state of the arts
February is a good month to be bewitched, besotted, and entranced. And even if it’s not with the perfect prince/princess charming, these San Antonio art exhibits — featuring a variety of impressive works in video and photography, the figurative and surrealistic arts, American modernism, and fashion, fibers, and textiles — will dazzle and delight, inform and entertain, like the best kind of blind date. Let yourself be swept away by art this month in San Antonio.
San Antonio Museum of Art
“Wendy Red Star: A Scratch on the Earth”
February 11 through May 8
Drawn from the collection of The Newark Museum of Art and museums across the country, Wendy Red Star’s midcareer survey showcases photography, textiles, and film and sound installations produced over a period of 15 years. At the heart of the exhibition is an immersive video that’s screened inside a recreated sweat lodge. A member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Tribe, Red Star works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures, both historically and in contemporary society. Drawing on pop culture, conceptual art strategies, and the Crow traditions on which she was raised, Red Star pushes photography in new directions to bring to life her unique perspective on American history. The importance of family, the Indigenous roots of feminism, Crow mythology, the history of the Montana landscape, and the pageantry of Crow Fest are among the subjects that Red Star brings to life in this exhibition.
The Carver Cultural Community Center
“Shawn Artis: ARTis the Imitation of Life”
February 24 through April 15
Houston native Shawn Artis’ prolific style and out-of-the-box approach has established him as one of the nation’s top emerging visual artists. His work has been displayed at numerous museums, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of African American Culture, and the Art Institute of Houston. His multifaceted exhibition, “ARTis the Imitation of Life,” is designed to create an environment for dialogue and resolutions.
McNay Art Museum
“Georgia O’Keeffe and American Modernism”
Now through May 8
“Georgia O’Keeffe and American Modernism” presents a wide-ranging view of the American Modernist movement through 65 diverse artworks from the McNay’s permanent collection, the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and rare loans from across the country. The beginning of the 20th century was a period of great change for America, demonstrated in the artistic movement known as American Modernism. American artists were inspired by the diversity of immigrant cultures, and in many cases, their own experiences as first-generation American citizens. Enter Georgia O’Keeffe, the “mother of American Modernism,” who figured prominently in the movement from the late 1910s onward. The synthesis of abstraction and representation in her work is a prime example of the movement. This exhibit is organized with a focus on a wider, more inclusive view of the development of American Modernism, combining key loans from the Whitney Museum of American Art and additional sister institutions with works from the McNay’s renowned collection. O’Keeffe is the thread that runs through the exhibition, her work evoking the spirit of American Modernism in its diverse subject matter and unique style.
Centro de Artes Gallery
“Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibition – Round 2”
Now through July 3
Centro de Artes reopened in late January with the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibition – Round 2. This exhibit is inspired by the NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, which pairs emerging foreign-born or first-generation artists with experienced artists for mentorship, development, and encouragement. The multidisciplinary exhibition explores the unique and lived experiences of 34 San Antonio-based artists connected to the program and includes partnerships with local organizations. Centro de Artes gallery is an exhibit space dedicated to telling the story of the Latino experience in the United States, with a focus on South Texas, through local and regional art, history and culture, and showcasing Latino artists and Latino-themed artworks.
“Neo-Surrealism & Magic Realism”
February 16 through April 23
This exhibition includes dreamlike and figurative works that reference and react to the current political and ecological context. Fantastical visions, mythology, and magical thinking influence the genres. Featured artists include Juan Alcazar, RF Alvarez, Bruno Andrade, Victor Chaca, Juan de Dios Mora, Pedro Friedeberg, Luis Gal, Irma Guerrero, Roger Von Gunten, Rodolfo Morales, Katie Pell, Gugger Petter, Jose Luis Rivera-Barrera, Shinzaburo Takeda, Leticia Tarrago, Patssi Valdez, and Bettie Ward.
N4U Gallery, Upstairs Studios at Blue Star
“Emily Sandoval: Rain or Shine”
February 4 through 19
“Rain or Shine” is the first solo exhibition by Emily Sandoval, better known as the creator of Hazel Laine Studio, which can be found at many pop-ups throughout the city. “Rain or Shine” is about the artist’s experience “masking my anxiety and depression.” The work depicts surrealist imagery taken from still lifes of mundane objects representing the dissociation Sandoval experienced. “I reference an escape into my ideal reality: Everything is as safe as rainbows and butterflies. However, the bright color palettes and seemingly positive symbolism masks my mental-health illness.” The art collective was inspired by her battle with crippling anxiety, depression, and dissociation.
Blue Star Contemporary
February 4 through May 8
“Threads Bare” is an exhibition investigating intersections of art and fashion through textiles and related materials as medium or subject to generate a more expansive understanding of how fashion and adornment play a role in defining individual and cultural identities. As issues of identity remain at the forefront of political and cultural discourses, the activation of fashion as a means of self-expression continuously evolves. In an era in which performances of identity are increasingly virtual, “Threads Bare” highlights the significance of materiality and its foundations to these simulations. Artists include Preetika Rajgariah, Juan Escobedo, Mickalene Thomas, Audrya Flores, C. Rose Smith, and Luis Valderas.
“Rachel Comminos: Going Through It”
Now through February 26
Rachel Comminos creates tufted pieces of color that transform into eye-catching pieces of art. “I surround myself by my collection of fibers and start with a color combination or two, then build from there,” the artist says. From prepping and organizing the yarn to the finishing touches of hand-stitched edges or cutting and sanding wood to prepare for hanging, everything is done by Comminos’ deft hands. Comminos is a multidisciplinary visual artist based out of Harlingen, Texas, who currently focuses on textile work and design.