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Covering 75: July 2023

Local artist Panca recreates San Diego Mag's February 1965's Baja Mexico Cover
Panca July Covering 75

Panca July Covering 75

Illustration by Paola Villaseñor aka Panca

The cover of San Diego Magazine’s February 1965 issue pointed readers towards the pristine, “unplundered” beaches in Baja, boasting of potential undiscovered gems to be found by “intrepid” visitors.

“On this beach,” reads the cover description, “a ‘mystique’ is made possible by the fortuitous lack of too many people and intrepid campers can find Nirvana in the cool breezes of that more southerly Pacific as well as a trove of cast-off treasures.”

Nearly 60 years later, San Diegans’ relationship with Baja has grown more complex, but we’re as enchanted by the peninsula as ever.

February 1965 San Diego Magazine Cover

February 1965 San Diego Magazine Cover

In celebration of SDM’s 75th birthday this year, we’re asking contemporary artists we love to recreate classic covers. This month’s cover is a modern depiction of Baja from celebrated binational artist Panca. In her illustration, a solo female traveler races in a convertible towards Baja’s newest hot spot—the wine country of Valle de Guadalupe— seemingly without a care in the world, windswept hair and all.

“The Valle has developed big time. You can go to the Valle and you’ll run into somebody from San Diego. Before, it was kind of hush-hush,” Panca says.

“I think, like everything, it can get burned. But I also think there’s a lot going on and it’s very much worthy of [exploring] and preserving at the same time. There has to be a balance of acknowledging this beautiful area, but …. not just using it up until it’s gone.” —JI

By Jennifer Ianni

Jennifer Ianni is a long-time San Diego journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, PACIFIC magazine, Point Loma-OB Monthly, PB Monthly, and more. She’s a native San Diegan who loves puns, pop culture, dive bars, yoga, extra dirty martinis, walks with her dog, Luna, and hanging out with her nephew, Jay, and her niece, Siena.

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