The ReinCarnation Project

Came from: San Diego

Year: 1992

Position: Former Carnation Dairy Factory

Location: 10th Avenue and J Street

Architect: Architistic Endeavor (Wayne Buss)

Wayne Buss turned a vintage warehouse into a creative showcase, molding it into the crown jewel of a neglected downtown San Diego neighborhood that desperately needed an identity.

And his transformation in the 1990s of the former Carnation Building at 10th Avenue and J Street into the mixed-use ReinCarnation Project, complete with artists’ lofts, residences and offices, served as a model to other downtown visionaries.

Within five years, new shops, cafes and converted lofts were beginning to take hold.


Related Articles:

East Village’s Art Incubation Fail

by Kinsee Morlan via Voice of San Diego:

Eyes Peer No More from the Old Dairy Building

By Kelly Bennet via The Voice of San Diego:


Photos by Wayne Buss. Click on images to enlarge.

Scans from San Diego Home/ Garden. Lifestyle. Issue September 1997

Click on images to enlarge.

From San Diego Decor & Style

Click on images to enlarge.

Photo via Chuck Kaminski

East Village Project Artwalk shirt Chuck Kaminski save the carn


San Diego East Village Project

Tenth Avenue Garage/Jacaranda

Address: 10th Avenue between E & F Streets

843 Tenth Ave. Built in 1933


Click on images for full view. Photos taken by Wayne Buss around Oct 1992



San Diego East Village Project

City Moves

Housed in the Tenth Avenue Garage/ Jacaranda

Established in 1990 as City Moves!, a children’s dance program of the San Diego Foundation for the Performing Arts, the organization became independent in 1992 when the Foundation closed. It changed its name in 1997 to the San Diego Dance Institute to reflect the board’s strategic plan to concentrate on community-based educational activities.

Photos by Wayne Buss.

Click on images for full view.

Bob Sinclair

We are currently working on Bob Sinclair’s profile, in the mean time you can read a great article by the San Diego Downtown News:

SD Downtown news article


Photos by William Keller, click on images for full view:


Rosario Hall

San Diego’s oldest civic meeting place.

Constructed by Col. Manuel Ferrer,  in 1870 at the corner of Arctic and Fifth streets downtown (now Kettner Boulevard and F Street) then moved in the early 1900s to 12th Avenue and K Street.

Bob Sinclair bought the place in 1999 and once renovated he had it moved to the corner of 13th and J streets in 2001. Sinclair spent more than $1 million fixing up the place and moving it while shutting down the San Diego Trolley and have overhead power wires removed.

Click on images for full view. Images by Jorge Moreno

From San Diego Union Tribune:

Col. Manuel Ferrer might have trouble finding Rosario Hall, San Diego’s oldest civic meeting place, if he went looking for it today.

Ferrer constructed the building in 1870 at the corner of Arctic and Fifth streets downtown. Those streets have been renamed Kettner Boulevard and F Street.

The building was moved – no one is sure why – in the early 1900s to 12th Avenue and K Street. That intersection no longer exists. The streets were realigned when Petco Park was built, and Rosario Hall had to make way for the new diagonal leg of Park Boulevard.

Owner Bob Sinclair bought the place in 1999 and has spent nearly six years renovating it. He had it moved to the corner of 13th and J streets in 2001. The long-vacant building recently reopened as the Mission SoMa restaurant.

Sinclair had to navigate the city bureaucracy and a historic preservation legal settlement involving 11 buildings around the planned ballpark. He had to have the San Diego Trolley shut down and overhead power wires removed while the building was being moved. And then he had to find a tenant.

“It got ugly for a while,” Sinclair said. “We were close to saying, ‘Forget it; find someone else to deal with this thing.’ “

But there was something appealing about the unassuming, two-story structure, and Sinclair couldn’t walk away.

“It fit my profile,” said Sinclair, who owns several older commercial and residential properties in the East Village. “I love fixing up old buildings and renting them out.”

Rosario Hall has a long and storied history. Ferrer was a colonel in the Mexican Army who fought in the Mexican-American War and later settled in San Diego. He owned the Occidental Exchange and Billiard Hall on Arctic Street that burned down in 1869. He then built a new structure on the same site and named it after his wife, Rosario, from the prominent Estudillo family of Old Town.

With a saloon on the first floor and dance hall above, Rosario Hall opened July 4, 1870, with a huge celebration. Ferrer flew the U.S. and Mexican flags and held court from the front balcony for hundreds of revelers. He also put a huge oil painting of himself, decked out in his officer’s uniform, over the bar.

“It was really a fine saloon,” said Bruce Coons, executive director of Save Our Heritage Organisation. “During archaeological digs, the finest china, crockery and silverware were found on the original site.”

The second floor later became a social center, and it hosted the first Catholic Masses in San Diego. It was built at a time when there were few public meeting places in San Diego. As such, it helped form a sense of community, Coons said.

President Benjamin Harrison visited Rosario Hall in the late 1800s, Coons said.

Other uses of the building over time have included hotels, tenements and restaurants.

It was almost torn down to make way for the ballpark. A study by Marie Burke Lia, a historic preservation consultant to the redevelopment agency, found the building to be “neither historically nor architecturally significant.”

But several preservationists rose to the building’s defense in March 1999, persuading the city’s Historical Site Board to place it on the local register of historic places.

“This is a priceless part of our heritage in San Diego, and it has to be saved,” Geoff Mogilner said at the time. He was active in Old Town preservation issues.

Sinclair leases the building to the operators of the locally well-known Mission restaurant chain, with eateries in North Park, Mission Beach and now, East Village. The name of the newest restaurant, Mission SoMa, refers to “South of Market.”

The building will help East Village develop as a neighborhood by providing a much-needed eating place, said Leslie Wade, a spokeswoman for the East Village Association.

“South of Market, east of Park Boulevard, you could starve to death,” Wade said. “It was a great civic gesture on Bob’s part to save that place.”

Sinclair, who calls Rosario Hall “a neat old building,” spent more than $1 million – about double his original budget – fixing up the place and moving it.

“It was worth it,” Sinclair said. “You can’t make money off everything you do. If I live long enough, maybe I’ll be able to say it was a good investment.”

19th-century hall in East Village changes with time


March 22, 2005


Pannikin Coffeehouse

675 G Street

In 1968 Bob Sinclair opened up a little store on Prospect, which primarily sold cookware and wooden spoons and things like that, the beginnings of gourmet products. He bought a peanut roaster and just as an experiment tried roasting some coffee, he also saw the beauty and importance of renovating historic buildings. He put a Pannikin — one of five he opened before selling them in 1997 — in an old Encinitas train station along North Coast Highway, put Brockton Villa Restaurant in an 1894 cottage by a La Jolla pelicans’ perch, put San Diego Mission House Brewery in the 1924 Wonder Bread factory building in East Village.

Photo provided by Bill Keller.

Sinclair EV Young Bob w Coffee


Photo by Jorge Moreno at the San Diego Broom Works.

Pannikin East Village project Bob Sinclair

Photos by Randi B.

Click on images for larger view.


San Diego Broom Works

1245 J Street.

During the 1920s, many San Diego businesses flourished in the Centre City East area. In 1921, the San Diego Broom Works Building was constructed on J Street…

Click on images for full view. Images by Jorge Moreno

Jorge Moreno (Founder)

East Village Project Creator & admin

Came from: Mexico City

Year: 1995

Position: Volunteer at Sushi Performance & Visual Art

Now: North Park San Diego

In the early 90’s I used to visit the art galleries in on downtown Broadway street, where I met Scot McDougall and Cesar Rojo (some of my first friends here in San Diego). Scot introduced me to the East Village via Sushi Performance and Visual Art, located in the ReinCarnation Building, where I became a volunteer. I really enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes of many great shows as well as the before and after, especially because we were able to roam freely in the building. I volunteered for a few years and met lots of people and little did I know that (my now wife) Katherine was among that crowd. Katherine worked for Architistic Endeavor (Wayne Buss – Architects for the ReinCarnation building). I met Katherine through Scot at an event at the Clarion Hotel, the event was put on by “The Publication” and they were showcasing all the people that had been in their cover for that year. Scot was one of the people featured in it…

For the next few years I attended and volunteered for more Sushi events, especially their Red Ball fundraisers and I mainly stayed around the ReinCarnation Building.

Some of my fondest memories were with great friends, Scot, Vicky, Katherine, Gayle, Teena, Wayne and Beth.

I particularly remember the last party hosted for Wayne at the ReinCarnation building, that was right about when the new ball park was being built. Everyone had a honest great time. Below are some photos of that event.

There’s no particular thing that I miss from those days, I think I miss it as a whole. I miss the events at Sushi, I miss spending most of the day with artists and the like. The 90’s in San Diego’s East Village where great times.

I currently live in North Park, working for myself in the graphic/web/social media arts

Scot McDougall Jorge Moreno Sushi Red Ball

San Diego East Village Project


Katherine Baker

Came from: Fort Wayne, IN

Year: 1995

Position: Architect

I moved to San Diego from Indiana in the summer of 1995, and began working in the East Village at the end of that year. I worked with Architect/Developer Wayne Buss on the renovation of the former Carnation Dairy factory, aka, The ReinCarnation Project. It was my dream job, being straight out of architecture school with a strong desire to work on adaptive reuse projects. This project was not only reusing an existing building, but \”recycling previously used parts of the City.\” This was the tagline for Wayne\s architecture business. Working in this office led to volunteering at Sushi Performance and Visual Art, a primary tenant of the building. I was also privileged to attend several arts events that took place on the property, including the 1997 Interior Designer\s Showcase, inSITE 97 installations and kickoff event featuring Laurie Anderson, Latin Music Festivals, and many other events. Many of the friends I made in San Diego stem from working in the East Village, including my husband, Jorge Moreno.


San Diego East Village Project

710 13th St

Built in 1925

The Ratner (The Ratner Family)  which established its highly successful men’s clothing company in the building in the 1920’s, manufacturing men’s suits and sport coats. Ratner Clothes operated in the building until 1989.

The Art Center

The Eyes of Frida Kahlo Murals

“The Eyes of Frida Kahlo,” a mural he painted in 1985 for San Diego’s first ArtWalk by Artist Mario Torero.


Eyes of Picasso Murals

Click on images for full view. Photos taken by Wayne Buss.

Almost ten years after our first exodus from the Gaslamp, we artivists, reestablished our selves around the old abandoned Carnation Building led by visionary architect, Wayne Buss who had been a witness and participant in the Community Art Building and he approached me to ask me to partner with his idea of rebuilding the arts center and for me to lead a community arts regrouping at this site that we called the ReinCarnation Arts Center. Wayne began the process of purchasing the historical building in 1990 and we couldn’t wait to replace the ‘Eyes of Picasso’ which were painted on the first arts center and destroyed in 1982. So I painted the ‘Eyes’ three times and twice the owner bank painted them out. The third version of 1992 remained on the building and it became the artist’s ‘ICON’ Till its destruction in 2004 by the Petco development and the East Village Arts District became no more.

-Mario Torero

From the ReIncarnation mural: by artist Mario Torero



Mario Torero

After my involvement as one of the pioneering founders of the Chicano Movemenet in San Diego by establishing the Centro Cultural de la Raza and the Chicano Park open air museum, I proposed that it wasn’t enough to liberate our barrio but that we needed to apply our cause also to bring together all the artists of San Diego together by creating an arts center in the heart of our county in downtown San Diego. So with the help of my father, Guillermo Acevedo, an already affluent local artist, who participated in support of Chicano Artists, with his political connections and finance, opened the first art gallery ever downtown off eight and Broadway the Acevedo Art Gallery International in 1976′ as Celebration of the country’s Bicentennial Year. That space within a year grew to become the first multicultural community arts center in SD we called the Community Arts Center, launching then the Gaslamp Arts District. Our arts center was the first step in the diversifying of what had been separate segregated racial communities and the artists of all colors came together for the first time since the colonial times, this first episode lasted from 1976 to 1982 when the city destroyed the arts center building at 3rd and ‘E’ Streets and with the disbanding of our center also went the many art lofts and galleries as the Gaslamp development raised the rents and artists had to flee east towards our new settlement that became the East Village Arts District with the Reincarnation Building as our new arts center. Almost ten years after our first exodus from the Gaslamp, we artivists, reestablished our selves around the old abandoned Carnation Building led by visionary architect, Wayne Buss who had been a witness and participant in the Community Art Building and he approached me to ask me to partner with his idea of rebuilding the arts center and for me to lead a community arts regrouping at this site that we called the ReinCarnation Arts Center. Wayne began the process of purchasing the historical building in 1990 and we couldn’t wait to replace the ‘Eyes of Picasso’ which were painted on the first arts center and destroyed in 1982. So I painted the ‘Eyes’ three times and twice the owner bank painted them out. The third version of 1992 remained on the building and it became the artist’s ‘ICON’ Till its destruction in 2004 by the Petco development and the East Village Arts District became no more. The artists dispersed further east to Golden Hills and Barrio Logan. I repainted the ‘Eyes’ on Logan Avenue in 2009 and now that area has become the Barrio Arts District, as we artivists continue with our dream to get back to downtown to reestablished once and for Lara the San Diego’s Arts District, which we have been calling the BarrioLogan/EastVillage Arts District, or the BELIEVE Project.


Candice López

Candice López

This neighborhood has been our home and place of work for thirty years. It’s been fascinating to watch this community grow as we grew our careers and family. There is an edge, an energy to the East Village that made us stop and take notice. Here we’ve been able to craft the life we imagined.

Our early years downtown included daily visits to the Farmer’s Market in the Western Metal Supply building. It was easy to buy fresh fruit and sit down to a really affordable, delicious meal with authentic Mexican or Italian food. When we decided to get married, Valentina’s the florist in the market put together all the flowers. We are passionate about travel and living downtown, we connected to inventive thinkers and doers from different countries and walks of life. We regularly heard and danced to incredible live music, shopped local and invited friends to come discover all the great mom and pops like the Victor’s, Amelias or the Sun Cafe that dotted the neighborhood.

We rented the top floor of the Simon Levi building and Rafa’s studio looked out to the bay right beside what is now Petco Park. At dinner we watched huge cargo ships bringing bananas to San Diego and navy ships headed to dry dock for repairs.  There Rafael began to really establish his style and I began teaching graphic design at San Diego City College where I’ve been lucky to work with diverse students for more than thirty years. I walked to work and never had to deal with parking issues. along the route pick up groceries, get dry cleaning done and always run into friends and students.

We decided to stay and bought our own loft at the Tenth Avenue Car Garage. Next door was Beth Kennedy was my acupuncturist, friend and Wayne Buss, an architect who really believed in the East Village. They moved to the ReinCarnation project and when they sold it Beth contacted me and donated all their beautiful cacti to San Diego City College. Whenever I pass the cactus garden on campus and see them growing taller each year I think about those days. In 1998 Rafael and I put together the Urban Art Trail project. I organized the project with Jerry Selby at the Centre City Development Corp. to paint electrical boxes, sidewalk poetry and create several large scale murals. We believed and still do that neighborhood art brings diverse people together to create community. During that time our loft became a warehouse for art supplies we purchased with donations to keep it going. The idea spread to other San Diego neighborhoods and cities around the country. In 2016 Rafael was asked to illustrate Maybe Something Beautiful about the Urban Art Trail and the award winning book became a bestseller encouraging other communities to use the same model. I’m a design fellow with the American Institute of Graphic Arts and with colleagues in the San Diego chapter we did other community projects. With local artists and designers we created hundreds of artful benches in a project called Benchmark that were displayed on the streets downtown then auctioned for charity. Tweet Street is an art inspired urban bird park on Cortez Hill with colorful nesting boxes for birds. We are grateful to be part of the East Village.

Photos and text provided by Candice López and Rafael López.

Rafael López

Rafael López.

I’m an artist and illustrator originally from Mexico City. In the late 80’s my wife Candice and I moved downtown. We ended up at the Pioneer Warehouse Lofts as I did a series of large paintings in trade for 6 months rent. We connected with the neighborhood and several years later, relocated to the top floor of the Simon Levi building looking out at what is now Petco Park. We ate lunch most days at the Farmer’s Market in the Western Steel building. Amelia’s albondigas soup made me feel close to home. I play several instruments and am a huge fan of Latin jazz. In those days, we danced salsa in the basement of the Old Cafe Sevilla and watched soccer games with Brazilian friends. I was asked to create posters for Street Scene and the performances we saw during those years were incredible. Cafe Tacuba when they were just getting started, Ruben Blades, Willie Colon and Tito Puente performing live. Years later I created the Tito Puente stamp for the United States Postal Service as part of the Latin Music Legends series and the energy at that concert fueled the art.

After saving our money we decided it was time to stop renting and put down roots. We bought a loft at the Tenth Avenue Car Garage and lived next door to visionary Wayne Buss and Beth Kennedy. They moved away to the Carn but we continued to get together and see concerts there like Poncho Sanchez performing live.

My wife teaches graphic design at San Diego City College and we had the idea to develop the Urban Art Trail in 1997. The idea was to use art and design with neighbors and collectively bring our community together. I designed several large murals in a simple graphic style that was like a giant paint by number so that untrained artists, students and children could all be part of the effort. A children’s book I illustrated called Maybe Something Beautiful chronicles the effort. Now I’ve created murals around the country in urban areas, at children’s hospitals, public schools, under freeways and at farmer’s markets. We still live and work in the East Village.

Photo and text provided by Candice López and Rafael López.


Street Art

A collection of street posters, etc. Layers and layers of paper and paint. East Village San Diego.

Click on images for larger view.

Posted in Art

Doug Simay

Doug Simay has been actively involved in San Diego’s art world for three decades.

He started presenting public art exhibitions in 1982 when, along with Mark Quint, he developed the arts space at San Diego’s 9th and G streets (a combination of Quint Gallery and Simayspace).

Simayspace was devoted to exhibiting the expanding personal art collection Simay started in 1978. In 1985 he opened Java Coffeehouse and Gallery (also at the southwest corner of 9th and G streets in downtown San Diego) that was devoted to exhibiting museum quality, critically important artists of this region. Java introduced European-style café society to San Diego. Java was considered a progenitor of the contemporary coffeehouse scene in San Diego. Over 45 artists had their introduction to the San Diego arts community through Java until its closure in 1994.

From 1994 to 1998 the Java space was converted to a 4,000 square foot formal contemporary art gallery, Simayspace, which regularly presented three simultaneous solo exhibitions, predominately showing Southern California contemporary artists, architects, and designers. In 1998, art operations were moved across the street to the northwest corner of 9th and G Streets in downtown San Diego. Along with partners, ACI (Arts College International) was started.

The name of that institution is now the Art Academy of San Diego and since 2008 has moved to North Park. The school teaches all manner of art making in an avocational setting. Doug Simay continued to present contemporary art exhibitions that focused on individual artists (dominantly from this region). That gallery space was called Simayspace and was located in the physical center of the Academy.

These exhibitions were met with significant critical response and appreciation.

Tom Marshall

Tom came to Sushi Gallery out of San Diego’s poetry world, where he had begun in the late 70s to emphasize the performative aspects of poetry readings. He has continued in this emphasis and made his place among poets based on it. He has also always emphasized an anonymous or pseudonymous contribution to the scene. His career has been almost completely anti-professional, though it has provided us with (for awhile in the 80s) a newsletter called “Poetry Beat” and an anthology called The End of the World Project. He has also published many poems, essays, and reviews on paper and online.

Tom’s career as a “performance artist” was encouraged by a few venues in what is now called the East Village, as well as other parts of town. His most well-remembered performance at Sushi was called simply “David & Rachel Fall in Love.” It was a light-hearted mockery in homage to two of Sushi’s better-known guest artists, David Antin and Rachael Rosenthal. To perform it, Tom bunched his abundant hair under a skin-wig and hooked the characters together with a length of monofilament that had a #2 hook on either end inserted into the web of flesh between the thumb and forefinger on each hand. Being laughed at while bleeding was part of the fun for Tom.

This is what he looked like in his Sushi days:

and a more recent photo, at the second Women’s March in Santa Cruz:

Tom has returned to San Diego and performs here occasionally now in the 2020’s, sometimes with friends as The Survival Knives and sometimes solo as T.C. Marshall.


Photos by Wayne Buss.

Click on images for full view.


Posted in Art

Residentially Disadvantaged

Photos by Wayne Buss





Photos by Wayne Buss.

Click on images for full view.

Street Views

Click on images to enlarge. Photos by Wayne Buss

The Ball Park

San Diego’s Ball Park (Petco Park), opened in 2004. Located between 7th and 10th Avenues, south of J Street.

Constructed by San Diego Ballpark Builders, a partnership with Clark Construction, Nielsen Dillingham and Douglas E. Barnhart, Inc.

Photo by Christian Michaels. Click on image for full view.


Photos by Wayne Buss. Click on image for full view.

Ball Park Model.

Photos by Wayne Buss. Click on image for full view.


Photo by Christian Michaels. Click on image for full view.


Rocco Satoshi

A native of Yokohama (San Diego’s sister city), Japanese artist Rocco Satoshi has been creating graffiti art in San Diego since the 1980’s.

Started exchanges with muralists in San Diego after he produced a wall painting at the Yokohama Exotic Showcase in 1989, collaborated with Chicano artist in San Diego in 1990 and 1991.

The projects include a shop on Goldfinch Street, a wall at Bethune Elementary School and a freeway overpass at Chicano Park, Albert Einstein Academies in South Park and the wall of the Old Carnation Factory in East Village (The Reincarnation Project).

Outdoor artist, based in Yokohama. Started exchanges with muralists in San Diego after he produced a wall painting at the Yokohama Exotic Showcase in 1989. Co-produced and taught children. collaborated with Chicano artist in San Diego in 1990 and 1991.

Photos by Wayne Buss.


Street Scene

Street Scene:

Beginning in 1984, a San Diego native created Street Scene which consisted of two events the first year; one in May and the other in August. The event was held on historic 5th Avenue, between J & K Streets, for the first few years, with two stages. In 1987, it grew to take up two blocks, but still with only two stages. The following year, Street Scene grew once again to include five stages over several blocks; the music now began to feature diverse genres including zydecobluesrock and alternative rock.

In 1995, Street Scene grew once again, into a music event that encompassed 3 days. The Taste of San Diego also added food and cultures from around the globe and tasty morsels for people of all ages to enjoy.

In 2005, Street Scene re-located from downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter to Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.

In 2007, Street Scene was planned to move to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, but later changed to the Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California.

In 2008, Street Scene returned to the streets of downtown San Diego in the East Village neighborhood.[2]

The 2009 event returned to the streets of the East Village on August 28 and 29

Via Wikipedia.

Rob Hagey Productions, Inc.

Street Scene Images by Michael Trimble.

Click on images for full view.

Street Scene Badges by Michael Trimble.

Photos: Jorge Moreno. Click on images for full view.

Images by Wayne Buss. Click on images for full view.


Rob Hagey

San Diego promoter Rob Hagey started Street Scene in 1984 as a two-stage community event that featured roots acts like Los Lobos, The Neville Brothers, The Blasters, Robert Cray and X. The event doubled as a marketing campaign for downtown San Diego. Although Street Scene grew in size each year, the lineup remained diverse–jazz, blues, rock, Latin, reggae, rock, roots–until 2004. Mainstream rock and hip-hop acts like P.O.D., Ludacris, Jack Johnson, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World and The Killers were invited. He also made the event all-ages for the first time since 1994. Street Scene pulled in a record 105,000 people in two days, breaking its own record of 100,000, set back in 2001. Squeezed out of the Gaslamp, Street Scene moved to Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley for 2005 and 2006. While Hagey and his production company did an admirable job of transforming the venue–and the stadium’s expansive parking lot made for easy stage-to-stage access and included big-ticket headliners (Pixies and The White Stripes in ’05, Tool and Kanye West in ’06).

-Via San Diego City Beat


Photos by Wayne Buss. Click on images for full view.


ArtWalk ’87


ArtWalk ’89

ArtWalk ’91


ArtWalk ’93


Photo Via Chuck Kaminski

East Village Project Artwalk shirt Chuck Kaminski 1



Posted in Art

Scot McDougall

Came from: Florida

Year: Started with Sushi’s sweet 16 fundraiser

Position: All Around Great Guy

Now: San Diego’s North County

So, in 1989 I was living in New Mexico. I was working for Santa Fe artist Frank Howell. He needed some help with his gallery in La Jolla and asked if I would help out for 6 months or so. At the time he was showing a San Diego artist, by the name of Jim Bess. Jim and his photographer wife, Dianne were visiting Santa Fe to see the gallery. We hit it off from the start. They graciously offered to let me stay in their home while I was in town. That was 26 years ago and I am still living in San Diego.

My early years in San Diego were spent in the East Village on 9th and K, currently known as the First base line at Petco Park. The building was the Artplex and was the brain child of Jim and Dianne Bess as they expanded their greeting card business to that address. Ultimately deciding on giving up the greeting card business and instead decided to make it their home.  With 14,000 square feet, that’s a lot of home. So, they took the top floor and turned into a private residence, with a working elevator, and Jim’s painting studio.  The rest of the building would house a variety of artistic endeavors. Lela Harty Painting School, an Interior design firm, a painter, an Architect. Jim even converted the basement into a printing studio later on. It was a magical place to me.

The neighborhood was fascinating. Of course, the East Village would be barely recognizable from what it was to what it is. Back in my day, the Re-InCarnation Project (currently ICON) was just a dream in Wayne Buss’s mind. But he still managed to put on mixed media performing art shows in the outer portion that I could see just by walking to the corner. Of course he realized that dream to a great degree of acclaim and revitalized that part of town along with Bob Sinclair (of Panikin fame). Of course, I liked downtown like it used to be, where you had Croce’s and Fio’s across the street from each other and a selection of Dive Bars close by. Think “The Orient”, “Bodie’s” and the “Star Bar”.  To name a few. Now, only the Star Bar is left, I think.

There was the best Famer’s Market on the old Western Steel building between 7th and 8th on K Street. It caught fire one year and I remember the image of Jim Bess on the roof of the Artplex trying to extinguish and sparks while there was a 20 alarm fire raging across the empty lot. And it had the best food court and little market. I wish I could remember the name of the little Italian spot.

more to come… soon

Click on images for full view.

San Diego East Village Project

SUSHI Performance & Visual Art

SUSHI Performance & Visual Art was an innovative arts organization and contemporary arts center committed to presenting San Diego with contemporary performance dance and visual art. Focus was on an artistic vision that embodied the rich diversity of our ethnic, cultural, sexual and personal backgrounds.

SUSHI Performance & Visual Art became synonymous with an adventurous urban art experience and has been likened to what one would find in San Francisco or New York.

Founded in 1980, SUSHI Performance & Visual Art had its roots in the artists’ space movement of the late 1970s. This movement was a direct result of the evolution of contemporary art and the lack of venues for its presentation. Artists consequently created their own “alternative spaces”, one of which was SUSHI. Many artists involved with and presented by SUSHI through solo/group exhibitions and public art commissions have gone on to national and even international notoriety, among them David Avalos, Amanda Farber, James Luna and Deborah Small.

Sushi was located in its downtown space at The Reincarnation Project, 320 Eleventh Avenue. This 6,000 square foot space housed SUSHI’s 3,000 square foot performance space that seated 50-150, a visual arts gallery and office.

Sushi’s audience members and performers were within hands reach of each other, creating an atmosphere that was charged with intimacy and energy. Audience members were encouraged to hang out after the shows for both formal and informal discussions with the presented artists.

Scroll down for a complete list of Artists and Events.

Photos by Wayne Buss and Jorge Moreno. Click on images for full view.





Acker, Kathy 1982 – 1983

Adler, Fran and Kira Corser 1984

African American Writers & Artists, Inc. of San Diego 1997 & undated

Albertano, Linda 1982 – 1995

Aleph Company – King Humpy 1986

Alfaro, Luis undated

Allen, Jo Harvey 1983 – 1984

Allyn, Jerri 1982 – 1984

Amos, Patrick and Roy McMakin 1981

Anderson, Laurie 1997

Anderson, Mark 1985 – 1986

Antin, Eleanor 1982 – 1990

Antin, Eleanor, curator – Berne/De John/Wray/Phillips/Ortiz performances 1984

Antwash (David French) and Rick Ryan 1981 – 1982

Artists for Social Issues (AFSI) 2001

ASCO 1981 – 1985

Barker, James and Pamela Underwood 1991 – 1993

Bates, Martin 1983

Baza, Larry 1993

Bebe Miller & Company

Spending Time Doing Things… 1985 – 1987

The Hell Dances 1985 – 1988

AlliesRain and Think Sleep 1985 – 1990

Residency 1992 – 1996

Beery, Ainslee 1993

Bell, Cate 1984 – 1986

Bell, Cate; Susan Imhoff; David Keevil and Peter Ward 1987

Bell, Cate and Terry Sprague 1984 – 1996

Bell, Cate and Allison Cutri 1997

Berman, Sara Jo 1983 – 1986

Berne 1986 – 1987

Berne, Paul Best and Carol Stephens 1983

Best, Paul 1986

Between the Raw Dance Collective 1997 – 1998

Big Ladies Small Dance Company 1984 – 1987

Binion, Sandra 1983

Blande, Christophe 1995

Blankenburg, Lou 1981

Bogosian, Eric 1984 – 1985

Bonin-Rodriquez, Paul

The Bible Belt and Other Accessories 1994 – 1996

Memory’s Caretaker 2000 – 2001

Bornstein, Kate 1991 – 1995

Bridgman, Art and Myrna Packer 1997 – 2001

Brown, Ron 1986 – 1991

Brucker, Jane 1985

Brumgart, Sarah 1981 – 1985

Burch, Milbre 1995

Burgueno, Chava 1979 – 1989

Bustamante, Nao 1991 – 1999

Cale, David

The Redthroats 1985 – 1987

Deep in a Dream of You 1987 – 1991

Little Stories with Private Parts 1989 – 1990

Somebody Else’s House 1992

Swimming in the Dark 1994 – 1999

Lillian 1997 – 1998

The Perfect Getaway and A Likely Story 2001, 2005

Caroompas, Carole 1983

Carroll, Bob 1978 – 1983

Center for Digital Storytelling 1994 – 2000

Chaikin, Joseph 1981 – 1985

Chadbourne, Eugene 1986

Cohen, Becky 1977 – 1985

Colby, Janet 1986

Collage Dance Theatre 1988, 1998


The Child 1980 – 1981

The (Invisible) War 1985 – 1987

Mira, Cycle I 1986 – 1990

Mandala 1990 – 1992

Mira, Cycle II …The Fall 1991 – 1993

Return to Ordinary Life 1993 – 1996

CORE 1995 – 1997

Creative Arts Consortium – No Jackets Required 2001

Cultural Odyssey

Suppositions on History and The Legend of Lily Overstreet 1983 – 1985

Meditations on Modern Life 1986 – 1987

I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine 1989

Shoehorn! 1993 – 1995

Performance Music 1995 – 1999

Residency, 1996/97 season

Culture Clash 1989 – 1990

Cummings, Blondell 1982 – 1985

Cutler-Shaw, Joyce 1983 – 1986

Cutler-Shaw, Joyce, with Nancy Karp and Chaya Czernowin 1985 – 1989

Dakin, Susanna B. 1983

Dallas Black Dance Theatre 1991 – 1992

Dancenoise 1988 – 1991

Dance Theatre Workshop 1986 – 1994

David Dorfman Dance 1988 – 1993

David Parker Dance / The Bang Group 1998

Deak, Norma Jean 1978 – 1986

Dean, Chazz and Kurt Fulton 1988 – 1991

Derevo 1989

Diavolo Dance Theatre 1991 – 1998

Donald Byrd Dance Foundation 1986 – 1998

Donna Uchizono & Company 1979 – 1991

Dresser, Mark 1984 – 1985

Dunn, David 1985

Durbin, Windy 1986

Eichelberger, Ethyl 1986

Eiko & Koma 1985 – 1987

Eisen, Bob 1980 – 1981

Elovich, Richard 1985 – 1990

Epifano, Kim 1996 – 1999

Escobar, AJ 1997

Evans, Nancy 1983 – 1984

Farabough, Laura 1988

Fashion Moda 1980 – 1984

Felder, David with Mary Jane Eisenberg and David Stout 1983 – 1987

Felder, Sara 1990 – 1998

Fenley, Molissa 1988 – 1989

Fertile Ground Poetry Collective 1995

Festival 1986

Finley, Karen and Harry Kipper 1983

Finley, Karen

Yams Up My Granny’s Ass 1983 – 1986

Neofest performance 1987

The Constant State of Desire 1987 – 1988

We Keep Our Victims Ready 1982 – 1989

A Certain Level of Denial 1992 – 1994

Shut Up and Love Me 1997 – 2000

Miscellaneous 2002 & undated

Fisher, Betsy and Ernest Provencher 1987 – 1988

Fleck, John

I Got the He-Be-She-Be’s and I Remember 1986 – 1988

A Snowball’s Chance in Hell 1986 – 1992

Good to See You 1992 – 1993

Forti, Simone and Available Space 1991 – 2001

Fried, Stanley 1986 – 1993

Fuchs, Jordan 1999 – 2001

Galás, Philip-Dimitri 1980 – 1983

Galjour, Anne 1991 – 1992

Galloway, Terry 1986 – 1990

Garber, Steve and Pat Rosalia undated

Garrison, Maia Claire 1991 – 1992

George, Rikky 1985 – 1986

Germani, Al and Mary Reich 1992 – 1993

Ghost Town – The Queen’s Rain 2001

Gingery, Maya and Carl Stone 1982

Glassman, Keith 2001

Glatter, Lesli Linka 1977 – 1982

Goat Island 1988 – 1991

Gold, Rich 1982, 1984

Goldberg, Whoopi – The Spook Show 1982 – 1983

Goldberg, Whoopi and David Schein

Unsanitized [Goldberg] and Out Comes Butch [Schein] 1982

Moms [Goldberg] and In the Key of D [Schein] 1980 – 1984

A Broad Apart [Goldberg] and Out Comes Butch [Schein] 1982 – 1984

Gómez-Peña, Guillermo

Border Brujo II 1985 – 1991

Miscellaneous performances

Gómez-Peña, Guillermo and David Schein – Border – X – Frontera 1984 – 1985

Gómez-Peña, Guillermo and Robert Sifuentes 1990 – 1997

Gordh, Bill 1980 – 1982

Gorman, Colin 1985

Gray, Liebe 1984 – 1985

Green, Vanalyne 1979 – 1984

Greenberg, Aimee

Phases of the Loon 1987 – 1996

Dark Moon of Lilith 1988 – 1997

Greenberg, Jeffrey 1982

Grigsby, James and Carmela Rago 1982 – 1984

Hackerman, Ed; John Goss and Sarah Schneiderman 1984

Haigood, Joanna 1987 – 1993
Hardin, Heidi 1982

Hardy, Molly 1984 – 1985

Hawkins, Bobbie Louise 1978 – 1985

Haxton, Richard and Daria Okugawa 1985

Hay, Deborah 1989 – 2001

Hemphill, Essex and Wayson Jones 1987 – 1989

Hennessy, Keith 1993 – 1994

Henriques, Darryl 1984 – 1985

Heyl Juno, Stephanie 1991 – 1998

Higby, Sha Sha 1986 – 1987

The High Risk Group 1989 – 1991

Hixon, Lin 1984 – 1986

Hock, Louis and Dorit Cypis 1983

Hoffbauer, Patricia and George Emilio Sanchez 1995 – 1998

Hotchkis, Joan

Tearsheets: Letters I Didn’t Send Home 1990 – 1991

Elements of Flesh or How Screwing Saved My Ass 1992 – 1997

Houston-Jones, Ishmael 1986 – 1993

Hughes, Holly; Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver 1985 – 1988

Hughes, Holly

World Without End 1985 – 1990

Clit Notes 1989 – 1995

Preaching to the Perverted 1999

Hunt, John 1978 – 1984

Impulse Theatre Company 1985 – 1988

Irwin, Irwin 1983 – 1984

Joe Goode Performance Group

The Disaster Series 1983 – 1989

Remembering the Pool at the Best Western 1989 – 1991

29 Effeminate Gestures… 1993

Convenience Boy 1989 – 1994

The Maverick Strain 1991 – 1997

Performance at UC San Diego 1999

The John Cheney’s Literary Magazine Show 1983

John Passafiume Dancers 2000

Johnson, Jay 1982

Johnson, Robert Henry 1993 – 1996

Johnson, Scott 1982 – 1984

Jones, Rhodessa

Big Butt Girls, Hard-Headed Women and unidentified performance 1987 – 1993

The Blue Stories: Black Erotica About Letting Go 1992

Deep in the Night 1995 – 1998

Kaboodle 1986 – 1989

Kahn, Stanya 1995 – 1998

Kantor, Michael and John Murphy, Jr. – Lindberg’s Flight 1988

Kate Foley Company 1990 – 1992

Keegan, Tom and Davidson Lloyd 1984 – 1998

Keevil, David 1984 – 1993

Keevil, David and Terry Sprague 1984 – 1987

Keevil, David, Terry Sprague and John Malashock 1987

Kelly, John 1986 – 1992

Kelman, Scott; Richard Haxton; Daria Okugawa and Kendric Wolfe 1984 – 1985

Kerr, Joanne 1984

KIN Dance Company 1994

Kirkwood, Carla

Your Mama and Your Sister and Your Girlfriend 1985

Bodies of Evidence 1985 – 1993

War Diaries 1985 – 1996

Half the Sky 2002

Kirkwood, Carla and Deborah Small 1989

Knight, Christopher 1983

Krassner, Paul 1983 – 1984

Kraus, Lisa 1985 – 1987

Kurtycz, Marcos 1985

Kwong, Dan 1989 – 1990

Kyung Lee, Hae 1983 – 1993

Lambs Eat Ivy 1986 – 1988

Langland, Paul and Mary Overlie 1998 – 1999

La Palma, Marina 1982 – 1983

La Palma, Marina; Linda Albertino and Carmen Borgia 1981 – 1984

Lapides, Beth 1983 – 1985

Las Gringas – There Are 206 Bones in the Human Body 1987 – 1988

Lauridsen, Hanne 1981

Levine, Joan 1986

Lindley, Cheryl 1985

Lingo Dancetheater 2006

Llory Wilson & Dancers 1987 – 1990

Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) 1986 – 1989

Love-Pointer, Nia 1989 – 1993

Lounsbury, Kate 1985 – 1989

Lower Left Dance

Company in residence 1996 – 2001

Two in the Corner 1997

Horns Wings Tales 1998

Horns Wings and More Tales 2000

Miscellaneous performances 1997 – 2003

Mack, Thom 1984

Mac Low, Jackson 1983

Ma Fish 1978 – 1986

Malashock Dance & Company

Flames 1988

The Barn Owl Lingers… 1991

Virtues in Bewilderment 1993

Malpede, John 1983 – 1985

Mann, Barry 1990 – 1995

Marks, Victoria 1999 – 2000

Matuck, Artur 1981

McCambridge, Jan 1982

McCarthy, Paul undated

McCauley, Robbie 1985 – 1991

McGriff, Heywood “Woody” 1993

McMakin, Roy 1982

Mehmet Memo Sander Dance Co. 1991 – 1992

Mehmet Sander Dance Company

PoleSingle Space and others 1991 – 1993

Inner Space and others 1991 – 1994

Meier, Yvonne 1985 – 1993

Meier, Yvonne and Jennifer Monson 1995 – 1998

Meunier, Gilberte 1984 – 1986

Miller, Celeste

Lost & Found in America: Some of the Stories 1984 – 1988

Lost & Found in America: More of the Stories 1986 – 1990

Miller, Stuart and Pamela Woodbridge 1983

Miller, Tim

Postwar 1982 – 1984

Buddy Systems 1982 – 1986

Some Golden States 1987 – 1988

Sex/Love/Stories 1980 – 1991

My Queer Body 1992

Naked Breath 1994 – 1995

Fruit Cocktail 1996 – 1997

Glory Box 1999 – 2000

Miscellaneous 1987, 1993

Mills, David 1993 – 1998

Misueda, Mitsuko and Harry Gantz 1981

Mogul, Susan 1976 – 1984

Monson, Jennifer 2000 – 2001

Morrison, Luke Theodore

Legacy of the Four Horsemen 1986

Lewd Acts in Public Places 1987

Munroe, Jan 1983 – 1985

Murrin, Tom 1985 – 1987

Najera, Rick 1993 – 1995

Nelda Perez, Ruby 1994 – 1997

Nightletter Theatre 1983 – 1985

Oguri 1996 – 1999

Ohara, Rika 1983 – 1985

O’Keefe, John 1982 – 1985

Oleszko, Pat 1984 – 1990

Omaha Magic Theatre 1990

Ovejero, Graciela 1996

Palacios, Monica 1990 – 1991

Parker, David and The Bang Group 1996 – 1998

Pat Graney Company 1985 – 1990

Patricia Sandback and Dancers

Midnight Games… 1992

Paul Dresher Ensemble 1979 – 1985

Pearlman, Karen and Richard Allen 1981 – 1988

Peimer, Jordan 1995

Peppe, Michael 1983 – 1984

Peralta, Ricardo 1994 – 2000

Philadanco 1992 – 1994

The Piparoos 1983

Pitt, Leonard

Not For Real 1987 – 1989

Ned 1991

Pomeroy, Jim 1981 – 1987

Pomo Afro Homos 1991 – 1992

Pottenger, Marty

The Construction Stories 1991

City Water Tunnel #3 1990 – 1999

Poyesis Genetica

The Ballad of Mr. Misterio & Salome 1984

Ocnoceni 1982 – 1984

The Last Performance 1983 – 1984

Cabaret Vavylon-Aztlan 1986

Pritikin, Renny and Rachel Rosenthal 1982

Prowess Dancearts Company 1998

Public Dance Works 1981 – 1983

Rabkin, Michele 1991

Rahmani, Aviva

Floating Worlds: Part II 1981 – 1982

Seiche Torque 1979 – 1985

Rawfish and Implex 1981 – 1982

Reitz, Dana 1984 – 1989

Ren-Lay, Judith 1980 – 1985

Rennie Harris Puremovement 1996 – 1999

Reno Once Removed 1989 – 1992

Reno Besides Myself 1989 – 1994

Reno Finds Her Mom: Exerpts From the Cutting Room Floor 1989 – 1997

Reynolds, Joel and Maurya Wickstrom 1984

Ringgold, Faith 1973 – 1984

Robboy, Ron and Warren Burt 1979 – 1982

Roberts, Jackie and Christina Jones-Stewart 1996

Roche, David 1982 – 1984

Roe, Betzi and California Ballet 1993 – 1995

Rolfe, Nigel 1983 – 1984

Romero, Lidia 1983 – 1986

Romero, Rosa and Jorge Dominguez 1985

Rose, Kathy

Primitive Movers and Strange Ditties 1983 – 1984

Syncopations 1983 – 1987

Rosenthal, Rachel

Traps 1982 – 1983

Gaia, Mon Amour 1982 – 1984

The Others 1983 – 1985

L.O.W. in Gaia 1986

Rachel’s Brain 1984 – 1989

Pangaean Dreams 1990 – 1991

Filename: Futurefax 1991 – 1992

Ur-Boor 1999 – 2000

Roth, Michael 1997

Roth, Moira and 208 Collective 1984

Rothenberg, Jerome and Bertram Turetzky 1984

Rousseve, David 1992

Sacred Naked Nature Girls 1994 – 1996

Salloum, Jayce 1982 – 1986

Sammartano, Tonnie 1997 – 1999

Sammartano, Tonnie with Leah Cox, Terri Shipman and Debi Toth 2001

Samuels, Leslie 1990

Samuels, Leslie; Frank Grow and Michael Weix 1987 – 1988

Sanchez, George Emilio and Patricia Hoffbauer 1998

Sandback, Patricia

Schein, David 1982 – 1993

Schein, David and Bob Ernst 1982 – 1984

Schrei, Josh 1993 – 1994

Shakiri 1991 – 1994

Sherman, Stuart 1978 – 1983

Shrimps 1985 – 1988

Snaith, Yolande 2002 – 2006

Spencer, Michelle 1996 – 1998

The Spotted Leopard Dance Company 1989 – 1992

Sprague, Terry and Katie Stevinson 1984 – 1998

Squire, Leilani 1993 – 1995

Stelarc 1979 – 1984

Stephen Pelton Dance Theater 1994 – 1998

Stephen Petronio Company 1987 – 1989

Stone, Carl 1982 – 1987

Streb, Elizabeth 1984 – 1988

Sullivan, Rob 1984

Takei, Kei 1978 – 1985

Tamblyn, Christine 1978 – 1985

Taylor, Jackie and Craig Gingrich-Philbrook 1995 – 1996

Techtonic Productions 1997 – 1998

Thunder Thigh Revue 1986

Tobacco Road 1985 – 1986

Tornetta, Giuditta and Stuart Miller 1982

Torr, Diane 1995 – 1998

Undergraduate Theatre Makers (UCSD) 1986

Vegh, Tom – Cafe Depresso 1996 – 1997

Victor, Don 1989 – 2003

Vogel, Amanda 1993 – 1995

Weaver, Deke 1992 – 1999

Weinstein, Jeff 1982

Wendkos, Gina and Ellen Ratner 1983 – 1987

Wengerd, Tim 1982 – 1986

Willie & Lobo 1998

Willis, George 1993

Wilmoth, Charles 1989 – 1991

Wilson, Reggie 1989 – 1994

Wise, Nina 1983 – 1986

Wise, Nina and Lauren Elder 1978 – 1982

Wolfe, Kedric Robin 1983

Wolpe, Lisa 1987

Wolverton, Terry 1978 – 1984

Wong, Yen Lu 1978 – 1987

Wyrrick, Sharon 1988 – 1992

York, Curtis and Luis Alfaro 1986 – 1990

Zaloom, Paul 1979 – 1986

Zbiciak, Jan 1982 – 1983

Zweig, Ellen 1983


What’s Cooking on the Environment I & II – With the Center for Music Experiment, UCSD & Landmark Art Projects 1981 – 1982

Running Commentary: New Video 1982

Crawl Out Your Window – Evening of “live literature” ca. 1983

Festival of the New Arts 1983

Christo: Surrounded Islands / A slide talk and panel discussion October 1983

Museum of Seasonal Change & Other Projects December 1983

Video Bowl 1983

Alternatives-5 – An Evening of Performance Poetry 1984

After Orwell 1985

Monstrum I 1985

Some New Music – Selections From New Music America 1985

Summer/Sushi – A Performance Series 1985

After Orwell II 1986

MoCA Radio – The Territory of Art series, “Border-X-Frontera” 1987

Small Dogs – Performance & video installation 1987

Exchange – Performance art/video exchange between UCSD and San Francisco Art Institute 1988

The Undead 1990

Sushi Performance Gala 1991

Solo Visions 1995

Public Women, Private Concerns 1996

Violencia 1996

Circus of Wonders: A Masquerade Performance Party 1997

CrossArts III 1997

Public Women, Private Concerns 1997

Scientists of Sound 1997 – 2000

CrossArts IV 1998

Kultur Mix II 1998

Love & Marriage Festival 1998

Process Works 1998, 2000-2002

Public Women, Private Concerns 1998 – 1999

The Spoken Groove 1998

“20 Hours” Performance Marathon 1999

Kultur Mix III 2000

Brain Storms/Soul Storms 2001

Dot-to-Dot Project 2001

Takeout Series 2005 – 2008

California Triple Feature, with UCSD 2006

East/West Performance Festival 2006

The Exchange Project 2006

New Wave Showcase 2006 & 2008

Beyond Theory 2008

Cinema Lounge 2008

The Symmetry Project 2009

Black Choreographers Moving (BCM)

Neofest 1984

Neofest III 1985

Neofest IV 1986

Neofest V 1987

Neofest VI 1988

Neofest VII 1989

Neofest VIII 1990

Neofest IX 1991

Neofest X 1992

Neofest XI 1993


Aguilera-Hellweg, Max 1990

Alt, Marlene 1989

Anderson, James 1992

Bell, Barry 1987

Boroson, Lee and Jennifer Douglass 1991

Cahill, Mike and Brit Marling – Boxers and Ballerinas (film screening) 2005

Corser, Kira and Frances Payne Adler 1991

Cunning, Sheril 1988 & undated

DePinto, Steven 1986

Engstrom, Lynn 1988

Ewing, Greg 1987

Falling Leaf 1992

Gallagher, Katie 1988

Grady, Kim 1993

Guerilla Girls, retrospective 1994

Heffernan, Mary Beth 1992

Hobson, Paul and Martha Matthews 1989

Holzer, Jenny 1982 – 1985

Honda, Margaret and Deborah Small 1987

Jones, Jennie C. 1994

Keech, Pamela 1991

Kerr & Malley 1991

Krimell David

Liu, Hung 1989

Mancillas-Doyle, Aida 1989

Marcial Rios, Diego 1989 – 1990

McDonell, Liane 1992 – 1993

McGibbon, Phyllis 1994

Nemour, Leslie 1987 – 1988

Oliver, Diane 1991

Ovejero, Graciela 1992 – 1993

Price, Melba 1992

Quattrociocchi, David 1988

Robinson, Carole S. 1990

Sanford, Elise Mitchell 1992

Schmidt, Susan and Mariona Barkus 1991

Service, Robert 1986

Shenk, Geni 1993

Sisco, Elizabeth 1985

Soe, Valerie

Stratton, Margaret 1990

Tower, Cindy 1989

Warner, John – “Front Row Center: Photodocumentation of Sushi, 1984-1987”June 1987

Warrick, Michael 1992

Women’s Caucus for Art 1993 – 1997

Younker, Leah 1987 & 1990

Yuasa, Ryuhei “Rex” 1990

Group Shows

New Works: Kathryn Rothrock, Rodrigo Mesa and Lynn Schutte 1981

Video: Approaches and Limitations, curated by Marina La Palma 1983

Four Artists: Four Directions 1984 – 1985

Streetworks 1986

Street/Sets 1987

Off the Back Burner 1988

Pedos Bilingües 1988

StreetSites 1988

StreetSites 1988

The Transfiguration Show 1988

ANAM 1989

Jispanics are Jot! 1989

Off the Back Burner 1989

StreetSites 1989

Critics’ Choice 1989 – 1990

Off the Back Burner 1990

StreetSites 1990

StreetSites 1991

StreetSites 1991

StreetSites 1992

Burning/Words 1993

Five Work on Paper 1993

Frustrated Blonde 1993

inSite 94 (participating institution) 1994

Caja/Casa 1996

inSite 2000 (participating institution)

Post Card 2009

Family Matters [2010]

Studio Series 1989

En Focado / In Focus series, various artists 1991 – 1992

African American Writers & Artists, Inc. of San Diego undated

Allen, Jo Harvey 1984

Antin, Eleanor 1986, 1989

Bebe Miller and Company 1987 – 1996

Bell, Cate 1997

Between the Raw Dance Collective undated

Bonin-Rodriguez, Paul 1996, 2001

Borenstein, Kate 1995

Brown, Ron 1991

Byrd, Donald 1995

Cale, David 1990, 1992

Contraband 1987 – 1996

Cultural Odyssey 1985 – 1993

Cutler-Shaw, Joyce 1976 – 1983

Dance Theater Workshop undated

David Dorfman Dance 1993

Dirty Dishes Divine 1993

Eiko & Koma 1990

Epifano, Kim undated

Escobar, AJ undated

Fenley, Molissa 1988 – 1989

Finley, Karen 1983 – 2000

Fisher, Betsy 1988

Fleck, John 1988 – 1993

Forti, Simone undated

Frick, Arthur 1985

Fried, Stanley 1986 – 1987

Galás, Philip-Dimitri 1981, 1983

Ghost Town 2001

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig undated

Glassman, Keith 2001

Gómez-Peña, Guillermo 1989 – 1995

Goode, Joe & the Joe Goode Performance Group 1989 – 1994

Greenberg, Anne 1993 – 1996

H – Miscellaneous

Hemphill/Jones 1989

Heyl Juno, Stephanie 1997 & undated

Higby, Sha Sha 1985 – 1986

Hoffbauer, Patricia and George Emilio Sanchez undated

Hotchkis, Joan 1991

Hughes, Holly 1988 – 1995

Kate Foley Dance Co. 1992

Keevil, David 1985, 1989

Kelly, John 1992

Langland, Paul & the Paul Langford Dance Co. 1991 – 1999

Lounsbury, Kate 1989

Lower Left Dance 1998-2000 & undated

Malashock, John & the Malashock Dance & Company 1988 – 1993

Mehmet Memo Sander Dance Co. 1993 – 1994

Meunier, Gilbert 1986

Miller, Tim 1983 – 1995

Najera, Rick 1995

Oguri 1999

Ohara, Rika 1984 – 1985

O’Keefe, John 1984, 1987

Oleszko, Pat 1984, 1990

Parker, David & the Bang Group 1992 – 1998

Parzival 1985

Pat Graney Company 1988

Peralto, Ricardo undated

Pitt, Leonard 1989

Pomeroy, Jim 1983, 1986

Pottenger, Marty 1991 – 1999

Ratner, Ellen 1986

Reitz, Dana 1989

Ren-Lay, Judith 1985

Rennie Harris Puremovement undated

Reno 1992 – 1993

RK Corral 2002

Romero, Rosa and Jorge Dominguez 1985

Rose, Kathy 1984 – 1987

Rosenthal, Rachel 1983 – 2000

Rothenberg, Jerome 1984 & undated

Sammartano, Tonnie 1997, 2001

Sandback, Patricia 1986 – 1989

Schein, David 1982 – 1984

Shrimps 1987 – 1988

Snaith, Yolande undated

Spencer, Michelle undated

Stelarc 1976 – 1982

Steven Petronio Company 1988 & undated

Stevinson, Katie 1992 – 1993

Streb, Elizabeth 1988

Techtonic Productions undated

Uchizono, Donna 1991

Vegh, Tom – Cafe Depresso 1997

Weaver, Deke ca. 1999

Wengerd, Tom 1986

Wenkos, Gina 1987

Wilson, Llory 1990

Zaloom, Paul 1986 & undated

Visual Arts

Alexander, Wick & Steve De Paoli undated

Anderson, James 1992

Boroson, Lee 1991

McGibbon, Phyllis undated

Sanford, Elise Mitchell 1992

Schmidt, Susan ca. 1991

Tittle, Jim 1983

Frustrated Blonde 1993

Here’s an article from The Voice of San Diego. Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD:

or click on the image below:


From Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego:

Sushi Contemporary Performance and Visual Arts was founded in 1980 by visual artist Lynn Schuette. Sushi developed from the 1979 visual and performance series Artists Work Here, also organized by Schuette. The non-profit organization was created to be an alternative exhibition and performance space that would support both local and visiting contemporary artists.
Sushi became one of the most active contemporary art and performance programs on the West Coast. The organization supported, presented and commissioned both established and emerging artists from diverse ethnic, cultural, sexual and personal backgrounds. Programming featured local, national and international performance artists including Laurie Anderson, David Cale, Karen Finley, Whoopi Goldberg, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller and Rachel Rosenthal. Along with performance art, Sushi also featured dance and visual arts, hosting annual events such as Black Choreographers Moving and StreetSites as well as seasonal programming and gallery shows.
The economic recession in 2008, along with several years without a permanent home, left Sushi struggling. In 2011, after more than thirty years presenting innovative performances, Sushi’s board of directors voted to dissolve the organization.

San Diego East Village Project


Lower Left

Lower Left, Collective-in-residence at Sushi Performance & Visual Art.

My Hands Are Dirty:

Performed by Margaret Paek, Andrew Wass, Rebecca Bryant, Jane Blount, Colleen Phillips and Karen Schaffman.

Director: Nina Martin.

April 18-28 2002

Director Nina Martin uses dance, theatre and film to explore society’s struggle with moral dilemmas, wanton waste, environmental destruction, a seemingly ignorant disregard for basic human needs and the incredibly hard task of being a conservationist in a consumer society.


Created as a network of contemporary art programs and commissioned projects among non-profit and public institutions, inSite explored public or contextual art practice in the specific context of the San Diego-Tijuana border region. In 1980, Installation Gallery was opened in San Diego with a goal to present local and regional artists. In 1992, inSite was formed, replacing Installation Gallery. InSite has had five major versions: inSITE92, inSITE94, inSITE97, inSITE2000, and inSite_05.

  • via UCSD Archive*

Images coming soon!

Posted in Art

Cheryl Lynn Parry

I feel grateful for the support I received from Vicki Wolf (Sushi Performance and Visual Art Space) and Debra Owen Gallery in the late 1990s. I enjoyed conversations with Scot McDougall who was very present and wonderful in so many ways. I lived in Golden Hill near to downtown and could walk to the Farmer’s Market, visit the galleries, have coffee, etc. I bought my teenage son clothes from the Goodwill as he never wanted new.

I actually did a small black and white mural on the side of the Re-Incarnation building but can’t seem to find the pictures I took. People from the nearby Rescue Mission would stop and talk to me while I painted. I didn’t get a chance to properly photograph it because personal obligations took me away. It was called “One Hundred Birds that Sound Like Bells”. Birds would perch on the wires high above the building and there were bells in the distance that regularly rang across the city every hour. I based it on a Ferlinghetti poem in “A Coney Island of the Mind” and I painted some of the verse amongst 100 small black and white birds on a wire.

“I have wandered lonely as a cloud… (which Ferlinghetti took from a famous Wordsworth poem)

I have heard the birds that sound like bells.”

I was kind of thinking of the homeless people that wandered the area and called it home. I hoped that passersby would stop and read the text, and look at the painted birds, and then see and hear the real birds overhead, and maybe once in while the bells would ring at the exact same time in synchronicity.

– Cheryl Parry



Sledgehammer Theatre.

Started in 1985

then-artistic director Kirsten Brandt

Co-founders Ethan Feerst and Scott Feldsher

Performance Art Theatre, Non Profit Organization.

From the owner:

Over the past 25 years, Sledgehammer_ has emerged as a nationally recognized company known for intense dedication to the development of new American voices in theatre. Sledgehammer_ has created, performed and presented: over 60 new theatrical events, 22 world premieres, eight west coast premiers.

Sledgehammer_ functions as a regional center for the creation of new theatrical events. The company provides an environment for the exploration of theatrical forms; a laboratory for established and emerging artists; and an arena for public participation in the immediacy of new and provocative American theatre.

Youtube Links:




Posted in Art

Karen Finley

Karen Finley / We Keep Our Victims Ready

Sushi Performance & Visual Art 1989

Finley and three other solo performers became known as the NEA Four when the National Endowment for the Arts yielded to political pressure and, in an unprecedented reaction, denied grants to the artists despite their being endorsed by the NEA recommendation panel. The now infamous images of Finley sprinkling heart-shaped candies, alfalfa sprouts, and tinsel on her chocolate-covered body are only a small passage within a longer piece entitled We Keep Our Victims Ready, of which Finley performed a first version in 1989 at Sushi Gallery in San Diego. Mocking what women are supposed to be—“delectable sweeties”—she screams: “SMEAR CHOCOLATE ALL OVER BODY UNTIL YOU ARE A HUMAN SHIT—EAT SUZY Q’s, CHOCOLATE-COVERED CHERRIES…” Finley says she intended her work as an aggressive attack against misogyny, with chocolate serving as a potent symbol of the verbal and physical abuses women are subjected to. “When I smear chocolate on my body it is a symbol of women being treated like dirt…”

The impact of her politically-charged chocolate statement reverberates at the core of a debate that is still raging around the question of moral standards, their place in art and their authority.

(via A Chocolate Art History.” Chocolate!, ed. Carin Kuoni. New York: Swiss Institute, 1995, pp. 21–42)

More about We Keep Our Victims Ready

The Publication

The Publication – San Diego’s Arts Magazine. A general interest magazine focusing on the arts.

Founded by Dorothy Annette and Jim Hammond

San Diego East Village Project

Gary Welsh

I was first introduced to the east village through the Susht Performance Space in I believe 1999. A recent transplant from Washington DC, I had been invited to participate on an advisory panel for an upcoming performance series on mental health issues. As an avant garde art lover I gravitated to all things Sushi and ended up volunteering for the committee for the annual fundraiser the infamous Red Ball for a number of years

Christian Michaels

I owned and operated a Flashpoint Pictures photography studio at 311 8th Ave. from 1997 to 2000, where the Park at the Park is now. I lived there too, and it was next door to the historic Candy Factory building.

The East Village had a raw, industrial, artsy feel at that time. Many of us hoped it would develop into the \”Soho of San Diego\”.

Images provided by Christian Michaels. Click on image for full view.











East Village Project

Flash Point Photography / BlackBox Studios

Interior images of BlackBox Studios, located at what was formerly 311 Eighth Avenue.

This building was originally an annex to the Candy Factory building next door. These pictures are circa 1998.

Information and Images provided by Christian Michaels.


Monterrey Provision Co.

Founder, Richard “Dick” Herrman, who started operating as a niche distributor in 1972 for delis and independent shops in San Diego, California. He felt that the name Monterrey Provision Company, reflected the appeal and flavor of it’s proximity to the Mexican border. Starting the company with their first product -pickles- that he started selling from the back of his 1970 station wagon.


East Village Project Monterrey Provision 1

Western Metal Supply Co

Designed in 1909-1910 by Architect Henry Lord Gay, four story brick and heavy timber, 51,400 square feet. Commissioned by Bernard McKenzie.

Originally located at Fifth Avenue and K Street.

Corner of Seventh Avenue and K Street.

Western Metal Supply Company established in 1888 by brothers Bernard and George McKenzie.

Photos by Wayne Buss

Click on image for full view.


701 Island

Built in 1925 as a warehouse

Morris Trepte & Sons

Bledsoe Company furniture warehouse:

The building was found to be the “Bledsoe Company Warehouse,” which was constructed by the firm of M. Trepte and Sons in 1925 in a “Transitional Industrial” architectural style. The building was found to represent “a transitional design from a Victorian industrial structure to the clean, unornamented lines of the International style.” Several years later, the building was included in the Historic Site Inventory of Centre City East Update in 2001.

The building was converted into 1112 live/work “studios” between 1989-1990

Henry R. Bledsoe was a partner of Appleton Bridges, who with his wife donated most of the funds for the Fine Arts Gallery in Balboa Park, opened in 1926 and now called the San Diego Museum of Art.


Photos by Wayne Buss.

Click on images for full view.

TR Produce

TR Produce

808 J Street
Photos by Wayne Buss

441 Tenth Avenue

441 Tenth Avenue housed Fresh Produce Wholesale.

Photos by Wayne Buss, click on images for full view.