On the evening of Tuesday, February 25, the thirteenth installment of PechaKucha Night San Antonio hits the road once more, landing this time at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. As usual, the event kicks off with a happy hour at 6:30 p.m. and presentations begin at 7:30 p.m. A donation of $5 gets you in the door.
PechaKucha Nights have proven wildly popular in San Antonio, with attendance averaging 300 people. The format allows eight presenters an opportunity to share their passions over the course of 20 slides, each on display for just 20 seconds. The event premiered in Tokyo in 2003, the brainchild of Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of architecture firm Klein Dytham. The creative duo hoped to create a space for young designers to publicly share their work and ideas.
Today, more than 700 cities across the globe host PechaKucha Nights – including San Antonio, which has seen presenters ranging from ranchers and musicians to artists, chefs and storytellers.
PechaKucha San Antonio has recently been accepted into the San Antonio Area Foundation’s SA4Good program.
“SA4Good is an incubator concept that we are selectively testing,” said Carrie Gray, the Area Foundation’s vice president for development and donor services. “It provides individuals, groups and newly-formed organizations an opportunity to concentrate on their primary mission and purpose, because the San Antonio Area Foundation provides technical and administrative support.”
As a result of joining the SA4Good program, PechaKucha San Antonio is able to move toward an annual sponsorship model. Zurich International Properties, St. Mary’s University, Lake/Flato Architects, Bicycle Heaven, Centro Properties and Insite Architects have all signed on to sponsor the quarterly event this year, and PK SA is hoping to secure four additional annual sponsors of $1,500 by February 10.
Organizations or individuals interested in supporting the quarterly events through an annual sponsorship should see this attachment and contact the event organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org, copying PK SA committee member Chris Crim at email@example.com. The Rivard Report is a media sponsor of PK SA.
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, the first and longest-running venue for contemporary art in San Antonio, serves as the venue for PKN 13. Between its four on-site galleries and multiple off-site locations, the space hosts more than 20 exhibitions every year, highlighting the work of emerging and established artists from San Antonio and around the world.
Blue Star recently announced that Mary Heathcott will join the team as the new executive director in late February. On its website, board chair Francie Mannix writes, “We are so excited for Mary to join the Blue Star team and to continue the great work of her predecessors.” Heathcott has worked at Artpace since 2006, providing strategic administrative and programmatic direction since 2012 as deputy director. Prior to her Artpace tenure, she served as manager of individual giving at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
And now, on to the presenters, with descriptions from the PKN SA organizers:
Ryan Beltrán, Start-up Co-founder
Ryan Beltrán is co-founder at Elequa, a startup utilizing an innovative technology that drastically reduces the energy consumption, production cost, and waste in the water purifying process. Elequa won the Regional Sustainability Award for the Clean Tech Open 2013.
Currently, Ryan is focused on reducing the cost of drinking water for communities in Mexico.
Mary Cantú, Master Re-user
Mary Elizabeth Cantú earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Museum Education with a focus on Cultural Anthropology & Education in 2001 from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She went on to obtain a state certificate for General Elementary Education in 2003. Cantú furthered her education getting a Master’s Degree in Art Education in 2008, with a focus on Community-Based Art from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013, she became a national Reuse Alliance Master Reuser, the first in San Antonio.
Philanthropy, art, education, and green living have always been important to Cantú. All of these values amalgamated in 2010 when she founded spare parts, an organization dedicated to: cultural and environmental sustainability; affordability and accessibility to the arts; and community, education, green-style. Its main objective is to connect with various agencies and businesses to provide a steady supply of materials, which would otherwise be thrown away, for the artistic community and educators to increase the creative and cultural energy of San Antonio.
Mike Casey, Urban Pioneer
Mike Casey is the guy in the hat and suit with a bow tie riding his bike all over King William and Southtown. He has been in King William since 1972 when the neighborhood was at the bottom. Lucky for him, because when his landlord asked if he would buy the house he was renting and Mike accepted, word got around and a number of neighbors asked if he would be interested in taking their property off their hands.
Over the years, Mike accumulated several properties which he has rented primarily to artists, architects and other tenants in the creative community. He may be best remembered as the owner of the Compound at Sala Diaz.
Angela Michelle, Photographer
Angela Michelle is the founder of the photography company Raven Red, specializing in conceptual photo shoots inspired by the world of fashion. Her work has been published in publications including Nside and Nfit Magazine, Glacier, TAP, and Eloise, and she has been featured in art shows including Una Noche de La Gloria, the Tobin Hills Art Walk, and the Melinda Martinez Gallery. One of the things that first drew her to photography was the power of light and its seemingly magical ability to transform the subject it illuminates.
Doris Palmeros, Graphic Designer
Originally from Laredo, Doris Palmeros earned her BA at UT Austin and her MFA at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She spent the following 9 years working with her mentors, Seymour Chwast and DK Holland, at Pushpin Studios in NYC, before founding her own company, Twinpop Design.
Upon coming home to South Texas in 2006, with Irish husband and two wee ones in tow, Doris spent five productive years at Giles Design in San Antonio. Today, her main pursuit is inspiring her students at the University of the Incarnate Word, and helping her clients express their vision through freelance projects.
Alex Rubio, Artist
San Antonio artist Alex Rubio, nicknamed “El Diablito,” began his career as a young muralist in a housing project. His artwork focuses on narrative drawings and paintings with mixed media, based on images deeply rooted in his Latin American culture. As Blue Star’s MOSAIC Art Studio Manager, Alex Rubio employs his natural talent and extensive experience as an instructor in non-profit arts organizations to inspire people of all ages to explore art through a variety of techniques and media.
Mark Schlesinger, Painter
Mark Schlesinger lives and works in San Antonio as a studio and public painter. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, with reviews in various art magazines and publications, including The New York Times, Artforum, and Le Monde. In addition to his paintings, Mark lectures at museums and schools and has published articles and art essays on his studies.
For the last five years, Mark has completed several large publicly and privately commissioned paintings, including two bridges on the San Antonio River, a 1.2 mile streetscape, and a 380-foot streetscape sidewalk and adjoining concrete wall.
Danette Schweers, Emergency Veterinarian
Danette Schweers has been an emergency veterinarian for 18 years. She earned her DVM at Texas A&M University, followed by an internship in the Surgery Department of California Animal Hospital. In the year 2000, Danette opened the Animal Emergency Room in San Antonio, which is dedicated to providing after-hours emergency medical services for pets, where she continues to work as a staff veterinarian.
Miriam Sitz is a freelance writer in San Antonio. A graduate of Trinity University, she blogs on Miriam210.com. Follow her on Twitter at @miriamsitz and click here for more stories from Miriam Sitz on the Rivard Report.