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news and notes from the san antonio art scene

San Antonio-based art makers made a strong showing at this year's Art Chicago, a prestigious, by-invitation-only art festival held last week in the Windy City. Through

Vincent Valdez' Yo Soy-ee Blaxican, 2003, 11.5 x 18 inches, lithograph, courtesy the artist and Finesilver/FYI.
Finesilver/FYI Gallery, conceptual artists Chuck Ramirez and Joey Fauerso, and figurative painters James Smolleck and Vincent Valdez landed prime space during the five-day festival that attracts a powerful international mix of gallerists, curators, critics, and collectors.

Notably, San Antonio-based multimedia artist Guy Hundere was allotted a special space by festival organizers to produce a new video installation for Art Chicago, a single-channel DVD projection entitled Sweet Pea. Hundere's last video installation debuted in Madrid in February, where he represented Sala Diaz at Arco 03. Sculptor Chris Sauter also unveiled new work in Chicago this month at the TBA Space; his exhibit, "Planting Eden," opened in the much-coveted showroom of Thomas Blackman and Associates on May 5 and ran concurrently with the festival. Thomas Blackman and Associates is the main sponsor of the Art Chicago festival and its companion exhibition, the Stray Show. The Stray Show exclusively features work from artist run-spaces like the local Bower, whereas Art Chicago represents the crème de la crème of the world's commercial galleries. The Bower's curatorial team of Michael Velliquette, Leslee Fraser, and Joey Fauerso attended this year's artist-run invitational, distributing promotional material for their tiny space designed by artist Cruz Ortiz.

On the homefront, Blue Star opens a power packed painting exhibit on Thursday, May 15, entitled "Twisting and Turning: Abstract Painting Now," curated by Lilly Wei. Wei is a New York City-based freelance curator and critic, a regular contributor to such respected publications as Art in America and ArtNews. In "Twisting and Turning," she juxtaposes the work of Texas-based painters Nate Cassie, Christopher French, and Kim Squaglia with New York painters Arturo Herrera, John Moore, Thomas Nozkowski, and Natasha Sweeten in an attempt to establish a link between resolutely abstract artwork and its representational or narrative causality and intent. For example, Cassie's intricate work can be interpreted as visual representations of the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical pattern found in nature; French's work incorporates snippets of literature in Braille. "Twisting and Turning" will be on display at Blue Star in the main gallery through June 22. •