Art History

The Best of San Diego: Arts and Culture | The magazine | Pro Club Bd

The Rady Shell

New cultural center

Park & ​​Market

Downtown’s cultural renewal was given a jolt by this massive, inclusive project. It includes a 225-seat Guggenheim Theater for plays, concerts, and lectures; a 58-seat movie theater showing indie and foreign films; a 25-foot double-sided video wall for video installations; gallery space; a Civic Collaboratory for research and public policy; a state-of-the-art computer lab; a dance and wellness room. And that’s just the tip of the cultural iceberg.

Formal representation, informal culture

California Center for the Arts

Subcultures don’t demand credit from art institutions, but it always warms the fringe heart when they get it. Street Legacy: SoCal Style Masters features the work of nearly 100 artists from the world of lowriding, surfing, skating, tattooing and graffiti. It is curated by two local culture heavyweights: Bobby Ruiz (CEO of local clothing line Tribal) and Dr. G. Jim Daichendt, Professor of Art History at Point Loma Nazarene.

Stage as feminist expression

Moxie Theater

The Rolando-area theater company enters its 17th season, bringing women’s stories to life with radically inclusive casting and all the determination of their namesake. After surviving the pandemic’s performance embargo with ZoomFest, they are back on stage with world premieres alongside works by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights.

Church of Sound

Radi Shell

Definitely Rookie of the Year. The city’s $98 million open-air answer to the Hollywood Bowl or the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s premier outdoor music experiences. A view of the downtown skyline. Gentle bay breeze. Even better is the inclusiveness: public park by day and toll-free seating at the edges. Anyone else think it looks kinda like a Dyson fan? (A compliment.)

Rebirth of Art Cool

MCASD La Jolla

Hand wrestling has a long tradition of looking silly in the rear view. And hands nearly dislocated struggling to complete MCASD La Jolla’s $105 million, four-year transformation. The result? A world-class refocusing on the sea, doubling the size of the museum and quadrupling the exhibition space (which now accommodates a permanent collection).

It’s worth the long wait

The holding company

Shortly after OB’s three-story venue/restaurant/bar opened, the world stopped. Now that venues have reopened, the stage is finally seeing its heyday, attracting bigger acts like Buckcherry, Mickey Avalon and Too Short. Looks like we have the closest music club down the beach.


Oya Art Gallery & Boutique

National festival, local roots

miracle front

Large music festivals are often activities of national companies. But this November, San Diego native and longtime promoter Ernie Hahn is bringing over 80 bands (Gwen Stefani, Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, G-Eazy, Cage the Elephant, etc.) to a three-day festival of music and arts I’ll Die Downtown Waterfront and the parks take over.

Perch for crushing popcorn

Cinema club on the roof

Movie lovers bask under the stars with stunning views of the city and San Diego Bay — rows and rows of overstuffed Adirondack chairs, headphones to solve the problem of outdoor sound systems, and big, goofy, indulgent movies like Top Gun, Magic Mike, and The greatest showman.

Bookstore as an art form

long books

Daniel Lang has never lived outside of San Diego, but flipping through the pages of hardcover art books, quarterly glosses, and more-than-DIY zines, you’d think he’s a seasoned expat. Lang always has brand new imports, like the ones from Japan brain zine, or a well-curated treasure trove of used tomes. If you miss the purchase violet Magazine at Paras News in North Park, this shop is for you.

Emerging art house

Oya Art Gallery & Boutique

Taking control of the narrative is exactly what Kim Phillips-Pea and Raquel Rhone have been doing as Southeast Art Team for the last several years. The black-focused art gallery on Commercial St. features art, portraits, prints, and jewelry by black artists. Her work extends into the streets, adding murals to walls that need some art.

Domestic theater program

La Jolla Playhouse

Big news this year was the return of WOW Festival at the La Jolla Playhouse – when global artists take to the city streets. It marked the return to regular programming for our own Broadway factory. The second half of the 2022 season features Shakespeares As you Like Itco-directed by LJP’s Tony-winning Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, and the world premiere of The outsider. Stay on cue, pony boy.

A full list of contributors can be found here

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