CONTACT: Javier Flores, Department of Arts & Culture
SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 25, 2018) The City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture presents a new exhibit highlighting the history of San Antonio and featuring community poems and artworks that pay tribute to both the known and lost history of San Antonio. “St. Anthony’s Lost & Found” is a signature initiative of San Antonio Poet Laureate, Jenny Browne. The exhibit, free and open to the public, opens today with a reception from 6-9 p.m. and runs through Thursday, April 26, 2018 at Culture Commons Gallery, 115 Plaza de Armas, 78205.
The multi-faceted project, in commemoration of San Antonio’s Tricentennial, began last year with a poetry exchange in which Browne held workshops with educators throughout San Antonio and in City of San Antonio programs for students and seniors. Participants submitted an elegiac (letter poem) by mail responding to two key questions: “What have we lost?” and “What have we found?” as a means to encourage San Antonio residents to reflect on San Antonio’s history.
“I think the best poems are conversations with both the self and the world. I'm thrilled with how this project has expanded that larger poetic conversation, enabling me to connect so many individual San Antonio voices to our collective one,” Browne said. “I'm excited with the way it gives voice to where we come from, some of what we have lost and found along the way, and where we imagine ourselves going from here.”
Now, the project culminates with this exhibit featuring the works of San Antonio poets and visual artists. Five-hundred of the more than 1,200 postcard poems received by mail will be displayed in the gallery. Exhibit visitors will have the opportunity to read these poems and respond to them, write their own poems, and exchange poems. The goal of the project is to commemorate the Tricentennial through a study of poetry and how it can communicate a personal, social, and historical connection to the land, people, and cultures that make up the City’s landscape in 2018. The name of the initiative is in honor of St. Anthony de Padua, San Antonio’s namesake and the patron saint of lost things.
Participating visual artists include: Albert Alvarez, Fernando Andrade, Lisette Chavez, Juan Zavala Castro, Joe De La Cruz, Barbara Felix, Ana Fernandez, Xavier Gilmore, Joe Harjo, M. Guadalupe Marmolejo, Abraham Mojica, Kristy Perez, Jose Sotelo, Hiromi Stringer, Allison Valdivia, and Jose Villalobos. Browne, along with poets Rose Catacalos and John Phillip Santos, will also have written works included as part of a printed chapbook that will accompany the exhibit. A documentary video by San Antonio filmmakers Joey Fauerso and Paul Fauerso about the “St. Anthony Lost & Found” project is also included.
Several free community events are scheduled for the duration of the exhibit:
- Film Screening and Selected Readings - March 1, 2018, 6-8 p.m.
Jenny Browne will speak about the “St. Anthony Lost & Found” project and introduce the film produced by Joey Fauerso and Paul Fauerso. John Phillip Santos, Rosemary Catacalos, and guests will share selected readings from "De Unos Lugares Perdidos, or Of A Few Places Lost in Time," and "Cuentos de San Antonio/Stories from St. Anthony." Trinity University students will read ekphrastic poems inspired by the exhibition.
- Student Receptions - April 11, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Teachers and students who participated in educator workshops and submitted postcard poems are invited to meet with Jenny Browne.
- Poetry Readings - April 11, 2018, 6-8:30 p.m.
San Antonio Poets will read and perform poetry in response to the exhibition and narratives.
- All events take place at Culture Commons Gallery, 115 Plaza de Armas, 78205.
In 2012, San Antonio became the first major Texas city to recognize and appoint a Poet Laureate. Since then, the Department of Arts & Culture has supported innovative programs and community events in San Antonio and in conjunction with the city’s Poet Laureate including festivals, workshops, readings and more.
Culture Commons Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and is free and open to the public. More information is available at GetCreativeSanAntonio.com.
PHOTO: More than 1,200 postcard poems were submitted by San Antonio residents as part of the “St. Anthony’s Lost & Found” project. Five-hundred of them will be on display as part of the exhibit which features literary and visual works. Gallery visitors can each write his/her own poem, leave it as part of the display, and even take a poem to keep as part of this poetry exchange.
Your guide to arts and culture in San Antonio is GetCreativeSanAntonio.com.