- A rendering of Blue Star Contemporary’s refreshed facade
First Fridays in the Blue Star Arts Complex won’t look or feel quite the same this summer due to the temporary closure of Blue Star Contemporary as its facade gets a well-deserved facelift. Facilitated with support from the City of San Antonio’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 11 board, Poteet Architects, the Lifshutz family, the King William Association and others, the improvement project aims to make BSC more visible, accessible and inviting via a new front staircase, large glass doors and an extended railing, paint treatment and awning connecting the museum to MOSAIC, a studio space and gallery dedicated to the MOSAIC Student Artist Program. Beginning this month, the construction is expected to last through August, with BSC’s reopen date tentatively set for September.
A 1920s-era warehouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building has functioned as the complex’s central hub since first opening its doors back in 1986. A pivotal year for San Antonio’s art scene, 1986 saw the cancelation of a significant contemporary art exhibition (featuring 25 local artists) at the San Antonio Museum of Art and the resulting formation of a coalition of determined artists who cleaned up and inaugurated what became Blue Star Art Space with “Blue Star I,” a replacement exhibition that doubled as the launchpad for Contemporary Art Month.
During construction, BSC will set up shop in the former Joan Grona Gallery (located at 112 Blue Star next to San Angel Folk Art), where new exhibitions by local photographer Thomas Cummins and New Hampshire-based artist Kirsten Reynolds are set to open for First Friday in August. Also in the works for summer is the latest edition of Art in the Garden, a creative partnership between BSC and the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Showcasing Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz, the yearlong “Scattering Screen” comprises a site-specific installation of a large-scale steel sculpture designed to encourage viewers “to engage with the garden landscape in new ways.”