In January 1995, Artpace San Antonio opened its doors and offered a new model for understanding the art of our time by focusing on the artistic process.
Artpace was founded by artist, collector, and businesswoman Linda Pace (1945-2007) to serve as a laboratory of dreams, providing artists from all over the world with an environment that would encourage experimentation and growth.
In the years since, Artpace has garnered recognition for supporting the creative impulse through its residency and exhibition programs, as well as its range of educational programs. Growing from the inspired and generous vision of one woman, Artpace is now an internationally respected public institution and a cornerstone of contemporary art in San Antonio and the region.
The International Artist-in-Residence program annually invites nine artists to conceive and create pivotal art projects. Since 1995, artists have come to San Antonio from as far away as Germany and Japan, New York, and California, and from studios throughout the state of Texas. Selected by respected guest curators, each residency is composed of one artist from Texas, one from elsewhere in the United States, and one from abroad. Artpace provides each artist with a two-month residency, which includes travel expenses, a weekly living stipend, a materials budget, an apartment, and studio/exhibition space. Resident artists have access to Artpace’s fully equipped wood, metal, and digital editing workshops, as well as technical and administrative support. The goal is to give artists a space in which to imagine new ways to work, and at the end of the program all art belongs to the artist. For consideration by guest curators, Texas artists may be eligible to apply for an annual Open Call.
Upon completion, projects created by the International Artists-in-Residence are showcased in two-month exhibitions. These nine exhibitions are complemented by three annual shows organized by Artpace’s curatorial staff in the Hudson (Show)Room—a space named for the facility’s former function as an auto dealership. Artpace exhibitions are free of charge to the general public and are documented in a full-color publication, complete with scholarly essays authored by the curators. Artpace’s in-house and online archive further extends the exhibitions’ reach. Additionally, Artpace’s Window Works program expands traditional gallery spaces through its storefront installations, engaging audiences from the street level. The exhibitions serve as the basis for Artpace’s innovative education programs.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC PROGRAMS
As a commitment to San Antonio, Artpace offers a wide range of public educational programs that extend the impact of its exhibitions and visiting artists while emphasizing how art can reflect and effect contemporary society. These admission-free offerings cultivate diverse audiences of all ages by providing a forum for ongoing dialogue. While Art Elements serves K-12 students and families with distinctive hands-on curricula, Art Talks lectures and Artpace After Hours reach out to the broader community. In addition, professional development workshops provide opportunities for regional artists and educators to expand their practice and earn continuing education credit. Artpace maintains an extensive archive, which includes files on exhibiting artists, a Texas artist registry, as well as a focused library of art periodicals and catalogues. Staffed by an archivist, the collection is visited regularly by curators, art historians, and students and is open to the public by appointment.