The bold folks at the San Diego Museum of Art want to embroil you in conflict during the next edition of their Summer Salon Series 2012: Beyond the Banner, but they also want to be gentle; they’ll ease you in beforehand and ease you out afterward. To be sure, Friday, June 8, will be an evening of contrasts.
The event starts at 5 p.m. at the Balboa Park museum with no-host bar service, open until 8:30. From 6 to 7 p.m., the museum’s educators will lead an art-making workshop in Zen painting, using authentic materials and teaching traditional Chinese technique.
Once you’re relaxed, the intensity will begin to build at 7:15 p.m. as guest artist Mark Tribe, an assistant professor at Brown University and an educator at the School of Visual Arts in New York City whose focus is the intersection of art and technology, will give a talk on his work, including, salon programmer Alexander Jarman says, Tribe’s Port Huron Project. That was a series of reenactments of protest speeches from the 1960s and ’70s delivered in their original locations, videotaped and posted online for open-source use.
The tension will peak at 8:15 p.m. when Tribe will present The Dystopia Files, a 35-minute video montage of clashes between protestors and police since 1999 that will be accompanied live by guitarist and UCSD art professor Michael Trigilio. “It kind of wears you out a little bit,” Jarman says. “It is jarring; it’s intense.”
After that, you’ll be soothed by a performance by The Donkeys, a San Diego band whose sound is clearly influenced by laid-back California bands like The Byrds and The Grateful Dead but updated with a contemporary indie-rock aesthetic. After Tribe’s presentations, the event programmers figured, “OK, let’s take it back down a notch,” Jarman says.
The Summer Salon Series overall, Jarman says, aims to show that “contemporary art is not divorced from art history. Artists who are working and making stuff right now are looking to art of the past; it informs their practice.” $8-$12.
The San Diego Art Prize is an award given to emerging artists for creating work that sparks awe and excitement and thus brings the city recognition for its collective creativity. At the New Contemporaries V exhibition, which will open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at Susan Street Fine Art (200 N. Cedros Ave. in Solana Beach), 12 Art Prize nominees will showcase their daring work. Among them is Alexander Jarman, whose collage work graced the cover of the CityBeat in 2010. Back then, he told former arts editor Kinsee Morlan that he approaches his artwork “as a sociologist and anthropologist” focused on socioeconomic and cultural issues. See his work and the other nominees’ pieces through July 3.
If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, how much is 40,000 exposures worth in, say, songs? Photographer W. Eugene Smith clicked his shutter that many times over eight years while living at one of the busiest nocturnal haunts of New York’s jazz scene in the 1950s and ’60s. The Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park is exhibiting his work with The Jazz Loft Project, which runs through Sept. 27. But, for the full effect, you have to hear jazz, too. MOPA is hosting Sounds of Jazz Loft, solo performances on the first Thursday of the month through August, starting with Steph Johnson on Thursday, June 7. The vocalist and guitarist, who won Best Jazz Album at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards, will perform at 5:30 and 7 p.m. $8.