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Visual Art and Museums

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Arts and Museums

On display through Dec. 1, 2019, at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, Black Life: Images of Resistance and Resilience in Southern California exhibits the work of photographers Harry Adams (1918–1988), Charles Williams (1908–1986) and Guy Crowder (1940–2011), prominent members of the African-American community in Southern California. Spanning 50 years, these compelling images document the political events and daily life of this community during the second half of the 20th century. Working during one of the most critical periods in the U.S. for the advancement of African American civil rights, the artists documented were the newsmakers of the day—politicians, activists, entertainers, and athletes—as well as everyday life in churches, garages, cocktail lounges, and schools. The body of work reflects candid images of a community whose lives were rarely reflected in the wider media, as well as prominent figures like Muhammad Ali, Sidney Poitier, Malcolm X, and others during key moments in their lives. On display through February 23, 2020, Abstract Revolution displays the contributions of the many female artists who not only helped establish the Abstract Expressionist movement, but who also continued to define abstraction for many decades. The exhibit includes works of pivotal female artists Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler and Deborah Remington, as well as contemporary artist Mary Heilmann, a leading figure in abstract American art. The exhibit is drawn entirely from the museum’s collection of works on paper.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presents two exhibitions highlighting work from its vast permanent collection. México quiero conocerte: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide and Manuel Álvarez Bravo andBound to the Earth: Art, Materiality, and the Natural World open November 21, 2019, and remain on view through March 15, 2020. México quiero conocerte features work by two of the most celebrated photographers in Latin America. Graciela Iturbide (b.1942) and Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902–1992) produced images of their native Mexico that actively contributed to shaping Mexican visual identity while concurrently offering representations of marginalized populations which existed outside mainstream consciousness. Through the medium of photography, both artists dynamically examine their own country and the myriad of indigenous cultures within it. Bound to the Earth looks at how artists have addressed and represented the landscape. Many works are made with earthen materials like clay and tar, sticks and soil; others focus on the natural resources that constitute our environment.

From Oct. 18, 2019–February 1, 2020, the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park celebrates lowrider cars in an exhibit, Lowriders: The Art of Low and Slow. This exhibition explores universal traits such as sense of community, rebellion from the mainstream, reverence of cars, artistic expression, and the family appeal of lowriders, inviting viewers to relish the vehicles, artwork, and the culture of lowriding.

The New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego partnered with internationally acclaimed artist, designer and craftsperson Tanya Aguiñiga to create a reimagined Tot Studio, called tikitiko. Opened in October 2019, the new space is designed for toddlers and caregivers to make meaningful experiential connections around abstract, animal shaped forms covered in colorful, soft and furry textiles. For the past three years, the museum’s Tot Studio has offered sensory-based engagement to stimulate brain development, motor skills and social interaction for the youngest museum visitors.

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