Art Events This Weekend in San Antonio

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Men of Steel, Women of Wonder

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 1
San Antonio Museum of Art 200 W. Jones Ave., San Antonio San Antonio

Buy Tickets$12-$20


Evidenced by the global success of recent films such as Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel, among many others, the world is still captivated by the concept of superheroes. While less memorable examples might fall within that formulaic realm the New York Times summed up as “mental popcorn, meant to be rapidly consumed and forgotten,” the box office numbers prove we’re still collectively content to sit and watch statuesque freaks of nature fight off evil forces — even when the takeaway is minimal. Long before the schlock of what’s been dubbed “Hollywood’s Comic Book Age,” Superman and Wonder Woman captured imaginations as defenders of humanity fighting injustices amid the backdrops of the Great Depression and WWII. Introduced in 1938 and 1941, respectively, this iconic, spandex-clad pair inspire myriad incarnations in “Men of Steel, Women of Wonder,” an exhibition organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and landing at the San Antonio Museum of Art this summer. Although it might conjure visions of comic cons and nerdy fan art, the traveling show digs deep into the cultural significance of both figures — and it isn’t an entirely kid-friendly affair. Curated by Alejo Benedetti, the collection of 70-plus paintings, photographs, videos and installations goes beyond the expected depictions of costumed heroism to explore sexuality, immigration, race, idolatry, desire and the very building blocks that made these characters possible. Spanning from the 1930s to the present day, “Men of Steel, Women of Wonder” builds an interpretive timeline in four thematic sections. Encompassing both the reverent and irreverent, the introductory section The Heroes We Know comprises photographer Siri Kaur’s amusing portraits of celebrity impersonators captured in mundane, contemporary contexts, Peter Saul’s playfully surreal painting Superman Versus the Toilet Duck and a provocative yet nostalgic installation by Jim Shaw, The Issue of My Loins, that showcases — and supersizes — Superman’s crotch. Placing the mythical stars in historical context, Origin Stories is reportedly the germinating seed for the entire exhibition. Here, real-life men of steel and women of wonder are presented in etchings of 1930s-era steel workers building the metropolis, photographs of women welding in the Willow Run bomber plant in the 1940s and Norman Rockwell’s 1943 painting of brawny machinist and feminist icon Rosie the Riveter eating a sandwich as the American flag billows in the background. Contrasting God-like power with traces of vulnerability, Glimpsing Humanity places our heroes in unexpected contexts: an alienated Superman reads the paper amid a barren landscape in Llyn Foulkes’ 1991 painting Where Did I Go Wrong and gets lit in Mike Kelley’s 1999 video Superman Recites Selections from “The Bell Jar” and Other Works by Sylvia Plath. Wonder Woman becomes a religious icon in Valetin Popov’s 2009 painting St. Wonder Woman and gets placed In Exile alongside the Virgin Mary, Aphrodite and others in Mary Beth Edelson’s mixed-media painting from 1989. Timely and provocative, the closing section Defender of the Innocent challenges stereotypes of gender and race while importantly reminding that both beloved characters are immigrants (he’s from Krypton, she’s from Themyscira, aka Paradise Island). Sarah Hill addresses the plight of a trans Wonder Woman in the 2014 video They Wonder; late San Antonio artist Mel Casas calls out the lack of diversity in the superhero realm in his painting Humanscape 70 (Comic Whitewash); Superman locks lips with Batman in Rich Simmons’ 2014 mixed-media work Between the Capes; Dulce Pinzón celebrates Mexican immigrants as working-class superheroes in staged photographs; and an installation attributed to the U.S. Department of Illegal Superheroes (ICE DISH) comes complete with a hotline where concerned citizens can report suspicious activity. As host venue, SAMA rises to the heroic occasion with an abundance of complementary programs, including talks with featured artists, weekly gallery talks, workshops, a Superhero Pajama Party (July 26) and outdoor screenings of Black Panther (June 28), Superman: The Movie (July 12), Nacho Libre (July 19), The Incredibles 2 (August 2), Batman (August 6), Wonder Woman (August 9), Birdman (August 16), Lu Over the Wall (August 23) and Superman II (August 30). (210) 978-8100

Juana Córdova, Francis Almendárez, Narcissister

Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 8
Artpace 445 N. Main Ave., San Antonio San Antonio


The latest round of Artpace's International Artist-in-Residence program demands to be heard as much as seen. Each of the artists elected by guest curator Karina Aguilera Skvirsky has created visually distinct and seemingly disparate bodies of work, but the exhibitions are united by the presence of sound. For "Chronicles of Uprooting," Juana Córdova (Cuenca, Ecuador) collected samples of tumbleweed, an immigrant plant that made its way to the American West via a shipment of flaxseed from Russia, and achiote seeds, a plant common to the tropics of Latin America that has been used to give flavor and color to food, cosmetics and textiles since the Pre-Columbian era. The space is filled with a gentle droning, provided both by fans that keep three tumbleweeds spinning aloft in transparent tubes and a video installation featuring the frenetic movement of insects. From the winding roads of flattened tumbleweed unspooled on the wall to a diaspora of achiote seeds mounted in a corner, Córdova renders the journeys of immigrant peoples in miniature, metaphorically connecting the movement of flora to human migration worldwide. Francis Almendárez (Houston) focuses on the rhythms of work both commercial and domestic in "rhythm and (p)leisure." Shot in Honduras and El Salvador, the multi-screen video installation is abuzz with the myriad sounds of human tasks, whether it be a man hammering the soles of counterfeit Nike sneakers, a woman gently sweeping a tile floor or a group drumming on a street corner. From the rushed pace of the city to the more leisurely speed of the countryside, Almendárez has captured the processes of human work, both material and immaterial, and reveals how even activities we view as leisure are still "work" in their own right. Piles of clothes on pallets offer the viewer a place to sit or recline, but this is merely a brief respite before the garments reenter the global circulation of sale, resale and disposal. Masked artist Narcissister (New York, New York) is a provocateur whose performance art has been seen in venues from burlesque clubs to America's Got Talent. While functionally silent, the bombastic imagery of the erotic collages included in "Wimmin" are loud in their own way, unapologetically confronting the intersection of femininity, race and sexuality. However, the artist's work also possesses an auditory component that arises when pieces are "activated" (a term she isn't particularly fond of) in performance. During the free opening reception, performances will cycle every half hour, featuring small gestures such as the swishing of the fabric of a formal dress as it's wrapped around a body encased in a bale of aluminum cans and the echoing clank of the pan-eyelids of an assembled face being opened by an anonymous performer, who completes the structure's features with a large, pierced nose worn on her back. (210) 212-4900

'And Then I Met You'

Thursdays-Saturdays, 3-7 p.m. Continues through Sept. 20
Sala Diaz 517 Stieren St, San Antonio San Antonio


Whether working in collage, animation, painting, drawing or sculpture, San Antonio artist Sarah Fox conjures bizarre dreams, fairy tales, myths and allegories. A near constant is the presence of animal-human hybrids — women and children either blessed or afflicted by squid tentacles, horse heads, beaks, wings or hooves. Femininity, including colors and materials stereotypically labeled as feminine, also informs her multimedia work, which has been shown fairly extensively on the local level (Artpace, Hello Studio, Blue Star Contemporary, Southwest School of Art, FL!GHT Gallery, the list goes on) as well as in Germany, Austria and Mexico. A New Jersey native who grew up in Houston and counts authors Joseph Campbell and Rudyard Kipling among her influences, Fox recently adopted a son. This “amazing, exhausting, life-changing event” has deeply impacted her latest body of work. Beyond inspiring her to create “serious, engaging, meaningful work about love,” motherhood has led her to investigate masculinity along with “the pressures and constraints gender norms place on little boys so early in their life.” A creative response to everything from onesies emblazoned with footballs and dinosaurs to flower-sniffing Ferdinand the Bull and Ponyboy Curtis, the sensitive “greaser” who narrates S.E. Hinton’s coming-of-age novel The Outsiders, “And Then I Met You” employs playful young centaurs as protagonists in an artful creation story that challenges tough-guy narratives. When quizzed about her affection for Aesop’s Fables and whether there are parallels to be drawn, Fox replied, “I am very interested in stories we sort of tell ourselves (as human beings) again and again and cross-culturally. … Maybe with the adoption story I was trying to tell an essential fable of love and sort of finding a home.” Summed up by the artist as “an exhibition about the nature of little boys and the men that they become,” “And Then I Met You” comprises animation, cyanotypes, a self-published children’s book, a quilt and a music box incorporating fetal heart-monitor records from her son’s birth. During the opening reception, Fox will be joined by fellow artists Brittany Ham and Hilary Rochow for a fitting complement in the form of a shadow puppet performance. (972) 900-0047

Melanie Rush Davis | A Requirement of Time

Fri., Aug. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.


A 2019 Fotoseptiembre USA Exhibition. An exhibition documenting a lifetime of photography by the celebrated “pinhole queen” of San Antonio, Melanie Rush Davis (1955–2018), including dozens of portraits, parades and haunted locations presented as a linear series. (210) 200-8263

SSA Faculty Show Triennial

Fri., Aug. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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Opening Reception will be Fri. Aug. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. On display from Aug. 30 until Sep. 29, 2019. As the first and only independent college of art in Texas, Southwest School of Art boasts a faculty that reflects the school's approach to making as a form of inquiry and discovery, with equal emphasis on ideas and skills. This group exhibition highlights SSA's full-time faculty and provides a survey of artistic styles and disciplines, while allowing a glimpse into each faculty member's current creative direction and practice. (210) 200-8263

Labor Day Artisan Show

Fri., Aug. 30, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., Aug. 31, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun., Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Mon., Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.


Artist display and sell their beautiful handmade work along the San Antonio River Walk. Artisans are different for each show but usually include pottery, textiles, jewelry, woodwork, paintings, beadwork and more.

Blue Star Contemporary presents work by Berlin Residency Artists in Exhibition Titled Fünf

Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through Sept. 8
Blue Star Contemporary 116 Blue Star, San Antonio San Antonio


San Antonio’s first and longest running contemporary art non-profit, Blue Star Contemporary (located in the heart of the Blue Star Arts Complex), presents Fünf, on view June 7–September 8, 2019. This exhibition highlights the fifth year of Blue Star Contemporary’s Berlin Residency program and will feature artworks from 2017-2018 artists Amada Miller, Andrei Renteria, Ethel Shipton, and Jared Theis. The artists featured in Fünf present works they developed while in residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien and upon their return to San Antonio. Fünf brings together these artists to highlight the diversity of practices in the San Antonio art community and the impact of this life changing residency. The exhibition opens with a free reception on Friday, June 7. (210) 227-6960

NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibition

Through Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Centro de Artes 101 S. Santa Rosa Ave., San Antonio San Antonio


An exhibition of visual art, film, and performance by the first round of participants in the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in San Antonio. Open daily 11am-6pm with an opening reception 6-9pm Thursday, June 27, Film & Performance night 6-9pm Thursday, July 11 and Artist Panel Discussion & Cataloque Release 6-9pm Wednesday, August 7. (210) 207-1435

Parabola: A Community Reading Series

Last Friday of every month, 7-9 p.m. Continues through Dec. 6
Confluence Park 310 W Mitchell St, San Antonio San Antonio


Gemini Ink is excited to announce the launch of a new monthly tradition created in partnership with the San Antonio River Foundation. The series is family-and pet-friendly, with plenty of parking and BYOB. Each reading features local, regional and nationally-recognized authors reading alongside emerging writers from across San Antonio. Head to Confluence Park each month as they celebrate our city's vibrant literary culture.

David Rogers’ Big Bugs Opening Weekend

Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
San Antonio Botanical Garden 555 Funston, San Antonio San Antonio

Buy Tickets$9-$12

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They’re big, really big. David Rogers’s Big Bugs stand as tall as 25 feet and have wingspans up to 17 feet wide, and they will be on display from Saturday, Aug. 31 through Sunday, Dec. 8 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The exhibition educates the public about the importance of preservation and conservation on the planet by introducing them to the world of insects, the role they play in the plant world, and their interconnectedness to our lives. Regular admission rates apply. (210) 536-1400

David Rogers' Big Bugs

Aug. 31-Dec. 8, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
San Antonio Botanical Garden 555 Funston, San Antonio San Antonio


They’re big, really big. David Rogers’ Big Bugs stand as tall as 25 feet and have wingspans up to 17 feet wide, and they are coming to the San Antonio Botanical Garden. This gigantic exhibit opens Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31 – Sept. 1) and will be on display through Dec. 8. David Rogers’ Big Bugs is a nationally prominent touring exhibit. Visitors will see 10 larger-than-life insect sculptures, all made from natural materials, positioned throughout the 38 acres of the Botanical Garden. San Antonio Botanical Garden is a Texan by Nature Conservation Partner. Regular admission rates apply. (210) 536-1411

"Bygone Texas"

Sat., Aug. 31, 5-7 p.m. and Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Nov. 3
Musical Bridges Around the World 23705 IH-10 West, San Antonio San Antonio


The Art Gallery at Musical Bridges Around the World is pleased to announce “Bygone Texas,” an exhibition by photographers John Mattson and Karen Zimmerly. Presented in conjunction with Fotoseptiembre USA, these sometimes humorous, sometimes wistful, yet always provocative images capture the quirky, poetic remains of abandoned spaces and towns in west Texas. Working together but photographing independently, the aesthetic visions and distinct personalities of this artist couple emerge in subtle shift of interpretation, composition and emphasis. The exhibition will open with a reception on Saturday, August 31 and will remain on view by appointment during business hours through November 3. (210) 464-1534

Brick Sunday Arts Market

Sundays, 12-5 p.m.
The Blue Star Arts Complex 1414 South Alamo, San Antonio San Antonio

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The Brick Sunday Arts Market will provide wines, mimosas, champagne and lots of craft beer selections on sale for guests. Other local vendors will include rare vinyl record finds, custom art, photography, vintage clothing, pet goods, and more for purchase. The event will also host blue art performances and other activities for guests to enjoy.

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