Art Events This Weekend in San Antonio

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Alex de Leon and Elizabeth McGrath

Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 29
Artpace 445 N. Main Ave., San Antonio San Antonio


As it prepares for what promises to be a memorable 25th anniversary in 2020, Artpace is thoughtfully looking back at its infancy — a period guided by its founder, the late artist, collector and philanthropist Linda Pace. Following in the same reflective vein as the 2018 group show “Then and Now,” which brought together works by local Artpace residency alumni Ken Little, Kathy Vargas, Constance Lowe and Ángel Rodríguez Díaz, the influential institution’s latest offerings turn back the clock to celebrate the work of two somewhat unsung artists whose connections to the organization extend back to the start of its residency program. Installed in the street-level Main Space in an arrangement that’s sure to spark the curiosity of passersby, a capsule collection of pieces created by former San Antonio resident Elizabeth McGrath is anchored by Broken, a conceptual sculpture she created during her 1996 Artpace residency. Comprised of a weathered wooden chair enveloped in crocheted silk that stretches to the ceiling like a spider’s web, it’s flanked by unrelated but equally curious sculptures — an organic-looking object pieced together from found wood and Bondo putty, and a snakelike coil fashioned from what appears to be a stuffed floral bedsheet. Behaving almost as conversation prompts for anyone who happens upon them in Artpace’s Main Avenue windows, these odd experiments with materials hard and soft may suggest alternate streams of discourse when viewers learn that McGrath long ago shifted her professional focus from art to psychotherapy. Delivering a poppier, punchier counterpoint to this blast from the past, the work of late Alamo City legend Alex de León lines walls and cases upstairs in Artpace’s Hudson Showroom. Like McGrath, de León represented San Antonio as an International Artist-in-Residence in 1996 and both participated in Artpace’s London Studio Program in 1995, but the similarities seem to end there — and this pairing of exhibitions makes no pretense of connection outside of space and time. An Edinburg native who studied printmaking at Kansas City Art Institute, de León left bold marks on San Antonio from the 1980s until his passing in 2012. Although ceramics emerged as his strong suit and his signature style got pegged as folk art, he didn’t consider himself a ceramicist or a folk artist. In true pop fashion, his work often relied on the repetition of popular imagery and landed on local T-shirts and Hollywood film sets alike. Assembled from a number of local collections, his new self-titled exhibition looks and feels like a tight retrospective for a pioneer of the San Antonio aesthetic. Beyond a playful, even cheery color palette that adorns everything from expertly rendered enamel paintings on steel to functional clay vessels and covetable shot glasses, de León’s pieces are tied together with a visual vocabulary punctuated by police cars, hearses, skulls, beer cans, cigarette packs and steaks on the grill. Although the subject matter is often immediately funny, the pieces’ titles paint a clearer picture of his sharp sense of humor: the 1995 painting Surprized Anything Gets Done As Much As He Drinks depicts a mess of tools, car parts and empty beer bottles scattered around a garage; and a classic pink convertible is parked amid a storm of cigarette butts, booze bottles, martini glasses and musical instruments in the 1997 ceramic bowl She Shoulda Tooka Cab. While it may look like the odd man out, a small cardboard house perched in a corner is taken from the body of work that inspired Artpace Executive Director Riley Robinson to revisit de León’s work in a contemporary context. Taken from his 2004-era “Welcome Home Series,” the ramshackle sculpture was built from materials de León purchased from down-and-out individuals: signs emblazoned with pleas such as “Homeless and Hungry. Please Help If You Can,” “Mother of Three Struggling From Earlier Layoff. Need Help Please” and “Homeless Vet. Please Help. God Bless You. (210) 212-4900

Ethel Shipton: Listening to Berlin

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Oct. 26
Ruiz-Healy Art 201-A E. Olmos Dr., San Antonio San Antonio


“Listening to Berlin,” Ethel Shipton’s latest show at Ruiz-Healy Art, captures the sights and sounds of Germany’s capital city. Shipton, who was selected for Blue Star Contemporary’s three month residency at Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien in 2018, draws from her trip in a series of prints, mixed-media works and interactive sculpture. A city rich in history and culture, Berlin has much to offer the traveling artist. While there, Shipton took interest in the vast graffiti culture and street art Berlin has become known for. “I started taking pictures of the graffiti, and the graffiti took me to look at other parts of the city that were interesting to me,” Shipton said in a statement. Among the highlights in this show is a sculptural piece where gallery visitors can sit and listen to the sounds of the city. Like much of Shipton’s work, “Listening to Berlin” focuses on bringing passing, everyday objects into sharp focus during moments of contemplation. In an era filled with constant distractions, Shipton’s work gives viewers permission to truly engage their surroundings. (210) 804-2219

Fall Exhibitions at Blue Star Contemporary

Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through Jan. 4
Blue Star Contemporary 116 Blue Star, San Antonio San Antonio


The trinity of politics, environment and healthcare might make you want to keep flipping pages, but rather than recapping another fruitless debate, we’re simply previewing a group of Blue Star Contemporary (BSC) exhibitions that speak to the troubled world we live in. One of two BSC Berlin Residency alumni in the bunch, artist and Texas State University professor Joey Fauerso is known for pensive animations, atmospheric portraits, amusing “drawing battles” and plenty in between. You may have even driven past her Canopy, a verdant, bird-filled mural she painted on the Fulton Avenue railroad underpass with assistance from Agnes Cotton Academy students. In recent years, Fauerso’s projects have braved tougher territory. Initiated in 2017, during her three-month residency at Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Fauerso’s ongoing project “You Destroy Every Special Thing I Make (We Fall to Pieces)” employs a graphic, black-and-white palette to address the chaotic political climate and the uncertain future awaiting her two young sons. Billed as the continuation of her investigation into culture, gender, family and humor, her “Teardowns” takes over Blue Star’s Main Gallery with a mélange of sculpture, video and a 50-foot mural inspired by the wallpaper in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. Throughout the exhibition’s run, Fauerso will erode her mural as a performative commentary on “the destructive and restorative nature of humanity.” A fellow BSC Berlin Residency alum who holds degrees in biology, painting and printmaking, Margaret Craig describes her new exhibition “Sea Islands” as “a contemplation on the ways we affect the plants and animals around us, and how we may be affected by them.” Informed in part by her experiences in Berlin — where she collected sea-bound detritus on walks through the city streets — her solo show in Blue Star’s Middle Gallery presents upcycled plastic sculptures as imaginative creatures that “might one day populate the ocean as trash.” A Japanese artist specializing in kinetic work, Tsuyoshi Anzai tackles the human condition in “Healthy Machines,” an installation housed in BSC’s snug Gallery 4. Posing questions of wellness, ability and imperfection, Anzai’s work appears colorful and playful on the outside but in fact stems from brain surgery that left the artist with epilepsy. If all of the above leaves you longing for a bit of escapism, head for BSC’s Project Space, where Austin-based OK Mountain co-founder Sterling Allen and San Antonio’s own Larry Graeber join forces for “Formal Proof,” a two-man exhibition without much of an agenda beyond the interplay of odd sculptures that often begin with “physical and image-based debris gathered from various sources.” The opening reception will take place on October 4th from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and will be free. (210) 227-6960

Art Under the Oaks

Sat., Oct. 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Garden Center 10682 Bandera Road, San Antonio San Antonio

Buy TicketsFree

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The Garden Center’s 11th annual Art Under the Oaks will feature local artists, crafters, jewelers, wood workers and more. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping. There will be a Bonsai exhibit, music, and food. The event is kid friendly and leashed pets are welcome. (210) 647-7900

My House But Not My House: Surrealist Poetry & the Imagination

Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Gemini Ink 1111 Navarro, San Antonio San Antonio


Join Gemini Ink for a Master Class with Laura Eve Engel. What they love most about dreams is also what can make them mysterious to us: they’re of our making, but out of our control. Surrealism aims to access the parts of individuals' minds that build the imaginative landscapes we visit in our dreams to turn those parts loose on our waking lives and writing. In this generative master class, they will explore the many functions of the mind’s eye-the imagination-in poetry, and revitalize approaches to image making. (210) 734-9673

Día de los Muertos (Muertos Fest)

Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 27, 12-9 p.m.
Hemisfair 434 S Alamo, San Antonio San Antonio

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Deemed one of the Ten Great Day of the Dead Celebrations in the world, Día de los Muertos merges traditional art and culture with the best in live music and entertainment. Festivities will include a two-stage lineup of live bands, dance and poetry performances, an arts market featuring original Day of the Dead crafts and artwork, a drum, dance and puppet procession, workshops, children’s programming and more. Our loved ones are still with us at Día de los Muertos. (210) 260-5678 (FAX); (210)

Mala Luna Music Festival 2019

Sat., Oct. 26, 12 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 27, 12 p.m.
Nelson Wolff Stadium 5757 W. U.S. Hwy 90, San Antonio San Antonio

Buy Tickets$109

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The largest annual music festival in San Antonio will again offer festival-goers a weekend celebration of music and culture featuring some of today’s most sought after hip-hop, R&B and dance music artists. 2019 headliners include Rick Ross, Russ, Miguel, Diplo and Juice Wrld, along with other notable artists like YG, Playboi Carti, DaBaby, Trippie Redd, Smino and many more. With a greater emphasis on showcasing the rising female talent in today’s music industry, the lineup will also feature a number of talented female powerhouses including Summer Walker, Jessie Reyez, Ari Lennox and Melii, in addition to Houston’s own Megan Thee Stallion. (210) 675-7275

David Rogers' Big Bugs

Through 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

Charles White: Celebrating the Gordon Gift

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 1
Blanton Museum of Art 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Austin Austin

Buy TicketsFree


Charles White: Celebrating the Gordon Gift features drawings, color lithographs, album covers and more. Born in 1918 in Chicago, White dedicated his life and artistic practice to creating a visual archive of the Black experience in the United States. Fighting against widely circulating racist and grotesque representations of Black people, White created images of African Americans endowed with “truth, dignity, and beauty.” The Blanton’s exhibition foregrounds White’s connection to his contemporaries and his participation in larger social and political movements in his life-long career as an artist, activist and educator. The exhibition is included in the price of admission. (512) 471-5482

Joiri Minaya: Labadee

Through Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Blanton Museum of Art 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Austin Austin

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Joiri Minaya’s video Labadee explores the social and economic dynamics at play in Labadee, Haiti, on a private beach leased to Royal Caribbean cruise lines until 2050. Connecting the Caribbean tourism industry with the legacy of invasion and colonization, the video begins with passages from Christopher Columbus’s diary recounting his arrival in the New World that transition seamlessly into a description of a contemporary visit to Labadee. There, a wall separates the tourists from the locals; the only Haitians allowed on the beach are those employed by the resort or who pay a fee to sell goods or perform. 5124717324

Salvador Dalí's Stairway to Heaven

Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Continues through Nov. 15
UTSA Art Gallery - Main Campus One UTSA Circle, San Antonio San Antonio


"Salvador Dalí’s Stairway to Heaven,” curated by David S. Rubin, features illustrations for a 1934 edition of "Les Chants de Maldoror" - a prose-poem by Comte de Lautréamont which was first published in 1868 and later became a surrealist favorite - as well as illustrations from a 1960 edition of Dante Alighieri’s "The Divine Comedy," which was originally commissioned by the Italian government to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the poet’s birth. Metered parking is available in the Ximenes Ave Garage. (210) 458-4391

GAGA Presents: Placing Abstraction

Through Nov. 21, 12 p.m.


Calling attention to both site-specificity and abstract works, Placing Abstraction is a starting point for creative departure. Gentileschi Aegis Gallery Association is a group of 100 female artists who produce thematic exhibitions at a variety of venues. Opening Saturday October 12 from 5-7pm, with ongoing viewing at Southwest School of Art Santikos Building. (210) 200-8200

"Lunatics, Royals, Fiends, and Other Delights" by Vikky Jones

Saturdays, 12-8 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Wednesdays-Fridays, 5-8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 27
FL!GHT Gallery 112R Blue Star, San Antonio Southtown


Vikky Jones’s solo exhibition, "Lunatics, Royals, Fiends, & Other Delights" features collages and drawings of well-known animated characters amalgamated with patterns, textures, food, objects and ambiguous spaces to create situations that blur the lines between youthful memory and mature concerns. Jones is a San Antonio artist, holds an MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio and has exhibited in contemporary galleries across Texas. The opening reception will take place on both October 3rd and 4th. (210) 872-2586

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.

Arte Sin Fronteras: Prints from the Self Help Graphics Studio

Oct. 27-Jan. 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Blanton Museum of Art 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Austin Austin

Buy Tickets$5-$12


Arte Sin Fronteras: Prints from the Self Help Graphics Studio highlights the radical and formally rigorous work that Chicanx printmakers produced at this famous printmaking studio and cultural hub in East L.A. Named after the Latinx art Galería Sin Fronteras that Dr. Gilberto Cárdenas founded in East Austin, the exhibition showcases a selection of vibrant screenprints from Self Help’s Experimental Atelier Program gifted to the Blanton in 2017. These works, ranging from the late 1970s to mid-1990s, a period when Latinx/Chicanx art began to achieve national recognition, explore fluid cultural, gender, and political identities. The exhibit also explores immigration, border-crossing and Indigenous traditions. Exhibit is included with museum admission. (512) 471-5482

Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders

Oct. 27-Jan. 12, 1-5 p.m.
Blanton Museum of Art 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Austin Austin


From griffins and giants to demons and dragons, monsters have enthralled people throughout time. In medieval art and literature, these fanciful creatures give form to fears, curiosities, and fantasies of the unfamiliar and the unknown. Medieval Monsters, organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, will present a lively array of monsters that appear in more than fifty illuminated manuscripts from the European Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. The Blanton presentation is organized by Holly Borham, Assistant Curator, Prints & Drawings, Blanton Museum 5124717324

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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