The San Antonio Museum of Art begins its 2012 exhibition calendar with San Antonio Collects: African American Artists - Featuring works from the Harriet and Harmon Kelley and Irene and Leo Edwards Collection. The exhibition, which opens to the public on January 17, covers more than two hundred years of Americaʼs past, and explores the unique tradition of African American artists throughout our history.
The exhibition is the first of three upcoming shows that focus on some of our communityʼs most important collectors, and their roles in defining San Antonio as a cosmopolitan city with internationally important cultural offerings. Besides San Antonio Collects: African American Artists, upcoming exhibitions include San Antonio Collects: Theodore Gentilz and Mission Life of San Antonio and Northern Mexico (March 2 – May 20, 2012) which explores the missions, landscapes, and daily life of San Antonio from the French-trained nineteenth-century artist, and San Antonio Collects: Contemporary (March 24 – July 1, 2012) which displays works assembled by San Antonio collectors of some of the most important contemporary artists in the world.
According to SAMA Director and exhibition organizer Katie Luber, San Antonio Collects: African American Artistʼs opening was intentionally timed to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Martin Luther King March in San Antonio. “Viewing these works of art allows us the opportunity to reflect upon the struggles and triumphs of the African American artistic community and the broad range of African American identities and experiences.” Luber adds, “Our hope is that San Antonio Collects: African American Artists will provide a glimpse into the sweeping changes that have defined the experiences of African American artists, and indeed all African Americans in the United States.”
Although the exhibition opens to the public on January 17, 2012, the Museum is hosting an invitation-only event following the MLK march on January 16 from 3:00 to 5:00 for local and national dignitaries including the son of the late Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Martin Luther King III.