Feature Artist preview: Marcus Garza
An artist and educator, Chalk It Up Feature Artist Marcus Garza is interested in teaching statistics and facts about San Antonio. His work—which integrates information such as city expansion and population numbers from the US Census Bureau—is a manipulation of map imagery, including abstracted maps that refer to the explosive nature of local urban sprawl. Garza is a middle school instructor at Brooks Academy on the far South Side of San Antonio.
Artpace: What inspires your art?
Garza: Freeway expansion, gated communities, and vast tracts of subdivisions are what are happening to the North Side of San Antonio. My works talk about suburbia and the expansion of suburbia—no different than any other city, the ordinary sameness of it. It’s about the direction of urban sprawl, it’s generally toward the North, the attraction of trying to get to the hill country as opposed to the flatlands south of the city.
Artpace: Why are you excited about sharing your work at Chalk It Up?
Garza: There’s a lot of kids at Chalk it Up, a lot of kids that don’t know how many people live in San Antonio, and don’t know what is out of the Loop. I want to give the sense of San Antonio as a larger community as opposed to just their own neighborhood—that they are a part of a big town. Kids on South Side of town don’t see as much growth as, for example, the kids on the North Side see.
Artpace: What are you planning to chalk in two weeks?
Garza: In my work, I take digital images of maps and manipulate them in Photoshop. My plan is to take my images to the street.
Artpace’s 9th Annual Chalk It Up festival takes place on downtown Houston Street on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Chalk It Up is a free, family-friendly event that promotes the importance of art education and proudly exhibits San Antonio’s creative vivacity by providing hands-on activities led by professional art educators, as well as interactions with contemporary artists. Artpace remains passionate about giving people an opportunity to explore their relationship with not only contemporary art, but their hometown community. Chalk It Up 2012 is made possible by presenting sponsor Argo Group.
Image credit: Photo by Lindsey Smith