Continuing its move of the last few years to acquire more works by women, artists of color, and Texas-based artists, San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) has announced the acquisition of eight artworks by seven San Antonio-based artists. The list includes Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Jenelle Esparza, Joe Harjo, Jon Lee, Ethel Shipton, Chris Sauter, and Liz Ward, and marks the artists’ first entries into SAMA’s collection. Among the works selected are textiles, painting, photography, prints, and sculpture, all scheduled to go on view this fall.
The 2021 cohort of artists were selected with support from an advisory committee comprised of San Antonio-based artists, professors, collectors, arts leaders, and museum staff and trustees. It was co-chaired by SAMA trustees Katherine Moore McAllen, PhD, and Dacia Napier, MD. The group has also made recommendations for future artists’ works to be added to SAMA’s growing collection.
On one of the newly acquired works: “My late grandma taught me how to sew when I was 8 years old, and that kind of craft work was something we shared,” Esparza writes in an email to Glasstire. “I quilted Continent with those inherited skills and included embroidered blocks half-done by my grandma and finished by myself. Knowing that it’s in the permanent collection at SAMA where it will be well taken care of to possibly outlive me, is incredible. It’s an honor.”
“I am thrilled to have my work at the San Antonio Museum of Art,” Shipton writes to Glasstire. “It means a lot to me, as my job as a perparator [there] was one of my first in San Antonio when I moved there in 1997. The work that [SAMA has acquired] is a series of six prints that documents different cities in the valley in the Rio Grande Valley, [and] it was important to continue the representation of the frontera/borderlands. I want to people from there to see themselves as they move through the San Antonio Art Museum.”
Says Lana S. Meador, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the museum: “The group of artists announced represents an incredible range of conceptual and formal approaches and come from a multitude of backgrounds that have shaped their artistic practices. Their work brings new dimension to SAMA’s collection and allows us to expand and deepen narratives about art across culture, medium, and style, and positions Texas as a dynamic hub for artistic innovation. Collecting the work of artists from Texas, and in particular San Antonio, is an essential part of our responsibility to reflect and support our community, and we look forward to continuing to enhance our holdings of artists based in our city and region and to sharing their voices with our many audiences.”
Last year, works which moved into SAMA’s collection came from Texas-based artists Christina Fernandez, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jeffrey Gibson, Edgar Heap of Birds, Kirk Hayes, Earlie Hudnall Jr., Marcelyn McNeil, and Liz Trosper.
For more on San Antonio Museum of Art, please go here.