Art around town

By Morgan M. Hurley | ArtZine

Local artist RD Riccoboni got some great news recently; Sen. Toni G. Atkins selected his work, “We Rise As We Lift Others,” for the Senate’s 2017-18 Contemporary Art Collection exhibition at the state Capitol building.

RD Riccoboni with his piece chosen to display at the state Capitol.

Each state senator was asked to select an artist from their district and Atkins chose Riccoboni’s iconic piece depicting the day Pride flags were flying from Balboa Park’s California Tower and Museum of Man to commemorate the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Check out his website, where you can see the diversity of his work, find special deals, examples of his beefcake art, and become a Riccoboni “patron” starting at just a dollar per month.

Prints of Riccoboni’s work, including the piece now on display at the Capitol, hand-signed note cards, copies of his Art Traveler (a walking guide of Balboa Park), and more can be purchased at the San Diego LGBT Visitor Center inside Creative Crossroads, located at 502 University Ave., near the Hillcrest sign. You can also find him in Studio 18 at Spanish Village Art Center, 1770 Village Place, Balboa Park. Contact him for his schedule at or visit

On June 2, The Studio Door launched its latest extended exhibit, called “PROUD,” which will run through most of June in conjunction with national Pride month.

A poignant piece by Mac McCuster, whose submission commemorating the Pulse victims made the gallery owner cry.

Entries were submitted by LGBT artists from 22 states. Patric Stillman, founder of The Studio Door, was moved by many of the works he received, especially one in particular.

“Opening boxes as I began to install the show, I had to stop for a moment; I was unwrapping 30 bottles with pictures of the kids from the Pulse massacre and [found myself] just bawling in the gallery,” Stillman said. “This show is so interesting, in that it goes from outsider to personal to political, just like our community.”

“PROUD” was juried by native San Diegan, Alex Fialho, a curatorial associate of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Research in New York City.

Fialho is also a contributing writer for ArtForum and will soon be curating interviews for an upcoming Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Local artist and activist John Keasler has also curated a concurrent exhibition of local artwork, located a block down the street from The Studio Door at the San Diego Pride offices, in conjunction with Art of Pride.

“PROUD” will be on display through June 25 at The Studio Door, located at 3750 30th St. in North Park. For more information, visit

On June 24, Alexander Salazar will be supporting one of his favorite charities, the San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC), by donating 30 works of his black-and-white “pour art” pieces painted specifically for the Black, White and Bling Bash fundraiser, held at the Hotel de Coronado from 5-11 p.m. The works will act as part of the event’s design backdrop before they are each auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Salazar experimenting with black-and-white pour art.

The eighth annual event honors those who continue to make a positive impact “by protecting and promoting the health and wellness of the community’s underserved populations” and celebrates SYHC’s nearly 50 years of service to these communities. Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales Fletcher will be sharing the “Health Champion” award with state Sen. Ben Hueso and U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, for their support of SYHC.

Judy Ragagli paints vintage Barbies with oil. (Courtesy Alexander Salazar)

If you wish to bid on one of Salazar’s black-and-white pour works, tickets to the event are $500 and available at

Salazar is also a gallery owner and art dealer and is currently showcasing the works of Judy Ragagli, oil paintings that pay homage to vintage Barbie dolls. The show takes you through a journey starting in 1959, with Barbie’s debut. “She’s more significant than an object for child’s play — she is an indicator of trends, a marker of historical eras, and a positive role model for the past, present and future,” Ragagli said.

Ragagli’s Barbie collection will be on display for a limited time and by appointment only. Alexander Salazar Fine Art is located at 225 W. Market St., Downtown. Call 619-531-8996.

—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

One Comments

  1. June has been a wonderful month for LGBTQIA artists and their artwork. Thank you Gay San Diego and Morgan Hurley for keeping all of us informed. Hope to see all of our community come by to see PROUD and PROUD at Pride at The Studio Door and San Diego Pride offices before the end of the month. Keep living art.

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