Fall arts preview 2021: Top visual arts picks this season

Museums and galleries are opening and reopening to the public, and whether art lovers want to get back out to Balboa Park or want to see an intimate gallery exhibition, there’s plenty to see throughout the county.

Subject to change due to COVID-19. Please check websites for updates.

San Diego Art Prize winner Melissa Walter's "Autoradiogram 002Medium"

San Diego Art Prize winner Melissa Walter’s work, including
“Autoradiogram 002Medium,” will be on view as part of “Smallest of Places” at Oceanside Museum of Art.

(Courtesy of Melissa Walter)

Oceanside Museum of Art: ‘Smallest of Places’ and ‘Charlotte Bird: Migration’

“Smallest of Places” showcases work from local artist Melissa Walter, a San Diego Art Prize winner whose latest work centers on the formation of DNA. The exhibition has been up since July, but the official invitation-only reception will take place Saturday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Also opening that evening is “Migration,” an exhibition of water bird-themed textile works from fellow local Charlotte Bird. “Smallest of Places” runs through Nov. 7; “Migration” is on view Sept. 18 to Jan. 9, 2022. Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside. Free-$10. (760) 435-3720. oma-online.org

Local artist Gail Roberts’ latest collection of 128 paintings are mesmerizing, hyper-realistic renderings of flowers and native plants. She’ll discuss the exhibition at an Artist Talk event on Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. On view through Nov. 6. Quint Gallery, 7655 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free. (858) 454-3409. quintgallery.com

Mingei International Museum: ‘Humble Spirit / Priceless Art’ and ‘Global Spirit’

The Mingei is officially reopened after a major renovation. Its two new exhibitions feature vintage everyday items made from natural materials (“Humble Spirit / Priceless Art”) and a vast collection of international folk art from the museum’s prestigious Ted Cohen collection (“Global Spirit”). On view through Jan. 1. Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. Free-$10. (619) 239-0003. mingei.org

Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego: ‘Unity in Variety’

This exhibition marks the official opening of the ICA (a merger of the Lux Art Institute and the San Diego Art Institute) and will feature work from Jalisco, Mexico-based artist Gabriel Rico, who is known for his entrancing sculptural installations. On view Sept. 24 to Jan. 23. Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego (Central), 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. Pay what you wish. (760) 436-6611. icasandiego.org

Museum of Photographic Arts: ‘Aaron Siskind: Mid Century Modern’

A showcase of the late photographer, which focuses on his work from the late 1940s and ’50s when he was taking highly detailed, abstract style pictures inspired by modern artists of the time. On view Oct. 2 to Feb. 13. Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Pay what you wish. (619) 238-7559. mopa.org

Hugo Crosthwaite's "Ensueño No. 5"

Hugo Crosthwaite’s “Ensueño No. 5″

(Courtesy of Hugo Crosthwaite / San Diego Art Prize)

Bread & Salt: ‘San Diego Art Prize’

The four winners of the annual prize will collectively show off their latest works, which range from street-style pop-surrealism (PANCA) and Turkish-style ceramics (Beliz Iristay), to black-and-white drawings (Hugo Crosthwaite) and subversive paintings (Perry Vásquez). There will be an artist reception on Oct. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. On view Oct. 9 to Dec. 31. Bread & Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. Free. (619) 851-4083. sdvisualarts.net

Artist Yolanda López

Artist Yolanda López

(Courtesy of the artist)

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego: ‘Yolanda López: Portrait of the Artist’

The San Diego-born and UC San Diego-educated Chicana artist, known for the popular Virgin de Guadalupe series, gets her first solo museum exhibition this fall. Lopez passed away Sept. 3 in her longtime San Francisco apartment. This exhibit will feature paintings, drawings and collage-style work she produced in the 1970s and ’80s and explores representations of Chicana culture. On view Oct. 16 to April 24. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd., Downtown. Free-$10. (858) 454-3541. mcasd.org

Artist Perry Vasquez will showcase new paintings at his solo show, "Oasis," at Sparks Gallery.

Artist Perry Vasquez will showcase new paintings at his solo show, “Oasis,” at Sparks Gallery.

(Photo courtesy of Sparks Gallery / Perry Vasquez)

Fresh off his San Diego Art Prize win and exhibition, Perry Vásquez will showcase new paintings at this solo show. The intimate exhibition will mainly feature pieces from Vásquez’s “Under the Perfect Sun” series of burning and rendered palm trees. An opening reception will take place Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On view Oct. 17 to Jan. 9. Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave., Downtown. Free. (619) 696-1416. sparksgallery.com

Do Ho Suh's "Fallen Star," Stuart Collection, UCSD

Do Ho Suh’s “Fallen Star,” Stuart Collection, UCSD

(Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann)

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library: ’40 Years of the Stuart Collection’

The Athenaeum teams up with UC San Diego to celebrate the impressive public art installations throughout the La Jolla campus. There will be an opening reception on Nov. 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On view Nov. 6 to Dec. 31. Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall Street, La Jolla. Free. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org

Swish Projects: “BFGF”

The intimate contemporary art space will showcase new works from L.A. artist Lilian Martinez, whose BFGF brand of paintings and functional art objects has been described as “Matisse of the Instagram Era.” There will be an opening reception for the artist on Nov. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. On view Nov. 13 to Dec. 5. Swish Projects, 2903 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Free. instagram.com/swishprojects