Mapping Success

Ruby City celebrates 1-year anniversary with citywide scavenger hunt

Ruby City celebrates 1-year anniversary with citywide scavenger hunt

Ruby City exterior
Ruby City is having a socially distant anniversary celebration. Photo by Dror Baldinger/courtesy of Ruby City and Adjaye Associates

Ruby City, the institution housing the collection of the late San Antonio artist and philanthropist Linda Pace, has had a rough first year in operation. The sleek, crimson building, initially conceived by Pace in 2007 and designed by world-renowned architect Sir David Sir David Adjaye, officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the mayor last October.

It was just beginning to generate momentum — including splashy pieces in the New York Times, Forbes, and Texas Monthly — when it was forced to close its doors at the onset of the pandemic in mid-March. Like similar cultural spaces, Ruby City has sought novel ways to pursue its mission and share its 900-work-strong collection, including virtual tours, at-home Q&A’s with local creatives, and a series of studio presentations called Taller Talks. Now it’s organizing a city-wide scavenger hunt to safely commemorate its first birthday.

The outdoor scavenger hunt takes participants along a map tracing Pace’s history and legacy in her native San Antonio. Stops include Ruby City itself, naturally, where hunters are instructed to nab a photo of themselves in front of a publicly viewable neon piece by Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury.

Other stops include the McNay Art Museum, where Pace received sculpture lessons from San Antonio artist Bill FitzGibbons; Artpace, the influential residency founded by Pace in 1993; and Bar America, the longstanding Southtown beer joint that became a go-to gathering place for Pace and a revolving coterie of visiting artists.

“Always proud of and deeply invested in her hometown, Pace’s direct and familial connections to numerous sites in the city and the history of San Antonio are significant,” Ruby City said in a statement released along with the scavenger hunt locations.

In all there are eight stops spread across a tight five-mile stretch. The first few hunters to collect photos of themselves with each of the public works specified in the map will receive prizes from independent businesses like Feliz Modern, a popular shop selling designs by local artists.

The map dropped on Saturday, October 17, so the clock’s ticking. Get out and celebrate the birthday of this newcomer on Texas' contemporary art scene in a pandemic-safe way by downloading the Ruby City Scavenger Hunt map here.