SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Blue Star Contemporary
(BSC), San Antonios first and longest running contemporary art non-profit, announced the launch of its first ever augmented reality exhibition and fundraising event, which launched to the public on September 23. In line with its mission to innovate, BSC has enhanced its ever-popular fundraiser to respond during a challenging time. The annual Red Dot Art Sale has been reinvented this year through a dynamic augmented reality experience developed exclusively for BSC by San Antonio-based Stoke. The virtual experience complements the exhibition, the Red Dot Show, which also takes place at BSCs physical space from September 23 to October 4, giving the community the opportunity to experience the work of more than 100 San Antonio-based artists in-person, online, or both. Providing Red Dot through multiple free channels helps BSC achieve its goal for the fundraiser to be more accessible than ever before. To view the exhibition in person, individuals will need to make an appointment via Blue Star Contemporarys website.
The Red Dot Show features artworks available for sale through Blue Star Contemporarys 30th Annual Red Dot Art Sale, which directly benefits BSCs exhibitions and public programs and the livelihood of more than 100 San Antonio artists.
The Red Dot Show and Red Dot Art Sale were scheduled for last spring but were postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. From the moment we had to close our physical space last spring out of care and caution, we realized we would not be able to host an event for 500 people. We knew that we would need to be creative and resourceful in our presentation of our annual Red Dot Art Sale. I am immensely grateful for the commitment and support of our staff and for our supporters such as Stoke who quickly rose to the challenge and developed an impressive augmented reality experience for us in record time, says Mary Heathcott, BSCs Executive Director. I am proud and excited to share what may very well be the first ever augmented reality exhibition and fundraising event in Texas. We are a strong creative community and I am happy we will still be able to have a common experience that ties us together through this virtual exhibition.
Individuals will need to download an application on their smartphones or tablets to enjoy the augmented reality experience. Instructions to download the application will be posted on BSCs website. The app is available for free download through October 4.
Each year, BSC honors an artist and patron at Red Dot in recognition for their support of the San Antonio art community. This year, the honorees are César A. Martínez and Francesca Billups Mannix. Artist César A. Martínez is widely recognized as a major figure in the Chicano Art Movement of the 1970s and 1980s. His iconic portrait paintings from the Bato/Pachuco/Ruca series combine imaginary sitters and the artists depth of knowledge of art history with his lived experiences of life in South Texas. The virtual experience includes a gallery sponsored by Ricos Products Co., Inc. and Rick Liberto dedicated to Martínez and features landscape components from a 2011 artwork, Huizache Jaguar, as the backdrop for viewing his work. Chair of Blue Star Contemporarys Board from 2013-2016, Francesca Francie Billups Mannix has been a longtime supporter of the arts in San Antonio as a collector and philanthropist. Currently, she serves as co-chair of Blue Star Contemporarys Advisory Council.
Acquisition of works of art on sale through Red Dot directly benefit BSC and its programming and ensures the organization will stand strong in the years to come. As 50% of the sale proceeds go directly back to the artists who generously donate their work, collecting a work of art at BSCs Red Dot Art Sale also means individuals who purchase art will be directly supporting San Antonios creative community and the livelihood of its artists who today are more brave, resilient, and compassionate than ever.
BSCs digital Red Dot was created by San Antonio-based tech firm, Stoke, which generously donated their time and resources in order to build the experience especially for this event. The digital Red Dot was built from the ground up for BSCs use and is based on a 12 x 12-foot gallery footprint. The augmented reality experience places an art gallery in the viewers physical space, which is only viewable through their smartphone or tablet. Participants can wander from gallery to gallery, which are each curated by BSC Curator and Exhibitions Manager Jacqueline Saragoza McGilvray, and purchase the artworks in real time. Participants can experience the artworks to scale, alongside video content provided by the artists with information about their works.