San Antonio’s art enthusiasts are in for a treat. Through Nov. 21, San Antonio will be hosting the bi-annual Mid-American College Art Association (MACAA) Conference as well as their juried exhibition, MASH-UP, which is currently being showcased in the Main Campus art gallery.

The conference will be held downtown and will highlight art throughout San Antonio with visits to venues such as Artpace, public murals and the Southwest School of Art. There will also be art talks from key speakers and San Antonio artists. The conference is only open to individuals with MACAA memberships, but the MACAA juried exhibit, MASH-UP, is free, open to the public and conveniently located on campus.

MASH-UP shows the wide variety of artistic styles, media and aesthetics that represent the diverse cultural and social realities of mid-America’s contemporary art scene. This gallery will display work from artists around the nation, which were chosen from a large group of online submissions by the president of the Southwest School of Art, Paula Owen.

Picking art pieces to represent all of mid-America might have been intimidating for some, but Owen felt the choices came naturally. After many years in the field of contemporary art and as a frequent curator, Owen has seen her fair share of art. Her criteria were simple, but led her to successfully choose visually appealing and thought provoking art for this gallery.

“It is not as difficult to select the top pieces as one might think,” Owen stated.

“I’m looking for originality, a fresh vision, uniqueness, works that make me want to examine them further for formal qualities. I also look at the way it’s painted, put together or presented, and the subject matter or a combination of the two.”

Owen also stressed the importance of acknowledging the different perspectives and cultural histories that shape mid-America – something she keeps in mind as a juror for MASH-UP. Visual art of all kinds including sculpture, mixed media, painting, photography, ceramics, illustration, digital video and mono-prints is currently being showcased in the UTSA gallery space.

Those who visit the art gallery on UTSA’s Main Campus while MASH-UP is in show should view Ellen Muellar’s digital video pieces from her Chief Resource Management Office series which were awarded “best in show.”

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas’ work is also something wonderful to look for. Her work, “I Shot Farrah’s Hair,” was given an honorable mention.

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