Art Beat

By Michael Benninger

5/1-29: New Contemporaries VIII
Valencia Gallery
2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Barracks 16, Point Loma
See some of the city’s most esteemed emerging artists displaying works that might help them win the illustrious San Diego Art Prize.

5/2-6/20: “Art Mûr” by Lori Cozen-Geller
Madison Art Gallery
1020 Prospect St., Ste. 130, La Jolla
As a means of mourning, this SoCal native made her first attempt at artistic expression mere hours after her father’s death, giving birth to a body of work that’s been featured in galleries and publications across the country.

5/9-22: 30Under30
800 West Ivy St., Little Italy
Free to the public and their pups, this group show in the heart of Little Italy features works by mixed-media artists who’ve yet to complete their third decade of life.

5/9-6/6: “Woolgathering " by Denise Bledsoe
Distinction Art Gallery
317 East Grand Ave., Escondido
A mixed-media San Diego artist and sculptor showcases her most recent works, featuring whimsical creatures, each of which has its own story to tell.

5/9-6/13: “Ampersand” by Matt Rich
La Jolla Athenaeum
1008 Wall St., La Jolla
Inspired by the ampersand, the contorted punctuation symbol that represents “and,” this SoCal artist’s picturesque paintings and wooden sculptures are meant to link the literal and unspoken elements of the Athenaeum’s library.

5/9-7/19: “Blue in Your Body, Red When It Hits the Air” by Sarah Cain
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
700 Prospect St., La Jolla
Breaking down the barriers of the standard solo exhibition, this Los Angeles-based artist’s first museum project features her own works displayed alongside pieces she selected from other artists, including her picks from MCASD’s permanent collection.

5/9-9/6: “Dear Nemesis” by Nicole Eisenman
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
700 Prospect St., La Jolla
With a sharp focus on the fairer sex, and including depictions of both “butch” and “femme” females, this exhibition chronicles two decades of an artist’s creative evolution from painting to printmaking and drawing to sculpture.

5/14-9/11: “The Private World of Vermeer”
Timken Museum of Art
1500 El Prado, Balboa Park
Dutch baroque artist Johannes Vermeer’s most famous work, “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter,” arrives at the Timken Museum on loan from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.

5/23-6/6: FNGRS CRSSD
San Diego Cellars
2215 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy
Centered upon the twisted hand gesture that represents both luck and lies, this group exhibition at a Little Italy wine bar highlights the work of 20 local artists.