Easily among the most anticipated aspects of San Antonio’s Tricentennial celebration, “Common Currents” is an innovative exhibition series uniting 300 artists — each of whom were tasked with creating work inspired by a single year in our city’s rich history.
Employing an unpredictable, artist-driven format, the sprawling project allowed six venues (Artpace, Blue Star Contemporary, Southwest School of Art, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Carver Community Cultural Center and the Mexican Cultural Institute) to each enlist two artists; that initial group of 12 followed suit, with each artist inviting two peers — and so on until a total of 300 were on board. Admittedly, this “chain letter-inspired” framework puts artists in the driver’s seat to “make decisions that may traditionally be the role of the organization or curator.”
First up to bat in a chronological string of reveals, Artpace is set to unveil a 48-person group show focused on San Antonio’s first half century (1718-1767). Taking over the institution’s Hudson Showroom, the exhibition comprises works from Mark Menjivar, Julie Ledet, Michele Monseau, Mari Hernandez, Laura Mijangos, Katie Pell, Karen Mahaffy, Raul Gonzalez and Ramin Samandari, among many others. Opening in tandem in Artpace’s Main Space, local artist John Medina’s solo show “The Sunset Belongs to Us” invites visitors into a recording booth to share cherished Alamo City stories to be amplified on the street with a large-scale drip painting of the San Antonio sunset as a backdrop.
Free, Thu Jan. 18, 6-8pm (on view through March 4), Artpace, 445 N. Main Ave., (210) 212-4900, artpace.org.