April 24


Landscape, catfight, and another musical

Devon Dikeou, Kelly Richardson entertained a notion about swamps. E.V. Day had put together two cat skeletons and caged them, and thought of it as a sort of mock-up for a future project. Devon Dikeou's friend Sonny Simmons is a jazzman whom the world nearly forgot. Armed with impressive CVs, and the imprimatur of curator Heather Pesanti of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, their fingers in different media pies — and preoccupied with seemingly disparate obsessions  — these three artists arrived for their Artpace residency two months ago amidst institutional drama and a bizarre, unexpected Texas cold spell.

Pesanti chose Richardson, Day and Dikeou based on their work, which she'd seen in-person, in photographs, and online. She knew none of the artists personally, and had only ever met one of the three, until today. When presented with the curatorship, Pesanti researched 20 artists seriously, and settled on these three not only for the quality of their existing work, but because she thought the Artpace residency would help their careers the most. Honest to God, this is not a curatorial dictum I've ever heard before in relation to Artpace. Further, Pesanti (gently) insisted the artists actually inhabit Artpace AIR, leave their regular lives and homes behind and come to San Antonio and immerse themselves in person, commit fully, use all the time, all the available resources, the entirety of the opportunity.

The result is a mighty Artpace Artist in Residence show, the best in a very long time.


CAM Preview: Video Jam (Texas-made!)

Two Wednesdays ago, I attended the Video Jam Greatest Hits at El Tropicano Hotel and had a grand time. The small audience took in a plethora of short films from around the world and marveled at chairs having sex, bats, British housing schema and William Wegman. Curator Utah Snyder has been putting the Video Jam together for almost two years now. His motto: "We find it so you can watch it."

Sounds fair, no?



CAMitos: Some studio visits, Erick Jackson

Checking out the bike helmets at Long Table of Love.Nine days left, y'all, and Contemporary Art Month still has some corkers in store, including today's CAM Video Jam at Unit B Gallery, the AIR Opening at Artpace, the Dignowity Pushcart Derby, the CAMMY Awards (vote here!), y más.

This past weekend was sure a whirlwind of art, though. It's hard to keep up with, and it's my JOB. If you're not full-time dedicated to covering arts — and even if you are — you're gonna miss stuff.

So here's a little roundup of March 18-20.

And don't forget to check the CAM calendar for upcoming events.


Luminaria: night-owl report

" ... our Nation wants more than a "chicken in every pot." We in America
have an appetite for excellence, too."   — Lyndon B. Johnson

I was conflicted about even going to Luminaria. Curiosity pointed me toward the tower; cynicism told me to stay home because I have left each of the previous Luminarias with a bad taste in my mouth, my inner civic-responsible self told me to go.


Luminaria breakdown

this is some complicated stuffLuminaria 2011 was fun and largely well-run, with very good art and food, happy crowds and dazzling set pieces. I came out of the event exhausted, impressed by much of what I'd just seen, satisfied that Luminaria 2011 beat the pants off the 2010 edition, and I had enjoyed it more than I had expected.



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