Contemporary Art Month in San Antonio: March 2017

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In South Texas, San Antonio is known for being a cultural hub filled with historic charm and a buzzing contemporary art scene. Every March, the city hosts Contemporary Art Month (CAM) that “seeks to promote and raise the national profile of San Antonio contemporary art and artists by organizing and facilitating a month-long celebration of contemporary art, providing marketing support, and by organizing and facilitating public programs.” Throughout the month, local artists, performers and curators present the best that San Antonio has to offer at galleries, museums, performing arts spaces, schools, artist studios and various unconventional locations around the city.

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CAM is organized by Contemporary Art Month, which is also the name of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The tradition was first started in 1989 by the director of Southwest School of Art and Craft, in what is now known as the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. In 2003, CAM became an independent project that hopes to organize all the month’s events into one central calendar. CAM was first celebrated during the month of July, but changed to March in 2010. As the years go on, CAM has continued to progress and grow in its size and popularity: “2012 introduced the CAM ‘Perennial’ Exhibition, where a curator from outside of San Antonio was invited to curate a show of San Antonio Contemporary artists. 2013 introduced CAMx (The CAM exchange), an exhibition exchange between San Antonio artists and artists from another city.”

As we get closer to the beginning of March, anticipation continues to build for CAM. The CAM Kick Off is will held on Thursday, March 2 at Blue Star Contemporary. Take a look at some of CAM’s events that are listed below, and start to plan out which shows you will attend in the coming month.

CAM Perennial Exhibition

One of the month’s major events is the CAM Perennial Exhibition, which this year will be located at the Russell Hill Rogers Galleries I & II in the Santikos Building. The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 10 from 6-8pm, and the exhibit will remain free and open to the public from March 10 until April 30.

According to CAM, the Perennial Exhibition is very important to the month’s overall mission: “In pursuit of its mission to raise the national profile of San Antonio contemporary art and artists, each year Contemporary Art Month selects a city to partner with to foster dialogue and opportunities beyond San Antonio. We invite a professional curator from the partnering city to visit San Antonio artists’ studios to choose artists to participate in the CAM Perennial exhibition.” Previous years curators have included: Amy Mackie, New Orleans, LA (2015), Leslie Moody Castro, Mexico City, Mexico (2014), Bill Arning, Houston, TX (2013), Francis Colpitt, Dallas, TX (2012)—the event was cancelled in 2016.

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This year, CAM has partnered with the Southwest School of Art to present Reflections of Landscape and Memory, which is curated by Chris Ingalls (Miami). The following are the list of artists whose work will be included in the exhibit:

  • David Alcantar
  • Jennifer Ling Datchuk
  • Esteban Delgado
  • Ana Fernandez
  • Sarah Fox
  • Nicole Geary
  • Joe Harjo
  • Julia Barbosa Landois
  • Saintlorraine Britt Lorraine & Kristy Perez
  • Karen Mahaffy
  • Michele Monseau
  • Alejandro Augustine Padilla
  • Kallie Cheves
  • Ryan Takaba
  • Guillermina Zabala

CAMx Miami

CAMx, or the CAM exchange, looks to pair an artist-run space from the same partnering city as the CAM Perennial curator with a local artist-run space. According to CAM, the goal of CAMx is to “give local artists opportunity to interact with a new audience and to create connections between artists in other cities leading to further opportunities. Local audiences also get to view art produced in other locales.”

In 2017, CAMx will be hosted by Rubio Gallery South, a gallery run by nationally recognized local artist, Alex Rubio, who will collaborate with Laundromat Art Space in Miami, Florida. CAMx will open its doors on Friday, March 3 from 7-10pm at the Rubio Gallery South, located at Southtown Flats 111 Probandt, San Antonio, TX 78204.

CAMMIE Awards

At the end of the month, the CAMMIE Awards are held to recognize excellence and diversity throughout the city’s rich landscape. This year’s CAMMIE Awards judges include: San Antonio Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum, Southwest School of Art, Blue Star Contemporary, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Carver Community Cultural Center and Artpace.

The awards will be presented on March 30 at the Linda Pace Foundation CHRISpark.

CAM Sponsors & Additional Information

The 2017 CAM sponsors include:

  • Blue Contemporary Art
  • Blue Moon Brewing Co.
  • Blue Star Arts Complex
  • Brick at Blue Star
  • Heavy Heavy
  • High Wheel Beerworks
  • Homes by Camille
  • Dorcol Spirits
  • El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel
  • The Linda Pace Foundation
  • R Space
  • Rubio Gallery South
  • San Antonio Current
  • The Southwest School of Art
  • Laundromat Art Space

As a non-profit, CAM has continuously worked to keep its tradition alive since its beginning in 1989. According to CAM, the month has been “supported by a loose but dedicated coalition of institutions, artists, private art supporters, and commercial entities. This support comes in many forms, from financial and in-kind donations, to the time and energy each artist, curator and gallery director invests in the myriad individual projects that occur throughout the month. The calendar listing fees are a large part of the budget, but a number of individuals and organizations also provide critical support for the project. Every donation is graciously received and supports Contemporary Art Month to be the best it can be.”

Click here to make a donation. If you’re interested in finding out more about CAM, or if you’re a local artist looking to participate in the month’s events, be sure to visit CAM for more information.

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