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UTSA faculty, students and alumni transform vacant storefronts into works of art

X Marks the Art installation

"Shorelines 2" by Taeg Nishimoto

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(March 12, 2014) -- The X Marks the Art program sponsored by Public Art San Antonio put out a challenge to local artists last fall: help us transform vacant downtown storefronts into lively galleries for public works of art using the theme "Light + Technology." Since then, many area artists, among them a faculty member and nine alumni from The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have showcased their vibrant mixed-media works throughout downtown San Antonio.

Taeg Nishimoto, professor of architecture in the UTSA College of Architecture, with assistance from Britta Moe, a master of architecture student, recently completed a temporary light and technology installation in the storefront of the Vistana building at 100 N. Santa Rosa St.

Nishimoto's installation is titled "Shorelines 2." Inside the Vistana storefront are several large curtains of folded fabric surfaces made from recycled plastic bottles on which light is projected each night beginning at 7:30 p.m. Industrial fans blow against the fabric from behind, giving the illusion of floating clouds in the night sky. Nishimoto said the project will be on view for as little as 30 days or up to six months depending on the availability of the property.

>> A video of Nishimoto's storefront installation is available on YouYube.

"Our project is meant to create a sense of serenity in viewers, like that of rolling waves against a shoreline," said Nishimoto. "The light and shadow produced by the work create a natural phenomena effect. The light is used as a way to associate with a larger natural environment; the movement creates a feeling of natural waves."

The X Marks the Art program is currently exhibiting installations like Nishimoto's in vacant storefronts along Houston Street and Commerce Street in downtown San Antonio. Artists from across San Antonio have filled empty storefronts with colorful displays of light and technology as a way to make the environments more inviting and lively for pedestrians.

Photographer and videographer Jennelle Esparza '10, in collaboration with her partner Rigoberto Luna, is one of the nine UTSA alumni whose work is currently on display. Esparza and Luna's installation, "Above the Horizons and Below," features videos of different Texas horizons against a backdrop of origami sculptures.

"Our work brings a very natural landscape to the urban downtown of San Antonio," said Esparza, who graduated from UTSA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography degree. "So far, we have shot video footage of the sunrise and sunset over Corpus Christi, and we have begun capturing footage of the moon over the ranch land in San Antonio. These two horizons, each representing our backgrounds, will coincide on the video monitors we have set up."

In honor of the success of their "Light + Technology" series, Public Art San Antonio will host an X Marks the Art: Artist Showcase from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 25 at the Public Art San Antonio Studio, 400 N. St. Mary's St. Participating artists, including Nishimoto, Esparza and Luna, will give brief presentations about their installations.

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Public Art San Antonio is a division of the San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development with the City of San Antonio. Through X Marks the Art, it aims to activate underutilized and vacant downtown properties by introducing new creative, dynamic and visually aesthetic installations downtown.

The program was launched in August 2011 in response to District 1 City Councilman Diego Bernal's desire to create a downtown environment rich in opportunities and visitors alike to engage in cultural activities without needing to leave the city center. The storefront art program serves to promote this ideal while creating a safer environment for visitors and residents alike. For more information, visit www.publicartsa.com and www.xmarkstheart.com.

 

 

Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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