For almost two decades, the New West Electronic Arts and Music Organization Festival has been a labor of love for founder and artistic director Joseph Waters (aka Jozefius Vaatierz Rattus). Undeniably under-the-radar, the NWEAMO Fest has consistently offered a more intimate, experimental and one-of-a-kind experience.
"I felt that there was a need for a festival that really focused on taking performers from really different musical worlds and putting them onstage together," Waters says. "The idea was to create a communication between the artists and also create a dialogue with the public that they don't need to get stuck listening to just one genre of music."
This year's "Music & Myth"-themed fest begins with a preview art show and concert on Saturday, April 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Martin Lawrence Gallery (1111 Prospect St.) in La Jolla. The art show, appropriately entitled Modern Masters, will feature works from Picasso, Chagall and Dalí; and Waters' own band, SWARMIUS, will be performing their signature mix of classical, world-music and jazz fusion. The show is free, but an RSVP is recommended at martinlawrence.com
However, the Modern Masters show is but a warm-up for the fest itself, which takes place Friday, April 8 (8 p.m.), and Saturday, April 9 (6:15 p.m.), at the San Diego Central Library Auditorium (330 Park Boulevard). Waters promises a concert that intertwines audio and visual performances and tapped renowned artist Mark Kostabi (some readers may remember his album covers for Guns 'ní Roses' dual Use Your Illusion LPs) to play new piano works and to provide accompanying visuals for some of the performances. There will also be music from violinist Lynn Bechtold, blues pianist Bonnie Lee Bluestone, experimental opera duo Tribal Baroque, and many more. The fest is free but there is a $10 suggested donation.
"The overarching theme is the idea that we really live in a world that is so multicultural and that reaching out beyond our own little pocket of what we understand is so critical," Waters says. "Plus, it's also fun."
COLOR ME BAD
As CityBeat columnist Ryan Bradford awkwardly witnessed, third eyes are blasting off thanks to adult coloring. Now, the craze is activating some other body parts too. Local coloring book artist/author Rachel LaBarre is titty-twisting this once G-Rated activity up a notch with her latest work, The Very Adult Coloring Book Vol. 2: Home & Garden, which features drawings of adults doing household chores...wearing only a smile. The book will expose itself at a launch party at the Porto Vista Hotel (1835 Columbia St.) on Thursday, March 31, where attendees can buy it, grab a drink and color from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets run for $25 and include either the Very Adult Coloring Book Vol. 1 or Vol. 2 and a drink ticket. Supplies will be provided, but colorers can bring their own materials. 1805gallery.com/tickets
A STAR IS BORN
Readers who've marveled over the Do Ho Suh show at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego already have a sense of his accomplished artistry, but this isn't the South Korean-born, New York-based artist's first visit to San Diego. "Fallen Star," completed in 2012, perches precariously atop UCSD's Engineering Building and is a curious, rubbernecking addition to the campusí Stuart Collection of public art. While the sculpture looks as if it has landed effortlessly where it is (possibly by a tornado?), it took years of planning, engineering and construction, which are now documented in Fallen Star: Finding Home. The new film, directed by Vera Brunner-Sung, will have free screenings on Tuesday, April 5, at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Atkinson Auditorium at Calit2 (9500 Gilman Drive) where Do Ho Suh himself will be in attendance. stuartcollection.ucsd.edu