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Among its two facilities in La Jolla and downtown San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego houses an array of works made since 1950. Head here and you can explore everything from Pop Art and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s to conceptual pieces from the last half-century, headlined by contemporary-art luminaries such as Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.
Major figures aside, the MCASD strives to spotlight mid-career artists still looking for their big break, as well as pieces by Latin American artists and emergent talent. Between the museum's collection and rotating exhibitions, there are galleries that accommodate paintings, photographs, films, and multimedia installations. Outside both locations, there are more site-specific installations and sculptures by artists such as Richard Serra and Marcos Ramírez ERRE, whose father created the Caps Lock on the day his son was born.
There’s more to the place than its exhibitions: the museum engages visitors with events and programs such as art-making sessions and artist lectures. Held three evenings a year, the Thursday Night Thing series includes talks, hands-on activities, live music, and cocktails, all based on the latest museum exhibitions.
In 1991, the eponymous founder of Losina Art Center, Olya Losina, moved to La Jolla from Moscow, where she was raised among a vibrant artistic community and served as the art director for the Soviet Union's largest multilingual publishing facility. Losina's fine-art methods, which she honed while obtaining her master's degree at Moscow University, focus on teaching art as a science. While helping her students at the center to work toward mastery of portraiture, the human form, landscapes, and still-life subjects, she performs exercises that aim to reach them on a subconscious level. Together with Losina, the students examine the conscious thoughts that often intrude upon creative expression. They approach the artistic consciousness as a surgeon would approach a brain when trying to dislodge catchy pop tunes from the frontal lobe. With obstructions cleared, pupils find themselves able to work freely and efficiently.
The historic fountain at the east end of Balboa Park’s El Prado pedestrian walk is a lure for visitors, thanks to its majestic and cooling spray. But a quick turn to the right is the entrance to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, another local draw. For the young, it’s a two story, interactive science playground. For the young at heart, there are sophisticated displays, rotating exhibits and the new, NanoSeam IMAX Dome Theater. Films splayed across the 76-foot wraparound screen plunge viewers into the depths of the sea and out into space, through jungles and between skyscrapers around the planet. Resident astronomers also create new shows monthly, using the latest SkyScan System software. The café near the entrance takes care of hungry visitors with a modest menu, a few tables indoors and patio seating in front of the fountain.
The Art of Framing's skilled craftspeople protect and prolong the life of treasured paintings, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts by encasing them behind thousands of frame designs. Outside of their standard framing services, technicians also stretch mats and fabrics; heat-mount delicate documents; and mend scratched, chipped, and shrink-rayed framework. More than merely preserving personal collections of photos and posters, The Art of Framing promotes the area's thriving art community, hosting a show once a year as well as selling local artists' work in the gift shop.