Lindas

All-girl, all-teen punk band The Linda Lindas will grace the stage at Observatory North Park on Sunday. The Los Angeles-based band first rose to prominence in 2019 when they opened for Bikini Kill, and then went completely viral after the Los Angeles County Library shared a video of them performing their song, "Racist, Sexist Boy" in the library. They also returned to the library for their NPR Tiny Home Desk Concert.

Their first album, "Growing Up" came out last year. Their musicianship, energy, insightful and sharp songwriting and style combined is an absolute treat to behold. Illuminati Hotties will open for them in this all-ages show.

Details: The Linda Lindas. 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) on Sunday, Nov. 19. Observatory, 2891 University Ave., North Park. $24.

One of the sculptures in Maggie Shen's work "____SCAPE," which will be performed Dec. 10, 2021 and Jan. 8, 2022 at the Athenaeum Art Center.
Maggie Shen / Athenaeum Art Center
Detail of food sculptures in Maggie Shen's work "____SCAPE," as installed and performed at the Athenaeum in December 2021 through January 2022.

'Cosecha: An Exhibit About Food'

Visual art
Mesa College Art Gallery is host to this collection of visual art, sculpture, edible sculpture and performance art about food. As always, these exhibits are designed, curated and installed by the students in the Mesa College Museum Studies project. Artists include Maggie Shen, Adele Gaburo, Cole Douglas, Liliana Cruz, Katie Ruiz and more — 40 artists in total. At Thursday's opening reception, artist Hanna Johansen will perform an "endurance piece" consuming food from an artfully set table throughout the entire three-hour evening. Maggie Shen's edible food landscape art will also be available for visitors to sample.

Parking is free during the reception — only in designated staff spaces in Lot 1, which is adjacent to the gallery. Otherwise, during regular gallery hours, parking pay stations are conveniently located, and cost $1 per hour.

Details: "Cosecha: An Exhibit About Food." Opens with a reception from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16. On view through Dec. 14. Gallery hours are 12-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Mesa College Art Gallery, 7250 Mesa College Dr., Linda Vista. Free.

Backyard Renaissance: 'PROOF'

Playwright David Auburn's "Proof" won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for best play in 2001 — and has been since adapted into a film. The story follows the young and troubled mathematician, Catherine, who spent the last few years caring for her brilliant also-mathematician father before he passed away. In the mess he left behind, there's some notes about a new proof, and Catherine has to finish the work — along with one of his graduate students, with whom Catherine is falling in love. Backyard Renaissance's production is directed by Anthony Methvin.

Details: "PROOF." On stage Nov. 16 through Dec. 9. Low-cost previews are Nov. 16-24. Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 Tenth Ave., downtown/East Village. $18-$40.

LITVAKdance Fall 2023 Concert: 5 Women Choreographers

Contemporary dance company LITVAKdance will perform one last showcase before going on a hiatus (read more about this in founder Sadie Weinberg's director's note here).

LITVAKdance dancer Hannah Wyer is shown in an undated photo.
Jim Carmody
LITVAKdance dancer Hannah Wyer is shown in an undated photo.

This production is "5 Women Choreographers," and features what the company is referring to as "three generations" of women in dance, including Betzi Roe, one of the founders of San Diego's first modern dance company, along with Weinberg, Zuleima Burruel, Rebecca Margolick and Dolly Sfeir.

Details: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18; and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. San Dieguito Academy, 800 Santa Fe Dr., Encinitas. $17-$35.

More arts and culture this weekend

Visual art: Exhibition celebration: OMA Artist Alliance, Deena Altman and more
Oceanside Museum of Art will celebrate several new exhibits at once, including the brand new OMA Artist Alliance Biennial juried show and artist Deena Altman's surreal portraiture in "Female Rising." OMA Exhibition celebration. 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. $0-$15.

Visual art: Ilan-Lael Foundation's 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk
Ilan-Lael Foundation, an organization founded by James Hubbell and his wife Anne Hubbell in 1982, honors the work and studios of Hubbell as well as promoting art education and a nature retreat. One of Hubbell's major projects was his Pacific Rim Park public art park projects, with seven public art spaces dotted around the pacific — from San Diego and Tijuana to Vladivostok, Russia, Jeju Island, Yantai, China, Puerto Princesa, Philippines and more. In San Diego, participants can join the walk at Shoreline Park in Shelter Island, home of Hubbell's "Pearl of the Pacific" sculpture. Pacific Rim Park Friendship Walk. 12-3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. Shoreline Park, 2200 Shelter Island Dr., Shelter Island. Free.

Theater: 'The Importance of Being Earnest'
The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep opens a one-weekend-only run of Oscar Wilde's masterpiece, produced and performed by students from the school. Set amongst the Victorian elite, the farcical comedy revolves around a series of false identities and double lives. "The Importance of Being Earnest." Nov. 16-19. Theatre School @ North Coast Rep, 985 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Solana Beach. $21-$25.

Film: 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes'
This year's San Diego Film Week will close out with a screening of the 1978 cult classic parody, "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." The movie was filmed in San Diego and Oceanside, and the plot is basically that tomatoes become sentient and start eating people, and the government agents must somehow infiltrate the tomatoes to stop them. It's absurd, very silly and somehow enduring. KPBS' Beth Accomando will moderate a Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening. A reception and awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m., before the screening. "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" screening. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA@SDMA), 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. $30-$35.

Books: Jessica Keith, 'Saying Inshallah With Chutzpah: A Gefilte Fish Out of Water Story'
Local author Jessica Keith will celebrate the launch of her book at Book Catapult on Friday. "Saying Inshallah With Chutzpah: A Gefilte Fish Out of Water Story" is a memoir about Keith's experience as a Jewish woman working for a Muslim government at the Consulate of Kuwait in Los Angeles — and also follows her anxiety-riddled path towards marriage. Jessica Keith at Book Catapult. 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. 3010-B Juniper St., South Park. Free.

Books and Music: Holiday Open House
Warwick's will co-host the 2023 Holiday Open House along with the La Jolla Village Merchants Association. Many shops along Girard, Silverado and Ivanhoe Streets will participate, and at Warwick's Books, there's live music from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and a Santa story time at 12:30. Holiday Open House. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. Warwick's Books, 7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free.

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is shown in an undated photo.
Courtesy of La Jolla Music Society
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is shown in an undated photo.

Music: California Festival closing weekend 

The first ever "California Festival: A Celebration of New Music" comes to a close this weekend after three jam-packed weeks of performances throughout San Diego and elsewhere in California. Check out my guide to the California Festival here for complete concert listings.

Closing weekend highlights include: Alisa Weilerstein: "Fragments"; San Diego Symphony: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring; Project [BLANK]: Laure Hiendl; Art of Elan: Performance and Conversation with Artist Danielle Dean; Hausmann Quartet "Haydn Voyages: Patterns of Americana"; and more. Performance times, locations and costs vary.

Live music picks

Thursday: Atmosphere, HEBL and NOFUN at Observatory North Park (hip-hop); Sad Girl with Sleepy Pearls at Soda Bar (indie); Durand Jones at Music Box (R&B/soul); Glass Spells at Corazon del Barrio (pop).

Friday: Wild Nothing at Quartyard (indie); The Japanese House with Quinnie at Observatory North Park (indie); Built to Spill, Prism Bitch and Miniaturized at Belly Up Tavern (rock); Mating Ritual, Loviet and more at Soda Bar (pop); Christian Death, New Skeletal Faces and more at Corazon del Barrio (metal); Flatbush Zombies at Soma (rap); Addison Grace at House of Blues (pop).

Saturday: Pussy Riot: Riot Days - Ann Activist Multimedia Experience at Music Box (punk); Edith Márquez at Balboa Theatre (Latin).

Sunday: The Linda Lindas with Illuminati Hotties at Observatory North Park (punk); GA-20 and Duane Betts at Casbah (blues, rock).