Morning art walk through the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Seriously. We walked on the river yesterday morning into downtown, along the River Extension, into the Convention Center Lagoon with its stunning 1968 mosaic murals by Juan O’Gorman and Carlos Merida and then turned left into the actual Convention Center itself.

A convention center seems an unlikely destination for locals, but we wanted to explore the City of San Antonio’s exhibition combining some things old and many new works in celebration of our Tricentennial, “Confluence: Art in the Convention Center.”

We wandered around the myriad of halls and multiple levels of the expansive center on a scavenger hunt for art, a hunt enhanced by the fact we had no clues where we would find the pieces. This added an entertaining touch of serendipity to our quest, but the Department of Arts & Culture does have a cheat sheet online locating the artworks for those who prefer to spend less time lost in the amazing maze of meeting spaces.

While we went for the art, the architectural design of the center itself, reconfigured in 2017 to eliminate its dated frumpiness, is worth meandering through. MarmonMok has created an award-winning facility that gives San Antonians one more reason to be proud to call this home.

Let me know if you spot Ken Little’s cast-iron pair of shoes, “Victory and Defeat.” We missed them completely. We saw Little last night fronting Rodeo Ho Ho at the Liberty Bar, and he said he was not sure he could find his way back to them either. He did offer a clue; they are parked in front of a window.

Postcard from Guanajuato, Mexico: Aqueduct leads to house museum of artistic couple

Following the path of an ancient aqueduct through the city led us to Museo de Arte Olga Costa-Jose Chavez Morado. Tree-shaded grounds surround the former home of the artists, married in Mexico City in 1935.

Olga Kostakowsky Falvisant (1913-1993) was born in Germany to Russians who had fled there to avoid persecution prior to World War I. Her family of Jewish origin sought safety in Mexico by 1925. Olga attended an arts school for three months in 1933 before withdrawing to help support the family. But the exposure to instruction from Carlos Merida and meaningful encounters with a fellow student, Jose Chavez Morado (1909-2002), altered the course of her life.

Morado, on the younger end of the generation of great Mexican muralists, taught art and among his murals are those found in Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato. Both painting, the couple was swept up in the movement of the Mexican Communist party and were regarded as important contributors to and patrons of the arts throughout their lives.

In a separate gallery on the grounds, an exhibition of paintings and sculpture, “Inconscientemente Inocente,” focuses on contemporary work by an artist born in Mexico City, Lalo del Valle. The artist’s sculptures include a weighty drop of ink splashing off a quill, chickens constructed from egg cartons pecking at their unnatural vitamin supplements and chihuahuas worshipping at the feet of their leader.