July 25 2012 12:04 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

The Yes Men

1 Museum marathon

Ben Stiller brought a million kids' dreams to the screen with Night at the Museum in 2006. But, staying the night at a cultural institution isn't only a kid's fantasy—add lectures from controversy-stoking artists, quilters, installations, music from two rising local acts (The Nervous Wreckords and Mrs.Magician's Jason Turnbloom), a two-story theatrical drama and sliders, waffles and mimosas and you've got one helluva an adult adventure.

The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park is taking major risks with its Summer Salon Series "Beyond the Banner" marathon, which starts at 10 a.m. Friday, July 27, and runs for 36 hours. Devised by Alexander Jarman, SDMA's public-programs manager, and Agitprop gallery's David White, the event is one of several planned this summer that react to current exhibition of gothic tapestries (The Invention of Glory) in surprisingly subversive ways. The tapestries, which illustrate the violent conquests of King Afonso V of Portugal, inspired Jarman and White to draw connections between the banners of war and banner advertisements.

"One of things we're look at is how history is told and how information is disseminated, and taking a contemporary look at it and how it's packaged, all the way from news to advertising," says Jarman, who'll lead an "Insomniac's Tour" of the museum at 3 a.m. Saturday, July 28, starting with Rufino Tamayo's surrealist painting, "The Somnambulist." The event is also a chance to see artist Tim Schwartz's "Ad Sense," which uses old-fashioned gauges to track how certain words are being repurposed by the Internet marketing industry.

The biggest draw will be Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, the culture-jamming, political pranksters who made international headlines posing as chemical and energy spokesmen on TV and at press conferences. The duo, who've produced two films about their exploits, will deliver the keynote lecture at 7 p.m. Friday, July 27. The event is free with museum admission. For a full schedule, visit sdmart.org

2 Well-minded

Art has a way of taking over public spaces, and we like it. At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, Voice of San Diego will take over the top floor of Horton Plaza's "fruit" parking garage for the third edition of the news website's ongoing series, Meeting of the Minds. Six plugged-in presenters will use 20 slides for 20 seconds each to discuss the current and future state of the arts in San Diego. Speakers include Anna Daniels, Alexandra Hubenko and Lauren Popp. Adding the perfect backdrop is "The Circle," a mural by artist Chor Boogie and the nonprofit Writerz Blok, commissioned by Horton Plaza and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in an effort to add to the local cultural landscape. voiceofsandiego.org

3 Sweet counsel

Online culture magazine TheRumpus.net is all about good writing, so it's not surprising that folks who write to Rumpus advice columnist Dear Sugar pen some eloquent, often heartbreaking, letters. And Sugar herself ain't no hack; her responses are equal parts personal narrative and pointed advice and could stand on their own as compelling short stories. "You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt," she tells one advice-seeker. "You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding." Sugar is Portland author Cheryl Strayed, who also wrote the bestselling memoir Wild. She'll discuss Tiny Beautiful Things, a compilation of her best Dear Sugar columns, at Warwick's (7812 Girard Ave. in La Jolla) at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28. warwicks.indiebound.com

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28