Approaching artist Shoko Hachiya as she sips an iced mocha and reads The Sun Also Rises at North Park's Caffe Calabria feels intrusive. The scene looks like the perfect weekday morning, and it seems a shame to disturb it. However, Hachiya smiles warmly and closes her book, happy to talk about the work she'll show in Weird Enough?, a group art exhibition happening at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at Habitat House (1008 21st St. in Golden Hill).
Originally from Chiba, Japan, Hachiya moved to San Diego to study art at Palomar College and later at San Diego State University. She's made the city her home during the last six years, but she's bidding farewell and will return to Japan in April.
While the warm weather is what drew her here, it's the large community of artists and musicians she's befriended that has most fueled her work.
"I don't know if the content of my art is heavily influenced by San Diego, but just being around friends and creative people has inspired my art," Hachiya says. "Everybody is making something. It's just really good."
Musician and artist Keith Milgaten, who'll show his digital art in Weird Enough?, organized the exhibition as a chance for Hachiya to share her work in San Diego one final time. They'll be joined by artists Danica Molenaar and Hugo Fernando Fierro.
There'll also be electronic music from Milgaten's musical alter ego, Keith Sweaty, plus Mystery Cave and Balloons. Hachiya's architecturally inspired pop-surrealist pieces lend perfectly to the offbeat quality of the event.
"The whole show is not mellow," Hachiya says with a laugh. "They're all kind of crazy. What we're gonna try to do is blast the whole place with color."