State of the Arts
It’s a rich month for the arts in San Antonio with so many brilliant, bright and rewarding art installations and shows. Get back to your roots at the Botanical Garden with artist Steve Tobin’s bronze and steel “roots” sculpture series, discover set, costume, lighting, and projection design at the McNay Art Museum in the “Great Stage of Texas” show, and meet budding high school artists at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Get reacquainted with established contemporary artist John A. Coleman at the Carver Community Cultural Center and listen in on “dialogue between creative cultures” in the “Crossing Borders” exhibit at the Presa House Gallery. April is a glorious time for the arts in the Alamo City.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
“Steve Tobin: Rooted” — April 16 through October 30
Contemporary artist Steve Tobin presents his largest sculpture exhibition, “Steelroots” and “Bronze Roots”, as well as new, nature-inspired sculptures rooted throughout the Garden indicative of nature’s power, grace, and complexity. The Bronze Roots series features casts of upturned trees that expose and immortalize the intricate life beneath. The Steelroots series includes smooth, abstract root interpretations that explore negative space and shifting shadow. New pieces are inspired by forces of nature including polished clouds, egg-laden nests, and spiraling tornados. Tobin developed an interest in the fusion of art, science, and ideas as a theoretical mathematics student at Tulane University. Throughout his 40-year career, he has created organic works in glass, clay, wood, bronze, and steel.
McNay Art Museum
“The Great Stage of Texas" — now through August 14
“The Great Stage of Texas” celebrates Texas designers making big theatre. In the exhibition, thirteen contemporary designers share their artwork in the theatre arts — set, costume, lighting, and projection design. Artworks from the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts by Jean and Bill Eckart, Robert Wilson, and John Rothgeb — all Texans, as well — are paired with theatre designs by the exhibition’s thirteen featured Texas artists. Artists Carlos Merida, Mary Lee Bendolph, Keith Haring, and Marion Koogler McNay, among many others from the McNay’s permanent collection, meld seamlessly into the exhibition adding context to the creative conversation.
Presa House Gallery
“Crossing Borders: Tres de Oeste” — April 1 through 30
“Crossing Borders” is the first of a two-part exhibition and artist exchange created in partnership with New Mexico-based artists Vicente Telles, Brandon Maldonado, and San Diego-based artist Ricardo Islas. Each presentation promotes communication and creates a dialogue between creative cultures to explore similarities and differences shaped by parallel histories and examine how visual expression is connected to the unique physical landscapes.
UTSA Main Art Gallery
“Kim Bishop: Exercise in Repetition" — April 11 through 22
In this thesis exhibition, Kim Bishop offers a cross-sectional view of the effects of experience on memory, dreams, and repetitive ritual within an interdisciplinary structure. Bishop reinvents her self-portrait of navigating, as a woman, the social condition of her time in her constant endeavor to measure the standard that determines her worth through a variety of drawing and printing processes. Her imagery focuses on the entanglement of body, time, and movement to create a holistic self-portrait which carries a universal theme of quantum remembrance and the physical as experienced through memory during a time of pandemic lockdowns and transitions.
The Carver Cultural Community Center
“John A Coleman” — April 21 through May 27
Long a fixture in San Antonio’s art scene, Coleman returns to the Carver with new works influenced by Cubism’s geometric depiction of humans and other forms using bright colors, strong lines and images of working class people. Inspired by fellow African American artist Robert Blake’s portraiture and a desire to tell African American history, Coleman evolved his work into its current medium, acrylic on canvas portraiture of life in African American society. “I feel it is of utmost importance that our culture be recorded on canvas and sculpture. The daily lives of individuals define a culture and are a record of those experiences. Our culture would be lost to future generations and history would have no markers without it.”
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center
“Still Here: Transitions from the Westside” — April 1 through 30
“Still Here” is an exhibit produced by students from Lanier High School presenting observations from their own perspectives, addressing their environment and changes occurring within and around it. Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, artist Ashley Mireles collaborated with artist and educator Jennifer Arce to provide innovative artmaking skills and introduce creative careers to Lanier High School students. Encouraging experimentation and growth, students were challenged to expand their creativity with guidance in a variety of media and practices including drawing, collage, image transfer, cyanotypes, relief printmaking, documentation, and curation.