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"Puro Symposium" Aims to Explore a Loaded Word 

  • Photo via UTSA, Puro Symposium

When you think of the word puro, what image comes to mind?

What colors do you see? Is it tall? What does it taste like? Does it make a sound? Now hold that thought until February 21, when a panel of local visual and performance artists will come together at Brick for a symposium about the word puro.

Intrigued by the word and how it's used in San Antonio, UTSA architecture professor Antonio Petrov and his team of graduate students are exploring the word and seeing how it translates to San Antonio’s architecture, urban planning projects and other community dynamics.

Tasked with planning a part of San Antonio’s tricentennial celebration, Petrov hopes to understand the aesthetics of puro, its values and attitudes in order to determine the future of what the city may look like.

“A city the size of San Antonio with all its cultural layers is so much more than one term could describe, but yet, Puro exemplifies something that belongs to all of us; an expression; attitude; a cultural sensibility; betterment; collective accomplishments; something precious the city is dearly holding on to,” Petrov says in a prepared statement.

“It means something to everyone with multiple layers and multiple understandings, but its duality also allows for individual interpretations. For some, it is reflected in rituals, art, tastes, values, aesthetics, and a certain sense of authenticity.”

The symposium, which will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Brick, invites San Antonians to participate and give their own meaning and understanding of the word. In order for the city to move forward and prepare for population growth while sustaining its culture, Petrov says it’s important to hear from a wide range of voices in projects like this one.

He hopes the symposium will begin conversation around the word’s layers of meaning and says this event will be one of many. As of now, it’s a project still in the beginning stages; a list of abstract ideas that will be determined only with the help of people living in San Antonio, who understand its culture and values.

Puro Symposium, 6-8 p.m., Tues, Feb. 21 at Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, Bldg. 108, 1414 S. Alamo St.

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