- Eclectic crowds flock to Artpace for exhibition openings throughout the year.
While the monthly mainstays of First Friday and Second Saturday routinely get the Alamo City art scene out en masse for animated — and often boozy — evenings of gallery hopping, art openings are almost a weekly occurrence in San Antonio.
Membership has its privileges at institutions like the San Antonio Museum of Art (200 W. Jones Ave.) and the McNay Art Museum (6000 N. New Braunfels Ave.), which don't typically host public exhibition openings, but both offer free admission on a weekly basis (4-9 p.m. Thursday at the McNay; 4-9 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m.-noon Sunday at SAMA). Surcharges often apply for traveling shows. And although always free to visit, Artpace (445 N. Main Ave.) packs perks into its membership, including discounts at various locations across town, roof access, drinks and nibbles during opening receptions and free entry to the Rooftop Jazz Concert Series.
Come First Friday, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum (116 Blue Star) functions as the bustling base for a network of receptions and happenings throughout the Blue Star Arts Complex and environs. FL!GHT Gallery (134 Blue Star), Terminal 136 (136 Blue Star), Cinnabar (1420 S. Alamo St., Suite 147), Hello Studio (1420 S. Alamo St., Suite 209) and R Gallery (725 S. Presa St.) all champion local artists and regularly draw crowds.
First Friday's alternative little sister, Second Saturday, similarly lights up neighboring South Flores/Lone Star Arts District with monthly art crawls. Anchored by the 1906 S. Flores arts complex (where you'll find street-smart spaces like Gravelmouth and Silkworm Studio and Gallery), the entirely free outing often encompasses openings at Freight Gallery & Studios, 3rd Space Art Gallery (both at 1913 S. Flores St.) and Dock Space (107 Lone Star Blvd.).
Outside the bubble of Southtown, other spots to keep a close eye on include Tobin Hill stalwarts REM Gallery (219 E. Park Ave.) and High Wire Arts (326 W. Josephine St.), Beacon Hill's Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery (1704 Blanco Road), Monticello Park's Bihl Haus Arts (2803 Fredericksburg Road), Olmos Park's Ruiz-Healy Art (210 E. Olmos Drive) and Alamo Heights' AnArte Gallery (7959 Broadway, Suite 404).