Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
I posted this a while ago on my new website Thomas Cummins Art + Photography and thought it might be good to start reposting some of my San Antonio related articles on here.
While working on my current public art project for the University Health System, I was introduced to the artwork of California artist and MacArthur Fellow Ned Kahn. Apparently, it looks like he might be doing a piece similar to these Pittsburgh and Switzerland pieces for the hospital being built in downtown San Antonio.
What makes this piece particularly exciting is that this piece will be on display where I-35 & I-10 meet -a road most San Antonians take as well as pretty much every traveler passing though the city from any cardinal point. You can see a computer animation of the proposed building with the highway intersection here.
I think I figured out how Chad Dawkins is reviewing all those CAM shows:
In this study, I investigated whether pigeons could be trained to discriminate between paintings that had been judged by humans as either “bad” or “good”. To do this, adult human observers first classified several children’s paintings as either “good” (beautiful) or “bad” (ugly). Using operant conditioning procedures, pigeons were then reinforced for pecking at “good” paintings. After the pigeons learned the discrimination task, they were presented with novel pictures of both “good” and “bad” children’s paintings to test whether they had successfully learned to discriminate between these two stimulus categories. The results showed that pigeons could discriminate novel “good” and “bad” paintings.
I’ve been digging around a bit for details about tommorrow’s Artist Foundation fundraiser, the ArtBall (aka aLadaDadaGala). I managed to get ahold of a list of artists in the auction, although I don’t know how complete it is:
Anne Wallace, Ansen Seale, Ben Mata, Bettie Ward, Charlie Morris, Chris Sauter, Cruz Ortiz, Diana Kersey, Ed Saavedra, Enrique Martinez, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Gary Sweeney, Hills Snyder, Jeremiah Teutsch, Jerry Cabrera, Jessica Halonen, Jim Keller, Joey Fauerso, John Mata, Kelly O’Connor, Ken Little, Kristy Perez, Leigh Anne Lester, Loretta Rey, Louis Vega Trevino, Mark Hogensen, Marlys Dietrick, McKay Otto, Michele Monseau, Peter Zubiate, Richie Budd, Susan Budge, Susan Strauss, Thomas Cummins, Trish Simonite, Dan Borris, Scott Lifshutz
I’ve also heard that there will be a reading from a Dada play (Pere Ubu Ubu Roi??), and a performance by the Saint Lorraine Dance Company.
Two artists in the auction have posted images of their ArtBall pieces on Facebook: Michele Monseau and our own Justin Parr. I also hear that a bicycle custom-painted by Alex Rubio, and a library of signed books by San Antonio authors will be auctioned. I’ll update this post as I hear more…
UPDATE: Here’s Hills Snyder’s contribution to the auction:
After going through my old emails last night, Ed Saavedra and I realized that one of the press releases that had somehow slipped through the cracks was for a 2 year San Antonio exhibition by Tom Otterness (known to me because of his hard-to-miss 14th St Subway installation in NYC.) “Makin‘ Hay” is down on the Southside in one of my favorite empty fields next to the San Antonio River/Mission Trail, and near Mission San Juan. The release states that the piece will be unveiled on March 15, 2009. I called up a few folks this morning and heard that he had already been in town and that it was close to, if not fully, installed. Here are a few photos of what I saw when I got down there:
public art? aqualung? pigeon coop? design by committee? I’m trying to get a good angle on it, but nobody seems to know ANYTHING about these. Pictured below, I’ve spent the last 2 months asking people “in the know,” if they know of, or have seen these objects, to no avail. Do you know anything about these giant acrylic hollow boxes, sheathed in metal and bathroom tile on the fore-front of our walk through downtown to the Alamodome? I’m not sure of the exact install date, but I have seen them unchanged in their current condition since the 2 weeks preceding the Final Four basketball games that gripped downtown San Antonio for a week. Possibly its unfinished? ..or maybe I just don’t get it.
(more images by clicking below)
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A few days ago Dan Goddard posted some interesting details on the museum that will house the contemporary art collection of Linda Pace:
By this fall, the foundation expects to select a site in San Antonio for the construction of a permanent home for Pace’s contemporary art collection, including works by Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Isaac Julien, Richard Tuttle and Rachel Whiteread. British architect David Adjaye, who designed the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, is working on the project.
Some are anticipating that the museum, when completed, will be as important as the Menil in Houston (we’ll see…). Adjaye has already created a model for the museum which was sort of viewable through the glass of a locked office door in the Linda Pace Foundation offices during an event last night. I just caught a quick glimpse, but the model seemed less boxy than some of Adjaye’s more well-known projects, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (above).
An exhibit of Adjaye’s work will be traveling to the Hudson (Show)Room at Artpace in September. The show, organized by London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery, is called “Making Public Buildings” (a catalog is available on Amazon). As usual with Hudson shows, Adjaye will be giving a walk-through at the opening on September 11. In addition to high-end London homes and public buildings such as museums and libraries, Adjaye has collaborated with artists Olafur Eliasson (see here) and Chris Ofili (see here) on projects that blur the line between visual art and architecture. Adjaye’s buildings are noted for their experiential sensitivity and their ability to respond to the surrounding environment.
We’ll give you more details as we get them…
San Antonio’s Luminaria arts night kicks off tomorrow, and the general sense of discontent in the contemporary arts community seems to be growing. I have talked to several artists who were promised funding, and then told at the last minute that their projects will not be funded, forcing them to drastically scale back their projects and/or scramble for private backing. Then there’s the little problem of scheduling the event during Austin’s SXSW, which tends to soak up a lot of attention. This has led San Antonio’s own newspapers to give Luminaria short shrift in favor of covering the star-studded music festival up I-35.
But the biggest problem is the perceived disconnect between the event planners and the actual artists who could make this festival meaningful. Rather than trying to build on existing, grassroots art events like First Friday, Contemporary Art Month, Art in the Hood, or SMART Fair, the city chose to reinvent the wheel. What’s worse, they don’t seem to be listening to the people who are deeply involved in the day-to-day work that has given San Antonio such a rich variety of artist-run spaces and events.
Naturally, part of the problem is money. Some (including myself) feel that at an event receiving a large chunk of city funding, as well as support from Bank of America, AT&T, Ford, and Valero, the artists themselves could hope for more than a $200 honorarium. If even $10,000 or $20,000 (a small fraction of the budget) was made available on a competitive basis, a number of successful local artists might have thrown their hat into the ring rather than sitting this one out. The talking points coming from City Hall point out that artists will be “paid in exposure” — but then, of course, all the established and semi-established artists who already show their work at good galleries in New York and other art centers have no incentive to participate. And so Luminaria has been engineered to showcase artists desperate for exposure, rather than those who have hit their stride and earned some level of national recognition. This approach sells everyone short, and implicitly sends the signal that Luminaria is not a venue for recognized artists. It also ignores the reality that a lot of art takes money to produce — artists have to invest more than just time and energy to realize an ambitious project.
However, despite all this, a number of talented artists are participating in Luminaria, and if the city can provide basic organizational support, the arts night could turn out to be a valuable venue. While some artists are distancing themselves from what seems more and more like a potential train wreck (from the artist’s perspective), others are throwing their talents into the mix to see what happens. And despite what I’m sure sounds like a pretty negative pre-judgment of Luminaria, I’m really interested to see what happens. I’m sure there will be some successful projects out there tomorrow, and I’m sure the city will provide the basic infrastructure necessary for this kind of event. I’m just worried that it will fall short of the potential, and that many artists will be alienated by the lack of respect for their achievements and the realities of their profession. Check back soon for post-Luminaria reactions.
(The community gives him a saucy welcome.)