Crown Jewel

San Antonio's bedazzling new art museum rings up opening details

San Antonio's bedazzling new art museum rings up opening details

Ruby City Sir David Adjaye
The Sir David Adjaye-designed building opens in October. Courtesy photo

San Antonio's newest art world acquisition is poised to become one of the city's crown jewels. Ruby City's massive 14,472-square-foot contemporary art center is scheduled to open October 13 with a special three-part exhibition. 

According to a news release, the tripartite show will feature 50 paintings, sculptures, installations, and videos from the Linda Pace Foundation collection, and give visitors the chance to see some of the world's greatest contemporary artists. The first exhibition, "Waking Life," is also the largest, and it will include such famed artists as Do Ho Suh, Leonardo Drew, Teresita Fernández, Wangechi Mutu, and Cornelia Parker.

As mentioned, the exhibition will be in three parts and was curated by Kathryn Kanjo, director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. "This is a dream realized and a vision reflected," said Kanjo, who also serves as a Linda Pace Foundation trustee, in a release.

"Linda spent her mature life creating, collecting, and working to amplify San Antonio's art scene," Kanjo continued. "She would be very proud to see her grand idea come to life in this meaningful way.” Pace, a San Antonio native, avid collector, and champion of the local art scene, died in 2007.

Of course, in keeping with Pace's vision, the Alamo City will also be well-represented, with Cruz Ortiz, Ana Fernández, Ethel Shipton, and Chuck Ramirez also contributing work to the inaugural show.

"Waking Dream," will be on display through 2022 and is a meditation on "creative self, notions of home, vulnerability, and resilience." It will be accompanied by two exhibits: Isaac Julien: Playtime and Jewels in the Concrete.

The first is an "immersive video installation addressing representations of global capital" and features actors James Franco, Maggie Cheung, and Mercedes Cabral. The latter is hosted in Ruby City's auxiliary gallery, Studio, and is named for a dream Pace recounts in her memoir, Dreaming Red: Creating Artpace. The exhibit centers around another Julien video installation, Stones Against Diamonds.

As if three world-class contemporary art shows weren't enough, the building itself is a monumental win for the city of San Antonio. In addition to being free and open to all, Ruby City's new center is designed by famed British architect David Adjaye, the genius behind the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. 

The Adjaye-designed building will join the aforementioned Studio on Pace Street in Southtown. Also on the Ruby City campus is Chris Park, a green space named for Pace's late son.