Sept. 5 2012 11:47 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

A piece by graffiti artist Libre Gutierrez, on view at Voz Alta

1 Rolling in the Logans

Cruising through the back alleys of Barrio Logan and Logan Heights (not that you’d ever have a reason to), you’ll find a lot of big items of trash, dumped illegally behind people’s homes. It’s a problem we covered last summer, but this summer, Voz Alta Project gallery curator Carlos Beltran wants to debut his semi-solution.

For awhile now, Beltran’s been collecting doors and windows and giant FedEx boxes, basically anything he finds in the alley that can double as a canvas, and handing the stuff over to Voz Alta’s stable of artists. He’ll put the resulting works, from artists such as Ricardo Islas, Sergio Hernandez, Chato and Brandon Roth, on display for the first time during the 3rd Annual Barrio Art Crawl, which starts at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 (though Voz Alta won’t be open until 5 p.m.).

Orchestrated by the Barrio Logan Arts District and The Roots Factory, the crawl is a chance to take a self-guided tour through the galleries and cafés that are driving one of the unsung scenes in the San Diego art world, as well as some of the newer venues like The Spot and Blueprint Café. The crawl is also the perfect opportunity to scope the Chicano Park murals, which underwent a restoration project that finished up in mid-August.

As of our deadline, the galleries were still finalizing their plans—which bands will play, what food will be served, exactly which pieces will be hung— but you can be sure that the event will highlight the sense of energy and immediacy that runs so strong in the community. The art crawl is free, and you can print out a map of the venues at

2 Viva movies

Cinephiles, pack a picnic basket and a blanket and head to Otay Ranch Town Center (2015 Birch Road) in Chula Vista to see some of the best offerings in Latino cinema at the Que Viva! Cine Latino! film series every Wednesday during the month of September. The San Diego Latino Film Festival has put together a lineup of films that tell stories about Latinos here and in their home countries. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, catch Habanastation, about a spoiled boy in Cuba who finds himself lost in one of the poorest neighborhoods outside Havana. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, Anita, about an Argentine woman with Down Syndrome screens. The following weeks will feature other good films, including the Academy Award-nominated A Better Life (Sept. 26), starring Demian Bichir. 

3 The human machine

With Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair happening Sept. 6 through 9, there’s much to feast your eyes on around town, including outside of the main event. Head to Space 4 Art (325 15th St. in East Village), where an opening reception for The New Listeners starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. The show features the works of interdisciplinary artists Jesse Sugarmann and Jack Ryan, whose mechanical interpretations of the human body and brain will be on view. The systems—body by Sugarmann and brain by Ryan—work together for a re-conceptualized, abstract interpretation of life. Live music fits the mechanical theme with Author & Punisher, a one-man industrial metal band that uses custom machines to make music. The show runs through Oct. 13.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.