State of the Arts
6 great exhibits to get your groove on for this July in San Antonio
Prepare to be entertained this July by dazzling exhibits and installations in Alamo City. Delight in intricate and unusual bamboo basket weavings, made from the 19th century to the present, at SAMA; admire intricate sculptures of paper by Michael Velliquette at Blue Star. Two artists are inspired by colorful blooms (and butterflies): Lucy Peveto with gold leaf and acrylic flower pieces at AnArte, and Rachel Comminos with tufted rug blooms and bursts at Flight Gallery. There is plenty of enchantment to go around.
Rafael Gutierrez: "Spectral Evidence” — July 6 through 20
Rafael Gutierrez, a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, says his work is about being an “artist of color in Contemporary America.” “Spectral Evidence” is a new body of work that he says came together unexpectedly. His drawings, “willed themselves into existence. A bit of degenerate art for you, all ghostly grays and smudged shadow. Blank paper haunted by pencil.” Along with the dark hues, images show hands with missing digits and dancers with missing arms; Gutierrez’s creative process was influenced by the aesthetic of the Dada movement.
Rachel Comminos: "Burst and Bloom” — July 6 through 30
Rachel Comminos takes all of her “challenging feelings” and turns them into art; art of the tufted rug variety. She’s a one-person tufted rug production factory and creates “soft, lovable pieces of art.” Her “bursts,” as she calls them, represent portals, blooms, open wounds, and healing. Her tufted rugs are bursting with life and give her the chance to create new blooming versions of herself.
Contemporary at Blue Star
Michael Velliquette: "The Direct Path" — July 7 through September 3
Michael Velliquette creates temple-like architectural structures out of paper. The intricate sculptures were made through repetitive processes that became meditative: things like measuring and cutting. The compositions embrace the ordinary and fragile. For a unique meditative experience, and the possibility to lose yourself in paper, journey on down “The Direct Path.”
Lucy Peveto: "Inside Out, Budding Blooms" — July 12 through August
Lucy Peveto loves butterflies and what they symbolize: the connection between creativity, emotion, and spirituality. High heat and resin chemicals are juxtaposed with delicate, paper-thin butterfly wings and delicate metallic leaf to illustrate the fragilities of physical life. Peveto says she works with patterns "to represent how we may find unexpected light and shadow in life and in art.” The vibrancy of colors and golds used in each stroke evoke joy and a desire to step into each canvas and dance with the butterflies.
San Antonio Museum of Art
“Creative Splendor: Japanese Bamboo Baskets from the Thoma Collection" — July 15 through January 2, 2024
This series curates three groups of baskets as an example of Japanese basket-making from the nineteenth century to the present day. "There are three regions of Japan represented," wrote the museum. "The Kansai region, which encompasses the ancient capital, Kyoto; the Kanto region, which stretches westward from Tokyo; and the southernmost island of Kyushu." The baskets are truly objects of art and one wonders at the dedication involved in making them.
San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum
Black History Film Series — July 26 through November 30
The SAAACAM film series is a yearly event showcasing groundbreaking films of Black historical relevance and culture. July presents “Freedom Riders,” a 2010 documentary about "activists [who] traveled together in small interracial groups and sat wherever they chose on buses and trains to compel equal access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms" during the Civil Rights Movement. Upcoming film highlights in this series include Thurgood, and Judas and the Black Messiah.