The Summer Salon Series at Balboa Park's San Diego Museum of Art has been an awesome smorgasbord of creativity—from visual art to performance art to smart political statements delivered in unexpected way. The series is, sadly, coming to an end (Fall Salon Series, anyone?) on Friday, Aug. 31, and one of the pieces we're excited to see is the finale of The Quilt Conversation. The project, which kicked off when the series started in June, features two group of quilters who've been working at the museum on Friday evenings. One group is made up of folks who contributed to the AIDS Memorial Quilt; the other group is hobbyists who've been at work on their own creations that explore events and themes that emerged during the 1980s. While at work, they've been recording their conversations and will present a "re-telling" performance and installation from 5 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 31. Lest you assume this will be dull, grandma-quilt stuff, artist / photographer Andrew Printer organized this project and his work is always fascinating and fun. Quilt Conversations is one of several events happening at the series' final night. Check out the schedule here. Admission is $12.
CityBeat was proud to be the first to publish an eyewitness account of the now infamous Balboa Park watergun fight, written sharply and hilariously by none other than Justin Hudnall, leader of San Diego’s most dynamic literary non-profit, So Say We All. As outrageous as the piece was to read, we bet it will be pants-pissingly awesome to hear Hudnall perform it out loud at SSWA’s monthly VAMP Showcase, especially with his scandalous photos of the destruction of the park’s lily pond projected behind him. The evening’s theme is “F*ck that Guy,” and will also feature writers Matt Lewis, performing a piece about his scary biker uncle, and April Ventura, who’s got a story to tell about a National City 'hood rat, plus five other local talents. The event starts at 8:30 pm. on Thursday, Aug. 30, at Whistle Stop Bar (2236 Fern St. in South Park). The event is free, but if you’ve got $5, the night is definitely worth the donation.
End summer on a beachy note at the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition, happening from Friday, Aug. 31 through Labor Day. But instead of the beach, it’s happening at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal (at B Street and Harbor Drive, Downtown), where the pier is getting dumped with 300 tons of sand for sculptors from around the world to create original, temporary works. Visitors can watch the artists in-progress over the four-day fest, and catch the awards ceremony taking place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Besides the sand sculptures, wood workers, glass blowers and other artisans will display and sell their work, performers will roam the area and there will be sand boxes for kids to play. The festivities takes places from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Different cultures have rituals to signify a rite of passage: Latin-Americans have quinceañeras. The Jewish community has bar and bat mitvahs. Then there are the lesser-known rituals that might seem odd to us, but remain tradition—like the Sudanese practice of scarring a young man's forehead. Learn about the major moments of growth and change for people of various cultures at Rites of Passage, an exhibition opening from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the Center for Community & Cultural Arts located at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (404 Euclid Ave. in Chollas View). Residents from Southeastern San Diego will share stories, images and artifacts from their own rites-of-passage to help people learn and understand cultures unlike their own. The exhibition will be on view through January 2013.
While it's unlikely San Diego will ever see a music fest quite the size of Street Scene (it takes years to grow an event like that), the folks over at McFarlane Promotions, RMD Group and Eventvibe.com are setting a foundation with the SoCal Music Festival. Happening from noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 1, across five block of East Village (between Park Boulevard and Ninth Avenue), the fest is local-act-heavy with performances by Hyena, Transfer, The Howls and the always-entertaining Burning of Rome, among others. Electro-lovers can shake their booty to DJs like The Office Twins, Tribe of Kings Sound System and Designer Drugs. If you're an indie-rock-lovin' sort, Cold War Kids (pictured left) is headlining and if you're an old-skool rap fan, Too Short is on the bill (though, apparently, he's now going by "Short Dog"). Tickets are $40 (the price goes up on Aug. 30), or $65 for VIP, which gets you access to a special bar area and, even better, VIP restrooms.