While it’s often applauded for its strong art and art history department, and the steady stream of talented artists that emerge from its programs,
the University of Texas at San Antonio also boasts a truly wide-ranging collection of contemporary art that comprises paintings, photographs, sculptures, mixed-media and works on paper. Reflective of both the avid collecting habits of former UTSA President Ricardo Romo and the deep insights of curator Arturo Infante Almeida, the collection is typically displayed in interior and exterior spaces across three campuses but comes to light this month in “Voz,” a sprawling group show on view at Centro de Artes through June 10. Celebrating the collection’s strong focus on Latin@ art to the tune of 222 works by 66 artists, the exhibition comes across as a meticulously organized museum show uniting dozens of familiar names (Ana Fernandez, Alberto Mijangos, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Richard Armendariz, Anita Valencia and Kathy Vargas among them) with many others well worth discovering. Hovering in Texas but extending far beyond its borders, “Voz” employs both floors of Centro de Artes for an immediately engaging crash course in Latin@ art distinguished by three areas that double as shows within a show: a recreation of UTSA’s “Veinticinco” (a long-running project comprising prints by 25 artists); Cheech Marin’s “The Chicano Collection” (a portfolio of prints by Vincent Valdez, Mel Casas, Alex Rubio, Jesse Treviño and many more); and a thoughtful pairing of images by iconic Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide and her mentor, Manuel Álvarez Bravo.