News and notes from the San Antonio art scene

IT'S ONLY WORDS, BUT WORDS ARE ALL I HAVE ... The Texas Commission on the Arts is seeking nominations for state poet laureate, state musician, state two-dimensional artist, and state three-dimensional artist (Don't you wish you had been in on those discussions? 2-D and 3-D: Separate but equal). While the honor does not include a paycheck, it also comes without strings attached, although you'd be a fool to miss the official designation ceremony and party at the state capitol. "It's kind of a nice marketing tool for these individuals," says the TCA's Gaye Greever McElwain. This is the second year in the history of the honor (which used to be limited to poets) that the selection process includes open nominations and a governor-appointed selection committee. The legislature will ratify the committee's choices at the beginning of the next legislative session. Applications can be found at, or call 1-800-252-9415. Nominations must be e-mailed or postmarked by June 4.

WARM FUZZIES Is This Forever or What? Poems and Paintings from Texas, is the title of a compendium of poems and paintings selected by poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Published this spring by Greenwillow Books, the pretty tome appeals to the Texas-size id in all of us, while simultaneously attempting to dispell the sepia-toned stereotypes that persists in the public mind (thanks to the tireless efforts of impresario Bill Witliff, photographer Keith Carter, et al.). The quote on the fly leaf sets the tone: "The state of mind has no borders. And the 140 Texans in this book are about to show you why." The work of San Antonian artists Katie Pell, Larry Graeber, Alberto Mijangos, and Rolando Briseño are arranged with poems by the likes of Way of Whiteness author Wendy Barker, Gemini Ink Director Rosemary Catacalos, and Nye, in sections with titles such as "'That Shadow on the Ground': Who We Are, Who We Were." The book lacks a discipline and tight focus that would make it more than a lovely coffee table book, but as such, it makes for pleasant ruminations.

BON VOYAGE to San Antonio Museum of Art Director George Neubert, who will be stepping down when his current contract ends in July. In the four-and-a-half years Neubert has led the institution, SAMA has increased the size of its property in preparation for the City's Riverwalk Improvement Project, established three new program endowments, and initiated construction of the new Asian Wing. The board has announced a nationwide search for a replacement, who, perhaps, will be secured with more than the year-to-year contracts under which Neubert labored. •

Compiled by Elaine Wolff


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