Blue Star Contemporary Art Center may have started 26 years ago as a tire warehouse, but with its dedication to the arts and continuing support from the community, this once shady area has morphed into an art Mecca.
“The community felt a strong need for a contemporary art space,” assistant program director Brittany Parker says. “A whole bunch of artists came together to form a contemporary gallery.” According to Parker, only a few hundred people expected to show up, but with a craving for the arts, Blue Star had an amazing turnout of over 1,000 people. “With a strong demand it just grew into the top art center in San Antonio for contemporary art,” Parker says.
Although Blue Star is known for its gallery openings and monthly First Friday events, the gallery also provides many educational opportunities for high school students, such as a one-on-one mosaic experience with art legend Alex Rubio.
In this after-school program, respectfully named MOSAIC, companies and organizations commission artwork made from glass tile. Participants then get to design their work with the help of their peers. Once it is completed, the artwork is displayed around the city. Students can see their work become a part of San Antonio history.
People who have never attended a First Friday event are definitely missing out. “I think it is a good gathering of art, artists and people who love art,” says Parker. First Friday, as its name suggests, occurs on the first Friday of every month at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center and throughout the King William area.
Artists set up booths to sell their work to the community while socializing with art lovers. First Friday is a free event and open to the public.
Some of Blue Star’s upcoming events include “Spooky Saturday Family Day 2012” and “Blue Starry Night.” “Spooky Saturday” will be held in the Blue Star parking lot on Oct. 27. The event, sponsored by H-E-B, will include activity booths for children and young adults, and entertainment from local music groups. Participants may dress in Halloween costumes as they create unique artwork with 15 local artists.
Also on the calendar for Nov. 30 is “Blue Starry Night,” a fundraiser featuring a seated dinner with live music and a silent auction.
Gallery exhibits featured this fall include “San Antonio Painters II,” “Genome” and George Tobolowsky’s “found objects.”
Blue Star would like to expand its reputation further down the river. As part of this new expansion, more contemporary apartment complexes and retail shops are being considered to fill this artistic community.
Sometimes the biggest things in Texas can be found in one of the smallest neighborhoods.