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San Diego weekend arts events: Design and dance across the region

Participants at the 2021 San Diego Design Week are shown in an undated photo.
Courtesy of San Diego Design Week
Participants at the 2021 San Diego Design Week are shown in an undated photo.

San Diego Design Week

Design, Visual art, Architecture, Workshops
San Diego Design Week 2022 explores the influences and inspiration of design in all its forms across the San Diego-Tijuana region. Presented by the Mingei, it features 90+ events, exhibitions, panels, discussions, tours, workshops and more across San Diego and Tijuana.

The organizers have grouped many of the activities and offerings into "collections" by category, so you can browse everything culinary at once, or everything kid-friendly, or everything in Mexico, to name a few. With the San Diego-Tijuana region's upcoming designation as the 2024 World Design Capital (WDC 2024), design connoisseurs are abuzz with possibilities and potential, and the Design Week program spotlights the design clout of the region.

Some highlights:

A poster by Taylor Chapin is included in the "Posters of Optimism/Posters of Your Imagination" exhibition at Art Produce, part of the 2022 San Diego Design Week.
Taylor Chapin / Courtesy of Art Produce and San Diego Design Week
A poster by Taylor Chapin is included in the "Posters of Optimism/Posters of Your Imagination" exhibition at Art Produce, part of the 2022 San Diego Design Week.

"Design Fail: A Night of Storytelling and Community" will feature six storytellers — Virgen Barnet, Stacey Edelstein, Maya Madsen, Rich Magale, Amanda E. Nelson and Miki Vale — as they regale us with wild stories of creative project failures. 6-8 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 22 at San Diego Made Factory.

"Posters of Your Imagination" is an exhibition of new, optimistic posters by local artists and designers, on view with a happy hour from 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 23, the annual Art Produce Garden Party Fundraiser on Sept. 24, and will be on view through Nov. 12, 2022.

"Mash Up: A Creative Industry Symposium" is Vanguard Culture's mini arts conference and symposium within Design Week. Day 2, Friday, begins with "World Design Capital Next Steps" at 9 a.m. — an essential discussion for anyone interested in the region's approach to WDC 2024.

"Processing" at The Hill Street Country Club in Oceanside, featuring designer Nicholas Bijan Pourfard, sculptor Stephen Hartzog, ceramicist Sofia Limon and sculptor Evan Lopez. This group exhibition explores functional art and process- and materials-based design, and will be open to the public for just one day, Saturday, Sept. 24, with a reception from 5-9 p.m.

"Fungi: Sculpturally Hand Woven Silk and Horse Tail Fungi Clusters" by fiber artist Rachel Ehlin-Smith at Trash Lamb Gallery in South Park. This window installation (viewable from outside, any time) will have a reception from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.


ICA Family Day features activities revolving around the current exhibitions from artist-in-residence Yaw Owasu and regional artist Carolina Caycedo. Sept. 24 from 12-2 p.m.

"International Fashion Show: Diversity Through Design" is a show and market featuring international foods and diverse fashion designers, held at Fair@44 from 12:30 p.m to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

"Border Inspiration: Port of Entry - Downtown Tijuana Pedestrian Route" by Tatiana Perez/Se Hace Arquitectura is a self-guided tour of Tijuana available every day of Design Week.

"Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego" is a design talk by historian Keith York about the iconic architectural photographer Julius Shulman and his work in the region. Sept. 23 at 5 p.m. at 3789 1/2 Park Blvd.

"Meet Us at the Map: Inspiring Ocean Conservation through Public Art" is a project tour of "The Map," by Robin Brailsford and Wick Alexander at the Walter Munk Education Plaza in La Jolla. Sept. 24 at 2 p.m.

"Mod Swap" at Objects USA is an outdoor market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 featuring collectors with their midcentury wares for swap or purchase.

Find the full schedule and map at the Design Week site.

Details: Daily through Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. Times and locations vary. Most events are free.

Trolley Dances

San Diego Dance Theater's popular, site-specific dance production returns for just one weekend. The dance company has partnered with the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) for over two decades to present an interactive trolley tour peppered with dance performances.

San Diego Dance Theater dancers perform at Trolley Dances in an undated photo.
Yvonne M. Portra
San Diego Dance Theater dancers perform at Trolley Dances in an undated photo.

Dozens of dancers perform works by a handful of choreographers for the two-hour tour. It kicks off at the brand new Blue Line stop near UTC and UC San Diego, the Nobel Drive Trolley Transit Center. This year's choreographers are Trolley Dances founder Jean Isaacs, plus Rachel Catalano, Minerva Tapia, Terry Wilson, and the Tijuana-based company Péndulo Cero Danza Contemporánea. Youth are free with the Pronto pass.

Details: Tours begin every hour from 10:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, 2022. Nobel Drive Trolley Transit Center, 3449 Nobel Dr., La Jolla. $0-$25.

The Rosin Box Project: 'Barre Crawl'

Dance, Film, Food
Beginning with drinks and appetizers at Liberty Station's Stone Brewing before taking a short walk to the nearby Light Box Theater, The Rosin Box Project (TRBP) will combine the "crawl" and mingling with dance performances as well as a dance film screening from their "In Focus" series. The film is by San Francisco Ballet dancer and choreographer Myles Thatcher — TRBP recently presented new works of choreography by Thatcher in their "Debuts" showcase — and filmmaker Brandon Lazo. Transportation is available if needed.

Details: 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., Liberty Station. $50.

San Diego Ballet: 'Signature Moves'

Dance, Music
San Diego Ballet will combine two crowd favorites this weekend for their fall Latin showcase. "Mambo Mania" is choreographed by Javier Velasco, the company's artistic director, and "Que Bonito Amor" will be accompanied by live Mariachi music from Southwestern College's Mariachi Garibaldi group.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. Southwestern College Performing Arts Center, 900 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista. $15-$45.

Synthia L. Hardy performs in "Billie! Backstage with Lady Day" in an undated photo.<br/><br/>
Courtesy of Oceanside Theatre Company
Synthia L. Hardy performs in "Billie! Backstage with Lady Day" in an undated photo.

'Billie! Backstage with Lady Day'

Theater, Music
Oceanside Theatre Company presents a production of playwright and performer Synthia L. Hardy's play, "Billie! Backstage with Lady Day." It's a look at the life and work of Billie Holiday, performed by Hardy and musician Woody Woods. The play unfolds as Holiday answers questions from imagined reporters, resulting in a mix of stories and musical numbers.

Details: Opens Friday, Sept. 23 through Oct. 2, 2022. This weekend's performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 217 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside. $35.

'Smallest Show on Earth: Paper Theaters Explored'

Visual art
Popular in the early 19th century, paper, toy, tabletop or model theaters were often sold as a DIY replica kits at theaters. Some are exquisitely detailed 3-dimensional displays, somewhere between a pop-up book and a diorama. Paper theater collector Scott Paulson has curated a broad selection of paper theaters for this exhibition at the La Jolla Historical Society.

Details: 'The Smallest Show on Earth: Paper Theaters Explored'. On view through Jan. 22, 2023. Museum hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. La Jolla Historical Society, 7846 Eads Ave., La Jolla. Free.

For more arts events, to submit your own, or to sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter, visit the KPBS/Arts Calendar.