South Texas summers can be hard to handle, but what Artpace is doing Friday night should make it a little easier. It’s a music series that pits hot summer nights against cool, live jazz.
“Nothing could be better on a summer night," said Arpace’s Francesca Rattray. And what she’s talking about is The Hardbop Project, music inspired by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, playing live on the third floor rooftop of Artpace.
Three times a year Artpace invites an artist from Texas, another from the rest of the United States, and another from somewhere in the world to live at Artpace for two months and create.
With the spring residency program nearly through, I caught up with one of their artists, Margaret Meehan, to see what she’s creating. First I asked her what the residency program is like, from an artist's standpoint.
“It’s like a really lovely boot camp!” she laughed.
What Meehan is creating has a theme: Women in War.
San Antonio artist Vincent Valdez has created an exhibition that, let’s face it, is a little disturbing. But then, maybe art, from time to time, should be.
It’s called "Strangest Fruit" and it’s at Artpace. It owes its concept from the Abel Meeropol poem "Strange Fruit," which was penned about seeing lynched black people hanging from trees in the South. Valdez said there's something perhaps even more unsettling than the subject for that poem.
There’s a park in San Antonio that owes its existence to one of the city’s art icons. Being just less than an acre, it’s easy to miss, but I recommend you don’t. To find it go down South Flores to Camp Street, and on the west side of the road, there it is.
"CHRISpark is a privately-funded park that’s open to the public," said Jon Ahrens, the landscape architect who designed CHRISpark.
(Author's note: I suggest you listen to this story -- hit "listen" above)
Artpace has opened a new exhibit and I was able to go down and walk through it. It's happening primarily in the Hudson showroom, and it's really an exercise in auditory imagination. As you walk in you think you're hearing crickets, but as you round the corner to see the video, you realize you're hearing something else entirely.
A near derailment for the city’s forthcoming streetcar program when Texas attorney general’s office reversed its initial finding saying the city transit corporation couldn’t sell bonds to fund its new transit centers.
Attorney General Gregg Abbott’s argument was that people in San Antonio voted twice against light rail and this is light rail. The city sued and won last week.
The Artpace International Artist-In-Residence Program happens under the radar three times each year at Artpace’s downtown museum. Artpace Deputy Director Mary Heathcott explains how it works.
"What the residency program is is that the artists move into Artpace -- they actually live here on site," Heathcott said. "Each year we invite nine artists, three come at a time, spring, summer and fall. Each artist creates a new artworks, which then goes on exhibit at Artpace for two months."
You may have seen it pop up recently downtown, and wondered what it's all about. A painting, nearly 100 feet wide, and almost 30 feet tall, on West Commerce street by Main Plaza, in an environment where it really stands out. It's quite unlike the environs, quite new, quite large, and quite red.
Maura Reilly, Director of the Linda Pace Foundation, describes it as "...an abstract design. So it’s an interesting addition to the Historic Main Plaza."