San Diego

Artbound 2012: Best of San Diego County

Tijuana by Nathan Gibbs.

Over our first season, we published hundreds of articles, produced twenty-two short documentaries, and aired three hour-long television episodes. We traversed the cultural landscapes sprawling across our state from the metropolises to the towns, between the coast and the desert, across the border, and into the mountains. On New Year's Day, we will be airing a three-hour Artbound Marathon which will feature all of our episodes mashed up into one explosion of Southern California arts and culture. But for the next few days, we will be reliving some of the most read articles by our contributors, breaking down the most popular articles by county and discipline. We hope you enjoy catching up on all the artistic discussions and activities that make California the creative capital of the world!

The Allure and Abhorrence of San Diego's Master-Planned Communities

Untitled photo from photographer Amanda Dahlgren's

Amanda Dahlgren set out to photograph a few of the most ostentatious homes that had fallen victim to the rapidly bursting housing bubble. Through her work, Dahlgren explores the morphing American Dream and asks whether huge McMansion-style homes are necessary.

Man in the Machines: Matthew Hebert's Craft Technology

A scan of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant by Matthew Hebert. | Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Hebert.

Matthew Hebert brings together contemporary technology and more traditional ideas of craft.

Desert Folk: The Life and Songs of Joel Rafael

Joel Rafael. | Photo Grant James.

Woody Guthrie, father of American folk music, is dead. Joel Rafael, 62, a folkie from Valley Center in north San Diego County, labors to keep his music alive.

Postcards from Tijuana: The Cultural Constellation and New Sounds in Bordertown

Photo: Jason Thomas Fritz.

Tijuana has quietly become an epicenter of avant-garde music in Mexico, with some of the world's most influential music makers eyeing what's happening there.

Grace Towers, a Drag Queen Packing Something Extra

Grace Towers. | Photo: Courtesy of Kinsee Morlan.

San Diego drag queen Grace Towers has championed the art of drag and elevated it to new levels of self-expression.

Weekly Vote Winners from San Diego County

With your help, our editorial team reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. One of these articles was passed along to our video production unit, who produced a short-format documentary based on the selected story. Every week, a new video debuted online. And every other month, we compiled the best online material to create a broadcast television episode. Check out all the 2012 head-to-head matches on our vote page.

Dig this story? Vote by hitting the Facebook like button above and tweet it out, and it could be turned into a short video documentary. Also, follow Artbound on Facebook and Twitter.

Top Image: Tijuana | Photo: Nathan Gibbs/Flickr/Creative Commons License.

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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline


Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline


Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline


A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline


Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.

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