Article by Chris Mosher:
Just a stones throw south of Chicano Park, couched amongst a handful of galleries and small businesses, sits The Chrch. It is located in what many are now calling, "The Barrio Arts District". Though as beautiful as Barrio Logan is, it is not without it's troubled past, nor it's difficult present; it is a hub of immigrant families, factories, and people living dangerously below the poverty line. However this only adds to the uniqueness, if not the outright necessity, of a place like The Chrch.
The namesake is not one of religious affiliation, rather it is to illustrate that "Art is our religion." Working hand in hand with the community to enable the youth, artists, and musicians alike to pursue their craft with regular art shows, musical engagements, a recording studio, and more. Inside, there is yet another gem within a gem, Beat Box Records; run by Bernie, or as many know him, DJ Inform. Lining the walls of the small storefront, is a sizable treasure trove of rare and classic records, which are all watched over by unique and artful movie posters of the past. Not only is it a genuine labor of love, it is chalked full of rarities you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in town.
To quote one of the founders, Mark Escobar, "The Chrch is an art studio that focuses on art-therapy. The idea is that art is the religion we practice to heal ourselves and anyone we can reach..." He continues, "We are trying to create a space to enable people to empower themselves and be a positive contributing force in our community and beyond..."
Surrounded by galleries with similar intentions, Barrio Logan is in one of it's most inviting, and artistically driven periods since Chicano Park was established. And much like the brave Chicano artists and people who claimed the park as their own nearly 50 years ago, The Chrch and other members of The Barrio Arts District intend to revive an artistic renaissance in one of San Diego's most trying, and colorful neighborhoods.
An upcoming event includes a collaboration between Cypher in the Park, a community run hip hop workshop (which operates out of The Chrch in the winter months), and Aesthetigeist (a prominent art collective) that will be doing live-painting as well as displaying art during the Barrio Art Crawl on Saturday, Febuary the 28th.
The owner, Bernie:
Their music studio:
Our art collective, Aesthetigeist, recently helped throw a show here. Check out some of the photos from our event!
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