San Antonio

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A lack of pretension is a hallmark of San Antonio’s contemporary art scene, distinguished since the 1980s by an ever-morphing collection of tiny galleries and artist-run spaces in and around the neighborhood of Southtown. Meanwhile, world-class collections of established masters beckon art aficionados to the San Antonio Museum of Art and the McNay Museum,

San Antonio Arts Scene

Artpace

Since 1995, the nonprofit Artpace center has boosted the city’s arts visibility through a combined residency and exhibition program that has featured international heavyweights such as Felix Gonzales-Torres, Maurizio Cattelan, and Annette Messager. On Fridays, a taco truck stationed in the courtyard fortifies visitors with solid fare.

445 N. Main Ave., TX, 210-212-4900, www.artpace.org
Tags: arts and culture | art | culture | arts scene

McNay Museum

A standout among the city’s raft of worthy museums and the state’s first MOMA, the McNay houses a stellar permanent collection in an impressive Spanish colonial mansion whose beautiful grounds and cool inner courtyard add to the artistic allure. Works range from post-Impressionist (Cézanne, van Gogh) to theater art to Medieval masterpieces and include the likes of Diego Rivera and Edward Hopper. An ambitious addition that opened in 2008 provides a striking, sleek contrast to the original building.

6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., TX, 210-824-5368, www.mcnayart.org
Tags: family | art | culture | history | museum | arts scene

Sala Diaz

Sala Diaz, established in 1995 in a rickety frame house, is probably the city’s best known gallery space. Although it regularly hosts high-profile artists like John Smith and Karen Finley, the standard procedure at openings is grabbing a beer and heading out to the sprawling backyard where cats roam and guests gather by a fire.

517 Stieren St., TX, 210-695-5132
Tags: arts and culture | art | culture | gallery | arts scene

San Antonio Museum of Art

The castle-like, former Lone Star Brewery is the setting for a stunning collection of art, stretching from pre-Columbian times to modern Latin American masters like Diego Rivera.

200 W. Jones Ave., TX, 210-978-8100, www.samuseum.org
Tags: family | art | architecture | history | museum | arts scene

Unit B

Open since 2006, Unit B’s gallery director Kimberly Aubuchon (an artist herself) aims to showcase emerging artists from Texas and beyond. “Community is one of the defining principles of the art scene down here,” Aubuchon says. “It’s never a priority to sell something. I’m more focused on always bringing something new and interesting in.”

500 Stieren St., TX, 312-375-1871, www.unitbgallery.com
Tags: arts and culture | art | culture | museum | gallery | arts scene

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