Creative of the Month Jessica Garcia
Jessica Garcia: An Interview
What is your focus as a curator?
There are so many amazing artists, I am always interested in putting together engaging combinations. I find it exciting to get people together that are talking about the same ideas and start a dialogue. Each artist brings an original perspective, that is what I find compelling. Other artists have a specific body of work that I want help get out there, working with individual artists as well. Their art is my focus and what will motivate me to work with them.
What is it like playing the roles of both an artist and a curator?
It is very interesting being on both sides, my focus changes depending on which role I am working on. As a curator, I see a bigger picture. I want to work with many different artists, piecing them together for a particular project at a specific location. At exhibitions, I am considering the art, how I might work with that artist in the future, and am always looking for spaces for future projects. However, as an artist, everything I do is on my terms and is personal. I don’t really focus on exhibiting my work, I am going to think, sketch, and create regardless. When I feel my works are complete, then I find the appropriate venue. That is very secondary to my process. A lot of my time is spent viewing art, exposing myself to what is currently going on in the art world, always looking for inspiration.
What has been your inspiration for your dedication in participating in CAM for the past several years?
CAM has always been considered a special month in San Antonio. I’ve always known every gallery and most artists try to exhibit new work during this month. It is the best of the San Antonio art scene and I am proud to be a part of that. This month shows how much this art community really supports each other. I’ve been exhibiting or curating shows in CAM since 2009, but this year has been my biggest commitment. My projects included curating Seven Minutes in Heaven 2013 with Linda Arredondo, working with eleven artists, Sarah Roberts’ installation at PS102, and presenting my new body of work for the CAM Open Studio Tour. It’s a great challenge, but I can see how many other artists are committed to several projects this month, and I have to be involved.
What are your thoughts on the contemporary art scene in San Antonio?
It is very exciting to be part of such a vibrant contemporary art scene in San Antonio. I was so proud to see that SA was named a top 25 city for art by American Style Magazine in 2011, listed higher than Houston or Dallas. The number of artist run spaces is a distinct characteristic. San Antonio has a lot of self motivated artists. We are a city of intelligent and talented artists. I also see progressive moves in accepting art, beginning with the amount of public projects being funded, the city hosting events such as Luminaria, the number of artists receiving grants, and the way video, performance, and conceptual art continue to grow here. Pioneers like Linda Pace have allowed artists to cultivate San Antonio into a city of art and ideas, by encouraging experimentation.
Do you see new technology playing a role in the production of contemporary art? If so, in what ways?
Technology will always aid the production of art. It can make it easier to capture and create, as well as allow art to be global. I have recently seen contemporary art created with technology, such as light and sound pieces, then experienced the complete absence, such as Saintlorraine using only the body of the artist and a curtain. In between, there are many combinations, in the production, presentation, and documentation. Art has been produced long before current technologies existed While the subjects of contemporary art continue to expand the parameters, is technology just used as tools of production or to be a medium to express certain ideas? As technology continues to be imbedded in our daily lives, can it be ignored as a subject matter? I hope that artists can have more options to produce art easier and not let it detract from their original message.
What are your thoughts on censorship when it comes to contemporary art?
I don’t believe in censorship. Sometimes breaking boundaries is necessary to express certain ideas. If a person is a true artist, the piece is about their idea, not sensationalism, nudity or whatever else is potentially offensive. Good art keeps you looking for more than a few seconds, great art leaves you thinking long after you walk away.
What would you like to see in the future for contemporary art here in San Antonio?
I hope the artists of San Antonio continue this outpouring of support for one another. The art should continue to push boundaries and raise questions. That is the type of art community I will always want to be involved in.