State of the Arts
7 significant art shows shine in San Antonio this October
For variety and diversity, you can’t beat the San Antonio art offerings this month. Immerse yourself in the fall season with an installation at Presa House focusing on traditional autumn celebrations like Día de Los Muertos, or Obon, the Japanese holiday honoring ancestors. Ponder over photography from Mexican and Mexican-American photographers at Semmes Gallery and Ruiz-Healy, and catch works celebrating San Antonio’s South Korean sister city, Gwangju, at Artpace. From examining the historical and cultural legacy of La Malinche and her representation throughout the years at the San Antonio Museum of Art, to art inspired by the creativity and freedom that comes from skateboarding at the Not For You Gallery, there’s an arts abundance for all to enjoy.
Semmes Gallery University of the Incarnate Word
“"Todo Bajo el Cielo" (Everything Under the Sky)” — Now through October 21
The work of Mexican photographers Anayantzin Contreras and José Luis Rodriguez Ritte explores the tensions embodied by their country’s syncretic heritage: tensions between nature and culture, instinct and intellect, design and improvisation, the local and the global, history and contemporaneity. In Contreras’ work, landscape becomes introspective, disembodied and ethereal, while Ritte explores idiosyncratic beauty: The portrait is a convergence of personal and social truths. Both artists focus on revealing the complexity and sophistication that, combined with a contemporary sensibility, reveal the adaptive, receptive nature of a culture in a constant state of renewal.
Art Gallery Prudencia
“Vibrant Colors: Soon Y. Warren” — Now through October 22
Bold, vibrant colors take center stage in this exhibit by South Korean artist Soon Y. Warren, full-time artist and teacher residing in Fort Worth. Soon's favorite subjects are those found in the natural world, and in that world, color is everywhere. "I’m inspired by the beauty and complexity of nature and our surroundings," she says in an artist statement. "I try to paint the essence of my subjects using my sincere feelings for nature."
“Celia Álvarez Muñoz: Semejantes Personajes/Significant Personalities ” — Now through October 22
In conjunction with FotoSeptiembre USA International Photography Festival this exhibition features a collection of forty-one portraits of four generations of San Antonio Latinx artists. Celia Álvarez Muñoz is a Mexican-American conceptual multimedia artist from El Paso known for her photography, painting, installations, and public art, as well as for her writing. In Álvarez Muñoz’s own words on the gallery website, these “portraits of San Antonio Latino visual artists are yet, another experiment: a courtship between old and new technologies, and old and new friends.” Artists from the gallery roster, such as Chuck Ramirez, César Augusto Martínez, Ethel Shipton, and Jesse Amado are included in the portraits.
“Essentials Creative: Afterworld” — Now through October 29
"Afterworld” is a new site-specific installation that aims to create a comfortable space for marginalized communities to gather, learn about diverse cultures, and experience new contemporary artwork. “Afterworld” explores multiculturalism by combining new digital works printed on fabric, altar displays, video, and light experimentation. The installation focuses on traditional autumn celebrations like Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead, or Obon, the Japanese holiday honoring ancestors. The Gallery rooms will each transform to represent an afterlife theme inspired by different cultures.
“Sister Cities: Gwangju to San Antonio” — Now through January 1, 2023
Since Gwangju, South Korea and San Antonio, Texas, became Sister Cities in 1982, the two communities have forged a friendship that has lasted 40 years. To embrace the traditional and contemporary diversity of art in Gwangju, this exhibition presents a variety of media, and introduces the academic thinking and artistic tradition that stems from the abundant nature of the region and the history that forms the basis of the Gwangju spirit reinterpreted into contemporary art. The works in “Sister Cities” embody the connectedness between the two places. Featured artists include: Haru.K, Seol Park, Namjin Lim, Eunsol Cho, Seonhooi Cheng, Youngsung Hwang, Junggi Lee, Leenam Lee, Jaeghil Woo, and Yonghyun Lim.
Not For You Gallery
"My Secret Skate Spots: Abel Aguirre” — October 7 through 28
Abel Aguirre was a skateboarder and a self-taught artist that spent most of his time skateboarding San Diego’s beaches and streets where he grew up. Skating’s creative and stylized culture had a significant effect on his artwork, as did famous artists such as Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. At age 21, Aguirre enlisted in the United States Navy and served for 20 years before retiring in San Antonio, where he has devoted his time to his art career. This exhibit is an expression of Aguirre’s artistic influences. His paint splatter is a nod to Jackson Pollock, the characters are reminiscent of Keith Haring, and the spontaneity of his canvases evokes Jean-Michel Basquiat. The subject is based on the creativity and freedom that comes from skateboarding.
San Antonio Museum of Art
“Traitor, Survivor, Icon: The Legacy of La Malinche” — October 14 through January 8, 2023
This exhibit examines the historical and cultural legacy of La Malinche and her representation throughout the years. An enslaved Indigenous girl, Malinche served as a translator and cultural interpreter for the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, eventually becoming his mistress and the mother of his first-born son. While she has been the subject of numerous historical publications and works of art, this is the first museum exhibition to present a comprehensive visual exploration of her enduring impact on communities along both sides of the US-Mexico border. Five hundred years after her death, her image and legacy remain relevant to conversations around female empowerment, Indigeneity, and national identity throughout the Americas. An immersive opera exploring the same themes will also take place in the museum's Great Hall on October 14.