Art Events Today in San Antonio

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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

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

The State of Hand Stitch, New Embroidery by Texas Artists

Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Continues through Aug. 9
UTSA Art Gallery - Main Campus One UTSA Circle, San Antonio San Antonio


"The State of Hand Stitch" is a survey of eleven women artists in Texas working with thread and needle at a time when embroidery is increasingly recognized as a medium of choice by serious artists. This exhibit displays a range of subject matter, scale, approach, and materials, demonstrating the many possibilities of contemporary stitch. (210) 458-4391

"Transcendental Tricentennial: Love Letters to San Anto, the (he)Art of David Zamora Casas"

Mondays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through July 28
Institute of Texan Cultures 801 E César Chávez Blvd, San Antonio San Antonio

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Over the last four decades, self-described “artivist” David Zamora Casas has delighted, shocked and intrigued San Antonio audiences with paintings, installations, altars and performance works that essentially present the artist himself as a canvas. Fusing elements of folk and outsider art with nods to the aesthetics of Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí, the DIY spirit of rasquachismo, religious iconography and Latinx and LGBTQ* activism, Casas has established something many artists strive for fruitlessly: an instantly recognizable aesthetic that’s distinctly their own. Nicknamed Nuclear Meltdown and dubbed a “clown shaman” by esteemed author and MacArthur Genius Sandra Cisneros, Casas often makes cameos in his own paintings, his fire-engine red lips, devilish goatee and Dalí-esque mustache emerging from surreal tableaus populated by skulls, deities, monkeys and mermaids swimming amid swirling patterns, Mesoamerican symbols and hand-painted text reminiscent of retablos. In the words of Chicano art specialist Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, Casas’ canvases “mix word and image to visualize autobiographical and universal stories  of homoerotic love, loss and persistent social concerns including immigration, environmental plunder, gender disparity and the multiple issues facing marginalized individuals and communities.” Billed as an artistic explosion of “folk-baroque manifestations” exploring themes ranging from indigenous history to gender fluidity, Casas’ new solo show “Transcendental Tricentennial” comprises “miles of ribbon, yards of fabric, embellished prints, various on-site assemblages, oil and acrylic paintings on canvas, barbed-wire and bone sculptures, and a Día de los Muertos ofrenda which spills into our collective consciousness.” Made possible by a grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), the “mega-installation” also involves creative collaborations with the likes of accordion queen Eva Ybarra and video/film producers Laura Varela and Fadela Gacis Castro. As for its slightly unexpected landing at the Institute of Texan Cultures, Casas reminds that the exhibition evokes the ITC’s mission to be “a lesson in diversity [that] shows the uniqueness and beauty of the many cultures that came to Texas.” (210) 458-2300

Daniel Rios Rodriguez & Raul Gonzalez

Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 18
Artpace 445 N. Main Ave., San Antonio San Antonio


With a powerful trio of exhibitions already on view, Artpace gives us two more reasons to visit this spring with the unveiling of new projects by San Antonio-based artists Daniel Rios Rodriguez and Raul Gonzalez. Although Rodriguez and Gonzalez explore wildly different topics and themes, their bright and bold bodies of work find common ground in playful energy, DIY aesthetics and transformations of commonplace materials. A Houston transplant who earned an MFA from UTSA along with grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), Gonzalez has long been fixated on the concept of work in many forms — construction, manual labor and his dual roles as a “werking artist” and undeniably cool stay-at-home dad. He’s captured the everyday joys of fatherhood in figurative drawings, celebrated his love for Whataburger and the Houston Astros in paintings and installations, enhanced his exhibitions with energetic, movement-based performances and even danced for 4.3 miles — continuously from downtown to the McNay. With a title lifted from a song by bygone Texas hip-hop duo UGK, his “Front and Back, and Side to Side” promises to transform Artpace’s Main Space windows with a “multi-dimensional mural” rendered in cardboard and colored duct tape. (Cue the selfies). A native of Killeen who earned his MFA from Yale and has exhibited in New York, Chicago, Marfa, Ireland and beyond, Rodriguez takes a tactile approach to small-scale “semi-figurative” paintings inspired by personal experiences and the natural world. Frequently using oddly shaped, homemade panels, he paints scenes and patterns in thick, textural layers, adding organic-looking embellishments such as stones, shells and feathers, and finishing the pieces with earthy frames rendered in found bits of wood, rope, wire and hardware accents. Bringing to mind everything from cave drawings and tribal symbology to folk and outsider art, Rodriguez’s work comes to light in “Bruisers,” his first ever solo show in Texas. Nodding to the battle scars we collect while navigating life on Earth, Rodriguez says the exhibition title also speaks to the surfaces of his paintings, many of which “undergo a lot of heavy hitting and burning and throwing across the floor.” During the opening reception, both artists will give short talks about their work and Artpace will also be rolling out a new Third Thursdays series that kicks off with a rooftop screening of shorts curated by the San Antonio Film Festival ($5-$10, 8pm Thu, May 16). (210) 212-4900

Texana Tuesdays at the Briscoe

Tue., July 23, 6:30 p.m.
Briscoe Western Art Museum 210 W. Market St., San Antonio, San Antonio San Antonio


The U. S. census reports begin in 1790 and are available through 1940. See how they have changed over time, what information is included, and how to read and interpret them. Also, see what special schedules were taken (agricultural, mortality, military, etc.) and how they can further your research. San Antonio Public Library Texana staff host this class in the Kampmann Library Portal. (210) 2994499

Artist Lecture: Four Decades of Provocative Video Art with Dara Birnbaum

Tue., July 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
San Antonio Museum of Art 200 W. Jones Ave., San Antonio San Antonio


Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Dara Birnbaum's provocative video works are among the most influential and innovative contributions to the contemporary discourse on art, television and media. In her videotapes and multi-media installations, Birnbaum applies both low-end and high-end video technology to subvert, critique or deconstruct the power of mass media images and gestures to define mythologies of culture, history and memory. Through a dynamic televisual language of images, music and text, she exposes the media's embedded ideological meanings and posits video as a means of giving voice to the individual. (210) 978-8100

Amy Winehouse Tribute Night

Tue., July 23, 7-10 p.m.
Folklores Coffee House 5007 S. Flores St., San Antonio Southside

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Folklores Coffee House is collaborating with Big Vibes Art House collective to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse! Celebrate her life with others in the community! An Amy portrait painting class from 7-9:30, local vendors and artists will be there to help pay tribute to the beautiful soul she is. Performances by Polly Anna, Marie Alexandre, Danica and Keely will fill your spirit with Amy Winehouse vibes all evening long! Local Amy artwork! An Amy inspired fashion show! Wine reception while supplies last and BYOB (for 21+). You don't want to miss this dedication to Amy!

Behind-the-Scenes at Confluence Park

Tue., July 23, 6-7 p.m. and Tue., Oct. 15, 6-7 p.m.
Confluence Park 310 W Mitchell St, San Antonio San Antonio

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This free 45-min. tour will take you on a journey around Confluence Park to learn about the background behind the development and design of this architectural icon and environmental education venue. Tours will be led by Frates Seeligson, Director of Confluence Park, and Kelley V. Phillips, Director of Programs and Outreach. Afterwards, attendees are invited to spend the evening in the breezy beauty of Confluence Park, surrounded by nature, friends, and family. Attendees are encouraged to bring water and wear comfortable shoes. Walking tour will be 0.3 miles (210) 224-2694

Rural Charm/ Encanto Rural Gallery

Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through July 30
Centro Cultural Aztlan 1800 Fredericksburg #103, San Antonio San Antonio


Centro Cultural Aztlan is pleased to present Encanto Rural (Rural Charm), a two-person mixed media and assemblage exhibit by James Miller and Lenise Perez-Miller. The exhibition opens with a reception on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 6-9pm with light refreshments and music by Forged in Fire (featuring Sabrina Lopez). The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on view 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, from Monday July, 8 through Tuesday, July 30. This exhibit is made possible by the support for the City of San Antonio: Department of Arts & Culture, Texas Commission on the Arts, and more. (210) 432-1896

On Water Exhibition at the Central Library

Through Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Buy TicketsFree


@ Austin Central Library, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78701
On Water is a solo exhibition featuring 14 large scale photographs and photographic collages by artist Elizabeth Chiles. Presented in the Central Library's main gallery, On Water showcases two series of Chiles' work: Figs from Thistles, created in 2013 during the worst Texas drought in over a century, and On Water, created in 2018 during months of historic flooding along the Colorado River. 512.974.7400

Mapping Memory: Space and History in 16th-century Mexico

Through Aug. 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Blanton Museum of Art 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Austin Austin


Exactly 500 years ago, in August of 1519, an expedition led by the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés began marching inland into Mexican territory. Just two years later, what today is Mexico City fell to an ethnically diverse army composed of both Spanish and local peoples from other cities, starting a long period of European colonization. This exhibition aims to expand our perspective on these events by featuring a selection of maps, known as Mapas de las Relaciones Geográficas, created by Indigenous artists around 1580. (512) 471-7324

NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibition

Through Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Wed., Aug. 7, 6-9 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

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