As San Antonio art nerds might tell you, 1986 was a pivotal year for the local scene. Triggered by the San Antonio Museum of Art’s firing of curator Stephen Bradley and cancelation of the 25-person group exhibition “San Antonio Contemporary,” disgruntled artists joined forces under the leadership of Southwest Craft Center Director Jeffrey Moore to organize a replacement show in a warehouse complex being developed by late entrepreneur and Bonham Exchange founder Arthur “Hap” Veltman. Titled “Blue Star 1,” that pivotal happening laid the groundwork for both Southtown pioneer Blue Star Contemporary (BSC) and Contemporary Art Month (CAM), which acts as an organizing umbrella for a wide range of artsy events taking place in March.
Although BSC routinely hosts the official CAM Kickoff Celebration (set for March 1), the institution ups the ante this year as host venue for the CAM Perennial. A tradition since 2012, the shape-shifting Perennial has brought valuable outside perspectives to San Antonio by handing over full creative control to guest curators from Dallas, Houston, Mexico City, New Orleans, Miami and the Canary Islands.
An Education and Curatorial Associate at the El Paso Museum of Art whose recent credits include the Transborder Biennial, “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin” and Julie Speed’s “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” Kevin Burns steps in as curator of the Perennial’s latest incarnation. Ominously dubbed “Ghostly Demarcations,” the exhibition brings together eight artists from San Antonio and the El Paso-Juárez borderplex who find common ground in “structures and origins, be they societal, cosmological, familial, or personally constructed through memory and experience.”
Pairing hometown artists Amada Miller, Barbara Miñaro, Audrey LeGalley and Katie Pell with El Paso-Juarez-based Terri Bauer, Kim Bauer, Ingrid Leyva and the two-man collective Animales de Poder (Oscar Gardea Duarte and Guillermo Ramirez Garcia), “Ghostly Demarcations” employs prints, collages, photographs, drawings, ceramics, installations and textiles to address societal structures, fragility, familial heritage, the dynamics of hierarchy and the very origins of life.
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