Thursday, February 27, 2020

Torch of Friendship sculptor’s work on display at UTSA, across San Antonio

Torch of Friendship sculptor’s work on display at UTSA, across San Antonio

UTSA staff work to set up one of the sculptures in the John Peace Library.

Oct. 7, 2019 — San Antonio and UTSA will celebrate acclaimed artist Maestro Sebastian, marking the sculptor’s 50-plus years in the profession. Sebastian in San Antonio: 50+ Years / 20+ Sites / 100+ Works, which runs from October to May 2020, features creations from the famed Mexican artist displayed in public spaces across the Alamo City. 

UTSA Libraries will host a selection of the artist’s sculptures on the Main, Downtown and Hemisfair campuses, and UTSA and the Institute of Texan Cultures are partners of the exhibit. 

Sebastian has exhibited work in more than 235 exhibitions and has earned many accolades, including the 1999 Paris Medal, the Jerusalem Prize in 2005, and Mexico’s National Prize of Arts and Sciences in 2015. Locally, Sebastian’s Torch of Friendship has stood for nearly 20 years in downtown San Antonio and is a symbol of the intertwined relationship between the United States and Mexico. 

The city selected art specialist and UTSA Libraries Art Collection curator Arturo Infante Almeida to curate pieces for Sebastian in San Antonio and to select exhibit locations across the city. In his curator’s statement of Sebastian’s work, Almeida said, “Over the course of one year, like mathematically inspired poems, the brightly painted planes, points and lines that express a lifelong labor of love will grace the historic plazas and promenades of San Antonio.” 

Learn more about the Sebastian in San Antonio exhibit and see a complete roster of sculpture installations.

Sebastian has said that he was influenced  by minimalism, kinetic, optical and pop art. And Almeida said that Sebastian’s work explores the nexus of science, art and technology, merging the distinct fields into what has been described as “emotional geometry.” Sebastian said geometric shapes are the “syllables, words and phrases” of his visual language.

On Main Campus the John Peace Library will host 12 Sebastian pieces, including three large-scale sculptures at the North Commons, eight miniatures in cases near Special Collections, and a piece at the Dean of Libraries office. The Downtown Campus Library will host four pieces. The Hemisfair Campus will host three pieces, including two at the entrance bridge and one inside the Institute of Texan Cultures museum.

Getting Sebastian's Work to UTSA


James M. Benavides

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UTSA’s Mexican Cookbook Collection now available online

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