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Arts & Culture

San Diego weekend arts events: Evan Apodaca, Sew Loka, 'El Mesías' and more

Pictured above is a video still of artist Evan Apodaca's "Monumental Interventions" piece installed near Gate 48 at San Diego Airport in February, 2023, but then taken down within a month.
Evan Apodaca
Pictured above is a video still of artist Evan Apodaca's "Monumental Interventions" piece installed near Gate 48 at San Diego Airport in February but then taken down within a month.

Top Picks

Evan Apodaca: 'The Secret City'

Visual art
San Diego artist and filmmaker Evan Apodaca will open a solo exhibition at the Athenaeum Art Center inside Bread & Salt in Logan Heights. Apodaca's work focuses on what he refers to as the "hyper-militarization" of the San Diego region. This exhibit includes his video exhibit, "Monumental Interventions," along with a series of drawings ("Reruns") and several other documentary films that look at both the military and anti-war history of the region.

"Monumental Interventions," a video work, consists of a series of stories narrated by toppled statues and monuments of political figures. Apodaca used facial motion capture technology to animate and voice the statues with real San Diegans. The work was removed earlier this year from the San Diego International Airport, where it had been briefly installed as part of the current temporary art exhibition. Its removal spurred concerns about censorship. This show will be the first time the work has been on view since the removal.

I spoke with Apodaca in 2021 when the work was first exhibited in a virtual program. "It's about the history of the development of the military here in a very broad, general, historical way, but it's also about moments of dissent towards the military-industrial complex, like in San Diego specifically," Apodaca said.


He said he was inspired by the book "Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See" by Mike Davis, Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller, and was also informed by a close reading of Orwell's "1984" and studying propaganda in art.

Details: Evan Apodaca: "The Secret City." Opens with a reception from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. On view through Feb. 23, 2024. Athenaeum Art Center (inside Bread & Salt), 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free.

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.

Sew Loka: 'You Reap What You Sew'

Fashion, Visual art
More Bread & Salt art and culture: A slow fashion show, which is a continuation of Barrio Logan-based Sew Loka's 10-year celebration.

Fashion designer Claudia Rodriguez-Biezunski is sewing one of her most popular items, a Virgen de Guadalupe shirt with an embroidered phrase that makes the wearer proud of their Chicano roots. <br/>
Kitty Alvarado
Fashion designer Claudia Rodriguez-Biezunski is sewing one of her most popular items, a Virgen de Guadalupe shirt with an embroidered phrase that makes the wearer proud of their Chicano roots.

Owner Claudia Rodriguez-Biezunski has created 15 original, slow fashion outfits created and designed from scratch, which will be featured in a 7 p.m. fashion show. Throughout the entire afternoon, a sew art fashion show featuring dozens of local artists will be on view in the gallery. There'll be performances from bands Beech City Music, The Fortunatos and The Invisible Panchos, and KPBS' podcast host Parker Edison will live-narrate the event.


Details: Sew Loka Presents: "You Reap What You Sew." 12-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 (fashion show begins at 7 p.m.). Bread & Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free with RSVP.

'1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas'

Now on stage at New Village Arts is local playwright Dea Hurston's original holiday musical — an instant new classic back for another year. The play follows matriarch Dorothy Black for her family Christmas Eve, with original and re-imagined holiday music by Milena (Sellers) Phillips. The script is funny, charming and centers on a story about holiday togetherness, family and love through a Black lens.

A woman and man embrace under a garland of holiday lights, near a set window at night, on stage. They have medium-brown to brown skin and dark hair, and are wearing festive clothes. The woman wears a satin green skirt and the man wears a Christmas sweater. They are gazing at each other.
Courtesy of New Village Arts
Kiara Hudlin and Halin Moss are shown in an undated production photo of New Village Arts' "1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas."

Details: "1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas." Through Dec. 24. New Village Arts Theatre, 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, $30+.

Space 4 Art Open Studios

Visual art, Dance
Space 4 Art will host Malashock Dance at its final Open Studios event of the year. Malashock's Jessica Rabanzo-Flores will perform her choreography "she is what she is and she is whole" with guitarist Rann Golamco accompanying. Other performances include Space 4 Art residents and regulars like Nick Lesley's experimental percussion, composers Sean Francis Conway and Jonathan Bewley, Jonathan Piper's experimental tuba (!) and more.

Studios will be open to peruse and chat with artists, and many resident artists will be selling artworks in a mini art market. Tacoland SD's taco truck will be onsite.

Details: Open Studios at Space 4 Art. 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. Space 4 Art, 340 16th St., East Village. Free.

Messiah vis à vis El Mesías

Bach Collegium San Diego presents the traditional English-language "Messiah" with their recently commissioned Spanish language version. Handel's "Messiah," with its famous-slash-earworm "Hallelujah Chorus," is almost synonymous with the Christmas season, and librettist Mario Montenegro recently collaborated with Bach Collegium on a Spanish translation. The group will perform both works in three performances: two in San Diego County and one at CECUT in Tijuana.

Details: "Messiah vis à vis El Mesías." 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Cardiff or 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at All Soul's in Point Loma ($15-$60); plus a free concert at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at CECUT Tijuana.

Live music picks

Thursday: Your Neighbors and Winnabego at Soda Bar (indie); Dustbowl Revival and Shane Hall at Belly Up (roots/alt-country/soul).

Friday: Depeche Mode and Young Fathers at Pechanga Arena (synth/pop/indie) Healy with DLG at Soda Bar (hip-hop/pop); Pierce the Veil, L.S. Dunes, Dayseeker and Destroy Boys at Viejas Arena (rock).

Saturday: The Dresden Dolls at Observatory North Park (rock); Codeine and Winter at Soda Bar (rock); Joshua White at Dizzy's (jazz).

Sunday: CD Ghost, Primer and Trit 95 at Whistle Stop Bar (indie/pop); Rosa Rossa, The Slashes and Musings at Soda Bar (indie/shoegaze); Lust Era, Soft Vein and Mercury Girl at The Ken Club (post-punk/industrial); The Tighten Ups, Laura Chavez and Harpco at Casbah (rock/funk/blues).

More arts and culture events in San Diego


'The Glass Menagerie'
Diversionary Theatre opens its new production of Tennessee Williams' beloved classic, "The Glass Menagerie," which was his breakthrough hit written in 1944. The story follows Tom as he looks back on his childhood, trying to figure out what went wrong with his mother and mentally fragile sister, Laura — keeper of the glass figurines that lend the play its title. This is the first time Diversionary has produced this play, and it is directed by Lisa Berger.

Details: "The Glass Menagerie." On stage Dec. 6-23. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. $20+.

"A Christmas Carol"
Karli Cadel Photography
Cygnet Theatre
The cast of Cygnet Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol" is shown in an undated photo.

'A Christmas Carol'
Cygnet Theater's adaptation of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" returns with cofounder Sean Murray in the Scrooge role once again for a ninth year. The humor, impeccable performances and masterful music, singing and sound add a fresh dimension to this classic story — while still allowing the enduring message of empathy and understanding to shine.

Details: "A Christmas Carol." Performances most Tuesdays through Sundays through Dec. 30. Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. $39-$73.

Visual art and more

Street Level: Holiday Edition
Oceanside Museum of Art's Street Level event series is a party with food, music, a holiday market and a chance to check out all of the current exhibitions (including Deena Altman's "Female Rising" and the Oceanside Plein Air 2023 Juried Exhibition). Plus, a "Make Your Own Wrapping Paper Workshop" means you can get creative and impress your future gift recipients with something handmade under the tree.

Details: "Street Level: Holiday Edition." 12-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. OMA, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. Included with museum admission: $0-10.

The Dark Xmas Market of Vista
Twisted Heart Puppetworks, Backfence Society and the Vista Art Foundation have collaborated on this dark and twisted holiday extravaganza, with strange and curious gifts in the Dark Xmas Market, plus entertainment like puppetry and a Krampus Run.

Details: Dark Xmas Market. 4-9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. Backfence Society, 110 S. Citrus Ave., Vista. Free.


The Klezmatics: 'Happy Joyous Hanukkah'
Hanukkah starts this week, and ArtPower at UC San Diego will present New York-based klezmer star The Klezmatics, known for their blend of traditional and Yiddish songs with contemporary music. In this program, they'll perform from their album "Happy Joyous Hanukkah," which features lyrics by Woody Guthrie.

Details: The Klezmatics. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. Epstein Family Amphitheater, 9500 Gilman Dr., UC San Diego. $20-$45. Limited free tickets are available for UCSD students.

La Jolla Music Society: Holiday Open House
This family-friendly, free event at the Conrad features an artisan holiday market, wintry treats, storytimes, crafts and some performances, including San Diego Gay Men's Chorus and Davina Sowers (Davina and the Vagabonds).

Details: Holiday Open House. 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, 7600 Fay Ave., La Jolla. Free.

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus: 'New Beginnings'
Compositions from Gabriela Ortiz, Stravinsky, Kaija Saariaho and Sibelius will be performed by the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, conducted by their new music director, Sameer Patel.

Details: "New Beginnings." 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9-10. Mandeville Auditorium, 9500 Gilman Dr., UC San Diego. $20-$43.