Turning the calendar to March brings some of San Antonians favorite things: more daylight to be outside, patio weather to sip margaritas and welcoming back our Spurs from the Rodeo Roadtrip. One thing unique to our city that should not be overlooked, however, is Contemporary Art Month (CAM) where there are many activities throughout the city celebrating everything art. Here are five things that you should check out to make the most of CAM.
Founded by the heiress of Pace Picante, Artpace is a residence/library/exhibition space for understanding contemporary art by focusing on artists and their process of creating their work. Every year, there are three cycles consisting of an International artist, United States artist and Texas artist who live, create and exhibit in the Artpace facility. Each cycle lasts for four months and the artists have complete freedom as to what they create and where their creations go after the exhibition.
Furthermore, Artpace has what they call WindowWorks where local artists have the ability to create anything they would like in this small room that faces the street. Think of WindowWorks as being one of those storefront windows on 5th Avenue, but instead of hawking overpriced clothing it is displaying an artist’s work. Currently, artist Judith Cottrell has a contraption affectionately named Mr. Drew that is actively drawing here images on the window. Having a machine create a work of art raises the question: Who really is the artist, human or machine? Consider this and strike up a discussion when you come visit.
There are also many programs, including Artpace After Hours where you can learn more about contemporary art, take a guided tour of the exhibit space and installations in progress, and drink a couple of adult beverages. Taco Friday occurs during lunch at the end of the work week, and you can stop by the facility to grab a street taco and enjoy lunch in their courtyard. Finally, you should consider becoming a member – an individual membership is only $40 and not only will you be supporting the art scene in San Antonio, you will also get some incredible discounts around town, including buy-one-get-one free at all Santikos theaters!
Held in Hemisphere Park and spilling into the streets downtown, Luminaria is San Antonio’s celebration of art and artists. This year the festival will be on March 10th from 7PM to 1AM as artists re-imagine HemisFair Park as a canvas for enlightened, innovative, and interactive contemporary artwork from all artistic disciplines.
There will be a wide variety of artists who will represent many different mediums including: Dance, Literary, Media, Music, Theater and Visual Arts. There is even a smartphone app that you can use to find where artists are located, where different food vendors are and also see what is around you if geolocation is enabled on your phone!
Pie to the People
Before you go to Luminaria, you should get downtown a little early to enjoy the second annual Pie to the People event brought to you by S.M.A.R.T. (Supporting Multiple Arts Resources Together). They promise that there will be more education, more music, more people, more fun and most importantly more pie!
S.M.A.R.T. will transform La Villita into a place to celebrate art and education, and will have workshops where you can learn how to reuse recycled material in your art. A brainchild of Andy Benavides and wife Yvette, S.M.A.R.T. has a mission to educate, be involved with the community and create an appreciation for the arts.
Blue Star Art
Be sure to stop by Blue Star Art complex to view the three exhibits on display during CAM. Passage to the Future is curated by the Japan Foundation and is a traveling exhibit of contemporary Japanese artwork that made its way to San Antonio. Spaces Between is an exhibit by Cornelia White Swan and is a series of paintings on paper where the artist explores ideas of dissonance, harmony and where the converge. Juanito features work by Guillermina Zabala of Argentina who is a photographer, filmmaker and media artist; she explores the life and art of Juanito Castillo, a 22-year-old musical genius.
Grand Opening of New Sculpture and Ceramics Studios at UTSA
If you live on the northside, you will want to stop by UTSA’s main campus on Thursday, March 22 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM as they open up the new facility. Richard Romo, president of the university, will be on hand to cut the ribbon and there will be demonstrations of kiln firing, wheel throwing ceramics, pouring bronze and forging iron. Works will be on display from both faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.