June 12 2013 02:04 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

“Lichen North” by Charlotte Bird of Allied Craftsmen of San Diego


San Diego is all about craft-something: craft beer, craft cocktails, craft meats, etc. It can get a bit tiresome. However, the original crafts San Diego has contributed to the world don’t involve ironic mustaches and suspenders. It involves gorgeous works of handcrafted art.

Allied Craftsmen of San Diego is an organization that’s been around since 1946. Members, some of whom have been with the organization since the early ’60s, create functional and non-functional pieces using nine selected mediums: ceramics, enamel, fiber, glass, metal, jewelry, furniture, mixed media and wood.

Some of the amazing crafts current members have made in the last few years will be on view in Allied Craftsmen Today, an exhibition opening at the Mingei International Museum (1439 El Prado in Balboa Park) on Saturday, June 15.

The exhibition came about after the success of Mingei’s 2011 exposition, San Diego’s Craft Revolution: From Post-War Modern to California Design, which looked at seminal, locally made works created in the post-war period.

“We got a lot of wonderful feedback from Allied Craftsmen members thanking us for San Diego’s Craft Revolution, but they also said there is still a vibrant community of Allied Craftsmen artists doing work,” says Christine Knoke, cocurator, with Rob Sidner, of Allied Craftsmen Today.

Knoke and Sidner chose 37 pieces by active members, including David Fobes, Kathy Miller, Charlotte Bird and Ron Carlson.

Knoke says visitors will be “blown over” not only by the artwork but also the group’s continued presence in the local art scene.

“They have had their up and downs,” she says. “But the fact that they’ve been able to persevere after a lot of other art organizations have had to close down is wonderful. The Allied Craftsmen are really proud of their longevity. It’s a real coup for San Diego. We’re really honored to let the public see so much of their artwork.”

Allied Craftsmen Today will be on view through Jan. 5. mingei.org


Steve Schneider’s got a visible scar running from the top of his head to just above his ear. The mixologist, who works at New York wonder-bar, Employees Only, was an intelligence specialist in the Marine Corps before a serious accident ended his military career. Hey Bartender, a new documentary that opens Friday, June 14, at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp (701 Fifth Ave., Downtown), is partly about Schneider and his post-injury quest, amid the current craft-cocktail renaissance, to become one of the world’s top bartenders. Interweaved with Schneider’s story are interviews with folks like Dale DeGroff—aka “King Cocktail”—a James Beard Award winner and mixology vanguard, and Sasha Petraske, who opened cocktail mecca Milk & Honey, who capture what it means to mix up the perfect drink. The film screens through June 20. facebook.com/heybartenderfilm


The folks at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego have come up with a pretty good scheme to compel you to get off that lazy duff and over to the museum’s La Jolla location (700 Prospect St.): an art-focused party almost every Thursday night (until 8 p.m.) this summer, starting Thursday, June 13It’s called Shore Thing Thursday. Each event will include a cash cocktail bar and food trucks, and programming will include live music, film screenings, artist talks, tours and the museum’s current exhibitions. This week’s event will feature music by Little Birds and a screening of the seminal 1966 surf film Endless Summer, in addition to the Approximately Infinite Universe exhibition that we profile hereThere’s no extra cost beyond the regular museum admission. mcasd.org/events/shore-thing-0

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