New Year, New Art: Six First Friday Exhibition Openings in San Antonio to Inaugurate 2020

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MAYA SOKOVIC
  • Maya Sokovic
While First Friday openings are by no means a new tradition, anybody that made a resolution to experience more local culture has the perfect chance to take advantage of that #Big2020Energy with this year's first round of exhibitions. To make it easier for First Friday newbies, we've rounded up a selection of what's in store this month.
ADRIAN ARMSTRONG
  • Adrian Armstrong
Although DreamWeek doesn't officially begin until January 10, Presa House Gallery is getting in on the action a little bit early. To that end, they've brought in Austin-based multidisciplinary artist Adrian Armstrong for his first show in San Antonio. Now in its second installment, "High's and Lo-Fi's" is a multi-sensory exhibition experience, pairing paintings and drawings with a 10-track EP of the same name that Armstrong released under the pseudonym Njune in 2019. "High's and Lo-Fi's" features work both old and new — including excerpts from his We Can't Breathe series — which address mental health in the African American community and explore the artist's own struggles with mental illness in order to foster "a broader discussion on why the issue of mental health is often taboo within the culture" (free, 6-11 p.m. Friday, 725 S. Presa St., (210) 445-6997, presahouse.com).

At Blue Star Contemporary, Joey Fauerso will exorcise the remaining vestiges of 2019 with a final performance. Since last October, she's been gradually eroding the central mural of her "Teardowns" exhibition, and will send it off once and for all this Friday. While there, visitors can also enjoy Larry Graeber and Sterling Allen's "Formal Proof," Tsuyoshi Anzai's "Healthy Machines" and Margaret Craig's "Sea Islands" before they close on Sunday, January 5 (free, 6-9 p.m. Friday, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960, bluestarcontemporary.org).
MAYA SOKOVIC
  • Maya Sokovic
Over at Brick at Blue Star, visitors can get a two-for-one deal.

Roving art pop-up FAKE Gallery will take over Brick's main space for "NO THEME," a group exhibition that suitably lacks any lengthy PR about its content and participants. FAKE Gallery's Brick takeover will kick off on Thursday with a screening of Texas Tall Tales, with a selection of visual art on display in the "cube" in the rear of Brick on both Thursday and Friday (free, 6-11:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 108 Blue Star, facebook.com).

Upstairs in Brick Gallery, this month's featured artist is abstract painter Maya Sokovic. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Sokovic hearkens back to the waters of her youth for "Moments," a series of works in acrylic paints and soft pastels that evoke the flowing movement of two bodies of water: the Danube River, which flows through Belgrade, and the Adriatic Sea, which is close to Belgrade by Texan standards, but in truth lies several hundred miles and several borders away (free, 6-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 108 Blue Star, facebook.com/BrickatBlueStar).
FACEBOOK / MARTIN C. RODRIGUEZ
  • Facebook / Martin C. Rodriguez
As per usual, the Upstairs Studios at Blue Star will feature a bevy of openings.



Two spaces are getting educational — North East School of the Art's visual arts students bring their best work from the last semester to Híjole SA (free, 6-10 p.m. Friday, 1420 S. Alamo #205, (908) 445-6535, facebook.com/hijolesa), and UTSA MFA candidate Claudia Hare caps off her degree with the thesis exhibition "Women and Camouflage" at Terminal 136 (free, 6-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 136 Blue Star, (210) 458-4391, art.utsa.edu/terminal-136).

Over at Un Grito — a new gallery space run by Martin Rodriguez and Verena Gaudy that quietly crept onto the scene last fall — viewers can check out wooden sculptures by John Webb, whose work explores "rigid technology and the gentleness of the hand evoking the triumph of human imagination over materials between the organic form and the built environment" (free, 7-11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 1420 S. Alamo #212, facebook.com/theupstairstudios).

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