Art Events Today in San Antonio

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“America on Stage”

Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Wednesdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Continues through June 30
McNay Art Museum 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., San Antonio San Antonio


Arguably one of the most overlooked aspects of the McNay is the the museum’s impressive Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, which boasts more than 12,00o objects spanning from the 1500s to the present day. Built around a sprawling gift from late collector, philanthropist, theater patron and design enthusiast Robert L.B. Tobin and expanded by curators Linda Hardberger and Jody Blake, the collection encompasses rare books, small-scale models, costume illustrations and stage designs created by modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Organized by Head of Curatorial Affairs René Paul Barilleaux and Curatorial Assistant Timothy Retzloff, the recently opened exhibition “America on Stage” aims to celebrate “the vision of the nation’s 20th- and 21st-century master designers on stages across the U.S. and around the world.” Exploring four key themes — Broadway, Nostalgia, Breaking Tradition, and Social Justice — the show combines maquettes from productions of Cabaret, In the Heights, West Side Story and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; a pop-up theater where guests can view scenes from a conceptual revival of Spring Awakening; and interactive areas that invite museum-goers to “take center stage in a recreated stage set — and even tap dance.” (210) 824-5368

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

"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

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

Kellen Stanley: "Rite of Passage"

Saturdays, 12-8 p.m., Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Wednesdays-Fridays, 5-8 p.m. Continues through June 30
FL!GHT Gallery 112R Blue Star, San Antonio Southtown


Kellen Stanley's solo show, "Rite of Passage," will open on Thursday 6/6 at 7-8:30 PM, with the artist activating the installation in a durational performance. The body of work is text-based and features poetry depicting the artist's mother who once was a painter before switching career tracks to education. The performance will reveal the installation of poetry one line at a time much like excavating an archaeological site. (210) 872-2586

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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