Newsletter

Arts & Culture Newsletter: In ‘Birds Of a Different Feather,’ artist Saki plays with identity and the avian world

Good morning, and welcome to the U-T Arts & Culture Newsletter.

I’m David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all things essential in San Diego’s arts and culture this week.

The wearable art of the Southern California-based artist Saki is by design transformative: “People who’ve worn my works become different people. They become more confident. They wear a different persona.”

Saki’s dioramas play with gender identity and the avian world at its most fanciful in her exhibition “Birds Of a Different Feather” at the Oceanside Museum of Art. “Much of the art that I created is inspired by the LGBTQ community, especially drag queens and the concept of dressing extravagantly,” explained Saki. “I want to just bring that attitude to everyone, not exclusively drag queens.”

As to the gender roles connection: “With the human race compared to the rest of the animal kingdom we’re unusual in that

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Arts & Culture Newsletter: In her docuseries, Ruth-Ann Thorn spotlights the work of Native American artists

Good morning, and welcome to the U-T Arts & Culture Newsletter.

I’m David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all things essential in San Diego’s arts and culture this week.

Ruth-Ann Thorn operated her first art gallery “out of the back of a Ryder truck.” That’s a humble beginning for the woman who would — over the course of 15 years — oversee seven brick-and-mortar galleries: in La Jolla, Fashion Valley, the Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village and out of town in Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills and Breckenridge, Colo.

Today Thorn, who is of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians in Valley Center, has just one gallery space: Exclusive Collections in Solana Beach’s Cedros Avenue Design District. This is by choice. She’s taken her advocacy for artists, particularly Native American artists, to a multimedia platform. Thorn’s docuseries titled Art of the City began as a project on Facebook

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Arts & Culture Newsletter: TwainFest returns … live and in person

Good morning, and welcome to the U-T Arts & Culture Newsletter.

I’m David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all things essential in San Diego’s arts and culture this week.

What’s your favorite Mark Twain quote? I have many, but I’m partial to “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” How’s that for the world we’re living in now?

That’s the genius of Twain, aka Samuel Clemens: Things he wrote or said a century and a half ago are just as biting and relevant today.

San Diego actor/director Tim West knows a little bit about Twain: He’s portrayed him memorably at Write Out Loud’s annual TwainFest. The 12th TwainFest, happening Saturday in Old Town’s Heritage County Park, will mark West’s seventh year “in the linen suit.”

“It makes you feel very clever being Mark Twain,” said West, who’ll be joined by

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Arts & Culture Newsletter: Shakespeare Center LA’s ‘Macbeth’: virtual and graphic

Good morning, and welcome to the U-T Arts & Culture Newsletter.

I’m David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all things essential in San Diego’s arts and culture this week.

Transforming William Shakespeare’s greatest works into graphic novels is nothing new, but tossing a theatrical component into the mix certainly is. That’s what the always inventive Shakespeare Center LA has done with “The Scottish Play.” Its “Macbeth: A Virtual Live-Action Graphic Novel” merits an “aye” for ambition, though as a multimedia production it’s an uneasy amalgam.

Shakespeare Center LA Artistic Director Ben Donenberg dreamed up this idea and must be applauded for attempting another way to tell one of The Bard’s most-told tales. The on-demand streaming presentation works like this: A cast of seven, including Keith David as Macbeth and Simone Vicari Moore as Lady Macbeth, appear as talking heads in Zoom squares at the bottom of your screen.

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