“Kick it Old School”
For this massive group exhibit, the result of a juried open call for submissions, photographers were instructed to “kick it old school” by limiting their processes to more traditional (non-digital, non-manipulated) equipment and methods. Thus, the work exhibited herein coaxes viewers into a journey through the history of photography and reminds them that it’s still possible to create compelling images by using both traditional and non-traditional methods from the past. Free, 7-10pm Sat, Sept. 10, Freight Gallery & Studios, 1913 S. Flores St., (210) 331-4382, facebook.com/freightsatx.
“Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In”
Cali-born photographer Arlene Mejorado grew up making fond and formative memories on weekend visits to pulgas and swap meets with her mother. Since relocating to San Antonio, Mejorado seeks out such places for their cultural vibrancy and the characters that populate them. For her, these spaces, these bustling outdoor markets, comprise a kind of far-flung home that she can visit anytime she craves “visually rich scenes intertwined with labor and social engagement.” In “Pulga Portraits,” a continuation of her ongoing photo-ethnographic project “Califas Lens, San Anto Heart: Outside Looking In,” Mejorado zeroes in on Southwest San Antonio’s Poteet Flea Market and the resulting pieces are bursting with life, capturing moments in time where the truly singular arises from looking deeply at the everyday. Free, 7pm Sat, Sept. 10, R Space, 110 E. Lachapelle St., (210) 214-1608, ladybasegallery.com.
“Nick Bottom and the Dark Gloomy Root Vegetables”
How about a photo exhibit that combines the donkey-licious shadow of one of Shakespeare’s most offbeat and humorous characters with a consideration of the glories of root vegetables? If that sounds just crazy enough to be perfect, that’s because it absolutely is. In “Nick Bottom and the Dark Gloomy Root Vegetables,” photographer Scott Mueller gets weird and playful as he uses a variety of photographic techniques (including transfers and gum oils) to create intriguing images of his ground-dwelling subjects. Free, 6-9pm Sat, Sept. 10, Gallery 20/20, 1010 S. Flores St., Suite 108, (210) 473-8331, gallery2020.net.
“Loud and Clear”
Local photojournalist Scott Stephen Ball presents a body of work exploring “messages that are not sent with the push of a button or a lick of a stamp.” Free, 7-11pm Sat, Sept. 10, Dorćol, 1902 S. Flores St., (210) 229-0607, dorcolspirits.com.
Another month, another winning choice of featured artist by Provenance Gallery. Visual artist, San Anto transplant, recent UTSA MFA grad and self-described military brat Allison Valdivia often finds herself “looking to the past, looking to [her] family and culture to find a sense of who [she is].” Her new exhibit, coyly (maybe subversively?) titled “Family Happiness,” takes on her own family’s past as a source of hidden stories, forgotten or unshared memories and, ultimately, as a therapeutic journey to reconnect to her own roots. In her artist’s statement, Valdivia explains: “By viewing old family photos as artifacts, I have been creating my own stories, projecting hidden philosophies based off of personal experience, from what I see in the object before me and the lack of family history shared with me.” She explores the ideal of the happy family, often depicted on the surface of the family photos she encounters, versus the actuality of dysfunction, guilt and suffering that are part of the family experience for so many people. Often at odds with or isolated from her culture as a Latina — the result of moving around so much and of being an artistically passionate person — Valdivia also uses her ruminations on the particulars of family life to deepen her connections to her cultural identity. Free, 7-10pm Sat, Sept. 10, Provenance Gallery, 1906 S. Flores St., (210) 216-8362, artandprovenance.blogspot.com.
“Unrivaled: The Land Will Remain After the Last of Us”
A UTSA grad currently working as a program assistant at the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), photographer Luis M. Garza reflects on landscapes while exposing the marks humanity has left on them. Free, 7-10pm Sat, Sept. 10, Dock Space Gallery, 107 Lone Star Blvd., (210) 723-3048, dockspacegallery.com.
Tucked away inside the 1906 South Flores arts complex, FLAX Studio originated as the collaborative project of Katy Silva, the marketing and communications director at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, and Andrei Renteria, a current participant in the community-based organization’s Artist Lab fellowship. In an interview with the San Antonio Current, Silva explained that FLAX directs its curatorial efforts toward diverse groups of socially disadvantaged artists, which happens to include women and ethnic minorities alike. This weekend, FLAX unveils Washington DC-born artist Kelly Johnston’s solo show “Ephemera” as part of the Second Saturday art walk. Johnston told the Current
she was inspired by her mother’s painful struggle with dermoid cysts, abnormal pockets of tissue that contain blood, teeth and clumps of hair. To this end, she crafted a series of fruit-like sculptures cast from inorganic materials and adorned with long hair follicles. “It’s hard for women, period,” Johnson said. “There’s stuff people don’t talk about, because it’s gross and dirty. There’s a culture the art world breeds, and if you don’t fit into it, it’s hard to be heard.” Free, 7-9pm Sat, Sept. 10, Flax Studio, 1906 S. Flores St., (909) 518-2245, facebook.com/flaxstudio.
Artist Ana Hernandez-Burwell presents new works addressing dislocation and reconciliation associated with gender, femininity and identity. Free, 7-10:30pm Sat, Sept. 10, Studio Fantomas, 1906 S. Flores St., (210) 978-6663, facebook.com/studiofantomas201.
The Lullwood Group showcases the work of Barbara Miñarro, an SA-based Monterrey native, focusing on painting and sculpture while pursuing a BFA from UTSA. Free, 7-10pm Sat, Sept. 10, The Lullwood Group, 107 Lone Star Blvd., (210) 787-6101, facebook.com/thelullwoodgroup.
For quite a while now, if you’ve been paying attention, it’s been clear that comic books and comic strips are far from being kid’s stuff. The initially undervalued medium presents a wealth of possibility to writers who want to tell their stories with visuals and to illustrators who know that a few well-chosen words can make a narrative more clear. In “Strip Tease” (comic strip, that is … get your mind out of the gutter), we have an exciting chance to see new work from more than 10 local artists (Regina Morales, Isabel Ann Castro, Rigo Ortiz and Sergio Mata, to name a few) with quite distinct styles and artistic backgrounds. It’s a fine opportunity to check in on the limits and possibilities of this unique narrative format, with folks operating/experimenting at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Free, 7-11pm Sat, Sept. 10, Black Moon Gallery, 1420 S. Alamo St., #106B, facebook.com/blackmoonprint.