Luminaria, now in its seventh year, has announced the call for entries for the 2015 festival set for October 23–24. Executive Director Kathy Armstrong has announced a return to the “open call” format as opposed to the controversial board curation of last year. The deadline for applications is June 15. Apply online here.
After 18 years with the Southwest School of Art (SSA), Armstrong was hired in March as Luminaria’s first full-time executive director and signed on with a three-year contract. Coming from the position of director of exhibitions at SSA, she has developed a deep respect as a contemporary arts curator and comes to the festival capable of bringing the event up to full speed. Armstrong also has a history with Luminaria, having served as an invited curator in 2011, and then working with Magik Theatre founder Richard Rosen, along with Melissa Marlow, theatre artist, as the associate artistic director in 2013.
The curatorial approach adopted for the 2014 edition of Luminaria met with some disappointment in the San Antonio arts community at the time. At the end of the day, the curatorial approach did yield a pretty nifty show. Between Ethel Shipton’s selection of local artists and Noah Koshbin’s work on the international side, many enjoyed the spectacle of Luminaria 2014 – though it received some mixed reviews. Now, all artists have an opportunity to apply and bring their best game to the table. Submissions are invited in the areas of visual, performance, literary, musical, environmental, film, dance or any combination of artistic genres.
This year, all works must be created specifically for Luminaria, unless Luminaria is also the Texas or USA premiere.
The River North neighborhood will host the 2015 edition of Luminaria, adjacent to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA). Featured art will be installed along Jones Avenue, in and out of the riverbeds, the alleys, and the businesses, with the footprint crossing Broadway. It is anticipated that the soon-to-be-renovated Maverick Park will be included in this footprint.
From the Luminaria website: “For over 300 years San Antonio has been a crossroads between cultures. Established in 2008, Luminaria has astounded audiences with works by featured regional, national and international artists. This contemporary arts festival presents new works from all artistic disciplines in a free night festival in various downtown locations. Luminaria is produced by the artists and makers of San Antonio and advances the creative economy.”
So, San Antonio, you got what you wanted. This is the opportunity to bring it – to put up or shut up. We look forward to a dynamic showing, with the best that San Antonio has to offer. We will, hopefully, keep our doors open wide to international participation. Luminaria morphs again. San Antonio deserves a festival of lights like no other. Make it so.
*Featured/top image: A man walks by one of the many murals at Luminaria. Photo by Scott Ball.