Spring arts 2018: 10 things to watch in visual art this season


Art lovers have a bounty of options this spring. Artists’ inspirations for upcoming exhibits span the globe and are rooted in everything from science to social issues. Here’s a look at 10 selected from a feast of openings.

“Seeing is Believing? Hidden Worlds”

A lens can sometimes capture what cannot be seen by the naked eye. This exhibit will look into the history of making the invisible visible, exploring x-rays, macro lenses, microscopes and images such as snowflakes, tiny insects and even spirits. March 31-Aug. 2. Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado. Pay what you wish. (619) 238-7559.

“Art that Cuts”

This juried multimedia show, curated by Mesa College’s museum studies class, will feature about two dozen local artists and will focus on the literal and figurative interpretation of the title. Look for provocative pieces that delve into social issues. April 12-20. Mesa College Art Gallery, 7250 Mesa College Drive, D101. Free. (619) 388-2829.

“Give-and-Take: Poster Design by Nancy Skolos and Thomas Wedell”

This retrospective looks at the creative journey of this renowned husband-and-wife team who pioneered the art form and have consistently pushed its boundaries. April 19-July 22. SDSU Downtown Gallery, 725 West Broadway, downtown. Free. (619) 501-6370.

“Yve Laris Cohen: Meeting Ground”

San Diegans with fond memories of the Sherwood Auditorium, which closed last May as part of the expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s La Jolla facility, can reflect on the intimate theater’s history and impact at Laris Cohen’s installation at the museum’s downtown facility. Laris Cohen, a San Diego native, seemingly extends the life of the theater with architectural and archival elements. April 19-Sept. 2. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 1100 Kettner Blvd. $5-10. (858) 454-3541.

“Israel — 70 Years of Craft and Design”

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel, the Mingei International Museum and Balboa Park’s House of Israel are collaborating on a retrospective of the nation’s arts and crafts. More than 100 functional objects will be on display illustrating the European and Arab influences on the country’s designers and artists. April 21-Sept. 3. Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. $7-$10. (619) 239-0003.

“Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation”

One out of every 100 Americans can trace his or her roots to India. This traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution will offer a glimpse into Indian-American culture, history and contributions to society. April 27-July 8, New Americans Museum, 2825 Dewey Road, Liberty Station. Free. (619) 756-7707.

“Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold”

Using techniques from traditional Asian crafts, this New York-based artist creates abstract pieces with an East-meets-West feel using materials such as mother-of-pearl inlay, lacquer and gold leaf. Items on display include folding screens, sculptures, paintings and lacquer boxes plus several new pieces in tandem with Japanese works from the museum’s permanent collection. April 27-Sept. 3. San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. $8-$15. (619) 232-7931.

“David Fokos: The Book Pages Project”

Fokos explores the genesis of phrases by folding, cutting or crumpling book pages that contain references to words, then scanning them to create large-scale photographs as a monument to the birth of an idea. The exhibit is part of “The Visual Narrative Series” that explores literature, language and storytelling through visual art. April 28-Sept. 2. Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. $5-$8. (760) 435-3720.

“No Rules Except…”

Kids of all ages will jump for joy at the return of Brian Dick’s installation, which was known as the “Mattress Room” when it debuted 10 years ago. The reprisal is bigger and better with 40 mattresses on the floor and walls and 165 handmade, silk-screened tire cushions for children to play on, plus places for hide and seek, seating for grown-ups, a separate toddler zone and pathways for wheelchair users to get in on the action. Opening May 11. New Children’s Museum, 200 W. Island Ave., downtown. $14. (619) 233-8792.

“Curious Objects”

Carrie Minikel takes found and repurposed materials to create objects that are toy, tool and scientific device designed to help observe our surroundings. The objects have functional features, such as wheels and handlebars, to give them an implied use. May 26-July 14. Art Produce, 3139 University Ave., North Park. Free. (619) 584-4448.

Schimitschek is a freelance writer.