Monday, March 30, 2009

Meeting the Mayor: Luminaria

Sarah Fisch bartending in the CAM VIP Lounge

Here's a link to the super-flattering article that Sarah Fisch wrote on my students' projects for Luminaria, but the story that I want to tell is the one about how I met the San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger the night of Luminaria.

First, some pictures:

my kids installing their "Future Utopias" show
(L to R: Mauricio Gudiño, Derek Brown, Alyosha Burkee, Utah Snyder, Joshua Hurt)

John Mata installing his "Room made mostly of cardboard and masking tape, containing various media relating to the idea of New Media and Future Utopia"

entrance to the "Future Utopias" exhibition

the Deluminators: Utah Snyder and Michael Stoltz

Contemporary Art Month occupied the Beauty College building

Randy Wallace's striking and visceral installation in the basement of the Beauty College

Randy is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists in San Antonio

Buttercup playing at the Beauty College

back at "Future Utopias," Derek Brown's "No Borders" projection installation in the background

onlookers looking at Davis James' "Minute-ness" 2-channel video sculpture

Alyosha Burkee's "Get Schooled" video in the foreground, Utah Snyder's table of handmade goods in the background (mostly gone by this time of the night)

Jennings Sheffield "Separation of Power" in the background, and Mauricio Gudiño's 2-channel video installation in the foreground

OK, now for the story.

Roll of gaffers tape in-hand, I was running around all night closing up the seams in the pipe-and-drape that surrounded the "Future Utopias" show. There was an entrance and a flow designed for the space, but the masses wanted to find any gap and make it into an entrance or exit point. There was something interesting about these porous borders (especially within the context of South Texas), but it was more important to uphold the integrity of the space... besides, it could be downright dangerous to have everyone crashing through the walls at any given moment.

For example, around 11:30pm a couple guys came stumbling through the drape into the show, one guy grabbing onto the wavering pipe, which offered no support to counter his off-balance stance. As I rushed over to seal up the breach, I recognized that this was Mayor Hardberger, who was having a rightfully jolly time in the final half-hour of his second annual and majorly successful city-wide arts festival. I took the opportunity to introduce myself, and we chatted for awhile-- he remembered last year's UTSA New Media Studio exhibition on Houston Street, and cited two specific artworks from memory: Mike Stoltz' 2-channel installation, where a woman in a doorway greets the viewer very warmly; and Gary Wise's "Eat." I made sure that he had my card before he left, and wished later that I had taken advantage of this as a photo op, in which case you'd be seeing a picture of me & the mayor here.

Maybe next year...!

No comments: