Election-Themed Art To See In San Diego This Weekend

Emilee Geist

Credit: Courtesy Facebook Artist in Residence Program Above: Jamilla Okubo’s mural is installed in front of downtown San Diego’s House of Blues venue. The work is part of the Facebook Artist-in-Residence program’s “Voting is Voice” 10-city mural project, on display throughout October 2020. Listen to the Podcast Episode Infuse your […]

Jamilla Okubo's mural is installed in front of downtown San Diego's House of ...

Credit: Courtesy Facebook Artist in Residence Program

Above: Jamilla Okubo’s mural is installed in front of downtown San Diego’s House of Blues venue. The work is part of the Facebook Artist-in-Residence program’s “Voting is Voice” 10-city mural project, on display throughout October 2020.

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Infuse your weekend with some voting-themed art in San Diego this weekend in between checking the news.

Aired: October 2, 2020 | Transcript

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Can’t get your mind off politics but still want to take in some art and culture this weekend? Fortunately, we have some election and voting-themed art in town, much of it on display outdoors. From a powerful dance film series to a women-designed outdoor poster exhibition and even murals from Facebook’s Artists-in-Residence program. Chances are you’ll find something to inspire you in between checking the news.

RELATED: San Diego Weekend Arts Events: ‘Move American’, Jazz at the Athenaeum, Space-Travel Theater, Rembrandt And More

‘Get Out The Vote’ Poster Exhibition

On display since mid-September, there’s a chance that you unwittingly drove or walked past these works already outside the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Bread and Salt, San Diego State’s Art Gallery and Art Produce.

This campaign features 63 nonpartisan poster designs by contemporary women artists and graphic designers across the country. The idea is to celebrate the anniversary of the women’s right to vote, but many of the posters take a look at broader issues of voting rights.

The galleries involved are all part of a new collective called “Gather,” and it includes four sites where the posters are installed on the exterior walls: MCASD downtown (1100 Kettner Blvd) — the posters here are tucked between the south wall of the part of the museum adjacent to the Santa Fe Train Depot, along a walkway to the train tracks — plus Bread and Salt in Barrio Logan (1955 Julian Ave), San Diego State’s Art Gallery (5500 Campanile Ave), and Art Produce in North Park (3139 University Ave). Art Produce is also a polling place in the election.

Facebook Artist-in-Residence ‘Voting is Voice’ Mural Hangings

Corporate art programs are nothing new, but you may be surprised to learn that not only does Facebook have an artist-in-residency program, but that it’s been around for about eight years and quite active on the Facebook campus but they are branching out into communities too. This project, called “Voting is Voice” commissioned emerging artists from across the country to do some temporary mural hangings in 10 cities, including San Diego.

The artists are Troy Lamarr Chew II of California, Edie Fake of Twentynine Palms, Tiff Massey of Detroit, Ramzy Masri of New York and Jamilla Okubo of Washington, D.C. The murals are on display around the downtown area, and they’re the same across the 10 cities, which are San Diego, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Bronx, Birmingham, Los Angeles, Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Colorado Springs. It’s kind of cool knowing that voters in other cities are seeking out the same works on their own sidewalks.

You can find the murals in the following spots: 1265 Island Ave, 1055 5th Ave, 655 10th Ave, and two at 427 C St.

Disco Riot’s ‘Move American’ Dance Film Project

Local dance nonprofit Disco Riot has commissioned nine short films of original choreography, music and writing, all surrounding issues of voting rights in America. They pulled together cross-disciplinary artists to tell these stories, and many are pulling from their own experiences and histories as people of color participating in politics and the art world.

RELATED: Dance Is A Reflection Of Power: Short Dance Films Mobilize The Body And The Vote

They have been dosing out these films weekly since mid September, so you can find four films online so far, plus resources about each topic. There are films about voting as immigrant families on the border, awareness of Black women in America, parallels to the oppression happening in the Philippines, and voter suppression — like in “By Any Means Necessary” by dancer and choreographer Derion Loman. The choreography is performed by Loman and Simon Greenberg. It’s a beautiful duet — filmed at the really desolate backdrop of the Salton Sea, and features an amazing custom metalwork ballot box.

And if you don’t want to wait to watch these throughout the rest of the month, they’re holding screenings Saturday night from 6:30-9 p.m. at Art Produce in North Park in the outdoor garden area — you can reserve a time spot for a half hour viewing.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar or sign up for the weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter.

Photo of Julia Dixon Evans

Julia Dixon Evans

Arts Calendar Editor and Producer

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI write the weekly KPBS Arts newsletter and edit and produce the KPBS Arts calendar. I am interested in getting San Diegans engaged with the diversity of art and culture made by the creative people who live here.

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