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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Blue Star Contemporary's 2020 Red Dot exhibition debuts with new augmented reality app experience

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 12:52 PM

click to enlarge A screenshot from the Featured Artist gallery showcases the work of Red Dot Honorary Artist César A. Martínez. The career-spanning installation is displayed in an environment created from an artwork in the artist's South Texas Series, Huizache Jaguar, 2011. - COURTESY OF BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY
  • Courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary
  • A screenshot from the Featured Artist gallery showcases the work of Red Dot Honorary Artist César A. Martínez. The career-spanning installation is displayed in an environment created from an artwork in the artist's South Texas Series, Huizache Jaguar, 2011.
The latest virtual event in the San Antonio art world isn't yet another Zoom call.

For its 30th Anniversary Red Dot Art Sale, Blue Star Contemporary — which was voted Best Art Gallery in the Current's 2020 Best of San Antonio issue — has raised the bar by launching a brand new app that allows users to experience the exhibition and fundraiser in augmented reality.



The app debuted in concert with the gallery's Red Dot Show, which can be viewed in person at BSC by timed appointment through October 4. The exhibition features more than 100 artworks for sale, with proceeds benefitting San Antonio artists and BSC's exhibition and education programs.

Created in collaboration between BSC and San Antonio-based developers Stoke, the Blue Star Red Dot app allows viewers to access the exhibition from anywhere with a strong internet connection and move through a number of virtual gallery spaces.

To put it simply, it's like Pokémon Go, except instead of catching those delightful little pocket monsters, you can browse and purchase original pieces by San Antonio artists — and help fund BSC while you're at it.

All users need to do is make sure they have approximately 15 square feet of space to move around in so that they can access the full breadth of each virtual gallery.

click to enlarge COURTESY OF BLUE STAR CONTEMPORARY
  • Courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary
In addition to spaces that mimic the white walls and pedestals of a typical gallery, the app features several unique environments, including a Berlin cityscape and an animated landscape created from Red Dot Honorary Artist César A. Martínez's artwork Huizache Jaguar (2011).

"I am immensely grateful for the commitment and support of our staff and for our supporters such as Stoke who quickly rose to the challenge and developed an impressive augmented reality experience for us in record time," BSC Executive Director Mary Heathcott said in a statement.

"I am proud and excited to share what may very well be the first ever augmented reality exhibition and fundraising event in Texas. We are a strong creative community and I am happy we will still be able to have a common experience that ties us together through this virtual exhibition."

The Blue Star Red Dot app is available for free download on Apple and Google Play through October 4.

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