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If your knowledge of public art in San Antonio stalls somewhere between Mexican sculptor Sebastián’s two-ton Torch of Friendship and New York-based Donald Lipski’s illuminated F.I.S.H., there’s plenty out there just waiting to be discovered. Evidenced by a handy map organized by Public Art San Antonio (PASA), our city abounds with public art — but some of it requires a bit of hunting.
As a relative newcomer to the Alamo City, Portland transplant Carye Bye was impressed to find public art “interwoven in San Antonio’s landscape” and took particular notice of the humor-driven work of local artist Gary Sweeney — who’s installations are prominently displayed at the Henry B. González Convention Center, the San Antonio International Airport and various points in between.
Having organized roughly 100 themed bike rides in Portland, Bye — who helps with the day-to-day operations at Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum and calls herself the “Museum Lady” — decided to launch an “ArtCycle” series and called on Sweeney to help inaugurate it. Inviting cyclists to “stay curious” and “explore our city as a museum,” the series kicks off on Sunday with a ride connecting six of Sweeney’s pieces, including his often-Instagrammed sign collage Art Is the Stored Honey of the Human Soul in the San Antonio Museum of Art parking lot and his multi-level, shoe-centric terrazzo marble tile installation Walk This Way in a parking garage on St. Mary’s Street. Fortunately, Sweeney will be along for the ride to shed light on drunken sailors, Hill Country skiing, the history of civilization and countless other curiosities that factor into his whimsical work.
Free, meet at 9:30am, ride from 10am-noon Sun May 20, meets at Rosella Coffee, 203 E. Jones Ave., (503) 248-4454, RSVP at signupgenius.com (search for email@example.com).
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