1 WOW FACTOR
"We want to be known for the art we create, and not just the building we inhabit," says Michael Rosenberg, one of the brains behind the WoW (WithOutWalls) Festival.
As the name suggests, the WoW Festival is all about exploring art and performance outside of a traditional space through site-specific pieces on the UCSD campus and at La Jolla Playhouse (2910 La Jolla Village Drive) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's La Jolla location (700 Prospect St.) from Thursday, Oct. 3, through Sunday, Oct. 6.
Six years in the making, the event was inspired by citywide arts festivals in Europe, Rosenberg says. It features 20 innovative performance-art, dance and theater pieces, many of them free of charge.
Among them is The Myth Project: Altar, a dance concert telling the history of UCSD's radical Che Café collective; The Car Plays, a series of 10-minute plays that take place in the festival's valet area; A Willow Grows Aslant, an immersive theatrical experience in the corridors of the university's theater department; and Off the Old Block, featuring three women chipping away at a giant cube. Seriously, reading the program gets us hyped up like a bunch of theater-camp kids.
There'll also be music, performance art, food trucks, a beer garden and other cool stuff at the playhouse. MCASD will kick things off Thursday night with TNT, featuring live sets by Two Wolves and Lady Dottie & The Diamonds, interactive art and cocktails.
"It's going to be big," Rosenberg says. "We want this to be an every-other-year event. I think it would be really fun to do this with the Balboa Park centennial."
For La Jolla Playhouse, "it's a way to think differently about the way theater is presented," says Jill Dawsey, curator of three MCASD-presented performances at WoW. "And, for us, that's always something we think about when giving people contemporary-art experiences." Check lajollaplayhouse.org/wowfestival for details.
2 UP ON THE ROOF
Lauren Siry, owner of Eighteen o Five contemporary-art gallery, wanted to bring artists and galleries from around San Diego together in one place to foster a sense of community, so she created Art Above San Diego. Her vision becomes reality from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, when the 6,000-square-foot Ripassi roof deck of the Porto Vista Hotel (1835 Columbia St. in Little Italy) will be transformed into an open-air contemporaryart fair. In addition to Eighteen o Five's artists, participants include Art Lab, Chrome Digital, Thumbprint Gallery, Kettner Arts, Molotov Gallery, Low Gallery, Bread and Salt, Maru Lopez and others. Artists will make 100-percent commission on any pieces sold. There'll also be art demonstrations and live painting, plus small bites and drink specials. Suggest donation is $5. eighteenofivesd.com
3 COMIC-CON CLASSIC
Remember when Comic-Con was all about comics? The creators of the San Diego Comic Fest do. They helped produce Comic-Con as far back as the 1970s, and now they want to revisit that intimate experience with their second annual event dedicated to sequential art. The fest, expected to draw a modest 1,500 people over three days, takes place from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. Comic fans will get to mingle with artists and writers at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center (500 Hotel Circle N.). Three-day passes are available on the website for $50, and day passes ($25) can be had at the door. Kids younger than 13 get in free. sdcomicfest.org