‘Being Here with You’ draws crowd to Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Shof Coker, an Encinitas artist, lent a hand to Abraham Avila’s photo and video ‘Writing Fate with Lines.’ Avila, born in Coahuila, Mexico, lives and works in Tijuana.
( Maurice Hewitt)

On the evening of Sept. 20, it seemed that nearly everyone downtown was making their way to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) for the opening of “Being Here with You/Estando Aquí Contigo,” a 42-artist, trans-border exhibition.

The official visitor count was actually 876, and included a wide variety of ages and backgrounds, all seemingly engrossed in the art and happy to be part of this month’s free third Thursday “Downtown at Sundown” event.

Organized by curator Jill Dawsey and assistant curator Anthony Graham, the show is political, experimental, and visually engaging. It features paintings, photography, video, multimedia pieces and installations. There was a bilingual candle-lighting ceremony at the opening, with visitors invited to light prayer candles for immigrants being held at Otay Mesa Detention Center.

The exhibition will run through Feb. 3, and is well worth a visit. If you’re there anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Thursday-Monday, stop in at SDSU Downtown Gallery to see the woodworks of Tom Loeser, who does interesting things with shovel-handle furniture and burnt-wood prints. It’s only a stone’s throw away at 725 West Broadway and usually partners with MCASD for Downtown at Sundown.

• Lectures in La Jolla : And if you’re missing MCASD-La Jolla events since the museum on Prospect Street closed for renovations, here’s good news: There will be different hour-long “Sessions in Contemporary Art” with some of the “Being Here with You” artists in the coming weeks. They’ll take place at The Lot, 7611 Fay Ave., La Jolla. 6-7 p.m. Oct. 9, and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 29.

IF YOU GO: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is at 1100 Kettner Blvd., downtown San Diego. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed Wednesday. Admission: $5-$10. (858) 454-3541.

Filmmaker Ash Eliza Smith and actor Jesse Uribe watch themselves onscreen in one of the three videos by Hysterical Accuracy, 'Candy Ego.' Smith is associate director of Art & Technology at UCSD and co-founder of Hysterical Accuracy, which 'uses comedy in powerful ways.'
(Maurice Hewitt)


Maura Walters, assistant to the director of La Jolla Athenaeum, with baby James in front of Matt Rich’s ‘Yellow Ribbon.’ Rich, born in Boston, lives and works in San Diego and Los Angeles.
(Maurice Hewitt)


Kim Dawsey-Richardson and her 5-year-old daughter, Avila, and 3-year old niece, Willa (daughter of curator Jill Dawsey), at Brianna Riggs’ installation, ‘Blues in the Blender.’ Born in Oregon, Riggs is based in San Diego.
(Maurice Hewitt)


As part of a bilingual ceremony, visitors light prayer candles in sympathy with detained immigrants.
(Maurice Hewitt)


Curator Jill Dawsey and assistant curator Anthony Graham pose with Alida Cervantes' oil-and-spray-paint 'Saint Dorothy.' Born in San Diego, Cervantes works on both sides of the border.
(Maurice Hewitt)