Arts : CAM-a-lot

Break out the comfy shoes and gallery notes, San Antonio’s art marathon is on

The official Contemporary Art Month kickoff party (July 1 at the Motel 3 on South Flores) is 10 days away, but you can catch some of CAM 2006’s top bills right now, beginning with Janaki Lennie’s one-woman show at Sala Diaz (517 Stieren, through August 20). This Houston painter’s atmospheric realism contemplates the remaining frontiers — physical, spiritual, psychological — hemmed in as they are by human industry and manicured nature. Opening reception: 7-11 p.m. Friday. 535-1079 for more info.

San Antonian Chris Sauter pursues the same set of open-ended questions into the ground, from whence come grain, oil, water and other natural resources upon which empires and identities are built. The Pioneer Flour Mill’s crenellated, Disney-like battlement is the aperture this time around for a Finesilver show that includes sculpture (remember those delicate power-line towers woven from wheat that were on view at Artpace last year?), photography, and video. Opening reception: 6-9 p.m. Friday, 816 Camaron, No. 1.02. Through August 26. or 354-3333 for more info.

San Antonio art don Henry Rayburn curated this year’s Alameda group show, Juxtapositions, which includes repeaters Andy Benavides and Chuck Ramirez from 2005’s ¿Seis Who? plus Henry Stein, Gary Sweeney, Anita Valencia, Bernice Williams, Diane Henry, Marilyn Lanfear, Linda Pace, and Rayburn himself — each of whom appropriates found art for their work. Opening reception: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, 318 W. Houston. Through August 18. 299-4300 or for more info.

Fellow ¿Seis Who? alum Juan Miguel Ramos completed his local Lotería series last year, and appropriately he’s one of 40 artists in the Southwest School of Art & Craft’s group show Local Lotería, curated by Kathy Armstrong. I’m particuclarly looking forward to interpretations by Ricky Armendariz, David Zamora Casas, Joey Fauerso, Mimi Kato, and Rainey, but it’s likely to be a spectacular show in its entirety, with wildly different stylistic and cultural takes on the traditional Mexican Lotería deck of icons. Opening reception: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Russell Hill Rogers Gallery I, Navarro at Augusta. Through August 13. 224.1848 or for more info. The local group show is a grand complement to the one-woman show La Lotería: An Exploration of Mexico, by Arizona-based Teresa Villegas, on view in the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery 11, same dates, same party.

All right, chicles, don’t spend all of your art vibe in one place; we’ve more than a month to go. On your calendar: Blue Star 21, opening June 28, curated by William Campbell. The aforementioned kickoff party July 1 at Motel 3. The Current’s July 15 CAM party at the Southwest School of Art & Craft, featuring margaritas, music, and portrait covers of San Antonio artists. For a complete listing of official CAM events, visit For in-depth CAM coverage, stay tuned.

Elaine Wolff

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