San Diego Weekend Arts Events: Photography, art, electroacoustic music, Palestininan poetry and two local-style Christmas plays

‘Masters of Photography: The Garner Collection’

Visual art

On view through a series of rooms at San Diego Museum of Art, the “Masters of Photography” exhibition features dozens of iconic works of photography, plus lesser known works by pivotal photographers from the 20th century through the present day. These works are all on loan from local collectors Cam and Wanda Garner, and Cam even has a piece on view in the exhibition. The work is divided into three thematic sections, with standouts from Brett Weston, Minor White, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Flor Garduño.

Details: On view through Feb. 21, 2022. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. SDMA, 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park. $8-20.

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Courtesy of the artist and Quint Gallery / photo by Jeff McLane

Mara de Luca’s “Western Sun,” on view at Quint Gallery through Jan. 8, 2022.

Mara de Luca: ‘West Coast Paintings’ and Lee Materzzi: ‘Roughly Cut a Smooth Curved Line’

Visual art

Mara de Luca is a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist, working with textures, colors and light in her paintings. This solo exhibition at Quint’s main gallery features works inspired by the west coast — in fact, one minimalist sky blue and copper-plated diptych is called “La Jolla Shores.” I also love “Sky Scroll,” which is a somewhat sculptural work where a sheet of liquid paint appears to be looped and tucked against the canvas.

Across the street in the former Quint ONE space, Lee Materazzi’s exhibition, “Roughly Cut a Smooth Curved Line” includes really powerful work, playing with shapes, vivid color and the human form. Materazzi often zooms in on nooks or creases in the body to the point that it’s almost unidentifiable, blocking them out with rectangles of strong color. It’s fascinating and evocative work, and exciting to see two solo shows by contemporary women artists right next to each other.

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Courtesy of Quint Gallery

“☐, 2021,” by Lee Materazzi. On view at Quint Gallery through Dec. 11, 2021.

Details: Mara de Luca is on view through Jan. 8, 2022 at Quint Gallery, 7655 Girard Ave.; Lee Materazzi is on view through Dec. 11 at Quint’s 7722 Girard space, both in La Jolla. Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Project [BLANK]: Electroacoustic Night

Music

Performance and experimental music organization Project [BLANK] is finally back to live, in-person audiences after an impressive virtual detour during the pandemic — including their noteworthy production of Sarah Hennies’ “Contralto.” They’re returning to Bread and Salt this Monday for a series of electroacoustic music performances, taking electronic and experimental devices and using those objects to manipulate acoustic or traditional instruments or other found sound objects. The music is sometimes strange, but also beautiful, disruptive and calls into question what music can do. Featuring performances from Pablo Dodero, Nathan Hubbard, Jon Jolly, Francisco Eme and DJ Joe Cantrell.

Details: Monday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Bread and Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. $5.

More music: Vinyl Junkies Record Shack celebrates their 4th anniversary, and the special Black Friday Record Store Day with two days of special releases and constant guest DJs, Friday and Saturday. It kicks off Friday at 9 a.m. You can catch DJ Pokkey, Jake Najor, Carrie Feller, Rob Crow and more on Friday; Justin Pearson, Vaughn Avakian, Ana Brown plus live performances from Low Volts and mystery “super” guests. Check the schedule here. 2235 Fern St., South Park.

‘Shubbak: An Evening of Palestinian Letters’

Literature, Poetry

This is a special performance that’s part of the Rebellious Miss Breed exhibition and program currently underway at the San Diego Central Library. Librarian Clara Breed advocated for incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II. The program not only explores Breed’s role and work but also larger, connected themes. This particular project is curated by Rebecca Romani, and features local Palestinian Americans reading texts from Palestinians in Gaza — letters, personal narratives and poetry, including the work of noted poet Mahmoud Darwish. This is in person, at the library’s Shiley special events suite, and will also feature music from Farhad Bahrami or Dornob. It’s a free event, but seating is limited so register in advance.

Details: Monday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Free/RSVP required.

‘1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas’

Theater

San Diego playwright Dea Hurston worked with the creative team of Frankie Alicea-Ford, Kevin “Blax” Burroughs and Milena (Sellers) Phillips to devise her brand new holiday musical. Phillips also wrote the lyrics, to a score by John-Mark McGaha. The story is about Dorothy Black — played by Phillips — who is a widow, hosting her grown children (including the talented Deja Fields) for a family Christmas Eve. There’s plenty of family traditions and even more family drama — and a note in the show program: this one has adult themes. The music is a mix of reimagined traditional carols as well as some new originals.

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Sarah Marcella

Victor Morris, Milena (Sellers) Phillips and Deja Fields will perform in New Village Arts’ production of “1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas.”

Details: On stage through Dec. 26. Shows this weekend are Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. New Village Arts, 2787 State St., Carlsbad. $27-59.

‘Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big San Diego Christmas Show’

Theater

Conceived originally on the east coast, writers Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen worked with The Old Globe to adapt this play for San Diego, literally. It takes Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” characters and narratives, and sets them all in turn of the 20th century San Diego. This is a comedy with music, and of course a hefty dose of absurdity based on the setting alone. Plus, the costume design is by the talented David Israel Reynoso, so this promises to be a really visually stunning production.

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Jim Cox

George Abud as Medium Scrooge, Orville Mendoza as Mr. Fezzi, Jacque Wilke as Ghost of Christmas Past, Bill Buell as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Cathryn Wake as Lavinia in The Old Globe’s production of “Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big San Diego Christmas Show,” playing through Dec. 26, 2021.

I don’t want to say something like “If you only see one ‘A Christmas Carol,’ make it this,” but… if you’re not one to connect to those traditional wintry London scenes, then this one’s for you.

Details: On stage through Dec. 26. Shows this weekend are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

For more arts events, visit the KPBS/Arts calendar, and be sure to sign up for my weekly KPBS/Arts newsletter.