New exhibit in downtown San Antonio spotlights Black contemporary artists
An opening reception on Thursday, January 19, celebrated the launch of a new exhibit designed to spotlight the multifaceted work of talented Black artists. Located in the City of San Antonio's Culture Commons Gallery inside the Plaza de Armas Building (115 Plaza de Armas), “Between Yesterday & Tomorrow: Perspectives from Black Contemporary Artists of San Antonio” showcases the cultural and life experiences of local Black artists.
Featuring a wide range of drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital media, assemblage, sculpture, and quilting, themes of the exhibit include Black history and identity, family dynamics, social connections, personal human experience, spirituality, and resilience.
"The goal was to drive the collective vision of Black contemporary artists as documentarians of the historical and social conscience of their time,” Curator Barbara Felix commented. “When the individual selected works came together in the gallery, I realized the prospect of this show was coming to fruition in a way that beautifully celebrates each artist and their vision."
Participating artists include Bernice Appelin-Williams, John Coleman, Kaldric Dow, Kwanzaa Edwards, Anthony Francis, Alain Boris Gakwaya, Deborah Harris, Edward Harris, Paul Hurd, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Alethia Jones, Theresa Newsome, Wardell Picquet, Calvin Pressley, Don Stewart, Naomi Wanjiku, and Angela Weddle.
“Culture Commons is an accessible gallery space that can draw the public to be plunged into an artistic experience that amplifies the diverse voices of our community,” said Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones in a release. “The ‘Between Yesterday & Tomorrow’ exhibit is an important addition to the arts landscape of the city, and we could not be more pleased to provide a platform to present it to the public. This rich collection of artists provides gallery visitors unique perspectives into the personal experience of being Black in San Antonio.”
The exhibit is free and open to the public every Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm. Following the opening reception on January 19, the exhibit will remain open through November 17, 2023, with various community events scheduled throughout the year, including:
POETRY NIGHT: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised — Wednesday, February 22, 2023 (6 – 9 pm)
An evening of music and voices curated and hosted by 2020-2023 San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson
ARTIST TALK: Panel Discussion — Wednesday, May 17, 2023 (6 – 8 pm)
Featuring curator Barbara Felix and exhibited artists discussing unique stories about their art, influences, and experiences with participation from audience members.
PRIDE MONTH EVENT: Comfortable in Our Skin — Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (6:30 – 9 pm)
An evening of music and dance honoring our LGBTQIA+ Community
FILM NIGHT — Wednesday, August 23, 2023 (6 – 8 pm)
Join the Department of Arts & Culture and local African American filmmakers in the screening of several short films.
DANCE EVENT: Premier Dance Performance by Tanesha Payne — Wednesday, October 11, 2023 (6 – 8 pm)
Experience the world premiere of a new site-specific dance choreographed by San Antonio based movement artist Tanesha Payne, who uses dance to make people a better version of themselves.