Brian St. John
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Brian St. John
“Water Blessing ,” oil on canvas, $3800
“This painting is both a departure from what I had been dominantly creating for the previous fifteen years or so; that being a study of the landscape ranging from representational to representational abstractions, and also marks a return to my love of the enigmatic, and gestural abstraction. The painting included here is a synthesis of two bodies of work I have been exploring for about two years; I call them “The Science of Uncertainty” and “Moments of Now”.
In each I call upon my sense of readiness to create/ to make an image. I rely upon my understanding of what the materials can do and then allow myself a free exploration of that understanding. I begin to make associations, one mark relating to another, and one form evolving to the next. Sometimes the resulting images are patterns of marks that are developed in the moment; they become a record of process in motion. At other times they are developed into recognizable imagery where memory/assimilation asserts itself. In either approach, I hope to join my open willingness to rely upon both my concrete understanding of the materials and my intuitive self. This automatism through gesture and pattern evoking memory and mystery combined with a love of the possibilities offered through the materials and formal concerns in design is wherein my interests lie.
The calligraphy on the left is an interpretation of a Buddhist symbol for Sacred Water, or Water Blessing. I have titled the piece directly from this.”
A lifelong resident of San Antonio. One if my earliest memories is painting on a piece of scrap plywood. I remember holding it up and looking at I had been doing. I guess I have been doing this ever since then.
I attended Texas State University(1980)and the University of Texas at San Antonio (1986). I am an artist and a professor of art and art education at St. Mary’s University where I have worked since 1990.The piece I plan on including in the exhibit is from a series of abstractions I am currently developing that I call “moments of now.”
Eloise Yantis Stoker
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Eloise Yantis Stoker
“Footprints of Possum, Racoon and Deer at Rivers Edge,” stoneware, $1000
“Guadalupe River Clay Stoneware,” stoneware, $1200
“Limestone Spring,” stoneware, $1200
“Rio Grande Sunset,” stoneware, $1200
Eloise Yantis Stoker was born in San Antonio, Texas. She attended Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, received a B.S. in Art at The University of Texas at Austin in 1957, cum laude and a M.A. in Graphic Design from New Mexico Highlands University in 1962. She continued her post-graduate studies at the Print Studio, Pennsylvania State University during the summers of the mid-sixties.
Her mentor was the acclaimed Elmer Schooley.
From 1970-2005, Eloise held various teaching positions in the Art Department at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She was the Chairperson, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, from 1979-1985. Jim D Stoker, Eloise Yantis Stoker, Lee Carr, and Richard Carr founded the Sierra Club San Antonio Chapter in 1968. Eloise served as board chairperson for the local Sierra Club and as a board member for the national Sierra Club. Eloise has also served as a board member of the San Antonio Art League and Museum. She created the annual Collegiate Exhibits through the San Antonio Art League and Museum.
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Jim Stoker
“Guadalupe River Gravel Bar, Orange Cypress Needles,” oil on linen, $6000
“Honeycomb Limestone, Guadalupe River Drought,” oil on linen, $6000
“Nature has been my teacher.”
From 1953 to 1957, Jim Stoker studied with the great Early Texas artists who taught at The University of Texas at Austin: Loren Mozley, Michael Frary, William Lester, Charles Umlauf, Constance Forsyth, and John Guerin. Stoker was born in 1935, in Nash, Texas and reared in Atlanta, a small rural town in East Texas. He received a BFA in Applied Art from the University of Texas in Austin in 1957, and an MA in Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking from New Mexico Highlands University in 1962. Stoker painted throughout his teaching career which culminated in a 30 year tenure at Trinity University in San Antonio, from which he retired as Professor of Art, Emeritus in 1996…Stoker…has worked for the US Forest Service, backpacked, camped, and canoed in many wilderness areas. He and his wife Eloise, also an artist, have been lifelong environmentalists.
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Gary Sweeney
“If There Is Magic On This Planet,” inkjet print, $1800
“River Quiz,” photo print, $1600
In his forty-five years as an artist, Gary Sweeney has established a body of artwork that is “as diverse in its media and presentation as it is singular in its wit and intelligence.”
Sweeney was born into the fertile artistic climate of 1950s Southern California, and both his father and grandmother were artists. He graduated in 1975 with a degree in Fine Arts from UC Irvine, which was then a hotbed of Conceptualism and Post- minimalism. To support his art making, which includes photography, painting and sculpting - resulting in a body of work ranging from neon signs, billboards and murals to rug making, book art, and video - Sweeney took a job as a baggage handler for Continental Airlines, from which he recently retired after thirty-five years; it provided steady income, insurance, and low-cost air travel.
After Sweeney transferred to Denver in 1982, he became an active member of the local alternative art scene. Shortly after, his art began focusing on personal experiences, especially in the frequent family vacations of his youth. During that time, he took hundreds of snapshots of family and tourist destinations, which later found their way, appropriately captioned, onto large hand-tinted maps, or, greatly enlarged, onto billboards. He also poured over family albums, From old photographs he created one series of work about his father’s experiences as a police detective, and another about his parents’ vacations “before the kids came along.”
Sweeney’s most recent and ambitious project to date took place in February. After selling the family house in Manhattan Beach, Gary took occupancy of the empty building and covered the exterior with enlarged family photos spanning the seventy years of Sweeney history. The installation drew thousands of visitors, and was featured nationally and internationally in press and video.
Gary Sweeney’s humor is especially apparent in his public artwork scattered throughout the United States, most notably in Denver International Airport, San Antonio International Airport, The Green in Charlotte, North Carolina, and The Esplanade on Navigation in Houston, Texas.
Though he and his wife now live in San Antonio, Texas, he remains, as one critic put it, “one of those rare artists who possesses both the necessary skill to create stylish work and the wit and intelligence to give substance to it.”
Louis Vega Treviño
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Louis Vega Treviño
“Trapezoid Series (Spring),” oil on canvas, $15,000
Louis Vega Treviño has evolved a style that is both instantly recognizable as uniquely his own and deeply connected to historical precedents in American painting – traditions that include the art of Gene Davis, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Morris Louis and Agnes martin among Americans. Treviño’s work shares, as does the referenced tradition, a deep engagement with geometry. But, as with Kelly, Stella and, particularly, Sean Scully, geometry for Treviño is a generator, a matrix for creativity - never an end in itself. His reference to geometric form is an anchor in the endless possibilities of pictorial space, and represents a rationalizing impulse that seeks both order and expressive spontaneity within the embrace of those opposing motives.
Louis Vega Treviño (b. 1972, San Antonio, Texas) attended San Antonio College in 1990 where he studied Architecture and Art before working with Kell Munoz Architects as a designer from 1992-2000. In 2000 - 2012, Trevino opened his studio space, Circle Infiniti, with artist, Ben Mata. Currently has a working studio at Hausmann buildings. Trevino has enjoyed numerous exhibits in San Antonio and around the United Sates, including New York, Chicago, Houston and Austin. He has exhibited at Southwest School of Art, Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, Unit B Gallery and Mexic-Arte Museum.
Trevino’s works on paper include drawings on museum board, post-it-notes, and over 60,000 cocktail napkins, which he has translated to a variety of media such as carpet and textile design by manipulating naturally formed geometric shapes to create innovative patterns. Trevino’s line work is mesmerizingly precise, with bright, bold colors that capture and hold the viewer’s attention. Giant sized versions of Trevino’s napkin designs are brought to life in the Kiosks of Main Plaza where each line is tangible and real.
Trevino is also known for his oil on canvas “line” paintings that blur and merge color in almost perfect linear fashion. He is obsessed with precision and color, both abundantly present in his drawings and paintings.
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Artist Anita Valencia
"Remembering Memi," mixed media (coffee ﬁlters, CDs, acrylics), $600
"This exhibition presented me with the opportunity to honor my mother, Ana Maria Peimbert (Memi). In the early 1920s, my mother was a young student at Incarnate Word College and she often spoke of wading in the Blue Hole."
Valencia is also active in her community. She served in the City of San Antonio Fine Arts Commission, The Historic Design and Review Board and The Blue Star Art Space, Contemporary Art for San Antonio where she served as president for two
terms. In 2005, she participated on UTSA’s Women’s History Month Panel, “Artists’ Lives. In 2011 she represented her District 7 in the Bond Committee. Currently she serves on the board of Tres Centurias.
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Kathy Vargas
“About Memory (leaves falling),” hand colored photograph (oil on darkroom photograph), $800
“About Memory (nest),” hand colored photograph (oil on darkroom photograph), $800
“At some point I realized that my best memories are about my experiences in the natural world. During my eighteen years at UIW, I’ve walked through the Headwaters many times, either with my students for photo classes or alone in quest of a few moments of tranquility and inspiration. During those walks I took note of the tokens, leaves and feathers and nests, of seemingly small lives that begin and end in a relatively contained place then become a permanent part of that place, leaving behind their physical residue.
But the most potent thing I saw on my walks was the light falling like a benediction from the sky through the leaves and onto the birds, spiders and lizards on my path as I crossed what truly is a sacred space. That light colored the leaves not just green but red and rust and yellow and brown, because light is never static, never fixed as one color or one experience but ever changing, a constant reminder that wherever I walk, however long my journey, I am a part of the natural as well as the spiritual, both worlds illuminated by the same light that has existed since the beginning of time.”
Kathy Vargas is an artist/photographer from San Antonio, Texas whose hand-colored, manipulated darkroom photographs deal with the personal as political. She has had one person exhibits at Sala Uno in Rome, Galeria Juan Martin in Mexico City, Centro Recoleta in Buenos Aires and retrospectives at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas and Universitat Erlangen in Germany. Group shows include "Hospice: A Photographic Inquiry" a traveling exhibit commissioned by the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., and “Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA)”, curated by UCLA’s Wight Gallery. She is in the collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, the Toledo Art Museum, the Southeast Museum of Photography, the Harry Ransom Collection at UT Austin, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the Sprint Collection, and the UTSA Collection as well as numerous other public and private collections. She received a Lightwork residency in 1993 and both an Art Pace Residency and an Art Pace London Residency in 1996-97. She was named 2005 Texas Two-Dimensional Artist of the Year by the Texas Commission on the Arts.
From 1993 to 2000 she was a board member of Art Matters, a New York based foundation which funded grants to individual artists. From 2003 to 2009 she was a member of San Antonio’s Public Art Commission. She is currently on the City of San Antonio’s Centro de Artes Committee as well as the Mexican Museum’s Artist Advisory Board in San Francisco. She has curated exhibits for museums, non-profit spaces, and commercial galleries. As of 2016-2017 her papers have been acquisitioned and housed in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.
A Voice from the Art of the Sacred Texas Springs Exhibition: Karen Zimmerly
“Reflective Moments: River's Run,” archival pigment print, $300
“Reflective Moments: River's Source,” archival pigment print, $300
“The history of the San Antonio Springs conjures up images of water bubbling out of the earth or cascading down through rock crevices but when visiting the sites of these springs in current times, bubbling water is often hard to find.
Nonetheless the Springs, though no longer geysers of water emerging from the ground, are still a source of relief and renewal and essentially a symbol of life itself. Water is magical --- perhaps because it is so essential. It just feels so good to drink a glass of water when you are very thirsty or to jump into a pool or wade in a flowing stream on a hot summer’s day. I will be looking for this sense of wonder and delight when photographing for this exhibit.
The best way to see things is to travel on foot. Over the past few years I've had many occasions to follow the pathways along the Concho River. The route, though familiar, always affords new surprises. How many turtles can fit on a log? Will I be chased by a flock of geese? Is that a great blue heron hiding behind the tree? The light changes, spring flowers come and go, trees leaf out in pale bright green and later fall off and leave the branches bare. The changing landscape and the comings and goings of the wildlilfe found along the river are a continual source of visual delight.
By observing and photographing the ebb and flow of life along the river I have become aware of how wonderful a resource this river is. The flowing water is often soothing and refreshing, and occasionally a rushing torrent, but always an oasis in a dry landscape. It is a gift to us all and our responsibility as well --- to keep our river healthy for all who rely on it and to keep it a peaceful place for contemplation and relaxation.”
Originally from New Jersey, Karen Zimmerly graduated with a BA degree from Drew University, Madison, NJ. She first started working in photography when she was employed at a small weekly Rhode Island newspaper. Her interest piqued, she went on to take photography classes through the art department at the University of Rhode Island and eventually enrolled in a graduate program at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, earning a MA in photography in 1981.
Karen has earned a living as a picture framer, a photography teacher and most recently as Collections Manager at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, in San Angelo, Texas, where she worked through June 2014. In September 2014 she and her husband John Mattson, also an artist, moved to San Antonio, where they are renovating an old house and continuing their own artwork.
Early on Karen worked mostly in black and white, but in recent years she has switched to digital color work. She and John started a photo project in 1982 when they first moved to Texas, photographing the many declining, small towns. It has been an ongoing project, which they have continued over these many years.