First Friday preview

Now that the holidays have officially passed and you’re finding ways to walk off those extra pounds you packed on during the break (you were warned to lay off the gravy, weren’t you?) head to Southtown for a brisk stroll down South Alamo for a little art love. We’re predicting that the high-school crowds may be tucked at home still playing with their new Wiis and Playstation 3s, so there’s no reason not to be there. Walk off those pounds and indulge in art (take it easy on the free food and alcohol offered at galleries this month to keep that New Year’s weight-watching resolution!).

Last First Friday I chatted it up with UTSA Satellite Space caretaker Connie Swann, who expressed excitement over UTSA’s fall ’07 semester, which provided her with an adundance of graduates. Thus, the space has been booming with new artists (as well as some established) and an array of solid, thought-provoking pieces that have drawn the public in full force.

Joseph Cohen and Robert Tiemann’s Engaging Propositions presents their new work in an innovative way. Cohen painted layers atop layers for this show, attempting to create a historically rich surface that selectively reveals and conceals the memories of his prior peregrinations.

Tiemann has been a San Antonio arts staple for more than 35 years — his new work blurs the line between drawing and printmaking. According to the show’s statement, Engaging Propositions “`grants` its viewers an arena in which to examine and consider works that allow for a contemplative respite.”

At StoneMetal Press, the works of Victoria Goro-Rapoport will be on display in the show MYthOLOGIES. Goro-Rapoport, a native of Russia, takes a traditional approach to her work with an element of theater design. Having earned her degree in set design, she worked in various drama and puppet theaters, going on to incorporate her love of the stage with her skills in innovative and experimental printmaking.

MYthOLOGIES features etchings reflecting theater and life growing up in Russia. The show has been up at StoneMetal Press since mid-November but will be coming to a close on January 19. Her pieces are very dramatic in nature — one print in particular, “Noah’s Ark,” is immensely detail-heavy; it elicits a dark and mysterious tone — her use of various hues of gray is reminscent of the muted tones of her homeland.

Throughout the years, Goro-Rapoport has illustrated books, while her work has also been featured in museums in the U.S. She’s held various teaching positions in Utah and Illinois, and currently teaches at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

More First Friday events include:

Landscapes vs. Netscapes p
Unit B gallery, 500 Stieren @ Cedar

A closing reception will be held at the gallery, where this multimedia display features the works of Kota Ezawa, Edward French, Joseph Philips, Mark Schatz, and Joseph Smolinski. Landscapes vs. Netscapes addresses the illusion of landscapes under the influence of a manufactured environment. The architectural elements in the show present a very bold take on the environment — the pieces causes one to reflect on his or her surroundings. On January 18, Kelly O’Connor and Duncan Anderson will open a new show at the space. O’Connor’s work delves into a wonderful-world-of-Disney style of art, channeling Pinocchio and other characters in her mixed-media pieces.

where am I going
Cactus Bra Space, 106 C Blue Star
(210) 226-6688

 Cactus Bra is hosting UTSA MFA candidate Young Wook Song’s show where am I going. His work has been featured at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center and also in his homeland of South Korea. With an artist statement that reads “As I reflect the work I cannot help but to see my memories as both isolating experiences and the building blocks for metaphors of shared human experience,” Song brings a deeply moving perspective to the show. The sculpture follows a trek that Song hopes will inspire patrons to recreate their own experiences through the objects featured in the show.

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