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Visit the San Antonio Museum of Art, the McNay, and the Institute of Texan Cultures for free with an Alamo Colleges ID

Alamo Colleges students and employees can visit the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), the McNay Art Museum, and the Institute of Texan Cultures for free with their student or employee IDs. There may be an additional cost for special exhibitions.

San Antonio Museum of Art

SAMA  features extensive collections of art reflecting a broad range of world cultures. ( Some of SAMA's galleries will be closed until June 2017 for renovations.)      

Carlos Mérida (1891-1985): Selections from the Permanent Collection runs through January 29, 2017 and showcases the broad diversity of themes and media in which the artist worked, merging aspects of Mexican and Guatemalan folkloric themes with avant-garde and abstract influences. The collection of series includes Images of Guatemala (1925-27), Birds of Paradise  (1936), The Three Kings  (1965), and the original gouaches from which the popular portfolio of 25 serigraphs, Mexican Costume  (1941), was taken. The striking glass mosaic mural that Mérida made for Hemisfair '68 has been reinstalled in the newly refurbished Convention Center.  

On June 10, 2017,Heaven and Hell: Salvation and Retribution in Pure Land Buddhism opens. This exploration of Pure Land Buddhism based on belief in Amitabha - the Buddha of the Western Paradise who promises salvation in his heavenly paradise to all who simply call his name - will bring together approximately 75 paintings, sculpture, and works of decorative arts in a survey of the artistic expressions of the Pure Land Buddhist faith. The exhibition continues through September 3, 2017.  


The McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum  showcases a premiere fine art collection comprised of nearly 20,000 works of art.

Jim Dine: Salome Reimagined  and Orientalism: The Middle East Onstage  continue through December 24. Dine's 30 pastel drawings of scenic elements and watercolor sketches for costumes for Houston Grand Opera's 1987 production of Richard Strauss's opera Salome  are accompanied by invaluable documents and photographs from the Houston Grand Opera Archives. For Orientalism , designs and illustrations from the McNay's theatre collection show the appeal of Orientalism from Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio  and Rimsky- Korsakov's ballet Schéhérazade  to a music hall version of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves . Editions of Oscar Wilde's play Salome , illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley and André Derain, provide historical context for Jim Dine's opera designs.

Jennifer Steinkamp: Botanic 3 featuring Steinkamp's newest video work of flowering plants animated inside a cubic framework that utilizes the outer edge of the video as a container mimicking the boundaries of a garden will be on view through January 8, 2017; and Parlour Games: Ruloff Kip's Toy Theatre featuring moving mechanisms, several working lighting schemes, and an array of set drops and cut-out characters based on Kip's house and family members will be on view through February 6, 2017.

Opening September 28 and continuing through January 8, 2017, the sixteenth installation in the ART MATTERS contemporary art series will be a range of John Fraser 's exquisitely crafted objects, drawn from the McNay's collection, the artist's studio, and select museum collections. Fraser makes quietly compelling, intellectually focused works of three-dimensional sculpture, two-dimensional collage, or a combination of the two, effortlessly moving between image and abstraction. Also opening September 28 and continuing through January 15, 2017 will be Telling Tales: Contemporary Narrative Photography , a survey of approximately 50 works from the late 1970s to the present by 17 ground-breaking photographers who record narrative through pictures, real and imagined.

October 12 an important collection of nearly 200 Mexican prints of the modern period, with great depth in the works of artists who were members of the Taller de Gráfica Popular, the collaborative print workshop founded in Mexico City in 1937, opens. Living and Collecting in Mexico: Gifts from Susan Toomey Frost  is comprised of nearly every lithograph by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco. The exhibition continues through February 5, 2017.

French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950  opens February 22, 2017, and showcases 65 works of art from the Brooklyn Museum's renowned European collection. This selection privileges France as the artistic center of international Modernism from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Ranging widely in scale, subject matter, and style, these paintings, drawings, and sculptures were produced by the era's leading artists, those born in France as well as those who studied and showed there, including Pierre Bonnard, Gustave Caillebotte, Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Fernand Léger, Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Jean-François Millet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Gabriele Münter, Odilon Redon, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Yves Tanguy, and Édouard Vuillard.

 The Institute of Texan Cultures

The Institute of Texan Cultures provides an historical journey through the cultural heritage of the more than 130 ethnic groups that have settled the Lone Star State.  

In addition toThe Back 40, a hands-on, outdoor living history area, and Texans One and All , which explores the cultural diversity of the people of Texas over the centuries, this fall's offerings includeGirl's Eye View, an Eastside community project in which teenage girls interpret the experience of their daily lives through photography and poetry, which continues through October 31; andOur Part of Victory highlighting Texans' contributions to World War II, which continues through December 7 . October 21  1000 Parks and a Line in the Sky opens,   a design vision by Antonio Petrov, UTSA assistant professor of architecture, and the "think/do-tank" he has established in the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, that features a 50-foot-long model of Broadway, a street that has the potential to become San Antonio's great urban avenue. The exhibition continues through April 16, 2017.  


Other art institutions in San Antonio that offer free admission to students:

Art Pace

Artpace  promotes art as a dynamic social force by supporting emerging and established contemporary artists.


Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum

Students and military are welcomed free to the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum , the first and longest-running venue for contemporary art in San Antonio. Blue Star serves as an incubator for contemporary art in the city, hosting over twenty exhibitions of emerging and world-renowned artists annually.

The Blue Star exhibition space at 116 Blue Star is undergoing its first renovations in 30 years. Exhibitions are currently being mounted at 112 Blue Star in the Blue Star Arts Complex and at other venues as noted.  

112 Blue Star  

Thomas Cummins was selected as a Winter 2015 Blue Star Contemporary Berlin Resident. His photographic installation of Berlin architecture, Broken Lens , is the haunting work that resulted from that residency. Kristen Reynolds's Splitsplice  is a new site-specific installation. "To 'split,' is the act of division, a whole broken apart into disparate parts. To 'splice' is a method of joinery, used most often to strengthen a weakness or bridge a lack in materials. The two actions are intertwined processes of change," says the Newmarket, New Hampshire-based artist. The exhibitions continue through October 9.


Trinity's Michael and Noemi Neidorff Art Gallery in the Dicke Art Building  

Two exhibitions by Göteborg, Germany-based artists sponsored by the Blue Star Contemporary and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin Residency Program

Opening September 8 is Patrik Elgström's Obstacle . Elgström photographs, or rather, details, architectural structures made from massive materials such as stone or concrete. The shots are empty of human beings, the spaces appearing self-contained, neither open to the outside nor the inside. "How is it possible," Elgström asks, "to even think of taking photos in a city where everything is so laden with history and, in a sense, transformed into an image?" The exhibition continues through October 15.

Opening October 28 is Jenny Magnusson's Spill , a sculpture installation. Found, borrowed and acquired everyday materials are incorporated into the exhibition space in a process of exchange with people and places so that a precise narrative relationship is created on the spot with a strong reference to performance art. "Only during the moment, in that place…I decide that this is now a sculpture. [….] In an oscillating movement…work emerges and dissolves in new constellations."


San Antonio Botanical Garden at 555 Funston Place  

Art in the Garden is an annual collaboration with the San Antonio Botanical Garden at 555 Funston Place. This year's project features Scattering Screen ,   a newly commissioned large-scale, site-specific freestanding steel sculpture that interacts with viewers and its natural surroundings by renowned Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz, known for ethereal artworks that build on natural phenomena and play with human perception. The installation continues through Spring 2017.



The Coppini

The Coppini  Academy of Fine Art at 115 Melrose Place was founded by the Italian-born sculptor Pompeo Coppini and his protégé Waldine Tauch in 1945 and is devoted to classic representational art. The Coppini features ongoing classes and member exhibitions .



San Antonio Art League & Museum

San Antonio Art League & Museum  at 130 King William Street is the oldest art institution in San Antonio and houses a permanent collection of Texas art, most notably the Edgar B. Davis Collection chronicled in William E. Reaves, Jr.'s Texas Art and a Wildcatter's Dream . The Art League mounts an annual schedule of exhibitions from its holdings as well as exhibitions of contemporary San Antonio artists and San Antonio's only juried exhibition held mid-April through late May. The annual  Collegiate Exhibition  is mounted each March, featuring work by San Antonio college and university students.

The opening reception for the Art League's Artist of the Year exhibition, Billy Keen : Retrospective, opens September 11 from 3-5 p.m. Keen's paintings are characterized by an inner, luminescent landscape - a river, a lea, a mesa - within a larger abstraction, the dynamic force within each complementing the other. The outer abstraction is then augmented by sculptural elements - shamanistic objects and mediatory devices fabricated from wood, bone, ivory, and other materials including found objects - that amplify the paired paintings' central metaphor. The three-dimensional objects - painstakingly carved with hand tools and finely polished - express a rich visual vocabulary Keen has refined over time. The exhibition continues through October 23.


Southwest School of Art

Southwest School of Art  is an educational and exhibition institution. As a part of its mission it preserves the former Ursuline Convent and Academy, founded in 1851, as a place of historic significance. Exhibitions are mounted at the Ursuline and Navarro campuses.

Current Exhibitions :    Seth Orion Schwaiger's COMPLEX 2  is an anti-passive approach to art viewing and curation that requires a circulation of viewers to fully activate the works to question boundaries: social, institutional, community and individual hierarchical distinctions. Will Henry's Remote Viewing  ostensibly features landscapes, but the tradition of landscape painting is only a framework, and the term "remote viewing," coopted from a pseudo-scientific government program where viewers would project themselves into future events, describes how the paintings are meant to make the viewer's experience of the exhibition analogous to the artist's experience in the studio painting recalled and imagined landscapes, as opposed to painting plein air. Rather than record the spectacle of performance, Walter Pickering's Esprit de Corps  captures intimate moments in hallways, parking lots, and practice spaces for a peek at the intense behind-the-scenes life of high school and college marching bands. Through aspects of Minimalism, Surrealism, drawing, sculpture, poetry and photography and a process of iteration and duplication, Elizabeth Chiles's On My Mind, Again  materializes the ephemeral and dematerializes the concrete in abstract meditations on the way human perception surrounds nature. All exhibitions run through October 30.