Awaken your artistic muse this summer with these exhibits to inspire and ignite your creativity. Angela Guerra Walley weaves joy into her series of deconstructed quilt dresses at Artpace; a big spotlight shines on the little stages or maquettes at the McNay exhibit, “Big Little Stage"; Alethea Jones woos her viewers with neon colors and fantastical landscapes in “Floating Between Chaos and Peace”; and a group exhibit examines both cultural and social-economic commentary in “I Am Not Your Mexican” at Ruiz-Healy Art. Seize the summer and make it an artful one.
“Angela Guerra Walley: We Are Quilted Together” — Now through September 3
Angela Guerra Walley, who is also a local documentary filmmaker and frontwoman for the band Dreambored, says she has come back to a place of “love, joy and comfort” in her art. Her new subject material comforts her as she pays tribute to the lineage of quilt-and-clothing-making women that she comes from. “I’m interested in dresses as symbols of beauty and femininity as a gender-ﬂuid, queer person. I brieﬂy pursued dressmaking, but I realized the most satisfaction I found was in ripping my worn dresses apart at the seams and sewing together textile collages from the pieces.” “We Are Quilted” displays her series of “quilt dresses” made from fabrics that were cut apart, reconﬁgured, and sewn back together.
Un Grito Gallery
“Joao Quiroz: Fluxus” — June 1 through 15
Mexican visual artist Joao Quiroz settled in San Antonio in 2019 and established himself as an urban landscape impressionist. His work is eclectic, outwardly impressionist, and inwardly expressionist, exploring classical art and the avant-garde. Quiroz also has a sense of humor, as witnessed in his painting of the artist Frida Kahlo wearing a Buc-ees t-shirt.
"Big Little Stage" — June 1 through February 25, 2024
“Big Little Stage” is an exploration in how designers "present creative visions for stage productions through small-scale and large-scale models called maquettes." A variety of materials are used: "Papier-mâché, fabric, and wood ... as well as sleeker materials like stainless steel and plexiglass." Some of the stage pieces on view include a miniature Hanging Gardens of Babylon (1860), Pablo Picasso’s pastel maquette for Le Tricorne (1919) and a futuristic set by Ralph Koltai for Shakespeare’s Othello (1985).
"Alethia Jones: Floating Between Chaos and Peace" — June 2 through 30
In this vibrant exhibit with pieces that look like they were made from collage, Alethia Jones explores her personal mental health through her work. Neon colors and "fantastical landscapes" with "hints of recognizable objects" captivate the viewer. Jones says of her experience, “Like so many people on the planet, I have spent the majority of my life living with mental illness. This body of work exposes the helplessness of one grappling with negative current events, but also suggests that hope does exist, and there is still much beauty to behold in this world.”
Blue Star Contemporary
"Actions for the Earth: Art, Care & Ecology" — June 2 through September 3
18 artists, including Yoko Ono, have created an exhibit that "considers kinship, healing, and restorative interventions as artistic practices and strategies to foster a deeper consciousness of the interconnectedness with the earth." They are putting their concerns about the planet, social inequity, and public health into a creative outpouring. This touring exhibit invites the public to participate in "instruction-based meditation and deep listening among other actions."
“I Am Not Your Mexican" — June 7 through September 9
Featuring works by six different artists, “I Am Not Your Mexican” is a title inspired by James Baldwin’s documentary film “I Am Not Your Negro,” and "is a glimpse into an international macro-cultural phenomenon," according to the gallery's description. Artist Jesse Amado came up with the series name in reference to understanding art that may at first appear to be "highly conceptual or purely abstract." Instead, it prompts visitors to reconsider what belongs in a contemporary canon for this century. Amado’s series is "innovative" in its use of "chicharrón (pork rind) and Styrofoam fast food containers, products with both cultural and social-economic commentary."
San Antonio Art League
"Wax and Wildflowers" — June 11 through August 11
The International Encaustic Artists Annual Juried Exhibition, which is a mouthful to say, simply celebrates layered wax art. The encaustic medium consists of natural bees wax and damar resin (crystallized tree sap), heated or burned. The theme of the all-encaustic exhibit is “Wax and Wildflowers” and invites national, international, and regional encaustic artists to interpret the theme of wildflowers. If you are not familiar with this process, this show is definitely worth discovering.
San Antonio Museum of Art
“Still Brewing Art” — June 29 through September 3
Once upon a time, SAMA’s Romanesque style grand brick and stone building was the Lone Star Brewery, the first large, mechanized brewery in Texas. “Still Brewing Art” shares the history of the building with "historic photographs and artwork including belle époque large format brewery posters." In addition, the exhibition will "explore San Antonio’s history as a brewing city and how the San Antonio River fits into the story." The renovated complex reopened in 1981, accompanied by the slogan, “We’re Brewing Art.”