As poet laureate of San Antonio, Jenny Browne was required to create a signature initiative.
That project became “St. Anthony’s Lost and Found,” which features a postcard exhibit that invites visitors to read poems written on the small rectangular cards, and — if they’re inspired — to leave a poem.
The exhibit also includes artwork from San Antonio’s hidden and lost history, she said.
For the paintings and sketchings that make up the exhibit, Browne said the city reached out to emerging and established artists who were “in my opinion, a fantastic, diverse range of creative people in San Antonio, who have been showing in this space. What’s also great is the city buys that work, so it has a different life in various municipal buildings.”
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Browne worked with Sebastian Guajardo, special projects manager with the San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture.
“Sebastian asked me, ‘Well, we’re going to have the postcard part. What are we going to do in the rest of the space?’ ”
Browne enlisted the help of painter Ana Fernandez, a local artist who works with watercolors.
“In many ways, (watercolor) feels like this ethereal kind of form,” Browne said. “It’s very gentle, it can be washed away. So we commissioned her to do a series of beautiful watercolors of buildings that are no longer here anymore.”
Browne also commissioned journalist and author John Phillip Santos to write companion literary pieces to each work of art that highlights the “few places lost in time.”
“This exhibit engages with the notion of places in between,” Browne added. “Ana did these watercolors, then John Philip responded to them.”
Browne added that the San Antonio tricentennial is about more than just the battle of the Alamo and the early settlers from the Canary Islands.
“What are some smaller stories? What are some stories of individuals (who) have, whether we understand it or not, really shaped the direction in which our city has grown,” she said.
St. Anthony's Lost & Found remains on display through April 26 at the Culture Commons Gallery, 115 Plaza de Armas.