Sept. 7 2011 03:36 PM

This week's arts news and upcoming events

Mike Giant (left) and Mike Maxwell are the subject of a new documentary
Photo courtesty of BreadTruck Films

BreadTruck Films' new documentary, Working Class, is kind of a buddy story about the longtime friendship between artists Mike Maxwell and Mike Giant.

“But it ends up being more like four characters in the film,” Maxwell says. “It's about me, Mike Giant, San Diego and San Francisco. The cities are presented in this photographic manner…. And the film really goes into the art and history of the two cities.”

Director Jeffrey Durkin says he thought of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities when he set out to shoot the film. He wanted to contrast the subcultures of northern and southern California while weaving together the stories of Maxwell, Giant and the rise of street art.

“The film is a bit of a walk and talk through the cities and spaces where Mike and Mike live,” Durkin writes in an email. “The biggest surprise was the interesting mix of people I got into the film—a marine, a Buddhist monk, a professor of feminism and a historian. I had all these people talking about street art and its meaning.”

Due to the blackout, a screening of Working Class has been reschedule to screen at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. Silent Comedy will play a set at 7:30. Doors open at 7. $10. Click here for details.

Thumbprint leaves footprints 

Johnny Tran and Paul Ecdao, the team behind North Park's Thumbprint Gallery, are packing up and moving to La Jolla.

“North Park has been great for building a following,” Tran writes in an email. “The community has been very supportive of what we do. As far as the move to La Jolla, it was not anything that we planned…. We got a good deal on the space.”

Tran and Ecdao's new spot is at 920 Kline St., Suite 104. It's small, like their current gallery, but if past shows are any indication, they'll continue to pack a lot of interesting contemporary urban art between those four walls.

The Grand Reopening Contemporary Urban Art group show will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, in La Jolla. Tran and Ecdao say they're crossing their fingers in hopes that this is the right move.

“As far as La Jolla's art scene,” Tran says, “it's difficult to judge what will happen. We are hoping that collectors in La Jolla will support what we have to offer.”

Robert Williams in Escondido

First things first: Escondido's Distinction Gallery (317 E. Grand Ave.) is now known as ArtHatch. Owner Melissa Inez Walker started a nonprofit to support emerging and young artists, so while there's still a for-profit entity known as Distinction, it's best to just call the gallery ArtHatch from here on out.

Walker's bigger news, though, is that she's secured a visit from artist Robert Williams, founder of the art and culture magazine Juxtapoz, who's pretty much considered the godfather of the lowbrow art movement.

Williams will be the official juror of Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction, an exhibition featuring prominent car artists, including Tom Fritz, The Pizz, Sara Ray, BigToe and Steve Waldron, plus live music, pin-up-girl appearances, a custom-car show by Escondido car company Hot Rods and Custom Stuff, beer and wine and hundreds more custom cars and hot rods on view in the Cruisin Grand event that takes over the streets of downtown Escondido throughout the summer.

“It's a market and an event we haven't really tapped into,” Walker says of Cruisin Grand and custom-car culture in general. “We just thought we should embrace this crowd and put together a car show and see if we get some interest.”

The exhibition, put together with the help of Kurt Lightfoot, will also feature ArtHatch studio artists Sharif Carter and Victor Roman. Roman is just 22 and has been painting for only about a year, but Walker says he's an artist to keep an eye on.

“Everyone is just blown away by Victor's work,” she says. “He's just an amazing painter.”

Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction will open from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9. $20-$25.

Who arted?

Bruce Warren, board president of the San Diego Performing Arts League (SDPAL), a nonprofit that provides marketing and ticket-sales assistance to its members, says not much came out of a special membership meeting held in August, but “the league is still working” without an executive director, simply because it doesn't have enough money to hire one. Warren says the board has taken over day-to-day operations of SDPAL, and they still have a staffer working in their Arts Tix booth. SDPAL recently consulted with bankruptcy attorneys, Warren says, but rumors of an eminent demise aren't true. Warren will send a letter of reassurance to SDPAL members soon.


See all events on Monday, Dec 5