San Diego weekend arts events: A big weekend at Bread and Salt, Charlene Mosley, free opera and more
This weekend in the arts: Bread and Salt pulls out all the stops; Charlene Mosley's "Pollinators" opens at Sparks Gallery; Melinda Lopez's "Mala" takes the stage at The Old Globe; the Joffrey Ballet comes to town and a free, kid-friendly opera in Balboa Park.
Charlene Mosley: 'Pollinators'
Opening Sunday with an evening reception, San Diego-based artist Charlene Mosley has long been fascinated by pollinating insects, bees and birds — and has manifested this interest into a new exhibition that parallels the largely unappreciated labor of a pollinator with that of women of color. Mosley's paintings teem with depth and movement, full of vivid color and an almost mythic crossover of wild, natural elements with the human form. These women, surrounded by exquisitely detailed birds, foxes, flowers, butterflies (you name it), evoke — for a split second — a fairy tale princess and her army of woodland creatures, but there's something too desperate, curious and sharp-edged in these works for that.
Also opening on Sunday is Sparks' annual "Minis" exhibition, the popular group exhibition of small works (with small price tags).
Details: Opens Sunday, May 15 with a reception from 5-8 p.m. and is on view through Jul. 3, 2022. Gallery hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave., downtown. Free (RSVP requested for the reception).
'I ate and ate and nothing happened' and more for Barrio Art Crawl
There's a lot going on at Bread and Salt this weekend for the monthly Barrio Art Crawl, including four new openings.
In the main gallery, Joe Yorty, visual artist and co-founder of Best Practice (we'll get to Best Practice in a minute), is opening a collaborative exhibition, "I ate and ate and nothing happened" with sound installation artist Joe Cantrell. The pair will tackle the idea of endless consumption of products, and the resultant dissatisfaction that's often just as endless. Both artists, in their own mediums, often work with found materials, rescued trash or flea market finds. One collaborative piece in the show loops sound from Cantrell's found answering machine tapes with Yorty's collection of faux stone outdoor speakers. On view through Jun. 19, 2022.
In the Athenaeum Art Center, "Works on Paper" showcases the work of San Diego artist Sage Serrano, and Tijuana-based artists Carolina Betancourt and Karla de Rio. Each artist does surprising things with paper, whether it be the use of unexpected materials to "paint" on the paper, or sculpting, shredding or pulping it into almost unrecognizable forms. On view through Jul. 9, 2022.
At Best Practice, Nikko Mueller opens his solo show "Loose Ends," featuring new works by the San Diego-based artist. Included in this show are some of his fiber art sculptures, with abstract geometric patterns painted across a canvas which is then pleated and folded into a three-dimensional work. Some works use clothing he gathered from friends and morphed into a sculpture. I love the way Mueller upends the patterns and symmetry expected in geometrical works, and his use of color, space and folding is interesting and fresh. On view through Jun. 18, 2022.
Bread and Salt has been dabbling in pop-up exhibitions in its "Brick Room," as a way to make better use of the vast event space to showcase visual art. This weekend, the UC San Diego visual arts department will host an exhibition of work by first-year MFA students, called "Pink Slip," featuring Jax, Deanna Barahona, Emily Greenberg, Gustavo Martinez, Junyi Min, Naomi Nadreau, Chanell Stone and Nathan Storey. On view Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 13-15, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Saturday during the art crawl.
Still on view throughout the complex: Anya Gallaccio's big tree, "Rêvons D'or," at Quint ONE through Jun 4; James Brown's architectural exhibition, "Trace," at Not an Exit; and Jamie Franks' gorgeous and ephemeral site-specific work, "Hurry," at ICE Gallery. Plus, Ricardo Galvan has just begun his artist residency in the building.
Mujeres Brewing Company will be serving beer in the Bread and Salt courtyard during the event.
Details: All exhibitions will be open during Barrio Art Crawl, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2022 at Bread and Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free.
In the bio section of Melinda Lopez's website, the playwright doesn't mince words: "Melinda Lopez has an evil plan: put complex, flawed and astonishing women centerstage."
In the Boston-based Lopez's play "Mala," opening this week at The Old Globe, Lopez herself is center stage — in the sense that she's the actor, but also because it's her story. Lopez premiered the play in 2016 in Boston, and she'd written the work about navigating the death and dying of her 92-year-old mother. The play centers on Mala — Lopez's autobiographical counterpoint — and her grief and heartache of caretaking as she cares for her Cuban immigrant mother, while also taking care of a daughter of her own.
Lopez's script is approachable, funny and laid bare: she addresses the audience, narrates the notes she makes on her iPhone and delves into the dynamic between her sister, the "bad cop" to Mala's "good" when it comes to managing their mother's care.
Select performances will be in Spanish, with actor Yadira Correa taking the role of Mala. Spanish-language shows begin May 19.
Details: Opening night is Thursday, May 12 and runs through Jun. 22, 2022. This weekend's performances are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. $30-$120.
Joffrey Ballet: 'Under the Trees' Voices,' 'Vespertine' and 'The Times are Racing'
The Joffrey Ballet is currently on tour, but only doing a few Southern California performances before returning home to Chicago.
They'll perform three works at Civic Theatre for us. "Under the Trees' Voices" is a new ballet by Joffrey's Nicolas Blanc, set to "Symphony No. 2" by the late Italian composer Ezio Bosso. They'll also perform a 2013 work by choreographer Liam Scarlett, an abstract, Baroque-inspired ballet called "Vespertine," as well as a high-energy ballet by Justin Peck called "The Times Are Racing." Peck's work involves modern dress, high-top sneakers, and complex, almost mathematical movements, and it's set to a wild score: Dan Deacon's electronic composition, "America."
Side note: this 2012 NPR interview with Deacon gave me a new appreciation for the startling-at-times composition.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2022. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $60-$100.
'The Enchanted Tail'
Opera4Kids and the Spreckels Organ Society will host a free performance of "The Enchanted Tail," an original opera by Opera4Kids and performed by cofounders Bernardo Bermudez and Victoria Robertson. The work weaves classical music from Mozart, Verdi and more into a story designed to capture kids' attention — and it also includes original, interstitial music by the late Nina Leilani Deering.
Sunday's performance will feature music from San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez.
The opera is about a lumberjack, a fox, a witch and a princess in a magical forest, and yes there are spells involved. Opera4Kids specializes in creating art that kids can understand and engage with, but if you'd like to even further de-mystify your kids in advance, you can read the full story here.
Details: 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, 2022. Spreckels Organ Pavilion, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. Free.
For more arts events, or to submit your own, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar, and be sure to sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter.