April 6 2015 02:15 PM

Our top picks of San Diego events this week

Untitled mural by PANCA (left), Krampus by Pamela Jaeger

Monster bash

We had a blast at the last Monster Drawing Rally back in September, but the name is a bit of a misnomer. Inspired by the Southern Exposure event in San Francisco, one could easily get the impression that people were just drawing monsters. Some of the participating artists are great at drawing monsters (Brian Dombrowsky is a one of our faves), but here the word "monster" refers more to the sheer scope of the thing. More than 150(!) artists will be participating in the event, where groups of artists sit around a communal table and, well, just do their thing. "It's really fun and there's a great energy all night," says Pamela Jaeger, one of the artists coming back for the second rally. "It's just fun to meet so many artists at once and walk around to see them all working at the same time." Starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park (1439 El Prado), artists will participate in hour-long stints at the tables with new participants rotating in after an hour is up. What's more, all the art produced on-site will be for sale for $60 (admission is $5). There will also be beer from Deschutes, live screen-printing from Bujwah Clothing and Circles & Squares, plus live music from Pesos, Wild Honey and Low Filth.  

Blythe Barton Dance
Photo by Sue Brenner

A time to dance

Forget hot-tub time machines. There's more cardio involved when you dance your way through time. Live Arts Fest 2015's "Modern Masters & Movements" will chronologically present 100 years of American modern dance, via live performances, films, classes and workshops, over 10 consecutive days (Tuesday, April 14, through Saturday, May 2). Modern dance originated at the turn of the 20th century, when hoofers rebelled against the two dominant forms at the time, ballet and vaudeville. San Diego Dance Theater will explore its space at NTC at Liberty Station (2650 Truxtun Road) to showcase how dance has evolved. Check for a featured performance by Bob Cohan, founder of London Contemporary Dance and former director of the Martha Graham Company. Tickets to each show are $20, but the big bargain is a $100 Festival Pass, good for all 10 shows. 

Black & White 8 by Kim MacConnel

Opposites Attract 

Inspired by his travels in Western and sub-Saharan Africa and pictographs of the San Diego tribe of San Luiseño Indians, Kim MacConnel brings his sharp-yet-playful abstract paintings to Quint Gallery in La Jolla (7547 Girard Ave.). The opening reception for Black & White takes place Saturday, April 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., and will present MacConnel's works, which entail enamel paint on wood boards in the exhibit's named stark shades. This will be MacConnel's 10th solo exhibition, and he plans to attend the reception. After viewing his paintings, head down the road to Dolphin and Hawk Art Gallery, which will be featuring five artists that night as well. Black & White will run through May 2. 

The dark arts

In homage to Tim Burton’s distinctively dark and fantastical oeuvre, ArtHatch and Distinction Gallery (317 East Grand St., Escondido) is showcasing 34 artists from around the world in The Nightmare in Wonderland Project, Part II. Curated by Italian artist Ixie Darkonn, the exhibition features pop-surrealist depictions of big-eyed alien mermaids and sculptures emblematic of the Burton’s signature style ("Hard to Breathe" by Calvin Ma shown here). The show is part of a larger project that's included exhibitions in Chicago; Vancouver, B.C.; and, coming up this fall, Berlin—gaining "momentum" as each show builds in color and scope. The opening reception takes place Saturday, April 11, from 6 to 10 p.m. and includes complimentary Stone beer and wine. The works will be on display through May 2.

Nice Moog

Musical instruments of any kind are fun to play with, but there’s something extra fun about getting handsy with synthesizers. Maybe you're partial to the fat sound of vintage analog synths, though the advancements in synthesizer technology have come a long way, to the point that you can just about create any sound you want. Find out just how wild you can get with synths when UC San Diego's Springfest presents the Synthesizer Petting Zoo. Attendees (kids are welcome) can get up-close-and-personal with handmade hardware and software created by folks from the UCSD Audio Electronics Club. There will be synths, processors and robotics for all you budding Brian Enos to test and check out. And the best part: It’s free. The Synthesizer Petting Zoo takes place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, in UCSD's North Courtyard. 

Amuse oreille

Perhaps you're not the symphony-going type. Getting dressed up's a hassle and the concerts are too long. But, you still crave the experience of a full symphony. In that case, give Tastings a try. The hour-long performance is a pay-what-you-wish / come-as-you-are event that includes a pre-show happy hour with beer and cocktails by Snake Oil Cocktail Co. Conducted by Francisco Lecce-Chong (shown here) and featuring pianist Sydney Yin, the symphony will play selections that'll be featured in its upcoming season, like Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Tastings takes place on Thursday, April 9; happy hour starts at 6:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall (750 B St., Downtown). A seat reservation is recommended.

Retail therapy

If you missed Makers Arcade a couple of weeks ago, fear not. North County's Queen Bee Market—a craft / DIY / handmade goods shopping event—is holding its 16th incarnation (holy longevity!) Friday, April 10 (from 4 to 9 p.m.), and Saturday, April 11 (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), at QLN Conference Center (1938 Avenida del Oro, Oceanside). More than 70 carefully selected vendors have signed up, including folks like Bryer Leather and Cage & Lantern (who both specialize in leather goods), Flea Market Sunday (modern takes on vintage home goods), Midiqueen (handbags) and Color Corner Shop, whose stylish quilt is show here. Admission is $3

Does your event deserve to be featured here? Email Kinsee Morlan.