Sept. 22 2014 06:04 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Inside The Church, before and after folks were invited to paint the walls
Photos by Frank Luna

1. Creativity catalyst

When Platt College art instructors Frank Luna and Mark Escobar moved into 2151 Logan Ave. on Aug. 1, they decided to make the space a blank canvas—literally. 

"We opened the doors to the community," Luna says. They provided paint; others brought their own. "From kids to graffiti artists to amateurs to pros came and painted every single inch of our walls."

It might not all be pretty, but it's a fascinating cultural experiment.

"Some of the art bleeds with one another," Luna says. "There's perverted stuff; there's stuff that kids do. There's some pretty hardcore stuff, but for us, it was, Let's see what the community had. What are they saying?"

On Saturday, Sept. 27, during the Barrio Art Crawl you can see exactly what that looks like. From 5 to 8 p.m., there's an open house of sorts for what Luna and Escobar have dubbed The Church (the space was a former Jewish temple). Future plans include a music academy for kids and teens focused on digital-audio production and a record label (there's an on-site recording studio). Artist Andrea Aliseda will host a (very) soft opening for Milk and Honey, her curated shop and gallery located inside The Church.

From 8 to 10 p.m., the evening will go adults-only with Dirty Conversations, an open-mic / spoken-word where folks will be talking about sexy stuff. Then, from 10 to 10:15 p.m., Luna and Escobar will screen a video sneak preview of BLK VLVT, an upcoming gallery show at The Church. Like Dirty Conversations, it's also adult-themed.

Luna says the goal for The Church is to be an incubator for a range of artists.

"How do we eliminate however many barriers to see our ideas through and help other people get to their ideas?" he says. "Sometimes it's just the dumbest little thing thatíll prevent someone from making that short film or drawing on that canvas."

2. Aural pleasure

Big Jay McNeely

Music from around the country and some of the best craft beer in the world—promoters call it the largest free, two-day music event in Southern California. The Adams Avenue Street Fair in Normal Heights will celebrate its 33rd anniversary from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28. The event features 110 music acts on eight stages, including the Austin-based indie-rock group Heartless Bastard, San Diego favorites The Burning of Rome and Los Angeles-based R&B saxophonist Big Jay McNeely. Along with a craft beer garden, there will be carnival rides and more than 300 vendors along the street.

3. Coolness continues

Photo by Manuel Rotenberg

Jean Isaacs might be one of the coolest choreographers in contemporary dance. There are so many things to dig about her annual Trolley Dances series. Site-specific, mostly outdoor choreography challenges artists to come up with performances that work within the constraints of the urban environment, often resulting in inspired, original work in an unexpected context. Another plus is the focus on public transportation. Trolley Dances activates the seemingly boring ol' Metropolitan Transit System's trolley lines, making public transit look sexy and fun as dancers perform everything from hip-hop to contemporary dance. There are six tours, from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, and Oct. 4 and 5. Tickets are $35.

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


See all events on Monday, Dec 5