Contemporary Art Flows Through San Antonio in March

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An in-progress image of an embroidery work, titled "Florecer Los Dos," by artist Sol Kesseler. Kesseler is one of 12 artists featured in the "Thread" show at Clamp Light gallery.

Courtesy / Sol Kesseler

An in-progress image of an embroidery work, titled "Florecer Los Dos," by artist Sol Kesseler. Kesseler is one of 12 artists featured in the "Thread" show at Clamp Light gallery.

Contemporary Art Month is already in full swing, and San Antonio's burgeoning local scene means there is an abundance of exhibitions and events.

The annual art-of-the-moment celebration began 32 years ago at Blue Star Contemporary in an effort to raise the profile of artists in San Antonio and beyond. Now the event involves hundreds of artists from Texas and abroad at venues throughout the city.

The official CAM calendar lists many, complete with locations, times and other details.

A highlight of this year’s edition is the Tricentennial-themed Beyond the Wall, the CAM Perennial exhibition joining three San Antonio artists with three artists from the Canary Islands, curated by Adonay Bermúdez of Lanzarote, Spain.

The selection of artists in itself speaks of the exhibition’s stated purpose, “to remember and … show the importance of migratory flows and, therefore, the enrichment generated by the mixture” of races and cultures.

The local artists are Laredo-born Ethel Shipton, Monterrey-born Bárbara Miñarro, and Caracas-born Hayfer Brea, all firmly “Spanish domain” areas in the eyes of Bermúdez. The Canary Islands-based artists, who in the curator’s words are brought here “to 'colonize' San Antonio again,” are Luna Bengoechea and Francis Naranjo from Gran Canaria, and Spanish artists Cynthia Viera and Pablo San José, known as PSJM.

San Antonio artist Ethel Shipton will be one of six artists in the CAM Perennial exhibition "Beyond the Wall," in Artpace's Hudson Showroom.

Courtesy / Ethel Shipton

San Antonio artist Ethel Shipton will be one of six artists in the CAM Perennial exhibition "Beyond the Wall," in Artpace's Hudson Showroom.

Beyond the Wall opens Friday, March 22 in Artpace’s Hudson Showroom, the same evening as its Spring 2018 International Artist-In-Residence Program exhibition.

Some March exhibitions have already been written about in the Rivard Report, including the special six-venue collaborative Tricentennial show Common Currents. That exhibition is divided by groups of years, with 1918-1967 opening at the Carver Community Cultural Center on Thursday, March 15, and 1968-2017 opening at the Mexican Cultural Institute on Thursday, March 29.

The Artpace Common Currents exhibition closed March 4, with other shows ongoing at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Southwest School of Art, and Blue Star Contemporary.

Other noteworthy entries of CAM 2018, denoted by venue, are listed below:

Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

The San Antonio Tricentennial offers multiple opportunities to redress narratives that have excluded important facets of the city’s history. The Other Side of the Alamo: Art Against the Myth, running through July 20, includes 26 San Antonio artists whose work “counters the mainstream myths of the Alamo’s iconic status,” according to curator Ruben C. Cordova. Please check the Guadalupe Center website for more information on the artists, including Mel Casas, Mari Hernandez, and Jesse Treviño.

Clamp Light

Curator Alana Coates opens Thread, an exhibition of contemporary embroidery, on Friday, March 9, 7-10 p.m. Artists include Bianca Alvarez, Linda Arredondo, Sara Barnes, Sarah Castillo, Martha Elena Flores, Sarah Fox, Abby Hinojosa, Sol Kesseler, Justin Korver, Michael Martinez, Nicole Tovar and Jose Villalobos, all working to upend assumptions about this traditional craft form. Villalobos will perform opening night, with a dual video/live embroidery piece that recalls the punishment he has felt for not being “man enough,” particularly in his love for sewing.

"Frog William" by artist Sarah Fox illustrates her embroidery skills, included in the "Thread" show at Clamp Light gallery. Fox will run a workshop on Saturday, Mar. 31, for those who would like to learn the skill.

"Frog William" by artist Sarah Fox illustrates her embroidery skills, included in the "Thread" show at Clamp Light gallery. Fox will run a workshop on Saturday, Mar. 31, for those who would like to learn the skill.

Freight

Arturo Infante Almeida has been busy lately. He curated the surfeit of a show titled VOZ, which crowds the Centro de Artes galleries with 222 Latino artists from the UTSA collection, in no particular order other than the priorities of the curator’s eye, Almeida said. At Freight Gallery, however, Almeida tones it down with AND NOW, a selection of work by a mere 10 artists: Ernesto Ibanez, Juan De Dios Mora, Rhys Munro, Carmen Oliver, Ricardo Ruiz, Martín C. Rodriguez, Joel Salcido Ruiz, Humberto Saenz, Raul Servin, and Ana Hernández Vela. All from Texas, they “represent a diverse array of backgrounds, experiences and influences” and examine “the technological changes and cultural shifts that propel the new century,” according to the CAM calendar.

San Antonio Museum of Art

Three events at the San Antonio Museum of Art epitomize the scope of the museum’s contemporary art programming, from an international veteran of the Venice Biennale and Prospect: 4 in New Orleans, to emergent local artists.

Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m., recent Artist Foundation grantee Nathan Felix, who won the inaugural “People’s Choice Award,” brings his experimental music performance group From Those Who Follow The Echoes to SAMA’s galleries for an interactive performance.

Tuesday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m., Spanish artist Maider Lopez will visit to deliver an artist talk to describe her architecturally-based installations.

Carol Cunningham's work will join that of five other local artists for CAM Happening Take 3 outside the San Antonio Museum of Art, curated by Christie Blizard.

Courtesy / Carol Cunningham

Carol Cunningham's work will join that of five other local artists for CAM Happening Take 3 outside the San Antonio Museum of Art, curated by Christie Blizard.

Thursday, March 22, 6-10 p.m., CAM Happening Take 3 features curator Christie Blizard. Artists  Carol Cunningham, Tom Turner, Justin Korver, Eden Collins, Verena Gaudy, and Martin Rodriguez, will each install their work along the outside wall of SAMA facing the River Walk, Blizard said. The event benefits local nonprofit Culinaria.

Linda Pace Foundation

March is also National Women’s Month, which the Linda Pace Foundation acknowledges with the Reclaimed exhibition of women’s art. Fabric sculptor Lara Schnitger visits to deliver a free public artist’s talk at the foundation’s Space gallery on Sun., Mar. 18 from noon to 2 p.m.

Ruiz-Healy Art

Opening Weds., Mar. 21, 6-8 p.m., an exhibition of Vignettes from San Antonio by artist Michael Menchaca, half of the artist duo Dos Mestizx, honors the artist’s hometown for the Tricentennial year. Menchaca pays homage to the boots at North Star Mall, Easter weekend Camping at Brackenridge Park, Fiesta, and other local icons.

UTSA West Campus

CAM-goers can catch a glimpse of the newest-of-the-new, University of Texas at San Antonio students who aspire to become the next generation of contemporary artists. The “Wild West” West Campus show at the Sculpture Ceramics Compound (click link above for location information) features art in multiple media by current MFA candidates of the Department of Art. The Sat., Mar. 24 event runs from 1-7 p.m., featuring a “steamroller print demonstration, ceramics demos and a raku-technique firing, and performances.

CHRISPark

On Fri., Mar. 30, 5:30-9 p.m., alongside the annual “CAMMIES” awards given yearly to notables among CAM’s many exhibitions and events, the Spare Parts Mini Art Museum presents Shrinking Island. The title evokes a canny characterization of our increasingly globalized world, and harkens back to the famous 1972 photograph of Earth taken from space. Curated by Jason Reed, a docent-led tour will enlighten work by artists Ana Lucia Carbajal, Benjamin Powell, Sarah Sheafe, and Claudia Salina.

Workshops

If you’ve ever look at contemporary art and said, “my kid could do that,” three CAM-concluding workshops offer a chance to put your ideas where your mouth is:

San Antonio Public Library: Mission Branch

On consecutive Wednesdays, Mar. 14, 21, and 28, from 4:30 - 6 p.m., partners Spare Parts and the Mini Art Museum present “wee art” workshops, with examples provided by artists Anna Carbajal, Benjamin Powell, Claudia Salinas, and Sarah Sheafe.

Mantle Art Space

Sat., Mar. 31 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., painter Mica Smith leads abstraction-shy participants to the world of non-objective art. Smith presents non-objective art as closely related to the elements of design, which puts it squarely in the realm of familiar colors, patterns, shapes and forms. Tickets are $45 and registration is required.

Clamp Light

On Sat., Mar. 31, 6-8 p.m., coinciding with a free closing reception for Thread catered by Honeysuckle Teatime, multi-media artist Sarah Fox will teach embroidery, an craft form which has emerged as a popular tool for contemporary artists. Fox recently opened an exhibition of new work at Cinnabar gallery, led a ‘Drink & Draw’ workshop for Blue Star Contemporary members, and was a finalist for the Artist Foundation’s People’s Choice award. The workshop fee is $10.

 

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