San Diego

Around the Counties: Mapping San Diego County Arts with Kinsee Morlan

DZINE at MCASD by Brandon Shigeta.jpg

Columnist Kinsee Morlan participates in this week's edition of Around the Counties. The San Diego resident talks about the special project she is producing with the San Diego Architectural Foundation. Morlan also provides four suggestions to weekend cultural events including an annual bike and beer tour, an annual street fair and two solo shows by artists.

What makes San Diego County so attractive?

It's desert meets beaches. You can literally be out hiking in 100 degree temperatures, enjoy cacti and native scrub and later that day you'll be at the beach swimming in 60 degree water. I think that's unique to San Diego. San Diego is known as the "City of Villages." One complaint about San Diego is that there's no heart or soul of the city but really there's like 100 different little hearts and souls in San Diego. You've got South Park, Normal Heights, University Heights, Golden Hill. You'll definitely run into someone you know and it's like you're in a little town instead of this big ol' San Diego. I really like that about our city.

La Jolla, Calif. | Photo: Jim Nix/Flickr/Creative Commons License

What are some of your favorite art venues in San Diego County?

  • Voz Alta [Project] gallery in Barrio Logan and Thumbprint Gallery in La Jolla are two of the hardest working art venues in town. I like them because they keep introducing me to more of the emerging, young, urban artists and make me feel like I'm connected to that art making group even though I'm getting older.
  • I like the highly conceptual work you'll find at places like Quint Contemporary Art in the Jolla. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego downtown and the La Jolla location are one of the most interesting museums in town.
  • And then of course down in the East Village we have an emerging arts scene there and it's really being driven by places like Space 4 Art and The Periscope Project and they always keep things interesting. Space 4 Art has these gigantic shows where you can see every genre of art you can ever imagine and then Periscope Project is very much intellectual, conceptual, urban planning- type, hands-on, community focused work.
  • There's also a new contemporary photographers gallery called jdc Fine Art. It's putting on some great shows. Also, in Little Italy, I'm a huge fan of Perry Meyer of Meyer Fine Art. He always puts on interesting mid-century or shows that you won't find anywhere else.

Swoon at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2010. | Photo: Brandon Shigeta/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Tell us about a project you're working on outside of Artbound.

I just recently released the first podcast with the San Diego Architectural Foundation. I volunteer there and the podcast series is meant to be a 'inside the studio' with some of the city's most interesting architects and designers. We just did the first one. We released that and I'm working with the director of the San Diego Architectural Foundation and setting up the next few. I'm a big audiophile, podcast fan.

Tara Donovan work at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2010. | Photo: Brandon Shigeta/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Do you see any art trends in San Diego County?

  • We've got these giant universities in San Diego. I think that's probably the biggest influence on our art scene here. UCSD is turning out these highly experimental conceptual artists. Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) also has this amazing art program and they're turning out some really interesting conceptual work. San Diego State University and Woodbury University, an architectural university, both are creating furniture designers. They make these pieces that I would categorize as art rather than design. So, in terms of trends we're seeing more experimental conceptual and then really high quality furniture art. We have a lot of active artists and it's hard to be a working and living artist but when you're in school you kind of have that time to dedicate to just doing your work.
  • Tijuana, Mexico is right there so, I would say, you definitely see the Mexican influence on art in San Diego.

San Diego Sunset. | Photo: Anca Mosoiu/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Can you recommend any events taking place this weekend to the Artbound audience?

  • The biggest thing that's happening this week is probably Tour de Fat. That's the New Belgium Brewing bike and beer tour that they do annually. Every year I go there's always interesting performance art which is really cool.
  • There's also a Daniel Gibson show at Bujwah clothing. It's at 1011 23rd St. in San Diego... the fact that they're doing an art show is cool.
  • Brandon Roth is at Voz Alta gallery.
  • Adams Avenue Street Fair is opening and that's a great place to go and see rad local music.

Kinsee Morlan.

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Top Image: DZINE sculpture at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 2010. | Photo: Brandon Shigeta/Flickr/Creative Commons License.

About the Author

Melody Soto is a journalist living in the San Fernando Valley.
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