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Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Kristian Rivera?'s comic, "Relic." Kristian Rivera?'s comic, "Relic."

The Art of Comics

A new Exhibition at the SDSU Downtown Gallery explores comic culture.
By Lizbeth Persons Price

Timed to coincide with the annual Comic-Con International, the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery presents Word Balloons: Comics at San Diego State University, an exhibition inviting viewers to immerse themselves in comic culture as a vibrant part of the San Diego community and worldwide art form.

The exhibition will feature graphic narratives and artwork from SDSU faculty and students.

Word Balloons runs from July 2 through  July 27 at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the gallery is free and open to the public.

Rooted in art curriculum

Since 2009, adjunct lecturer Neil Kendricks’ one-of-a-kind graphic novel course and adjunct lecturer Neil Shigley’s popular drawing and illustration course have collaborated on the self-published, comic-book anthology, Word Balloons, which lent inspiration to the exhibition's title. 

In addition to Word Balloons’ best comics, the show will include pop-savvy artworks by select alumni from SDSU’s School of Art + Design. Kendricks, Shigley, and SDSU associate professor Mark Siprut are the curators of this exhibition.

Comic-Con connections

Special events around the exhibit include:

Opening Reception, July 9, 6 to 9 p.m.
The gallery will host a reception celebrating Comic-Con’s opening day featuring live music and mural painting. Artist Hugo Crosthwaite will create a site-specific mural for Word Balloons. A native of Tijuana, Mexico, Crosthwaite is an alumnus of SDSU who currently lives and works between Tijuana, Los Angeles and Brooklyn.

Live Drawing Event, July 16, 6 to 9 p.m.
A live-drawing event will feature an artist’s model dressed in an original comic-inspired costume. The public is invited to bring sketchbooks and drawing instruments to flex their artistic abilities.

For more information about Word Balloons, visit the SDSU Downtown Gallery website or contact Chantel Paul, Downtown Gallery program coordinator.