ALL IS FAIR
Ann Berchtold started the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show seven years ago. She was sure then, just as she is sure now, of a simple fact: San Diego deserves a large-scale, juried contemporary art fair that not only serves to showcase local, national and international artists, but also works to put San Diego on the map as a thriving arts destination.
"The intention was to pair international artists and galleries with the local scene to show people that our scene does stand out," Berchtold says.
Seven years in, Art San Diego has done just that. This year's showcase (from Thursday, Nov. 3, to Sunday, Nov. 6) will feature more than 500 artists, as well as museum exhibitions, talks and "art labs." This year's labs are particularly compelling and focus on issues of immigration, deportation and racial violence. It includes the Open Walls Project, an installation program that has artists transform billboards and public spaces into works of art. The final billboard by Andrea Bowers will be unveiled on Nov. 3 at the opening night party. The second lab, titled "Heroic Procession," will be on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. and is a collaborative piece that includes visual art by Hugo Crosthwaite, Japanese Butoh dancing and violin from Marilu Salinas.
Attendees should make it a point to see this year's LaunchPad Artist Stefani Byrd, a video and new media artist who will be installing a site-specific work at the fair. Byrd agrees that ASD has been good for local artists.
"I'm happy to see the components of the fair like the Launchpad Program, Art Labs and the San Diego Art Prize which give local artists an opportunity to participate and be plugged in with the fair," says Byrd. "There's so much amazing talent here that it's nice to see them incorporated and to be invited to play and get some exposure."
The main fair and most of the events happen at the Balboa Park Activity Center (2145 Park Blvd.). Tickets range from $10 to $85 and can be purchased at art-sandiego.com.
Many people are surprised to learn that San Diego hosts the largest international film showcase on the West Coast. For 17 years, the San Diego Asian Film Festival has screened films for action-seekers, families, and documentarians, representing cinema from more than 15 countries. This year, from Thursday, Nov. 3, through Saturday, Nov. 12, the festival will be promoting the theme of injustice through topics such as immigration, family and sexuality. Many actors, directors and producers will be present at the festival including Oscar-winner Steven Okazaki (White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). While some screenings are free, most film tickets range from $9 to $15 (passes are $60 for 6 films; $250 for unlimited access). Films will be screened at six venues across San Diego County. See full schedule and times at festival.sdaff.org.
Combining visual art, dance, food and wine sounds like a tall order, but Vanguard Culture's Foodie Intuition: A Visual & Culinary Exploration of the Senses event at Sparks Gallery (530 6th Ave.) takes a unique approach to all four. Instead of simply settling on tray-passed apps and cheap wine, Foodie Intuition will feature six chefs creating dishes inspired by six of the artists on display at Sparks' new Physique exhibition. There will also be several Baja wine varieties to choose from, as well as dance performances from Urban Tango, Aurora Lagatutta Dance and Jamie Shadowlight. What's best, tickets won't break the bank at $40 for general admission, $20 for professionals in the arts, and attendees also receive free admission to Art San Diego (see main Short List entry above). It happens Saturday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. vanguardculture.com