Summer Exhibition Preview

by Natalie Jacobs and Eileen Sondak May 30, 2017


exhibitions_birch-aquarium-infinity-cubeBirch Aquarium

“Infinity Cube: Language of Light” is what you get when you pair an artist with a marine biologist to work together for three months, filming single-celled organisms as they react to different stimulants. Revelers at the Aquarium walk into the eight-food cube and become ensconced in projections of the real footage that artist Iyvone Khoo and biologist Michael Latz recorded during their time together. The result is a larger-than-single-celled-life bioluminescent experience that is both beautiful and intellectually intriguing.

The Aquarium’s newest exhibit, “Expedition at Sea” also offers a blend of art and science, with a 33-foot-long projected triptych exploring the Sally Ride research vessel’s 100-plus years of underwater discoveries. The Birch continues its Green Flash Concert series this summer, too, with Cracker taking the sunset stage on June 21. Steve Poltz headlines July 19 followed by Milo Greene on Aug. 16. Pine Mountain Logs and Venice round out this all-ages series on Sept. 20.

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library Juried Exhibition

The prestigious 26th annual Athenaeum Music & Arts Library juried exhibition unveils its winners with the opening reception Aug. 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The show will be up in La Jolla until Sept. 2. This year’s jurors are Alessandra Moctezuma, gallery director and professor of fine art at Mesa College, and Kara West, library arts and culture exhibition manager for the San Diego Public Library. For the fine artists among us, there is still a smidgen of time left to submit – deadline to enter is June 9 at 5:30 p.m. Might be worth a couple all-nighters if this is the first you’re hearing about the show. Art appreciators have a month to see the finalists. As a side note, the Athenaeum opened a studio location in Barrio Logan not too long ago, if you’re looking for more reasons to check out that neighborhood. Find them at 1955 Julian Ave., next to Bread & Salt, and be sure to check out the colorful abstract mural by Michael James Armstrong in the alley.

San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Art is opening its vaults to show off a treasure trove of work usually kept under lock and key. “Visible Vaults,” a collection of 300 pieces, including works by Andy Warhol, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec and other great artists, will be on display through 2019 in the Museum’s first floor. Claude Monet’s 1904 Water Lily painting “Le Bassin de Nympheas” will be on view here beginning June 24.

Also on display are “Richard Deacon: What You See is What You Get” (through July 25) and “Modern Japan: Prints from the Taisho Era (ensconced through Aug. 13). The Deacon show is the first major survey of the artist’s work, and includes 40 pieces.

Fleet Science Center

The Fleet is just closing up its latest interactive exhibitions “Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery” and “So Moved” (both end on June 4), but by July 1 they’ll unveil a whole new special exhibition. “Game Masters” showcases the work of the world’s best video game designers, from the arcade era to today’s console and online games. The work of more than 30 designers who have made a significant impact in the field is explored through concept art, new interviews, and interactive digital displays. Up until Jan. 15, 2018.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s downtown location continues with three newly unveiled exhibits this summer. First, don’t miss Andrea Chung’s first solo museum exhibition, an exquisite installation of cyanotypes and watercolor sea creatures, along with prints and collages that “conjure a fantastic underwater world while offering a potent allegory for colonization.” The Museum’s collection is also on display, focusing on group works that explore relationships between art and political protest. “Go Tell It” and Andrea Chung are up until Aug. 20.

Up only until July 23 is “Prospect,” an annual exhibition of works under consideration for acquisition by the Museum’s International and Contemporary Collectors groups. This year’s show features eight artists and one or more works will be selected by ballot at the annual Selection Dinner later this year.

The Nat

Dinosaurs continue to take over the Natural History Museum, with life-like replicas of some of history’s most mysterious and majestic creates on display until Sept. 4. Relatively new to the museum is an exhibition on the Cerutti Mastadon discovery that happened right here in San Diego while CalTrans was working on the State Route 54 expansion project in 1992. The exhibition opened in conjunction with a prestigious article published in the science journal Nature, which outlines the research that has been done on the specimens found on that site. The discovery and subsequent research has called into question the timeline of human activity in North America, suggesting that humans were roaming this part of the earth approximately 115,000 years earlier than previously thought. If you’re unfamiliar with this story, the Museum suggests you take a look at some video materials on their website ( before visiting the specimen exhibition.


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