Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 - 3:12 pm

San Diego, CA— On Thursday, March 5, 2015 from 7-10 PM, TNT (Thursday Night Thing) will take place at MCASD Downtown to celebrate the opening of the Museum’s newest exhibition, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui.  

TNT is an energetic art and music mash-up event hosted three to four times a year, inspired by recently opened exhibitions. This installment of TNT is entitled TNT: Remixed, referencing El Anatsui’s  repurposing of materials in the exhibition on view,  as well as the art-making activities, headlining band, and other details surrounding the event. Guests are invited to converge on Figi Concourse, the historic colonnade located between MCASD’s downtown location and adjacent train tracks, for this lively evening which will include interactive performances and art-making experiences with artist Keenan Harsten and his sound sculptures. Collective Magpie will also be present and working on the construction of their project Globos with the aide of MCASD’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG). Globos, a project that aims to connect diverse communities in San Diego and Tijuana through the collective creation of a paper hot air balloon,will debut at The New Children’s Museum late this year, and eventually will launch at the San Diego-Tijuana border. Jimmy LaValle of famed San Diego band The Album Leaf will perform at 8 and 9 PM. Organic food truck bites from Green Truck will be available with the support of, as well as Stone Brewing Co. beers and 619 Vodka cocktails ($5 beers, $6 cocktails).

TNT: Remixed celebrates the opening of El Anatsui’s exhibition, Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui. The exhibition features the artist’s signature hangings composed of discarded liquor bottle caps, milk tin lids, and aluminum printing plates. Anatsui uses copper wire to connect countless units of cut and folded metal into massive expanses. Gravity and Gracehas traveled throughout the nation from the Akron Art Museum in Akron, Ohio, and is making its final stop here in San Diego. The exhibitionfeatures 11 metal objects, along with Anatsui's wall reliefs of reclaimed wood and works on paper, which will fill MCASD Downtown’s 10,000-square feet of gallery space, with the largest piece spanning 35 feet.

TNT is free for Members, $8 for students and seniors, and $10 for non-members. MCASD Members will receive their choice between one free Stone Brewing Co. Beer or 619 Vodka cocktail.

For interviews and high resolution images, please contact Communications Associate Patricia B. Dwyer or Communications and Marketing Manager Leah Straub.

About Gravity and Grace

El Anatsui’s artworks embody a wide array of artistic techniques and aesthetic traditions, as well as layers of cultural meaning. Tapping into personal experience—his upbringing and education in Ghana, teaching and art making in Ghana and Nigeria, and his global travels—he creates art that represents ideas specific to his life and environment yet also speaks to universal themes of human connection and change.

The frugality of the materials and this patchwork technique suggest the mass consumption habits that his accumulations evidence, and counter the opulence of the finished objects. Whether hanging from the ceiling or on the wall, Anatsui’s works are refigured and draped anew each time they are installed. Malleable and shimmering, they bridge painting and sculpture, taking on a different form with every installation. He wishes for his art to remain fluid, reflecting the ever-changing nature of life. The exhibition's 11 metal objects, along with Anatsui's wall reliefs of reclaimed wood and works on paper, will fill MCASD Downtown’s 10,000-square feet of gallery space, with the largest piece spanning 35 feet.

Embracing the African ethos of repurposing used items, Anatsui places a deep value on the human imprint that each object bears. Liquor bottle caps retain an especially potent history, not only for the hands that have touched them but as a symbolic connecting point between Africa, Europe, and the United States, owing to the key role of liquor in the colonization of West Africa and the slave trade.

Anatsui’s recent body of work has an African point of view yet cannot be culturally or geographically pinned down. His alchemical transformations connect with viewers through scale, pattern, light, and texture that, like the micro-history contained within each bottle cap, together leave a spiritual imprint on the mind.

About the band

Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf
Born and raised in San Diego, Jimmy LaValle is best known as the mastermind behind The Album Leaf. Beginning the band as a solo project in 1999, he has released numerous records over the last 15 years, notably on legendary Sub Pop Records. The Album Leaf has toured extensively both national and internationally, performing at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks Amphitheater, and receiving critical acclaim for energetic live shows featuring visual projection art. LaValle currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

About the artists

Keenan Harsten
Keenan Hartsten is an artist living and working in San Diego. A proponent of the reusable, Hartsten reconstitutes found materials to create playful and interactive installations, objects, and collaborative community projects. His work focuses on the materiality of discarded objects and re-imagines worlds of texture, color and sound that offer the participant a new temporal perspective. TNT: Remixed will feature a selection of Harsten’s interactive sound sculptures created with found materials, and will include a collaborative performance between the artist and the audience with these makeshift instruments.

Hartsten graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2010 with a B.A in Studio Art. Since then he has been working across disciplines and has exhibited at Helmuth Projects, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, and with Quint Gallery. 

Collective Magpie 
The transnational duo, MR Barnadas and Tae Hwang of Magpie Collective create art through live public participation. Together their unique labor process-based work is dedicated to the creation of ephemeral forms built through collective mass-production. The resulting constructions present a shifting acculturated vernacular of everyday materials to be seen as both objects and performances of labor. Their migratory practice offers participants and viewers a global interplay of objects produced that are entangled with the labor of those who produced them, suggesting always a place to engage and embrace temporality. Their work has been performed and exhibited at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany; SOMA, Mexico City; Università IUAV di Venezia, Venice; The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto; New York Hall of Science, NY; All Souls Festival, Tucson, AZ; with upcoming projects at the New Children's Museum and the Centro Estatal de las Artes, Tijuana.


Funding for TNT and education programs specific toGravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui has been generously provided by Maryanne and Irwin Pfister.

TNT is made possible with in-kind support from SIXONENINE, Stone Brewing Company and SD Food Truck Map, with additional support by 91X. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.

Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsuiis organized by the Akron Art Museum and made possible by a major grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The San Diego presentation is made possible by generous lead underwriting gifts from Dr. Paul Jacobs, Maryanne and Irwin Pfister, and Sheryl and Harvey White. Additional funding has been provided with proceeds from the 2014 Art Auction. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.




Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,500 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.