Weekend Art Events in San Diego: Photography, Art, Electroacoustic Music, Palestinian Poetry and Two Locally Styled Christmas Plays

“Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection”

visual art

Exhibited in a series of rooms in the San Diego Museum of Art, the “Masters of Photography“The exhibition features dozens of iconic photographic works, as well as lesser-known works by pivotal photographers from the 20th century to the present day. These works are all on loan from local collectors Cam and Wanda Garner, and Cam even has a piece on display. in the The work is divided into three thematic sections, with stars from Brett Weston, Minor White, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Flor Garduño.

Details: On view until February 21, 2022. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. SDMA, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. $8-20.

Courtesy of the artist and Quint Gallery / photo by Jeff McLane

“Western Sun” by Mara de Luca, on view at the Quint Gallery until January 8, 2022.

Mara de Luca: “West Coast Paintings” and Lee Materzzi: “Roughly cut a smooth curved line”

visual art

Mara de Luca is a contemporary artist based in Los Angeles, working with textures, colors and light in her paintings. This personal exhibition Quint’s main gallery features works inspired by the West Coast – in fact, a minimalist sky-blue and copper diptych is called “La Jolla Shores”. I also love “Sky Scroll”, which is a somewhat sculptural work where a sheet of liquid paint appears to be curled and glued against the canvas.

Across the street in the former Quint ONE space, Lee Materazzi exhibition, “Roughly Cut a Smooth Curved Line” includes really powerful work, playing with shapes, bright colors and the human form. Materazzi often zooms in on nooks or folds of the body to the point that it’s almost impossible to identify, blocking them out with brightly colored rectangles. It is fascinating and evocative work, and exciting to see two solo exhibitions of contemporary female artists side by side.


Courtesy of Quint Gallery

“☐, 2021”, by Lee Materazzi. On view at the Quint Gallery until December 11, 2021.

Details: Mara de Luca is on view until January 8, 2022 at the Quint Gallery, 7655 Girard Ave.; Lee Materazzi is on view until December 11 at Espace 7722 Girard de Quint, both in La Jolla. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Project [BLANK]: Electroacoustic night


Performance and experimental music organization project [BLANK] is finally back to live and in-person audiences after an impressive virtual detour during the pandemic – including their remarkable production of “Contralto” by Sarah Hennies. They return to Bread and Salt this Monday for a series of electroacoustic music performances, taking electronic and experimental devices and using these objects to manipulate acoustic or traditional instruments or other found sound objects. The music is strange at times, but also beautiful, disruptive, and challenging what music can do. With performances by Pablo Dodero, Nathan Hubbard, Jon Jolly, Francisco Eme and DJ Joe Cantrell.

Details: Monday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m. Bread and Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. $5.

More music: Vinyl Junkies Record Shack celebrates its 4th anniversary, and the special Black Friday Record Store Day with two days of special releases and constant guest DJs, Friday and Saturday. It starts Friday at 9 a.m. You can catch DJ Pokkey, Jake Najor, Carrie Feller, Rob Crow and more on Friday; Justin Pearson, Vaughn Avakian, Ana Brown plus live performances from Low Volts and “super” mystery guests. Check the schedule here. 2235 Fern Street, South Park.

“Shubbak: an evening of Palestinian letters”

Literature, Poetry

This is a special performance that is part of the Miss Breed rebel exhibition and program currently in progress at the San Diego Central Library. Librarian Clara Breed advocated for incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. The program not only explores Breed’s role and work, but also larger, connected themes. This particular project is curated by Rebecca Romani and features local Palestinian Americans reading texts from Palestinians in Gaza – letters, personal stories and poetry, including the work of renowned poet Mahmoud Darwish. This is in person, following Shiley’s Library Special Events, and will also feature music by Farhad Bahrami or Dornob. It’s a free event, but places are limited so register in advance.

Details: Monday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. To free/RSVP obligatory.

‘1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas’


San Diego playwright Dea Hurston worked with the creative team of Frankie Alicea-Ford, Kevin “Blax” Burroughs and Milena (Sellers) Phillips to craft her all-new holiday musical. Phillips also wrote the lyrics, to a score by John-Mark McGaha. The story is about Dorothy Black – played by Phillips – who is widowed, hosting her adult children (including the talented Deja Fields) for a family Christmas Eve. There’s a lot of family lore and even more family drama – and a note in the show’s schedule: this one has adult themes. The music is a mix of reinvented traditional songs as well as new originals.


Sarah Marcella

Victor Morris, Milena (Sellers) Phillips and Deja Fields will perform in New Village Arts’ production of “1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas.”

Details: On stage until December 26. Shows this weekend are Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. New Village Arts, 2787 State St., Carlsbad. $27-59.

“Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Christmas Show in San Diego”


Originally conceived on the East Coast, writers Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen worked with The Old Globe to literally adapt this play to San Diego. It takes the characters and narratives of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and places them all in turn in 20th century San Diego. It’s a comedy with music, and of course a healthy dose of absurdity based solely on the setting. Additionally, the costume design is done by the talented David Israel Reynoso, so it promises to be a visually stunning production.


Jim Cox

George Abud as Medium Scrooge, Orville Mendoza as Mr. Fezzi, Jacque Wilke as Ghost of Christmas Past, Bill Buell as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Cathryn Wake as Lavinia in production from The Old Globe’s “Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big San Diego Christmas Show”. December 26, 2021.

I don’t mean something like “If you only see one ‘A Christmas Carol’, do it”, but… if you’re not the type to tune in to those traditional London wintery scenes, then this one is for you.

Details: On stage until December 26. The shows this weekend are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar and be sure to sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter.

Tracey L. Sweeney