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McNay Art Museum champions San Antonio artist community with two exhibitions
Jenelle Esparza at her loom.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The McNay Art Museum’s dedication to highlighting San Antonio artists expands this year with the opening of two presentations focused on visual artists living and working in the Alamo City. Drawn in San Antonio—Today and Artists Looking at Art: Jenelle Esparza opened Wednesday, February 2, with a dynamic presentation of contemporary artworks on view at the McNay for the first time.

Located in the Charles Butt Paperworks Gallery through September 11, 2022, Drawn in San Antonio—Today highlights the work of 22 San Antonio-based artists and expands on the definition of drawing. A departure from the traditional understanding of drawing as lines on paper, contemporary drawings are often made with unconventional materials. From animations rendered on a computer screen to photographic imagery and elements of collage, blending traditional and nontraditional mediums can connect the seemingly unrelated in unexpected ways.

“Many artists nominated each other for inclusion in the exhibition throughout the process,” said Gutierrez. “This happened so organically that I think it speaks to the strong support and collaboration our city’s artist community has cultivated over the years.”

The exhibition is co-organized by Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Curator of Modern Art; and Rafael F. Gutierrez, Jr., the McNay’s first Douglass Foundation intern. Support for Drawn in San Antonio—Today is generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Foundation of 1992.

On view through August 7, 2022 in the Garden Level I Gallery, Artists Looking at Art: Jenelle Esparza features a new series of textile pieces from Jenelle Esparza, accomplished artist and the McNay’s own Museum Educator for Family Experiences. The Artists Looking at Art (ALA) series was created in 2002 to salute the vitality of the contemporary art community in the San Antonio area, including artists on staff at the Museum.

The artworks on view depict imagery and patterns that respond to hyper-local histories within the South Texas region. The pieces are abstract representations of earthly and bodily experiences that have been recorded within a landscape. Funding for the creation of Esparza's Vessels was provided through an Artist Grant from the City of San Antonio, Department of Arts & Culture.

“This new textile project, titled Vessels, has allowed me to highlight hidden histories of Mexican American, Tejano, and Indigenous narratives in my home region of South Texas, and has also allowed for more experimentation into weaving techniques,” said Esparza. “I started weaving for my Artpace residency in 2018 as a conceptual piece for that exhibition, but I really took to the language of weaving and continue to include it in my art practice today.”

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February 10, 2022

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