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Arts & Culture

Blue Star Sending San Antonio Artists To "Mecca Of Contemporary Art"

Blue Star Contemporary Art Center

A local artist heads to Berlin to begin his artistic residency.  That residency program is  a construct of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.

“We send four artists a year through an open call process," said Mary Heathcott, executive director of the Blue Star.

“They’re selected by a jury and they get to spend three months there to dive deeper into their practice; to meet new artists, to meet new curators, and to really be in the Mecca of contemporary art right now,” Heathcott said.

I asked the obvious question: "That costs a lot of money, doesn't it?"

“It does cost a lot of money," she said, "but that’s something that Blue Star fundraises for, so we’re lucky to have the support of public and private funders.”

Many of the artists sent to Berlin have full time jobs, so the opportunity to spend three months creating without other distractions can be invaluable.  

"It can be transformative for an artist’s process," said Heathcott. "The Künstlerhaus engaged us as their first American partner.”

Künstlerhaus Bethanien is the international cultural center in Berlin where the artists stay.

“Blue Star is the only U.S. partner for this renowned residency program," she said. "Our first artist to go as a part of this program was Justin Boyd. He will be followed by Chris Sauter, and then Adrianna Corral will go in the winter, and Jessica Halonen will be the last resident in the spring."

This has got to be good internationally for San Antonio, revealing works of the city's artist to a whole new art market.

"It’s a phenomenal opportunity for exposure, and to export the best of San Antonio’s contemporary art talent to Berlin,” said Heathcott.

I asked Heathcott if there is an exhibition once the artists get back.

“Yes, every March we will be featuring an exhibition of the work of the four residents from the previous year” she said.