San Antonio’s Centro de Artes Gallery Reopens After Nearly Two-Year Closure

by Jessica Fuentes January 24, 2022
A photograph of the exterior of the Centro de Artes Gallery building.

Exterior of Centro de Artes Gallery. Image: San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture

The Centro de Artes Gallery, managed by San Antonio’s Department of Arts and Culture, will reopen on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gallery has been closed since March 2020. 

A photograph of seventeen artist headshots and bios. The photograph is taken from an angle so that the images on the left are larger and in focus and the images on the right are smaller and out of focus.

Installation image of artist headshots and bios. Image: San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture

The gallery reopens with an exhibition of works by thirty-four San Antonio-based artists who are connected to the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. According to the NYFA website, this program, “pairs emerging foreign-born artists with artists who have received a NYFA Artist Fellowship and/or past participants of the program.” The mentors share their own experiences and provide guidance to help mentees achieve goals and learn about available resources. 

A photograph of three large scale paintings by Ernesto Ibanez.

Installation image of artwork by Ernesto Ibanez. Image: San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture

NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibition – Round 2, is a continuation of an earlier exhibition hosted by Centro de Artes in 2019. The exhibition was organized by Richard Armendariz, Kim Bishop, Luis Valderas, and Guillermina Zabala and features artists representing twelve countries, including Argentina, Chile, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and Venezuela. 

A photograph of three large-scale sculptures by Naomi Wanjiku. Each sculpture is a spiral of accordion folded sheet metal and resembles a flowing skirt.

Installation of sculptures by Naomi Wanjiku. Image: San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture

Participating artists include: Fernando Andrade, Ricky Armendariz, Jose Balli, Kim Bishop, Hayfer Brea, Francisco Cortes, Juan de Dios Mora, Anna De Luna, Juan C. Escobedo, Anel Flores, Juan Flores, Sergio Flores, Brandy González, Beatriz Guzman Velasquez, Ernesto Ibanez, Julya Jara, Sergio Mata, Barbara Miñarro, Yoko Misu, Merle Mory, Anastassia Rabajille, Andrea V Rivas, Caroline Royall, Jesse Ruiz, Gloria Sánchez Hart, Sabine Senft, Hiromi Stringer, Luis Valderas, Jorge Villarreal, Anne Wallace, Naomi Wanjiku, Anahita Younesi, Guillermina Zabala and Claudia Zapata.

An oil painting on carved wood by Richard Armendariz. The painting depicts a white ship in front of ominous dark pink clouds and a a blue background. Below the ship is a white banner with the text, "Blown Off Course Guided By Spirits."

Richard Armendariz, “Blown off Course, Guided by Spirits,” 2020,
oil on carved birch plywood, 48 x 48 inches. Image: San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture

In a press release, Department of Arts & Culture Interim Executive Director Krystal Jones shared, “We are delighted to reopen the gallery doors to the community with such a powerful, impactful and important exhibit. This exhibition reflects on the multilayered immigrant and first-generation experience shared by so many in our community. Centro de Artes provides a place for these stories to be told, stories that have historically been underrepresented in gallery spaces.”

Executive Director of NYFA, Michael L. Royce, added, “Many of the participating artists have already contributed to the cultural landscape in San Antonio. The Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program expands their ability to contribute, and this exhibition is the cumulation of what they have learned and created throughout the collaborative process.”

The exhibition will be on view from January 26 through July 3, 2022. To learn more about gallery hours and upcoming programs, visit the Centro de Artes website.

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