State of the Arts in San Diego
Major changes coming to an art institution near you
La Jolla Music Society is turning 50 this year, and to celebrate they’ll debut a shiny new home in April. The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, or The Conrad, cost $78.5 million to bring to fruition and touts a 513-seat auditorium, 2,000-square-foot performance space, large courtyard, and new offices for the nonprofit, which until now has been playing at various venues around town, including Sherwood Auditorium and the Civic Theatre. LJMS, which recently named Susan T. Davis as its new president and CEO, will host special grand opening events April 5–7 and has plenty of big names booked for the season, including sitarist Anoushka Shankar on April 18 and singer Storm Large of the band Pink Martini on May 4.
Starting September 4, Balboa Park’s Mingei International Museum will temporarily shutter for a yearlong revamp that will include the addition of new public outdoor areas, a classroom, a theater, and (fingers crossed) LEED Gold certification, as well as long-postponed renovations to the House of Charm, the 103-year-old building the Mingei shares with The Old Globe and San Diego Art Institute. Look for previously off-limits upper terraces in the historic tower to become open to the public.
This fall, the Museum of Contemporary Art flagship in La Jolla is expected to break ground on a two-year renovation led by New York architect Annabelle Selldorf. They’re quadrupling the gallery’s square footage—the lower level will host more public programs, performance art, and music—sprucing up the entryway, and converting the north-end parking lot into a public park. And to more fully embrace its coastal digs, they’re erecting terraces that offer Pacific views on both levels. The downtown location remains open in the meantime.
Madison Gallery moved to Solana Beach in May, and though it’s smaller than their La Jolla digs, the new South Cedros location has a more open, bright, and airy feel. All the better to see the pieces, like in their exhibit World of Folly, opening November 10 (more details on page 102).