Actions for the Earth opens at Contemporary at Blue Star

Lhora Amira, IRMANDADE: The Shape of Water in Pindorama, 2018-2020, HD video, single channel sound, film still. Image courtesy of SMAC Gallery, copyright Lhora Amira.

Blue Star Contemporary announces Actions for the Earth: Art, Care & Ecology, an exhibition curated by Sharmila Wood and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI) on view from June 2 through September 3, 2023. Actions for the Earth is a traveling exhibition that considers how artistic practices use kinship, healing, and restorative intervention to foster a deeper consciousness of our interconnectedness with the earth. (Contemporary at Blue Star, 2023)

This exhibition turns to a group of interdisciplinary artists to engage with the overlapping, worldwide crises of our time. Ongoing climate change, entrenched social inequity, and renewed concerns over public health have all underscored the need for approaches that take on global responsibilities while caring for our local environment. For decades, artists have sought to find new antidotes to oppressive structures of power, and promoted greater understanding of the many ways that nature, health, and sustainability are intertwined.

Actions for the Earth presents the work of eighteen intergenerational artists and collectives who place action, instruction, reciprocity, and exchange at the forefront of their practices. By sharing their participatory artistic interventions and healing strategies alongside research in ecology, science, and ancient beliefs, these artists remind us that we are connected within a constellation of living networks, inseparable from the planet and its environments. Artworks on view create space for the honoring of ancestors, foreground the significance of Indigenous knowledges, and engage in speculative imaginings through science fiction and network sciences—organic, digital, and spiritual.

In its curatorial approach, Actions for the Earth acts as a resource for studying our current times. The works on view not only emphasize themes of learning, care, and intimacy, but offer concrete knowledge by inviting the public to participate in actions such as instruction-based meditation and deep listening activities. The life of these works, and the interventions they propose, extends far beyond the scope of the exhibition to engage people in their personal contexts. 

Artists: Ackroyd and Harvey, Lhola Amira, Arahmaiani, Sayan Chanda, Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin & David Soin Tappeser), lololol, Ana Mendieta, Zarina Muhammad, Patrina Mununggurr, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, Tabita Rezaire, Eric-Paul Riege, Cecilia Vicuña, Katie West, and Zheng Bo

Contemporary at Blue Star presents exhibitions with artists from San Antonio and around the world sharing their global perspectives that encourage understanding, empathy, change, and action, fulfilling our mission to inspire, nurture, and innovate. Like most non-collecting contemporary art spaces, the Contemporary contributes fresh insights and perspectives on larger issues affecting society and culture by highlighting trends, movements, and conversations happening in art. Admission to the Contemporary is always free.


SAMA presents Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii

Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii opens at the San Antonio Museum of Art in February 2023. Photo: Google

The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) recently announced that it will present Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii in February 2023, the first exhibition in the United States to explore landscape scenes as a genre of ancient Roman art. Serving as a contrast to the typical works of antiquity with which most museum audiences are familiar—the larger-than-life statues venerating gods or heroes, or scenes of battle or ritual found on friezes or pottery—these works instead depict artists’ idyllic visions of a countryside dotted with seaside villas and rural shrines, where gods and mythological heroes mingle with travelers, herdsmen, and worshippers. (San Antonio Museum of Art, 2023)

Organized by and presented exclusively in San Antonio, Roman Landscapes features more than 65 works, including major loans from museums in Italy, France, and Germany, many of which have never before been shown in the United States. The exhibition was curated and organized by Jessica Powers, SAMA’s Interim Chief Curator and Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., Curator of Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World, and will be on view at SAMA from February 24 through May 21, 2023.

Roman Landscapes will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue published by the museum, featuring essays by Powers; Bettina Bergmann, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Mount Holyoke College; Verity Platt, Professor of Classics and History of Art at Cornell University; Lynley J. McAlpine, Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at SAMA; Timothy M. O’Sullivan, Professor of Classical Studies at Trinity University; and Thomas Fröhlich, Director of the Library at the German Archaeological Institute in Rome. In conjunction with the exhibition, Trinity University will dedicate its spring Lennox Seminar Lecture Series to subjects explored in the museum’s presentation.

Developed through several years of research that began with Powers’ explorations of works in SAMA’s own notable collection, Roman Landscapes will feature an array of wall paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and cameo glass and silver vessels created in Roman Italy between 100 BC and AD 250. The exhibition will introduce visitors to their cultural and archaeological contexts and highlight the artistic conventions that distinguish Roman landscape scenes, including fluid, almost impressionistic brushwork and the use of bird’s-eye perspective.

The exhibition is organized around five thematic sections. The first, “Garden Landscapes,” brings together paintings and sculptures from houses in Pompeii and nearby villas on the Bay of Naples to evoke the experience of a Roman peristyle garden. “Coastal Views and Cultivated Landscapes” and “Sacred Landscapes” present mural paintings and relief sculptures that depict seascapes and rustic shrines, images that show how landscape scenes once decorated lavish Roman residences. In “The Dangerous Landscapes of Myth,” mythological paintings then reveal landscape scenes as settings for hazardous encounters between humans and the gods, presenting visually the oft-told stories that served as warnings about individual or community behavior. The last section, “Landscapes in the Tomb,” compares wall paintings from communal tombs in Rome with those from houses and explores the adaptation of landscape imagery for funerary settings.

San Antonio is the nation’s seventh-largest city and is consistently listed as one of its fastest-growing. The Museum is housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery on the Museum Reach of San Antonio’s River Walk and is committed to promoting the rich cultural heritage and life of the city. It hosts hundreds of events and public programs each year, including concerts, performances, tours, lectures, symposia, and interactive experiences. As an active civic leader, the Museum is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the city and the region, and to supporting its creative community.

Pop-up art show: A. Mishea – Artist and Visionary

Do not miss this one day showing of A. Mishea’s artwork at The Cellar Door in Katy, TX. Photo: A. Mishea, used with permission.

Come and see the exclusive work of one of the most original and enigmatic visionary artists of today at this new, one day pop-up exhibit in Katy. It will take place on Saturday November 12 from 1p.m. to 3p.m. at The Cellar Door. Visitors will be able to explore original works, obtain poster prints, and meet the artist. This limited-time exhibition not only allows visitors to admire her works like “The Daughter” and her “Vibrations” collection, they will also get to learn more about A. Mishea as a person and artist. (A. Mishea, 2022)

A. Mishea has been recently exhibited at the Museum of Emotions in Austin, TX with her piece entitled “Passion.” She has also illustrated for the Rideshare Chronicles as well as created album covers for local Houston musicians, such as KC2000. She has also completed countless works for companies in the Houston, San Francisco, and Las Vegas Area on behalf of INKomplete Art. Many have described her art as “visually stimulating.”

This pop-up exhibit is free and will be hosted at The Cellar Door located at 829 S Mason Rd, Unit 280, Katy, TX 77450. The event is 21 and up. All food and drink purchases made by the attendee are the responsibility of the attendee. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. 

Art is a worthwhile investment, come start your collection with this emerging artist!

INKomplete Art is a graphic illustration and design company located in Houston, Texas. Founded in 2017, INKomplete Art has worked with countless publishers, musicians, sports team, and businesses throughout the U.S by generating original custom designs. 

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A. Mishea pop-up art show

PechaKucha San Antonio Vol. 37

Olivia Ortiz, activist, educator and CEO of Burnt Nopal, will be one of the presenters this week at PechaKucha San Antonio Vol. 37.  Photo: Josh Huskin, used with permission.

PechaKucha San Antonio, the global arts and culture series that hosts speakers who share their passions in a unique format, is excited to announce the lineup for its Volume 37 edition, scheduled for Thursday, February 20, 2020, for the first time at Hermann Sons Ballroom. The night begins with a welcome reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by presentations starting at 7:30 p.m. (PechaKucha San Antonio, 2020)

San Antonio will be one of multiple cities across the world celebrating “International PechaKucha Day” on 2/20/20. This day will be celebrated globally with hundreds of events and thousands of presentations worldwide. Vol. 37 will also be dedicated to the memory of local artist Katie Pell, who lost her battle with cancer recently and participated in San Antonio’s PechaKucha Vol. 4 in 2011.

Vol. 37 will feature a talented group of locals. The six presenters include:

  • Beto Altamirano, Social Entrepreneur
  • Nicholas Frank, Artist
  • Lacey B. Mills, Fer Quezada, and Daniel Espinoza, Teen Studio Intensive
  • Laura Molinar, Health Advocate
  • Olivia Ortiz, La Jefa
  • Joel Rivas, Founder

Emcee for the evening will be local filmmaker Angela Walley. The welcome reception will feature live music by Noah Harris and complimentary bites curated by local chefs and restaurants. Tickets are $7 per person and are available online. PechaKucha San Antonio is presented in partnership with the Las Casas Foundation.

Pronounced “PEH-chuh KOO-chuh,” PechaKucha is a 20 image x 20 second arts and cultures series. It hosts speakers who share their passions in a unique format: Each presenter gets exactly 20 images, and each slide advances automatically every 20 seconds (for a total time of 6:40). San Antonio’s first quarterly PechaKucha Night was held in February 2011 and now attracts hundreds of attendees to venues throughout San Antonio. It showcases a broad range of individuals, including architects, artists, makers, academics, community leaders and more. PechaKucha (Japanese for “chit chat”) is an event format developed by Tokyo’s Klein Dytham Architecture to encourage creative professionals to share projects and ideas that they are passionate about. Since it began in 2003, PechaKucha has expanded to more than 1000 cities around the world.

Hermann Sons Ballroom
515 S St Mary’s St.
San Antonio, TX 78205

‘Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ at the McNay

‘Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ opens at the McNay Art Museum on Thursday September 28 and will be on display through Sunday December 31, 2017. Photo: McNay Art Museum, used with permission.

This week the McNay Art Museum is unveiling an exhibit that is both scary and heartwarming. Behind the Screen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas returns to the McNay for the first time since 2013 and features puppets and set pieces filmed for the 1993 cult classic stop-animation movie that has delighted generations of Halloween and Christmas fans around the world. It will be on display in the main Theatre Arts gallery and the puppets and pieces will be staged more theatrically to help take visitors on a journey. The exhibit opens on Thursday September 28 and will be on display through Sunday December 31. (McNay Art Museum, 2017)

San Antonio native Robert LB Tobin acquired the pieces from a Southeby’s auction in New York City two months after the movie opened in theaters. The movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, King of Halloween Town and his heartfelt yet misguided attempt to take the place of Santa Claus in Christmas Town. It became a surprise hit and has evolved into a holiday movie-watching tradition from Halloween through New Year’s Day. The exhibit will give visitors a rare opportunity to discover how camera crews shot 24 stills for each second of film. The trick-or-treating Lock, Shock, and Barrel have removable heads for different expressions. Holes in the Clubhouse floor indicate the positions of the bathtub that carries the three on a mission to kidnap “Sandy Claws.” Puppets of Jack Skellington, his faithful ghost dog Zero, and his Halloween Town rival Oogie Boogie also are among the collection.

Two other McNay exhibitions with similar themes complement this exhibit. One is Stage Frights, Madness, Monsters, Mayhem which will be on display from Thursday September 28 through Sunday December 31 and features scene and costume designs for plays, operas, and ballets by writers and composers from Shakespeare to Lorca to Anne Rice’s adaptations and from Wagner to Stravinsky to Scott Joplin. Drawing on diverse folklore traditions and popular-culture forms, scene and costume designs entice both adults and children to explore the dark side of their imaginations and the world. The other consists of two large murals by renowned muralist and Blue Star Contemporary’s Artist-in-Residence Alex Rubio with a Dia de los Muertos theme.

McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 824-5368

Summer exhibitions open this week at Artpace

The Summer 2017 Hudson (Show)Room and Main Space Exhibitions open this Thursday May 25 with a public viewing.  Photo: Artpace, used with permission.

Artpace announces the opening of the Summer 2017 Hudson (Show)Room and Main Space Exhibitions.  These upcoming exhibitions explore the global issues of migration and geopolitical borders. German-born, San Antonio artists Sabine Senft and Doerte Weber drew on their experiences living in divided Germany to examine the current issues of global migration and border control. The official opening is on May 25 from 6p.m. to 8:30p.m. This event is free and open to the public and guests will be able to enjoy complimentary refreshments. Doors open at 6p.m. with a talk featuring both artists at 7p.m.  Both exhibitions will be on display from Thursday May 25 through Sunday August 27, 2017. (Artpace, 2017)

Sabine Senft will showcase her work in the Hudson Showroom. It is produced through a grant from the Artists Foundation of San Antonio. According to the artist, the exhibition, ‘Borderline Reality’ comes from a place of personal reflection. She uses everyday material like candy to evoke the often-overlooked realities of division.

In Main Space, Doerte Weber will unveil ‘Checkpoint,’ a series of large tapestry panels that echo the dimensions and imposing nature of the border wall between the United States and Mexico. The pieces evoke memories of passing between West and East Germany for Weber, who describes the level of scrutiny as like being in a zoo.

Artpace is a contemporary art space located in downtown San Antonio created to support artists with residences, exhibitions and educational programs to foster the creative process. Since it opened in 1995 Artpace has housed more than 200 artists through the International Artist-in-Residence program. Every year the program hosts three residencies that include a Texas-based artist, one national artist and one international artist who are each chosen by a guest curator. After an eight-week residency, the artists have their exhibits on site for two months. The purpose of these residencies is to give artists every opportunity to grow by giving them the resources they need.

445 North Main Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 212-4900