Andrea Chung in San Diego CityBeat 2.16.18

The Year in Art: 2017

From Andrea Chung to Chicano Park, here are some of the year’s best artistic statements


If there was one word that best encapsulated the year in art, it would be “group.” Individualism isn’t something that is exclusive to the San Diego scene, but it has remained a staple of the arts community for a variety of reasons that are too long to list here. Whether it was the result of the political climate or something else that has been brewing for years, I will remember 2017 as a major step toward collectivism.

The list below isn’t intended to be some definitive best-of list or achievement award for the people discussed. Rather, it is intended to highlight and encourage a scene that made national headlines this year. And it’s one that did so not on the coattails of one individual, but as part of a larger, communal whole.


The fact that mixed-media artist Andrea Chung was the first Black woman ever to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is reason enough to proclaim her the most important artist of the year. The fact that she’s local or that the show itself—You Broke the Ocean in Half to Be Here—lived up to the hype, only serves to further her case. The exhibition was impressive enough, but one could also make the case that her work—which deals in meticulously researched themes of race, colonialism and migration—is the most important work being produced on a local level.

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