Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UTSA hosts 'Breakthrough!' exhibit marking 20th anniversary of Germany reunification

artwork

Untitled painting by Thomas Klingenstein
>> Listen to an NPR story on the "Breakthrough!" exhibit

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(Oct. 26, 2010)--The UTSA Department of Art and Art History will host "Breakthrough! Twenty Years After German Unification -- Critical Perspectives of Berlin Artists," an exhibit of paintings, photographs and sculptures by dissident artists from the former East Germany. Free and open to the public, the exhibit runs Oct. 28-Nov. 17 in the UTSA Arts Building gallery on the Main Campus.

>> An opening reception is 6-9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28. A presentation from each featured artist will begin at 7 p.m. Additionally, there will be a panel discussion, "The Berlin Wall and the U.S.-Mexico Border," at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star.

Touring in only five U.S. cities, the exhibit features the work of 10 visual artists from the former East Germany who endured imprisonment, harassment and exile under the Communist regime before the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the resultant reunification of Germany one year later.

Angelika Jansen, representative of the San Antonio Dresden Alliance and a member of the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts Advisory Board, fled East Germany in 1964 when she was 20 years old and was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to San Antonio.

"All of these artists suffered for their work and fought for the right to have freedom and artistic expression," said Jansen. "We hope San Antonians come out to meet them, hear their stories and view their work."

Participating artists include photographers Gerald Hahn and Harald Hauswald; painters Peter Herrmann, Thomas Klingenstein, Wolfgang Petrick, Frank Rodel, Inge Schmidt, Reinhard Stangl and Robert Weber; and sculptor Hans Scheib.

The exhibition is presented by Jeff Thinnes, a noted expert in German-American relations, who founded the Breakthrough Art Organization in 2009. The Washington, D.C., nonprofit foundation champions artists who use art as a means to overcome political, social and personal challenges.

"By bringing this program to the U.S to mark the 20th anniversary of a reunited Germany, 'Breakthrough!' aims to remind American audiences of the basic freedoms enshrined in our First Amendment and inspire them to stand against threats to those freedoms," said Thinnes.

The UTSA Art Gallery presents a mix of professionally curated, juried, and student and faculty exhibitions with an emphasis on larger and more complex projects. The UTSA Satellite Space in the Blue Star Arts Complex in downtown San Antonio divides programming between monthly curated exhibitions and presentations organized by UTSA graduate students in studio art and art history.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 1-4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, and by appointment. For more information, contact Laura Crist at 210-458-4391.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

Read More »
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