LET IT RIDE
Lowrider culture and graffiti-inspired street art wasn't always something grandma could appreciate. Back in the day, it was even looked down on, but still greatly appreciated by members of the African-American and Latino communities.
To put it another way, white folks didn't always get it.
These days, just about anyone can appreciate a tricked-out El Camino or an elaborate, graffiti-inspired mural. That's the idea behind the inaugural Street Art and Lowrider Festival. Held Saturday, March 5, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (404 Euclid Ave.), the free outdoor fest is a celebration of these local cultures, but with an emphasis on Chicano art and culture. Organizers went out of their way to make sure that the event was an authentic representation of the respective movements.
"What's great about this event is that we're working with people within the community," says Celia Gold, executive assistant at the San Diego Art Institute, one of the main organizers of the festival. "Our role has been much more of redistributing these resources we've been given and making sure they go where they should rightfully go."
Highlights include, naturally, a decade-spanning showcase of more than 50 lowrider autos, courtesy of the Amigos Car Club and the San Diego Low Rider Council. There will also be children's printmaking activities and live music from artists such as Cumbia Machin and the Hard Fall Hearts, as well as a screening of Everything Comes from the Streets, a doc on the lives of the pioneers of the San Diego/Tijuana lowrider movements. When it comes to art, Tijuana street artist PANCA will be providing some live art, while galleries such as the Chicana Art Gallery, The Roots Factory and Voz Alta will be showcasing works from CityBeat faves such as Jaclyn Rose, Ricardo Islas and Cesar Castañeda, among others.
"All the galleries that are involved were allowed to choose their own artist to spotlight," says Gold. "From a curatorial standpoint, our role has been pretty hands-off and left in the hands of experts."
When most people think of cannibals certain images and caricatures pop up and, unfortunately, most of them are either false or just downright racist. The San Diego Museum of Man (1350 El Prado) hopes to debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at its new exhibition, Cannibals: Myth & Reality, which opens to the public Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From the infamous Donner Party to ancient European kings and queens with a taste for brains, the exhibition takes a hands-on approach that includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide who gets eaten first. Cannibals replaces the museum's long-running torture exhibit and we fully expect it to be as morbidly fun as that one. Admission ranges from $6 to $12.50 and the exhibition runs through 2018. museumofman.org
ON A SPRING
The Museum of Contemporary Art (1110 Kettner Blvd.) is on to something. In addition to its annual black-tie gala, it started The Spring Thing event three years ago. With a "Modern Mutiny" theme and a decidedly hipper vibe, the event has quickly become one of MCASD's most anticipated events. This year's party, on Friday, March 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., starts with a rum-inspired dinner pairing from Kettner Exchange executive chef Brian Redzikowski (tickets are $175). The late-night party at 9:30 will include a hosted bar, snacks from Nomad Donuts and performances by DJ Jeffrey Paradise and Wild Wild Wets. Tickets for the party are $50 and proceeds benefit MCASDís exhibits and education programs. mcasd.org