Blue Star Contemporary will temporarily close its doors at 116 Blue Star for renovations, but that doesn’t mean the art museum is “closed.”

The $500,000 facelift was made possible from a combination of funding from City of San Antonio’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 11 Board, the City Bond 2012, the Capital Group, the Lifshutz Family, Poteet Architects, and the King William Association.

New features at Blue Star will include a wide front staircase, a large glass entry that beckons visitors into the gallery spaces, and a continuous railing and paint treatment that visually connects the MOSAIC Gallery and Studio, a studio space and gallery dedicated to the MOSAIC Student Artist Program, to Blue Star’s museum. The renovations are part of an effort to reinforce Blue Star’s position in the burgeoning Southtown scene and to attract more visitors.

During the renovations, Blue Star will continue its operations in the former Joan Grona Gallery, located at 112 Blue Star next to San Angel Folk Art. The interim location will open to the public for its feature exhibitions by local photographer Thomas Cummins and New Hampshire-based artist Kirsten Reynolds in time for First Friday in August. Blue Star Contemporary expects to move back into its space at 116 Blue Star in September and reopen once renovations are completed.

Blue Star’s annual off-site installation 2016 Art in The Garden, a collaboration with the San Antonio Botanical Garden, showcases Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz‘s artwork. Shotz will travel to San Antonio to attend the opening reception on Thursday, June 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event at the San Antonio Botanical Garden is free and open to the public.

For her yearlong exhibition at the Garden, Shotz has conceived a newly commissioned large-scale, freestanding steel sculpture, which will interact with viewers and the Garden’s natural surroundings. Her piece, Scattering Screen, is a site-specific installation for the Garden that encourages viewers to engage with the Garden landscape in new ways.

“Scattering Screen is a sculpture that explores the space between things,” Shotz stated in a press release. “The small mirrored circles reflect light and scatter the visible surroundings into thousands of tiny pieces, shifting and moving across the sculpture like an analogue screen. The play between the reflections and the spaces between reflections draws attention to the idea of solidity itself as the sculpture creates an optical continuum where negative and positive spaces continually intertwine.”

Shotz typically works with welded metal, but for this piece she chose to use the changing light and wind conditions at the Garden to interact with the sculpture.

Alyson Shotz's Scattering Screen is a freestanding steel sculpture in the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Photo credit: Blue Star Contemporary.
Alyson Shotz’s Scattering Screen is a freestanding steel sculpture in the San Antonio Botanical Garden.  Photo courtesy of Blue Star Contemporary.

“I also wanted to look at large-scale steel sculpture in a new way,” Shotz added. “Instead of creating a solid and heavy welded piece like most public metal sculpture, I’ve made something flexible and light and permeable. Knitting the metal together with wires instead of welding makes the steel act more like fabric than a solid, unchanging object.”

Alyson Shotz’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the  Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, N.Y., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among others.

Alyson Shotz’s installation for Art in the Garden will be the first public presentation of her work in San Antonio. This exhibition was made possible by the support of Capital Group Companies Charitable Fund, the City’s Department for Culture and Creative Development, a grant from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Lifshutz Family, the Mary Hobbs Griffith Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Russell H. Rogers Fund for the Arts, San Antonio Botanical Garden, Silver Eagle Distributors, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Top image: A cyclist rides by the Blue Star Contemporary art museum.  Photo by Scott Ball. 


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Iris Gonzalez

Iris Gonzalez writes about technology, life science and veteran affairs.