Tuesday, October 06, 2015


UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures: Cultural legacy of Rio Grande

Guerra residence

Photo: In 1961, Walter Eugene George reactivated the Historic American Buildings Survey in Texas. The Manuel Guerra residence and store in Roma, Texas, is included in the survey. It was built by Heinrich Portscheller in 1884 on the town plaza in an adapted Florentine Renaissance style. Photo by Walter Eugene George Jr., HABS TEX-3146, July 1961. Courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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(Jan. 22, 2014) -- The UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research in the College of Architecture will sponsor an exhibit and symposium at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, "Walter Eugene George and the Cultural Legacy of the Rio Grande," co-sponsored by the College of Architecture's Center for Cultural Sustainability and the Institute for Economic Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

>> Opening Feb. 1, the exhibit showcases 12 photos, a large hand-drawn map and a selection of Historic American Buildings Survey sketches from George's collection. A free symposium, Feb. 6, will include a discussion of the importance of a wide range of historic resources in the borderlands of Texas including the impact of George's work.

Walter Eugene George held the first San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professorship in Memory of Mary Ann Blocker Castleberry in the UTSA College of Architecture. During his career, he generated a body of work comprising some 500 drawings and 16,000 photos focusing on the Rio Grande corridor between Eagle Pass and Brownsville.

Culture is the sum of all those factors that define a way of life: the foods people eat, the songs they sing, the images they paint and the places they live. During his life, George captured the culture of the Rio Grande in photos and drawings of its architecture.

"An important part of the symposium, and key to the exhibit, is the appreciation of Eugene George," said Maggie Valentine, exhibit curator and UTSA professor of urban and regional planning and architecture. "His work as a preservation architect, scholar and teacher, taught by example how to recognize, measure, photograph, and restore the South Texas cultural legacy, consisting largely of vernacular buildings of the early ranching communities."

Valentine selected the specific areas of emphasis for the exhibit including San Antonio, Roma, Rio Grande City, Cuevitas and the Viejo Guerrero ghost town in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Viejo Guerrero was lost when the Falcon Dam was built in the 1950s. George reconstructed a map of the city before its inundation and returned to the site in 1983 and in 1995 when drought conditions exposed the ruins. A selection of the Viejo Guerrero drawings is featured.

At the Feb. 6 symposium, scholars and students will lend their perspectives on Eugene George's work, including Mario Sanchez, Texas Department of Transportation; Jesus de la Teja, Jerome H. and Catherine E. Supple Professor of Southwestern Studies, Texas State University; Steve Tillotson, AIA, Munoz & Company; and UTSA professors Richard Tangum, Maggie Valentine and Bill Dupont, FAIA. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion, moderated by Gil Gonzalez, Director of the Rural Business Program in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development.

The Walter Eugene George exhibit will remain at the Institute of Texan Cultures through Feb. 28. For more information on the free Feb. 6 symposium and to register, call the UTSA College of Architecture at 210-458-3137. Check-in on Feb. 6 begins at 8:30 a.m. Symposium guests will enjoy free admission to the Walter Eugene George exhibit.


The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; and noon-5 p.m., Sunday.  Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.



Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m.

The Impact of the 84th Texas Legislative Session on Public Schools: Any Rain in Sight or Are Those Smoke Clouds on the Horizon?

Join the College of Education and Human Development's Center for Educational Leadership, Policy and Professional Development for a discussion about what passed and what didn't in the last legislative session and what it means for Bexar County Public Schools. 
Durango Building Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UTSA CITE Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Kickstart your career as an entrepreneur at The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
Business Building, Richard S. Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus

Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture as Rendered Society

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

SECC Book Sale

Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.

Lecture by Composer Larry Groupe

The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (2.03.15-18), Main Campus

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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