Sunday, August 02, 2015

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.

 

 

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Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

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Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p,m,; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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