Art Labs

2019 Art Labs

Art Labs feature special curated projects by leading galleries, art institutions, and art collectives within the show. The Art San Diego 2019 Art Labs will be posted in September.

ART LAB 1: San Diego Art Prize – Past & Present

Location: Booth 121

Former nominees and recipients of the SD Art Prize will be featured in a special Art Lab retrospective coordinated and presented by San Diego’s FIG titled San Diego Art Prize, Past and Present with Feminist Image Group, including current winners Anne Mudge, Erin Dace Behling, Robert Matheny, and Max Robert Daily exhibiting alongside a retrospective from artists Bhavna Mehta, Anna Stump, Michele Guieu, Lauren Carerra, Terri Hughes-Oelrich, and Prudence Horne.

Retrospective Artists

Bhavna Mehta draws with a knife, cutting paper to tell visual stories. Her work is based on the idea that everything is connected. Starting with a single sheet of paper, she cuts out shapes to reveal the image. She was raised in India where pattern and color are part of daily life. The abundance of these memories roots her work. Whether it’s a figurative story or one inspired by a line from a song, her goal is to build a narrative with a universal theme. In telling one story in a particular setting, she hopes to speak in a common language about cultural and personal associations. Mehta has been exhibiting her work since 2009 and is now the Education Chair for San Diego Book Arts and teaching workshops all over San Diego County.

Anna Stump is an artist and arts educator living in San Diego. She teaches studio and art history courses at San Diego City College and Grossmont College and is a constant explorer of the issues of arts education. Anna is the founder of the San Diego Feminist Image Group, and one half of the painting collaboration Hill & Stump. She is clear on her mission and state: “My work as a painter, performance artist, and curator is intimately connected. Interest in body politics, feminism, and physicality is grounded in community building and education, which I challenge personally by cultural risk-taking. My job is to both please and provoke.”

Anna Stump
Anna Stump | Cupcake Pinata Over Trump's Wall

Terri Hughes-Oelrich is an artist and educator in San Diego, CA. She teaches studio art at San Diego City College and directs the non-profit Sugar Museum. She received her BA at UC Santa Barbara and her MFA from San Diego State University.

Terri Hughes-Oelrich | Gorge
Terri Hughes-Oelrich | Rainforest
Terri Hughes-Oelrich | Logging

Prudence Horne grew up in Boston and let’s her early years influence her creativity. Her paintings focus on a personal response to landscape and have been extensively exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. As she reflects, “Each variation in a brush stroke, a drip, or the surface of the paper or canvas forces a new interpretation of the landscape, regardless of how subtle the differences may be.” Horne’s work has been recognized and awarded grants and residency programs, including; Heinrich Boll in Co. Mayo, Ireland, Fundacion Valparaiso in Almeria, Spain, and the Montana Artist Refuge in Basin Montana. Horne currently teaches Art History at San Diego City College and is the director at the Hyde Art Gallery at Grossmont College.

Prudence Horne | Sea I
Prudence Horne | Sea II

Michele Guieu is a Bay Area environmental artist, maker, and art educator. Her practice focuses on the importance of water, and the consequences of human activity on our watershed and the ocean. Michele is an installation artist. As an environmental artist and a STEAM/maker art educator living in densely populated Silicon Valley, between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay’s fragile and diverse eco-systems, the art installations and projects she creates are oriented towards a better understanding of our surroundings, the importance of water and the consequences of human activity on our watershed and the ocean.

Michele Guieu | Plankton Bloom
Michele Guieu | Coccolithophores Bloom

Carrera is a west coast artist and independent curator working in installation, mixed-media and painting. In 2002, Carrera changed her career from clinical psychology to pursue visual art professionally. With installations and paintings exploring the nexus between science and art and man’s complex interactions with the natural world, she has been continually awarded and acknowledged for her artistic endeavors. She received a fellowship at the Atlin Centre for the Arts in British Columbia and nominated for the San Diego Art Prize as one of the “New Contemporaries” in 2012. Carrera recently closed a 4,000 square foot art installation in San Diego called “Museo du Profundo Mundo: The Carrera Expediton,” exploring the world of museum collections, cabinets of curiosity and the role of the scientist/artist.

Art Lab 2: Oslo Sardine Bar

Location: Booth 124

Max Robert Daily is a San Diego artist who works in performance and visual arts, using any medium that best expresses the story he is telling. He attended the Cotsen Center for Puppetry at Calarts and performs extensively in puppetry, mime, and clowning, as well as being a published author in children’s illustration books. Being one of two 2018 San Diego Art Prize winning recipients, Daily’s most recent creation the Oslo Sardine Bar debuts at Art San Diego on the first leg of a national tour with Redwood Media Group’s shows.

Daily describes the origins of the Oslo Sardine Bar concept for us:

“The famed sardine bar being called Oslo goes back to the short time I spent traveling the world working on freighters as a sort of merchant marine.  At one point in my trip, I took up work on a Danish flagged freighter, the name of which I cannot pronounce, that later to our dismay broke down at sea. It wasn’t an emergency but a definite few days of boredom with nothing to do. I managed to gather together some of the the emergency supply foods, along with a few non-perishables. And added a few bottles of Czech rum I was hoping to get back to the States.

“Anyway with these items, a portable record player, some Belafonte albums I had brought along, and a backgammon board, I opened up a makeshift bar in a supply closet and opened a port hole to provide a cool breeze. Although I was not at all a very good sailor, the men appreciated my ability to temporarily take their minds away from where they were by simply suggesting that rations presented properly could provide a comfortable meal—alongside the offering of a reimagined space made for a great place to pass the time stranded at sea.

“One of the men remarked that it reminded him of his favorite bar back home in Oslo which served nothing but sardine and herring dishes. The rest of the men made fun of him and then continued on referring to the broom closet we were in as Oslo.

“When we were first building the Oslo installation in the This is Not an Exit Gallery, founded by Bob Methaney in San Diego’s Bread and Salt Building, it was brought to my attention by my father that his uncle Oswald worked in that very building when it was the Weber Bread factory. He also told me that his mother, my grandmother, worked in a nearby tuna cannery during WWII and would bring dented and unlabeled cans of tuna, along with a cooler of beer, to the bread factory to sell to her brother and his friends on payday. They ate copious amounts of white bread smothered in mayo and canned fish. My father also says that because of the heavily diverse immigrant population in the neighborhood at the time, many of the men lacking English or having heavy accents could only get out part of my great uncle’s name. It ended up sounding like Oslo. However, my mother jokes that it was actually because they were saying Oh So sLOw—a knock at Uncle Oswald for the speed at which he worked.”

And so the Oslo Sardine Bar debuts at Art San Diego 2018—step inside, the proprietor is charming, amusing, and quite talented. It’s an experience to be remembered!

Art Lab 3: Art San Diego Selects

Location: Look for the Art San Diego Selects Awards throughout the show

The Art San Diego Selects Judges will make their favorite artworks choices on Thursday, October 18, at the Opening Night Preview Party! We thank our prestigious panel of judges—each one an influencer in the art and design world of the San Diego area.

  • Patricia Frischer – Director of San Diego Visual Arts Network Director and Curator of San Diego Art Prize
  • Collette Murphy Stefanko – Director of Marketing at Oceanside Museum of Art
  • Dorothy Willetts – Award winning Interior Designer and Founder of Willetts Design & Associates, based in Palm Desert
  • Christopher Mercier – Accomplished Architect, Artist, and Urban Designer and Founder of (fer) Studio, based in L.A.
  • Kinsee Morlan – Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report

Are their winning choices your favorites too? Walk the show to find each one.

Art San Diego Selects

2017 Art Labs

Welcome to Art San Diego Art Labs—featuring special curated projects by several leading San Diego-based art institutions, alternative spaces, and universities within the show. Art Labs showcase the thriving art landscape of San Diego.

Art Lab 1: Rainbow Ribbon Magic

Entrance and Booth 408

Sarah Stieber premieres Rainbow Ribbon Magic, a contemporary art exhibition of paintings, installation, dance, and video at Art San Diego 2017, creating a visual language that spans artistic mediums in the service of sisterhood and creative empowerment. Informed by the show’s curatorial theme [FUSION], Rainbow Ribbon Magic reflects the colorful, energetic, and vibrant culture of Southern California and creates a magnificent entrance to Art San Diego.

Comprising the Art Lab are a collection of paintings featuring inspiring female creatives, a 50-foot-long goddess flag installation, a ribbon-wrapped tunnel inviting visitors to walk through the empowered world of Rainbow Ribbon Magic and see themselves in the chrome female forms who hold the structure up, and a performance by professional dancer Adelaide Marcus, designed to break the barrier between the artwork and reality.

Rainbow Ribbon Magic premieres with the dance performance Sept. 28 at the Art San Diego Opening Night Preview Party.

Art Lab 2: Metamorphosis of the Migrant Era

Booth 203

Take in the conceptual creations of José Hugo Sánchez, a multidisciplinary artist living between Mexico and the United States, at Metamorphosis of the Migrant Era, an evocative Art Lab considered to be a cartographic border beyond limits.

Sánchez works in the fields of performance art, monumental printmaking, sculpture, ready-mades, and new media technologies. His current body of work deals with global, cross-border migration, exploring why humans are forced to leave their countries to escape from war and violence.

Made up of monumental woodcut sculptures, the Art Lab is exploratory in nature, tied to Sánchez’s background living between two countries—Mexico and the U.S.—a living experience in which he is still immersed and that is the bulk of his hard-drive as a border crosser. The sculptures are a geographical immanence of his life as an artist and citizen in both countries. Sánchez refers to these works as his “conceptual map in which I can experiment and recreate many identities out of my memory.”

Art Lab 3: San Diego Art Prize and San Diego Visual Arts Network

Booth 114

The San Diego Art Prize Art Lab features the work of six talented San Diego artists. Now in its 11th year, the San Diego Art Prize, presented by the San Diego Visual Arts Network, is dedicated to the idea that the visual arts are a necessary and rewarding ingredient of any world-class city. Conceived to promote and encourage dialogue, reflection, and social interaction about San Diego’s artistic and cultural life, this annual award honors artistic expression.

The winners of the 2017 San Diego Art Prize, which includes a cash prize as well as exhibition opportunities, are Rizzhel Javier and Alexander Kohnke. In addition to the two winners, four artists who were nominated for the San Diego Art Prize will be featured as the 2017 New Contemporaries at Art San Diego. They include Michelle Montjoy, Cathy Breslaw, Miriam Gabriela Garcia Aguirre, and Rebecca Webb.

The San Diego Art Prize exhibition is being curated by Patric Stillman, Director of The Studio Door, San Diego.

2017 Theme [FUSION]

[FUSION]: The merging of artistic mediums, of exhibitors and collectors, and of the countless galleries and artists who come together to showcase their work. It informs each of our special installations, talks, and events.

Special Curated Projects

We have a great itinerary planned for this year’s show. Our 2017 Art Labs will be posted shortly. Take a look back at 2016’s Art Labs below!

2016 Art Labs

Art Lab 1: Open Walls Project

Artist Andrea Bowers, "Education Not Deportation"

Throughout San Diego beginning October 17 & special installation at ASD
Curated by: Marcos Ramirez ERRE and Ann Berchtold
Sponsored by: Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show and OUTFRONT Media

This year marks the third Open Walls Project, an Art Lab created in partnership with OUTFRONT Media and designed to engage leading contemporary artists in transforming commercial billboards throughout San Diego into works of public art. Staged just before the U.S. presidential election, the 10 billboards will feature works that engage viewers on current political issues and cultural topics such as deportation, immigration, and police brutality. Billboard locations will span from the Tijuana/San Isidro border up throughout downtown and North Park.

The selection of internationally collected artists for this year’s Open Walls Project includes Marcos Ramirez ERRE (featured at MCASD), Sam Durant (Blum & Poe/Los Angeles), Rigo23 (Anglim Gilbert Gallery/San Francisco), Andrea Bowers (Susanne Vielmetter/Los Angeles), and Daniel Guzman (Kurimanzutto/Mexico).

Art Lab 2: Heroic Procession

Saturday, November 5, 7:00 p.m.
Art Talk Area
Featured Artists: Hugo Crosthwaite, Marilu Salinas, and Theresa Magario

Heroic Procession is a collaborative exploration of migration and movement through visual art, dance, and sound that includes Tijuana visual artist Hugo Crosthwaite, violinist Marilu Salinas and Japanese Butoh dancer Theresa Magario.

This unique, experiential Art Lab encompasses an improvised 30-minute production that seeks to trace the emotional and physical journey of America’s immigrants, particularly the procession between leaving home and setting foot on American soil. The production takes place in this interstitial space, between man and nation, between nation and nation, and between graphite, dance, and sound. In this live creativity process, the audience will have an immersive experience as they watch the artwork unfold before them, surrounded by music and dance.

Featured Artists: Hugo Crosthwaite, Marilu Salinas, and Theresa Magario

Art Lab 3: Cabina Exuro

Center Court
Design Lead: Ramiro Martinez, Jr.
Electronics: Navjeet Sarna
Fabrication Lead: Paul McCarthy
Photography/Prompts: Arash Afshar
Built by volunteers from the San Diego Burning Man family at CoLab San Diego

Cabina Exuro offers the art patrons at ASD a glimpse into the Burning Man culture. An audio recording booth built to document the conversations that will shape the next chapter of humanity, Cabina Exuro is a gift the Burner Podcast crew built for Burning Man in 2016 in order to collect short stories that may be shared on future episodes of Burner Podcast or at

The structure is a 10′ x 10′ x 10′ geodesic dome, a triambic icosahedron shape made out of electrical conduit coupled with custom 3D printed parts. These components make up the exoskeleton for the structure, which was then paneled off with laser-cut panels. This shape was chosen because of its spherical characteristics, which have been proven to withstand the dust storms out in Black Rock City, a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada every year for Burning Man.

The interior of the the structure, on the right, will have a picture book of the culture and events that take place at Burning Man. In the center will be an audio recording interface where participants can record answers to question prompts displayed on the LCD display. On the left side of the structure will be a computer that plays recordings from Burning Man 2016.


Art Lab 4: Light The Night: Searching For Perfection

Front Patio
Artist: Adrian Sierra Garcia

Searching for Perfection is a dynamic light sculpture designed by Adrian Sierra Garcia, an artist, designer, and architect who creates immersive, large-scale, ephemeral environments that transform everyday places of transition into spaces of communication, reflection, and wonder.

The futuristic work of art radically displaces the viewer’s conception of time and space, transporting them into new, mesmerizing dimensions. The volumetric piece features a cluster of large red LED light tubes composed of polycarbonate tubing and aluminum structure that radiate an endless array of dreamy light patterns.

The intelligent lightsabers, originally designed for Garcia’s monumental interactive art installation, Of Two, on the Simone de Beauvoir footbridge in Paris (2012), have been exhibited in numerous places throughout Europe and the United States.

Adrian Sierra Garcia
Adrian Sierra Garcia
Searching for Perfection
Searching for Perfection - Dynamic Light Sculpture

Art Lab 5: Into The Light

A collaboration between San Diego Art Institute and San Diego Art Prize
Curated by: San Diego Mesa College Museum Studies Program
Artists: Claudia Cano, Andrea Chung, Beliz Iristay, Bhavna Mehta, Margaret Noble, PANCA, Lee Puffer, Sasha Koozel Reibstein, Aren Skalman, Anna Stump, Joe Yorty

This booth will feature artwork by San Diego Art Institute members who have been nominated for the San Diego Art Prize in past years. Highlighting artists that have made the transition from their studios to solid representation in the San Diego art scene, Into the Light will feature an exciting range of affordable work geared to young art collectors that want to support local artists. A section of the booth will focus on the outstanding works of the two emerging 2016 San Diego Art Prize winners, William Feeney and Shinpei Takeda.

The collaboration between these organizations is rooted in our mutual interests to promote artists, exhibit their works, and network with the San Diego community. Mesa College Museum Studies students will be curating the exhibit, managing the booth, and focusing on outreach during the art fair.


Art Labs Archive

Dive into the Art San Diego Art Labs archive. View past projects featuring some of the most amazing talent from our past shows. See what you missed!

Art San Diego Programs

Art San Diego features a wide platform of cutting-edge programs highlighting established and emerging artists. Learn more about these specially curated programs and explore all Art San Diego has to offer!

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Art San Diego Newsletter


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111 W Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

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