Be Here Now

Art and San Diego History—What’s the Connection?

Visual arts are a powerful way to learn about a community and its history. Since its founding in 1928, the San Diego History Center (SDHC) has collected, displayed, and preserved art and visual culture from the region with the belief that visual arts are a source of historical documentation. The works in our collection serve not only as fine examples of artistic styles and art movements, but also as archival documents.

Inquiry is at the heart of Be Here Now, the new visual arts exhibition at the Balboa Park museum featuring art from artists born here or who have spent a significant time in the San Diego region. We invite visitors to slow down and look deeper into the pieces by asking purposeful questions such as What does it mean to be here?  How does the land change how we live? What does it mean to search for utopia? Who decides who belongs here?

Throughout this exhibition, you will see questions and statements – in English and Spanish – to help you look deeper into these works of art.  A goal of this exhibition is to start a dialog with the art and keep the conversation going with friends and family. Use what you notice in the art to reflect on our community and our sense of place. Explore our connections to each other, the changes that have occurred here, and the changes yet to come.