Oct. 17 2016 03:10 PM

Our picks for cool things to do this week

    Medium Festival of Photography
    Photo by Brandi Sebastian

    BIG PICTURE

    These days, everyone is a photographer. When we did our annual Photo Contest earlier this year, it marked the first time we chose more Instagram photos than professional, fine art photography. There's a certain level of inclusivity to the craft now, where anyone with a good eye and an innovative concept can make a name for themselves.

    It's this idea that's at the center of the Medium Festival of Photography. Now in its fifth year, the four-day photography event at the Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd.) has truly grown into something that gives San Diego a little cultural cachet. Founder Scott Davis started Medium in order to, as he puts it, "encourage more activity and knowledge about fine art photography in San Diego."

    "I wanted more people from other places to come here, because we have an amazing fine art photography community here," says Davis. "There's nothing like this festival anywhere else in California. There are art fairs, but nothing that celebrates photographers and photography."

    Davis says it's the "scale" of Medium that makes it something that even amateur photographers could enjoy. Beginning Thursday, Oct. 20, at 9 a.m. and running through Sunday, Oct. 23, the fest includes nearly 100 nationally recognized and emerging photographers on hand to give lectures, sign books and offer advice. There will be pop-up shops, roundtable discussions and a free Size Matters photography show (think very small pictures) at Low Gallery (1878 Main St.) in Barrio Logan.

    While weekend passes start at $250 ($125 for students and $75-$125 for a one-day pass), there are also free events including book signings and several portfolio reviews by curators and experts in the industry.

    "The real appeal of the festival is to be exposed to diverse perspectives in photography by people who've really pursued wild ideas and taken them to their logical conclusions," Davis says. "There are a lot of people at the festival who are doing what a lot of us do with photography, which is to express and delight in the world around us."


    TEDx San Diego
    Photo by Natalia Robert

    MAGIC MICS

    If you've ever wondered how brains process information you read, such as this text, TEDx San Diego'sThe Age of Magic may be your cup of tea. This event will unveil the answers to many universal questions, such as how we can use art and innovation to achieve peace, and how it is possible to beat a world record in the long jump while being completely blind. Though the name, The Age of Magic, is misleading, this event's aim is to scientifically answer your unanswered questions about the world and its inner workings. From sessions on treating infectious disease to neurological solutions for self-sabotage, be prepared for a day featuring scholars, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs and other professionals. It happens Saturday,Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall. Priced at $100. tedxsandiego.com


    SACRA/PROFANA

    SINGING PRAISES

    When choirs come to mind, we usually think of churches or grade school recitals. That's the exact stigma SACRA/PROFANA likes to disrupt. The 20-voice ensemble is presenting its 2016/17 season titled"Diverse Voices" with a two-day kick-off celebration. On Friday, Oct. 21, thereís an artist meet-and-greet before the choir covers Prince's entire Purple Rain album, with song performance styles ranging from a cappella to instrumental versions. The choir's second performance will take place on Sunday, Oct. 23, where they'll add a local jazz duo to the mix. Friday's opening takes place at 7:30 p.m. at The Industry (861 Harold Place) in Chula Vista, while the Sunday event will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the WorldBeat Cultural Center (2100 Park Blvd.) in Balboa Park. Tickets range from $10 to $30. sacraprofana.org

    Calendar

    See all events on Friday, Dec 2