See Spot Run

By Patricia B. Dwyer / Photos by Kristina Yamamoto

When Milo Lorenzana opened The Spot in 2011, he couldn’t get a cab to pick him up from the Barrio Logan warehouse-turned-art-studio.

“Now when we have a show, there are taxis lined up down the street,” Lorenzana says.

What started as three friends renting an art studio in Barrio Logan quickly grew to eight friends running an art gallery and cultural hub not only for the barrio, but also for San Diego’s art scene at large.

Since its opening, The Spot has hosted about 50 shows featuring work by artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Tijuana, San Francisco and New York. Despite the rapid growth, Lorenzana says he and his crew have stayed rooted.

“It’s still about friends,” says Bucky Montero, Lorenzana’s right- hand woman at The Spot. “It’s just that, now, it’s on another level.”

With a gallery run by an eight-person artist collective on one side, studios rented to seven San Diego creatives on the other, and a super- secret artist loft on top, the space is a 24/7 ministry of creativity.

“The Spot is so big, we can’t avoid getting more people involved. It’s just a big machine,” says Montero. “Now, the city is going to be pumping in money for a gateway sign, and there’s a new Northgate Market. A lot of change is happening.”

With this recent wave of gentrification rolling through the neighborhood, the crew is poised to ride the rising swell to the top.

5/18-5/28: Power Animals
The Spot, Barrio Logan

In Fight Club, a Power Animal is a friendly penguin who tells Edward Norton to “slide.” At The spot, it’s the basis of every piece in an upcoming show that will feature more than 50 local artists.