If one of your New Year's resolutions is to see more art exhibitions (it should be), there are already plenty of shows you can add to your calendar. Here are just a few of our picks of the must-see openings in the first six months of 2016.
Aren Skalman: Singing Machines
CityBeat readers should remember Aren Skalman from our Seen Local section earlier this year. If not, the title of this solo show at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St.) in La Jolla pretty much says it all. Skalman creates site-specific sculptural pieces that are designed to the acoustics of the room. Opening in conjunction with the Athenaeum's soundON Festival of Modern Music (more on that in next week's issue), as well as fellow sound artist Margaret Noble's Incorporeal Things to Control exhibition, we fully expect this to be one of the more sonorous shows of the year. It opens Friday, Jan. 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will be on display through Saturday, Feb. 13.
Flor Garduño: Trilogy
For more than three decades, Mexico City-based Flor Garduño has been one of the most proficient and prolific photographers in the world. She's known primarily for her black-and-white nudes and portraits, and Trilogy is a decades-spanning survey at the Museum of Photographic Arts (1649 El Prado) in Balboa Park centered on the themes of "Bestiarium," "Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures." The images themselves are the photographic equivalent of a car on fire, equal parts haunting and hypnotizing. The exhibition opens Saturday, Jan. 30, and will be on display through Sunday, May 29.
A longtime favorite of Mark Quint, Tara Donovan's work has been displayed numerous times over the years at Quint's namesake gallery (7547 Girard Ave.) in La Jolla. However, it was Donovan's solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2009 that really made an impression with local art lovers. Known primarily for her large-scale sculptural work constructed out of everyday objects, the Brooklyn-based Donovan has a way of shaping and contorting the familiar into something truly bewitching. And while her solo show at Quint Gallery, which opens on Saturday, Feb. 6, will surely be quaint in comparison to MCASD, we expect the works (there will be Slinkys!) will be just as extraordinary.
Do Ho Suh
Locals may already know Do Ho Suh's work from his contribution to the Stuart Collection of public art works on the UC San Diego campus. Entitled "Fallen Star," it consists of a cottage hanging off the Jacobs Hall Engineering Building and is arguably the most whimsical and awe-inspiring of the site-specific works. Expect the same kind of whimsy at Suh's solo show at the downtown Museum of Contemporary Art (1001 Kettner Blvd.). Opening Friday, March 18, and running through Monday, July 4, the show sees Suh taking over MCASD's Jacobs Building to install a maze-like sculptural work made from translucent fabric and built to resemble the New York artist's apartment building, albeit with a decidedly surrealist twist.
While she's mainly known around town for her colorful mural, Gloria Muriel is also known for her nature-themed, pop-surrealist portraits of her trademark female character. She's also done her fair share of installation art so we expect a mixture of both at her first solo show at Sparks Gallery (530 Sixth Ave.) in the Gaslamp. Opening Saturday, April 9 and on the walls through Sunday, June 5, the show is a much-deserved survey of an up-and-coming local who's just beginning to hit her stride.
May and June
San Diego Art Prize
The S.D. Art Prize has long been a great visual overview of local talent. In the past, local established artists would pick an "emerging" artist to work with and mentor. To shake things up in 2016, Art Prize directors decided that this year the up-and-comers would choose the established artists. Patrons can see the results of last year's Art Prize collaborations (Wendy Maruyama with emerging artist Peter Scheidt, and Roy McMakin with emerging artist Kevin Inman) at a show at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St.) in La Jolla on Thursday, May 7. Then, on Saturday, June 18, the new pack of emerging Prize nominees will participate at a special show at the downtown City College Gallery (1508 C St.).