8 San Antonio Art Exhibits to Attract, Educate and Energize This Month

Cowboys and witches and whimsical 18th century aristocracy – these are just some of the topics explored this month in San Antonio’s galleries and museums.

The Briscoe offers viewers the Cowboy Artists of America, Ruby City offers us a multi-screen meditative installation honoring an African-American explorer, and Blue Star Contemporary celebrates two artists, one who incorporates Greek epic poetry, altarpieces and medieval paintings in his works and another that is inspired by board games, video games and arcades. At Trinity University, support emerging artists showcasing their senior projects and learn that “Mars Needs More Women” at the Centro Cultural Aztlan with an exhibit on space and science fiction iconography. San Antonio’s art scene has never looked better!

Ruby City
“Isaac Julien: The True North” May 5 to July 24

Known for his cinematic installations and poetic, meditative multi-screen photography, British artist Isaac Julien often uses landscape to present counter-stories. His work is known for its non-narrative style that examines black and queer identities, diaspora, migration, and the underlying effects of capitalist economic systems. This installation is loosely based on the voyage of Matthew Henson (1866–1955), the African-American explorer who was widely believed to be the first person to reach the geographic North Pole 113 years ago this month. Julien’s immersive three-screen projection “True North” (2004) depicts a solitary fur-clad figure traversing a snowy white landscape, reinserting Henson’s significant contributions to the historical record.

AnaArte @ Estancia
“Ana Hernandez: more is more” Now until June 30

In this fantastical and whimsical exhibition where motifs from American popular culture meet 18th century European art, Ana Hernandez, who works in murals, sculptures and works on canvas, assimilates and explores the varied relationships between good taste and the profane, reality and absurdity, the local and the foreign. “Born and raised on the US-Mexico border, my work is steeped in the iconography, traditions and customs that characterize this hybrid space. By fluidly combining these elements, I present a layered carnivalesque atmosphere underscored by textures and a wide color palette.

Briscoe Museum of Western Art
“Charlie Russell’s Sons: Cowboy Artists of America” From May 27 to September 5

Inspired and fueled by the work of Charles Russell, Frederic Remington and Edward Borein, the Cowboy Artists of America established a tradition – and maintained a uniquely American art form – that has been preserved by members of the organization since its founding. in 1965. “The Sons of Charlie Russell” comprises 70 works of art encompassing paintings, sculptures and works on paper, by 40 artists, with works dating from 1890 to the present day. The exhibition highlights works of the Cowboy Artists of America, from its origins rooted in turn-of-the-century paintings to contemporary expression today.

Centro Cultural Aztlan
“Mars needs more women. PROJECT: MASA-V” Now until June 10

Project: MASA is an ongoing exhibition series that brings together Chicana artists who use outer space and science fiction iconography with past, present and future tropes to comment on the socio-political issues that affect us now and in the future. This intergenerational exhibit features nineteen female artists from the South Texas Frontera, San Antonio, and includes Catherine Cisneros, Celeste De Luna, Yareth Fernandez, Brandy González, Suzy Gonzalez, Nansi Guevara, Mari Hernandez, Terry Ybañez, Lizette Ortiz, Pocha Peña, Sam Rawls, Natalia Rocafuerte, Mary Agnes Rodriguez, Ana Lilia Salinas, Liliana Wilson, Cindy Valderas and Guillermina Zabala.

Not for you Gallery
“Loot Achris: Witches, Weirds, Perverts, and the Ridicule of Childhood” May 6-21

Loot Achris is a visual artist from San Antonio whose multi-media work addresses themes of childhood trauma, the absurd, and the social outcast. In “Witches”, she explores otherness through her portrayals of makeup-clad characters who share broken smiles, tired eyes and unimpressed expressions as they struggle to maintain a facade of normality but portray the uncanny nature of humanity.

Michael and Noemi Neidoff Art Gallery, Trinity University
“Recomposition: Trinity University Major Art ExhibitionNow until May 21

Illustrating a wide variety of styles and mediums, this senior show demonstrates that an independent and original vision is an artist’s greatest asset because without originality there is no innovation, no alternative to status. quo and no new story to tell. The pieces presented here are certainly representative of the culmination of each individual’s growth and potential at the beginning of their artistic journey.

Blue Star Contemporary
“Megan Harrison: From Your Brow, Leaf and Lyre” Now until May 29

Megan Harrison’s series of mixed media paintings based on intimate, personal moments and observations reflect her experiences after returning from Berlin as a recipient of the BSC Berlin residency program and, like many of us, facing a pandemic and the shrinking of his world down to the immediate family unit. The paintings draw on aesthetics and draw on a base inspired by Greek epic poetry, altarpieces and medieval paintings to address themes of mortality, loss, tragedy, the universality of human emotions, destruction and preservation.

Blue Star Contemporary
“Jimmy James Canales: The Layer of Lines” Now until May 29

Jimmy James Canales, also a recipient of the 2019 BSC Berlin Residency Program, uses play as an integral part of his practice to explore ideas of normalization of body, form, and the ultimate human. He builds a space that references both physical and virtual games, from board games and video games to arcades, sports fields and playgrounds, where his characters are often activated by spectators. This new body of work also includes several types of models at different scales, as the artist considers the role of models, avatars, etc. in our lives to capture and project our ideas.

Julia P. Cluff