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Arts & Culture

Storefront Art Makes Downtown San Antonio More Inviting

A clever idea is taking hold downtown. The idea’s simple, really as UTSA Architecture Professor and artist Taeg Nishimoto explains.

“An empty storefront being occupied by public art as a part of their efforts to make the image of downtown better."

And the program for putting art in unrented storefronts has an interesting name.

“'X Marks the Art' is a downtown Art program.“

Public Art San Antonio’s Marissa Laubscher goes into detail.

“Rather than having an empty storefront, where there’s no activity, there’s something on the street, there’s a lit storefront with a visual interest for people walking down the street.”

Nishimoto’s piece, called "Shorelines" is built from something that looks like sheets, but, as he explains, is actually 100% post-consumer plastic bottles.

The 40-inch pieces off-white fabric pieces are put together, creased, lit from behind, and move by being blown with an oscillating fan. The effect is more fascinating than it sounds, and it’s installed in the Vistana building at ground level.

“We’re bringing art out of the museums and galleries from local artists," Laubscher explained, "and we’re placing them into the streets. So people who might not necessarily go to a museum or go to a gallery can experience local artists just by walking downtown."

Regarding the variety of installations, Laubscher says there are a lot.

"We have about eight different installations. These artists are working with video, sound and lights to create really dynamic works.”

As to how much of your tax dollar goes towards these installations…

“It’s supported through the hotel-motel tax.”

Which is to say, none.

Video of the Vistana installation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV-fSpCPGEI&hd=1

X Marks the Art program: http://xmarkstheart.wordpress.com/