state of the arts
Re-energize your creativity and pique your curiosity with these installations and exhibits in January throughout San Antonio. Celebrate the Virgen de Guadalupe, a well-loved religious icon, at Centro Cultural Aztlan. Explore the work of poignant and politically charged artist Letitia Huckaby at the McNay. And learn about the Black West and a more diverse portrait of the American West at the Witte. Are you seeking inspiration in 2022? The San Antonio art scene will not disappoint.
Centro Cultural Aztlan
“26th Annual Celebración a la Virgen de Guadalupe”
Now through January 13.
Explore the significance of Latin American cultural icon La Virgen de Guadalupe through secular visual narratives showcasing myriad artistic representations of her by some of San Antonio’s most noted artists. La Virgen de Guadalupe has moved beyond a religious icon; she has been embraced by the Latin community around the world and belongs to the people. The exhibition includes Virgen de Guadalupe-inspired acrylic, pastel, oil, and watercolor paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and contemporary folk art.
The Carver Cultural Community Center
“Swerv O Harold”
January 6-February 18.
Named one of “20 creatives who are shaping the city’s artistic landscape” by the San Antonio Current, Swerv O Harold (born Shawn Oliver Harold Ervin) is a self-taught contemporary artist and creator of The Orange Noir street fashion line. Influenced by Piet Parra, Keith Haring, and Modigliani, Harold says the primary objective of his acrylic, ink, and spray-paint-on-canvas art is “to draw the viewer in and evoke a strong, lasting, emotional attachment through minimalistic imagery that can be serious yet playful at the same time.”
Presa House Gallery
“A Todas Horas”
“A Todas Horas” (At All Hours) combines the unique visual styles of South Texas-based artists Monica Lugo and Sam Rawls, forming a visual union through remote collaboration to explore color, organic forms, the female body, pattern, and typography. The exhibition showcases illustrated vignettes that aim to reflect, celebrate, vent, and validate shared experiences, disadvantages, and emotions among women and mothers shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The work focuses on concepts of adaptation, balance, and the artists’ duality of parenting and art making through the limitations of lockdown.
“Plain and Sane: Dan Herschlein”
“Folding, Floating, Falling: Shana Hoehn”
“Cecília rebelde: Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa”
Now through January 9.
Dan Herschlein’s exhibition, “Plain and Sane,” contemplates the tension between light and dark as a means of examining ideologies. Indications of scarcity and accumulation peek out to the viewer, but the artist leaves the scene largely ambiguous. In “Folding, Floating, Falling,” Shana Hoehn transforms wood, furniture, ceramics, and found objects into sculptural forms that recall uncanny elements of a girlhood fantasy and appropriations of the female form. And conflicting stories collide in Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s exhibition, “Cecília rebelde.” Ramírez-Figueroa explores the Catholic St. Cecília and the story of the Totonicapán Uprising of 1820 of indigenous Maya peoples (K’iche’) against the Spanish Empire in Guatemala.
“Laura Mijangos: Small Things”
January 13-February 5.
San Antonio artist Laura Mijangos, who initially studied stone sculpture in the late 1970s at Trinity University and then painting with her artist father, Alberto Mijangos, says her goal with her canvases is to express something that cannot be expressed in words. “With each piece, I begin by laying color, and texture, and emotion, and more color, more texture, more emotion until I see a moment in my life unfold on the canvas.” With “Small Things,” Mijangos provides a selection of pastels on paper that capture a moment in time, “the beautiful ordinary to remind me to slow down and savor the small things, which is where life happens.”
“Ruiz-Healy Art: Quinceañera”
Now through January 29.
This unique exhibition commemorates Ruiz-Healy Art’s 15 years in San Antonio in the most striking way. The show highlights works from artists who have had a significant impact on the history of the gallery, which emphasizes contemporary works from Latinx and Latin American artists. Featured artists include Pedro Diego Alvarado-Rivera, Jesse Amado, Richard Armendariz, Cecilia Biagini, Nate Cassie, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Pedro Friedeberg, Graciela Iturbide, Nicolás Leiva, Leigh Anne Lester, Constance Lowe, César A. Martínez, Cecilia Paredes, Chuck Ramirez, Carlos Rosales-Silva, Mark Schlesinger, and Ethel Shipton.
The McNay Art Museum
“Letitia Huckaby: Koinonia”
Now through March 6.
Through textiles and photographs, Letitia Huckaby addresses years of inequity for African Americans in the United States. Amid recent calls for socioeconomic justice, her art is particularly poignant and timely. “I am not an in-your-face political artist,” Huckaby says, “but I see politics in everything I do.” The girls whose silhouettes are depicted in Huckaby’s installation recall the killing of young girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 15, 1963. Floral patterns reference empty flour, sugar, and cotton sacks, upcycled during the Great Depression to create clothing and other linens. The silhouetted figures reference community.
“Black Cowboys: An American Story”
Now through April.
Explore the lives and work of the numerous Black men, women, and children — enslaved and free — who labored on the ranches of Texas and participated in cattle drives before the Civil War through the turn of the 20th century. This powerful exhibition features artifacts, photographs, and documents depicting the work and skills of Black cowboys, as well as a clearer picture of the Black West and a more diverse portrait of the American West. Visitors will discover how these cowboys tamed and trained horses, tended livestock, and rode on the trail with thousands of cattle across America. Today, the lives and legacies of Black cowboys have inspired new generations to explore the past through music, film, fashion, and design.