February 6, 2014 – San Diego, CA – On February 20, The San Diego Foundation will launch “Meet the Artists” a public event series showcasing several of the San Diego-based professional artists who received a total of $200,000 in grants through the Creative Catalyst program to support the creation and development of new work.

“The San Diego Foundation welcomes all San Diegans to learn about this year’s Fellows and take a deeper dive into the issues they explore through their work,” shared Felicia Shaw, director of arts & culture analysis and strategy at the Foundation’s Center for Civic Engagement. “Through a moderated discussion with nationally acclaimed art critic, Robert Pincus, these outstanding artists will preview their music, film, theatre and visual arts projects that promote civic engagement and social change.”

Meet the Artists events will be held at The San Diego Foundation in the Hoffman Room at 2508 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego. (Event details and artist bios follow.)

Societal Shifts: Evoking the Evolution of Our Culture

February 20 at 5 p.m.
Participating Artists/Panelists:
Bridget Rountree, Valuable Content
Iain Gunn, Paper Cities
Eva Struble, Produce

One artist uses a mix of media to question what is valuable in contemporary culture. Another creates a puppet theater to evoke global urban development and the way politics, commerce and architecture impact each other. A third employs screen prints and a book to focus on agricultural labor and its workers from south of the Mexican-American border.

Filming Place and Culture

March 6 at 5 p.m.
Participating Artists/Panelists:
Cy Cuckenbaker, The San Diego Studies: Air, Sea & Land
Neil Kendricks, Comics Are Everywhere
Andrew Bracken, Facing North

Three artists use film and video to look at disparate subjects: the work of emerging comic artists; the rhythms and movements of city life in San Diego; and the idea that San Diego and Tijuana are cities largely with their backs to the border, looking north.

Intersections of Culture, Fusions of Form

April 17 at 5 p.m.
Participating Artists/Panelists:
Wu Man, When China Meets Latin America
Jamex de la Torre, Whysidro
Miki Iwasaki, Cumulous Clouds

Three Artists talk about the hybrid nature of their projects: The Chinese Pipa and Latin American string instruments meet in a musical dialogue; the collision and blurring of commercial life on the Mexican-American border supply the imagery for a series of lenticular (3-D) photographic prints; wind and energy power in an installation about clouds. Four artists talk about the hybrid nature of their projects.

2013-14 Creative Catalyst Artists’ Bios

Andrew Bracken
About: A digital media artist, he also works on video games for Sony Computer Entertainment and has done extensive freelance sound engineering in Los Angeles and New York.

Sponsor: Media Arts Center

Project: “Facing North” – An interactive documentary examining the multi-dimensional border relationship between San Diego and Tijuana.

Jamex De La Torre
About: Jamex and his brother, Einar, work on both sides of the border and have an eclectic new work at the Central Library.

Sponsor: Casa Familiar

Project: “Whysidro” — A suite of artworks that expose the richness and hidden beauty expressed in the human condition of the border and commerce” (created using advanced lenticular printing).

Iain Gunn
About: A co-founder of the alternative puppet theater Animal Cracker Conspiracy, which has performed its “Adult Puppet Cabarets” at venues ranging from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego to Space 4 Art.

Sponsor: La Jolla Playhouse

Project: “Paper Cities” — A multimedia puppet theater production that engages histories of global urban development and transforms commerce, architecture and politics into poetry, movement and sound.

Miki Iwasaki
About: The Harvard Graduate School of Design alum’s interests range from architecture to furniture design. He teaches architecture at Woodbury University, and his interactive installation, “Signalscape,” can be experienced at the San Diego International Airport Terminal 1 baggage claim.

Sponsor: New Children’s Museum

Project: “Cumulous Clouds” — An interactive lighting installation powered by wind and energy built and activated by visitors.

Neil Kendricks
About: An independent filmmaker, writer, film curator and teacher, he has a master’s degree in film from San Diego State University. His short films have been screened at film festivals from Palm Springs to Cannes.

Sponsor: Pacific Arts Movement

Project: “Comics are Everywhere” — A documentary that explores the pop-cultural intersection where alternative comics, animation and the art world collide, particularly in the work of JJ Villard, Danni Shinya Luo, Daniel Clowes and Jaime Hernandez.

Cy Kuckenbaker
About: A graduate of SDSU and the California Institute for the Arts, he makes films (several short ones are on youtube.com) and teaches at San Diego City College and Irvine Valley College.

Sponsor: Museum of Photographic Arts

Project: “The San ego Studies: Air, Sea & Land” — A series of 10 short video art pieces that reveal the unseen rhythms and movements of San Diego.

Wu Man
About: She’s the most celebrated pipa player in the world, evidenced by Musical America naming her its 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year.

Sponsor: Carlsbad Music Festival

Project: “When China meets Latin America” — A series of cross-cultural exchanges between Chinese pipa and Latin American plucking instruments, resulting in a musical dialogue between these two diverse communities.

Charles McPherson
About: His credits are a who’s who of jazz, including collaborations with dozens of noteworthy musicians ranging from Charles Mingus to Wynton Marsalis. He continues to record and tour worldwide.

Sponsor: San Diego Ballet

Project: “Sweet Dance Suite” — A dance suite incorporating Afro-Cuban, Latin and bebop jazz rhythms celebrating the ability of diverse communities to come together to build community.

Bridget Rountree
About: A co-founder of the alternative puppet theater Animal Cracker Conspiracy, she collaborated with Margaret Noble in Noble’s 2012
Creative Catalyst project at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego last year.

Sponsor: Young Audiences

Project: “Valuable Content” — An artistic look at the challenges we face in regards to the environment, both ecologically and socially.

Eva Struble
About: A graduate of Brown University and Yale, she joined the SDSU visual arts faculty in 2011.

Sponsor: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Project: “Produce” — An artistic collaboration that blends archival and new images to capture the lives of Oaxacan agriculture workers through a book and exhibition of large-scale screen prints.

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $641 million in assets, almost half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $852 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at sdfoundation.org.

San Diego Center for Civic Engagement
The San Diego Center for Civic Engagement is the community involvement arm of The San Diego Foundation established to drive the implementation of the Our Greater San Diego Vision project, mobilize stakeholders to develop solutions to community issues and better align donor support with the needs of the region.

About the Creative Catalyst Program
The Creative Catalyst program accelerates artists’ careers by providing grants for the development of new work in partnership with mentoring local nonprofit arts and culture organizations. Within the Center for Civic Engagement, the goal is to provide more jobs for artists so that San Diego becomes a place where creativity can thrive and contribute to the vitality and vibrancy of our neighborhoods.

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Heather Back, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, Heather@sdfoundation.org