1 Where the boys are
Anybody following San Diego's art scene in these pages or anywhere else in 2012 probably saw a few names pop up repeatedly throughout the year—names like Christopher Konecki, Dave Persue, Joshua Krause and Spenser Little. These guys, along with Neko Burke, Paul Drohan, Tocayo, Michael Boshart, Jordan Josafat, Matthew Davis, Jack Stricker and Brian Hebets, are coming to celebrate a successful year of artistic breakthroughs at End of the Beginning.
The group exhibition opens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at ArtLab Studios (3536 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights). Organizer Jeff Black says the main purpose is to kick off 2013 with a show that includes many of his favorite artists.
"They're the front line," Black says. "Those guys are coming up. It's almost like they're a band. I figured this was a great way to get them all here and maybe get them to do solo shows later."
Black is making this show more than "just a bunch of stuff hanging on the walls," though there definitely will be plenty of that, as well as music by DJ Persue. He plans to take over the space by allowing the artists to paint directly on the walls.
Each artist has been given a 6-foot-wide section of wall space, floor to ceiling. Black's encouraging collaboration between artists to turn the walls into a huge indoor mural, which shouldn't be hard since they're all friends and frequent collaborators.
"There's so much rad stuff already in there," he says. "They're planning their attack."
Black's hoping that allowing such freedom of expression will not only grab people's attention but also spark their creative side, too.
"People feel it when you let the artists do what they want to do," he explains. "It creates great energy. People can feel it and get inspired. I want to take that idea even further in the future."
2 The heat is on
Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing was a seminal cinematic commentary on race relations when it came out in 1989, and in 1999 it was called "culturally significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress. The movie centers on an Italian-owned pizzeria in a predominantly black neighborhood in Brooklyn during a heat wave. It's often funny, ultimately tragic and packed with great performances by the likes of Danny Aiello, Giancarlo Esposito, John Turturro and Lee himself—and it'll be screened at the next installment of the San Diego Museum of Art's First Friday Films on Friday, Jan. 4, at the museum in Balboa Park. The movie starts at 8 p.m., but you should arrive at 7 p.m. for a reading by poet Jerico Brown. Admission is $10. sdmart.org
3 Beastly beauty
For the first three weeks of 2013, Space 4 Art will exhibit its Tenant Series, in which 10 artist-residents of the East Village creative compound will take part in three group shows. The first show, Beast Mode, featuring sculpture and paintings by Joshua Jon Miller and Chris Warr, opens Wednesday, Jan. 2, and closes with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at the venue (325 15th St.). Miller's past work is abstract and architectural, with mixed-media structures that combine odd materials like lemons, marble and faux fur. Warr's style is more on the surreal side, and funny, with past work dealing mostly with giving found objects a second chance. For details on the other Tenant Series shows, see sdspace4art.org.