June 23 2014 06:06 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Figment San Diego
Alonso Nunez will return to Figment San Diego this year
Photo by Kevin Patterson

1. Artist for a day

Figment San Diego is an art event where your eyeballs aren't the only body part getting action. The annual participatory-art party asks attendees to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty by helping create or experience the work.

For its second installment, Figment will take over Chicano Park in Barrio Logan from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 28. Expect to encounter everything from your standard community-painted murals to more experimental projects like an air canon that shoots paint onto a giant paint-by-numbers canvas. There'll be opportunities to take a crash course in the circus arts, play an array of unorthodox musical instruments and literally jump into a large pen piled high with books—the "Book Pond" asks folks to "build bookcastles, bury friends, have a sit, make a table and have a snack and soak in the information."

"I think it'll be a whole lot of fun," says Nicole Hickman, Figment San Diego's curatorial director, who's been burning the midnight oil organizing and promoting the event on a volunteer basis. "We have a good mix of return artists and new people, and I'm really excited about the participation from neighborhood artists from Barrio Logan... The event is actually happening on the same day as the Barrio Art Crawl."

The more than 30 artists who've put together imaginative, interactive art projects this year include Valerie Turner, Chuk Moran, Stephen Love, Lori Lipsman and Thanasi Glavas. Two fully immersive installations that participants won't want to miss are Matt Elson's mind- and reality-bending "Infinity Boxes" (sort of a house of mirrors, but more artsy) and Jason Rogalski's "A Child's Breath" (a constantly evolving maze).

"There'll definitely be some interesting things going on this year that we weren't able to pull off last year because we were just so new," Hickman says. 

The event is free to attend. sandiego.figmentproject.org

2. Cats on film

It's been only the last few years that the world's come to understand what everyone who's owned a cat (or, as cats prefer, "had a feline flatmate") knows as fact: Cats are the best! At 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 27, head over to 4246 University Ave. in City Heights (the sidewalk in front of the Black Cat Bar, appropriately) for Drive-By Cinema's Meow or Never. The evening includes a showcase of Internet cat videos and an Asian noir film (selection TBA), shown on Drive-By Cinema's milk-truck-turned-mobile-movie-screen. There'll be tacos for purchase from tasty sidewalk grill Tacos Melissa, and you can duck into the Black Cat for a beer or cocktail—or to hang with the bar's head pouncer, Behemoth. drivebycinema.com 

3. Perceive this

Inspired by "recurring paranormal" experiences, David Fobes creates art that explores the illusion of duality. Claiming to have experienced psychic visions of the near future and telepathy with his twin brother, Fobes' abstract painting evinces mysticism through precise geometry. From 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 28, folks will have a chance to see his work, which he calls the "artifacts" of the struggle to reach a higher plane. The one-night-only show, The Red See Scrolls, at Not an Exit Gallery (1955 Julian Ave. in Logan Heights) will introduce a new collection of large collages mounted on heavy canvas. Including red wine, red lighting and a "scentscape" provided by artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter, the show promises to be a multisensory experience. misterfobes.com

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.


See all events on Friday, Dec 2