State of the Arts
6 unique ways to savor the arts in San Antonio this November
San Antonio’s museums, galleries, and even gardens are providing ample opportunities to soak up the arts this month in a multitude of ways, from 10-foot-tall works on wood from Andy Villarreal celebrating the Mayan culture (and a few aliens,) to stark black-and-white photos from Duncan Ganley capturing the city of London under COVID-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood’s vital feminist textile art redefines weaving and painting at Ruiz-Healy, and the San Antonio Botanical Gardens give us an excuse to kick off the holiday season with Lightscape, their second annual light display and celebration.
Bihl Haus Arts
“Galactic Mayan Warriors: Andy Villarreal” — Now through November 19
Andy Villarreal’s love of Mayan culture started about 20 years ago when he took a trip to Mexico. “My work is inspired by the Meso-American culture from the Yucatan,” Villarreal says. “It celebrates the history, rituals, the people and their ways of life. My work also deals with the past, present, and future. Aliens and flying saucers are also present.” Besides UFO’s, Villarreal, who teaches at the University of the Incarnate Word, includes warriors, kings, pyramids, jaguars, and other important icons, featuring numerous 8-foot and 10-foot-tall works on wood along with some smaller silk screen prints. He believes the Meso-American culture is often overlooked in art and that he should pay tribute to his own ancestors.
Presa House Gallery
"Born to Ride the Edge of Nothing” — Now through November 26
“Born to Ride the Edge of Nothing” brings together former University of Arizona colleagues Aaron S. Coleman and Alejandro Macias. Both artists present new multidisciplinary works reflecting on political and social issues in line with their individual experiences and a broader national conversation. The exhibition fuses their work in a singular dialogue touching on matters of race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, multinationalism, faith, and place.
The Michael and Noémi Neidorff Art Gallery
“Duncan Ganley: Inventory of Empty Streets” — Now through December 10
UK photographer Duncan Ganley documented every street inside central London’s Congestion Charge Zone during the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020. Each photograph, shot identically, presents a view of a cityscape void of people, cars and congestion, capturing the shuttered retail and entertainment hub of London’s West End, the unpopulated residential roads north and south of the River Thames, and the eerily empty global financial center of the City of London. Ganley provides a photographic typology of the lockdown and explores the dissonance between the cinematic reading of the image and the very real anxieties during the pandemic.
McNay Art Museum
“True Believers: Benny Andrews & Deborah Roberts” — Now through January 22, 2023
True Believers is the first exhibition to examine the formal and thematic overlaps in the work of two artists separated by a generation: Benny Andrews (1930–2006) and Deborah Roberts (born 1962). The exhibition was forged through deep connections between the artists’ mutual use of collage and choice of subject matter. The exhibition’s title was inspired by both artists’ emphasis on the role of Black Americans in society, as well as art’s capacity for social change. Each artist has a distinct voice and a unique approach to collage. Both Andrews and Roberts draw viewer attention to the individual portrayed by placing subjects on stark backgrounds, and they also merge collage with painting to render powerful and heartfelt narratives.
“Consuelo Jimenez Underwood: One Nation Underground” — Now through January 28, 2023
Redefining the practice of weaving, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood works with repurposed barbed wire, yellow caution tape, safety pins, and plastic bags and crosses Indigenous, Chicana, European, and Euro-American art practices. Jimenez Underwood uses her unique tri-cultural perspective as a Chicana Indigenous American in her work, interweaving themes and imagery that reflect and revisit social memories. In 2022, the artist was awarded the Latinx Artist Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind initiative recognizing 15 of the most compelling Latinx visual artists working in the United States today.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
"Lightscape” — November 11 through January 8, 2023
San Antonio’s newest holiday tradition, Lightscape, is set to dazzle for a second year with thousands of twinkling lights and festive displays. The outdoor illuminated trail includes enchanting new installations in addition to well-loved favorites set to seasonal music along a 1-mile path through the Garden. The dazzling illuminations will include installations unique to Texas created by local and international artists. Favorites like the Winter Cathedral will return alongside reimagined installations, including Fire Garden and an even more spectacular display of Bluebonnets, an installation only seen in Texas. Visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy festive food and drinks, including roasting s’mores.