An array of solar panels fills a field in the Southside of San Antonio Texas. Photo by Scott Ball.
An array of solar panels fills a field in the Southside of San Antonio Texas. Photo by Scott Ball.

The San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (COTE) is inviting local photographers to submit photographs for its forthcoming exhibition, “Images of Sustainability.”

The AIA-SA’s COTE works with contractors to encourage environmentally sound practices on local building projects.

Committee members will review submissions and select images for the exhibition, which will open March 4. The exhibition will be the first of several committee projects in 2016.

The exhibition will use the medium of photography to showcase sustainability and to generate a community conversation about building a more sustainable urban environment.

Torrey Carleton, AIA-SA executive director applauded the committee for their work in sustainability.

“Our hope as an organization is that we raise public awareness of the importance of environmental issues and the importance of environmental investing,” Carleton said.

Photographers are encouraged to document sustainability or the absence of sustainability wherever they encounter it: in the built environment, outdoors, in urban transit, the economy portrayals in the exhibition can involve a range of topics including environmental, transportation, economic, and in delivery of health care.

For Carleton, images of sustainability or a lack of sustainability can be found everywhere in San Antonio.

“Whether it’s a lack of sidewalks or transportation challenges, like trying to get a bicycle up on the front of a bus, I think we’re going to get a unique perspective from creative visionaries about the sustainability issues in our community.” she said.

Photos featured in the exhibit will be available for purchase, with 60% of proceeds going to the artist and 40% going to the committee.

“I think (the exhibition) is going to show the good and the bad in a very honest way,” Carleton said.

AIA-SA has held other thought-provoking events in the past, including the San Antonio edition of “Canstruction,” a charity competition where participating teams design and build canned-food structures in creative shapes. After the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.

Last year’s event donated more than 25,000 pounds of food to the San Antonio Food Bank. AIA-SA also is partnering with the City to host a river barge design competition.

Similar to those past events, the committee hopes the photo exhibition will impact the community in a positive way.

The deadline to submit photos to be considered for the show is Feb. 1. Submissions can be emailed to

The exhibition will be held at Rosella Coffee, an ideal location for effectively facilitating discussion.

“I think it’s exciting to do it in a coffee-house,” Carleton said. “It’s not just for architects, it’s a show that’s about our community and in a place where community gathers.”

*Top Image: An array of solar panels fills a field in the Southside of San Antonio Texas. Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is