State of the Arts
May heats up with 7 sizzling exhibits in San Antonio
Construction workers, topiary dragons, and Southwest pop art — these are just a few of the topics explored this month at galleries and museums across San Antonio. Visitors are invited to discover a mother and daughter’s story from labor camp imprisonment to liberation captured in images at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, or dive into common imagery of dream consciousness at AnArte Gallery through the work of Andrea Broyles. Meanwhile, Ruby City gives us a meditative multi-screen film installation by Isaac Julien called “Fantôme Afrique.” All in all, San Antonians can rejoice at the many options for ardent art fans this May.
Holocaust Memorial Museum
"Two Regimes: A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival" — Now through May 21
“Two Regimes” is the life’s work of two Ukrainian women; Teodora Verbitskaya, who wrote about her life from 1920 to 1945, and her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky, a professionally trained artist who painted from memory. They both witnessed the Holodomor, or Great Famine genocide from 1932-1933, when millions of Ukrainians were starved to death as a result of Soviet Union policies, and the Holocaust in Mariupol, Ukraine, in 1941. Verbitskaya and her two daughters were sent to Germany to serve as slave laborers until the forced labor camps were liberated by United States troops in 1945. Eventually, they emigrated to Canada after spending time in displaced persons camps. The paintings in this exhibit are by Werbitzky and are based on the “Two Regime’s” book, written to validate the lives of those Ukrainians, Jews, Greeks, and others whose lives were lost and whose voices were silenced forever.
Bihl Haus Arts
“Mary Helwick: Hard Hats: Portraits of Construction” — Now through May 30
A series of portraits of 18 construction workers, including the artist herself, are included in “Hard Hats” where Mary Helwick’s focus was on capturing the workers’ individual traits while playing with color to create a vibrancy and synergy between the faces and backgrounds. “Although not the usual subject matter associated with portraiture, it’s been a privilege to paint this group of light-hearted and lively co-workers,” she says in a statement.
MBAW Art Gallery
“Gwen Rhea Cowden: Looking for Spring” — Now through July 31
“Looking for Spring” includes 40 works by artist Gwen Rhea Cowden (G. Rhea) created over a lifetime of artmaking, ranging from intimate figure studies and quiet still lifes, to the active dynamism and gesture of line drawings, and the layered bursts of color, shape, and texture contained in wild garden scenes. Transformed through the artist’s selective vision, each image evokes the little mysteries and moments of awe in the world around us, if only we take the time to witness them.
San Antonio Botanical Garden
"Imaginary Worlds: One Upon a Time" — Now through January 2024
Meet the larger-than-life, whimsical sculptures created by Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Unearth a massive dragon towering nearly 25 feet in the Lucile Halsell Conservatory, a mermaid lounging in the Hill Country, and a parading peacock in the Rose Garden. Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal is an international competition and exhibition, which has gained numerous prizes and distinctions.
"Andrea Broyles: Dream State" — May 11 through June 4
Andrea Broyles' new body of work explores common imagery of dream consciousness through washes of veiled color and vigorous mark-making techniques. Broyles is a contemporary figurative painter and sculptor whose work explores and is based on the human condition, specifically emotionality, mortality, and conflict. Broyles works her paintings in a variety of media (clay, plaster, and oil on board), offering ambiguous, enigmatic narratives drawn from her life to resonate with the viewer on many levels.
"Isaac Julien: Fantôme Afrique" — May 11 through July 25
“Fantôme Afrique" references the French colonial powers that forcibly shaped the West African country of Burkina Faso and the country’s self-determined response in the aftermath of occupation. Isaac Julien is internationally known for his poetic, meditative, multi-screen film installations and photographs, which reflect his long-term study of film history and production. With both lyrical and descriptive power, Julien’s works reveal the complexities of contemporary human experience alongside historical events.
Briscoe Western Art Museum
“Southwest Rising: Contemporary Art and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch” — May 26 through September 4
A significant force in contemporary art from the early 1970s until her death in 1991, Elaine Horwitch was instrumental in bringing experimental styles such as pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art to the Southwest. With galleries across Arizona, New Mexico, and California, she was a leader in fostering what has been called “new Western art” or “Southwest pop," and this new exhibit highlights the works of some of the Elaine Horwitch Galleries’ most popular artists.