August 9

Our Top 4 Museum Exhibits in San Antonio

Visitors from all across the country first come to San Antonio for the riverwalk and Mexican culture that is deep in our roots.  But many visitors are also surprised to find that we have one of the richest museum tours in the counry. These are four of our favorite museum exhibits that are currently on tour in San Antonio.

#1 – Heaven and Hell: Salvation and Retribution in Pure Land Buddhism

Pure Land Buddhism

Pure Land Buddhism is an ancient spiritual practice based on the belief in the Buddha of Western Paradise, Amitabha, who grants entrance to heaven to those who call out to him. Offering simple salvation, Pure Land Buddhism appealed to the masses, spreading through Asia like wildfire — igniting spiritual awakening and resulting in stunning relics and artworks. The San Antonio Museum of Art’s “Heaven and Hell” exhibition is a collection of 75 sculptures, paintings and other works that epitomize the lasting beliefs of Pure Land Buddhism in countries like Japan, India, China, Korea and Tibet. The majority of displayed works are rooted in the Japanese culture of Pure Land Buddhism depicting salvation through Amitabha’s journey to Earth to claim dying souls, bringing them up to his heavenly paradise. The relics illustrate the many divine beings of Pure Land Buddhism who roam the earth helping the faithful and the fallen. $5-$10, June 16-September 10, San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W. Jones Ave., (210) 978-8100

#2 – The Lakehouse

The Southwest School of Art showcases the work of Blue Star Contemporary’s Exhibitions and Programs Manager Jack McGilvray with “The Lakehouse.” Following three generations of one family, McGilvray’s solo show is an intimate discussion of family dynamics in times of high and low waters. The exhibition comprises photographs of (and domestic objects from) a 40-year-old lakehouse used for family gatherings. Suffering from lack of rainfall, the landscape begins to wither, gatherings become sparse, and soon the bonds of family are challenged. Documenting the changing landscape and the growing distance between family members, “The Lakehouse” is a bittersweet commemoration of a pivotal moment in one family’s history, and its long-lasting natural and personal consequences. Free, July 27-August 27, Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta St., (210) 200-8200,

#3 – Augmented Reality

The spread of the screen society is a modern epidemic of global proportions. With much of our social lives available to cyber facilitation, the demarcation between online and human interaction becomes increasingly obscured. “Augmented Reality” is an artistic critique of society’s rapidly growing WiFi-dependent existence, consumer culture and social propaganda. Organized by Blue Star Contemporary, the exhibition showcases six artists whose works conceptualize the values of popular culture and the filters applied to “real” life, both consciously and unconsciously. The installations of Susi Brister and Randy Bolton transcend the borders of the digital and natural world, offering an experience similar to free-roam video games, a world void of consequence. Kris Pierce utilizes innovative technology, creating digital photos and videos mocking trends mediated through social media. The photographic and video collaborations of Frank Benson and Nancy de Holl offer a first-person narrative experience in which the viewer hears the inner thoughts of the subject. Yoonmi Nam’s prints and sculptures imitate society’s most popular and polluting consumer materials, such as plastic bags and containers. “Augmented Reality” promises a mind-opening translation of popular modern values. $3-$5, June 1- September 9, Blue Star Contemporary, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960

Augmented Reality

#4 – Echo and Narcissus

Social media is one hyperactive outlet perpetuating the influx of rapidly changing information, a constant updating of alternative facts. San Antonio artist Chris Sauter’s exhibition “Echo and Narcissus” communicates diffusion and reception of alternative information and the role of language in three-dimensional sculpture and reliefs. Inspired by thick layers of poster sediment lining the streets of Berlin during his Blue Star Residency, Sauter created 3D loudspeakers, pulling previous posters outward, resurfacing recent history. Sauter’s collection also resonates relevance to recent political attacks on news outlets by certain world leaders, claiming circulation of “fake news” and consequently blurring the lines of truth. Sauter’s loudspeaker reliefs and conceptual sculptures speak to alternative, trending modes of communication and their opposition on a national and global scale. $3-$5, June 1- September 9, Blue Star Contemporary, 116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960


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