Colors on Clay: Pottery of San Antonio
Austin, TX: Mexic-Arte Museum, the Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas, presents Colors on Clay: Pottery of San Antonio.
Where: Mexic-Arte Museum, 419 Congress Avenue
Admission: $10 General Public / Free for Members
Exhibit continues: through March 27, 2011
Drawn from the outstanding private collection of Susan Toomey Frost in San Antonio, this exhibition features a selection of brightly colored ceramic artwork decorated to reflect the imagery of Mexico and South Texas with depictions of every day culture and cowboy life.
Generically referred to as “San José tiles,” the works were locally produced by small groups of artisans working in a succession of three workshops including Mexican Arts and Crafts, San Jose Potteries, and Mission Crafts – from 1931 to 1971 – led by entrepreneur Ethel Wilson. A highlight of the exhibit is the artwork including drawings, sketches and paintings of Fernando Ramos, the principal artist for the first workshop, Mexican Arts and Crafts.
The Museums’ back gallery will show the exhibit Contemporary Tile Work, featuring ceramic work by University of Texas at Austin’s MFA candidate and visual artist Adriana Corral. Fusing traditional ceramic process with current events in Juarez, Mexico, Corral presents a unique interpretation of the clay tile as medium.
In order to understand the artisans’ work and influence in Texas, as well as the international art markets, Colors on Clay deconstructs all the elements from that time period. Art collecting, financial markets, Latino and artisan communities, international art exchange, clay making techniques, and women's roles in collecting and producing art are some of the integral themes to exhibition. With the help of scholars such as Susan Frost and Sherry Wagner, we may begin to facilitate the understanding of this seemingly forgotten past of Texas.
Susan Toomey Frost is the leading authority on San José decorative art tiles and pottery produced by workshops in San Antonio and Mexico. She has taught English and linguistics at universities in Mexico and Texas. An avid collector, she has written articles, given lectures, and curated exhibitions, and she is the winner of the Ron Tyler Award given by the Texas State Historical Association as the best book published in 2009 on Texas history and culture. Sherry Kafka Wagner has extensive experience as a consultant, planner, writer, and media producer. Her work includes projects in city planning and urban design, such as the San Antonio, Texas, River Corridor development, the Dallas, Texas Arts District Plan, the Rio Salado, Arizona, Plan and the plan for the Charles River Basin Park and the Wharf District Park in Boston.
The Museum’s art outreach classes, which are held at several campuses in the Austin, Manor and Del Valle Independent School Districts, will incorporate an exhibition-specific curriculum. Students in these classes will not only learn about the history and significance of the San José Tile Workshops of San Antonio, but will create their own tile murals that reflect the style and motifs of the original works.
In February 2011 (date TBA), there will be an author reading and book-signing by Susan Toomey Frost for Colors on Clay: The San José Tile Workshops of San Antonio, recently published by Trinity University Press. In March 2011 (date TBA), the Museum will host a panel discussion with Susan Toomey Frost and Sherry Kafka Wagner on the subject of the commercialization and production of artworks through the Arts and Crafts Division of the Work Projects Administration in Texas.
Sponsors include City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, Texas Commission on the Arts, Humanities Texas, 3M, Clay Imports, Univision Television / Telefutura, La Que Buena 104.3 FM, and La Jefa 107.7 FM. For more information or images please contact Mexic-Arte Museum’s Public Relations Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 480-9373 x84.