By Patricia B. Dwyer
As proclaimed by San Diego City Council in 2010, September is Arts Month San Diego, a time when local galleries and other artistic institutions bloom with a multitude of shows and exhibits, helping immerse San Diegans (and the world) in the city's burgeoning art scene.
Here's a handful of highlights, spanning the county and gamut of mediums. For a full listing of events, check out artsmonthsd.com.
9/6-9: ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair
Balboa Park Activity Center
Now in its fourth year, ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair brings together local and international art, bolstering the city's growing reputation as a destination for artists and art enthusiasts.
The four-day series of events is expected to draw a crowd of more than 8,000 people to the Balboa Park Activity Center, which will be separated into four "districts": contemporary art, contemporary product and furniture design, mid-century and modern art, and solo-artist curated booths.
"We want the fair to feel hyper-local while also having an international influence," says ASD founder, Ann Berchtold. "We wanted to make it much more experiential, not just something you walk through."
All of the pieces at ASD will be for sale, with prices ranging from a $500 local artist's painting to a $1 million Picasso.
"It's not just a museum show where for people to come look at art," says Berchtold. "Our hope is that people come and buy artwork, because then it supports the scene."
9/8-10/6: Taetrum et Dulce: Lux in Tenebris
Distinction Gallery, Escondido
Lowbrow/pop surrealist art looks how it sounds - think a cartoon Freudian nightmare with a sense of humor. See standout examples of this contemporary and engaging genre when "Taetrum et Dulce: Lux in Tenebris" arrives at the newly renovated Distinction Gallery, in Escondido.
David Vecchiato, art director of Italy's esteemed MondoPOP gallery, teamed up with Texas artist Dan Barry to curate the show, the Latin title of which roughly translates to "The Creepy and Sweet (or The Ugly and Delightful): Light in Darkness."
9/9-10/21: Galaxy of Glass
Fallbrook Art Center, Fallbrook
Fifty years of glass art will be on display and for sale in "Galaxy of Glass," a Fallbrook Art Center exhibition that celebrates the medium and its American heritage. (The popularity of glass art first flared up in the 1950s, after the popularity of ceramic craft art had been established.)
"[Glass art] is magical, because it's dirt, sand and color, mixed with flames...and out comes this wonderful creation," says Mary Perhacs, the art center's executive director.
On September 8 and 22, visitors will get the chance to participate in the creation of glass art at a studio down the street from the Fallbrook gallery.
WILD IN THE STREETS
Community-based art shows take to the boulevard
9/15: Haute La Jolla Nights
Downtown La Jolla's art galleries and retail shops will keep their doors open late for the third and final Saturday this summer, inviting passersby to stop in and browse, as jazz, rock and other live musicians perform on street corners throughout the neighborhood.
9/6-9/9: Barrio LogLogLogan Art District's 3rd Art Crawl
Experience the culture and community of Barrio Logan during this self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood's art district, which includes art studios, cafés, galleries and creative spaces.
9/22-9/23: Carlsbad ArtSplash
Armada Drive (above The Flower Fields), Carlsbad
Chalk art street painting, live art and stage and street performers are among the highlights of this community street fair, proceeds from which go toward grants for arts programs in North County schools.