Perhaps the word “mini” deters people from believing the art is produced by established artists and that the museum exists in a physical context, but the MINI ART MUSEUM (MAM) is a place much larger than meets the eye.
The MINI ART MUSEUM exists in a time where accessibility to art in schools and the community is essential to growth and understanding. It brings the arts to YOU, offering a unique experience that San Antonio has never seen or had access to before. Public school teachers often do not have the time necessary to take a class full of children away from their busy curriculum, let alone the funding needed for buses or other modes of transportation to get their classroom to an art museum. MAM is an affordable and transportable alternative that brings the same sense of wonder and creativity that a museum holds.
But what IS the MINI ART MUSEUM? Who works behind the scenes to make it happen?
Working as an intern for the MINI ART MUSEUM this summer has introduced me to various practices and procedures that are required for the production of a gallery or museum exhibition. As a was a part of SAY Sí for the majority of my life, I had been a part of a few exhibitions installations previously, but I had never had the opportunity to work so closely with individual artists and curators.
The process begins with the introduction of a curator, the creation of the exhibition genre, and the selection of the artists. Richard Teitz, former director of the Alamo, was chosen as the curator for our “Do I remember The Alamo?” exhibition. The opportunity to speak and work on a show with someone who had been so closely associated with the subject of our exhibition was a truly unique and valuable experience.
The artists we had the privilege of working with were:
Hello everyone. I’m Andrew Leo Stansbury, one of the wonderful MINI ART MUSEUM (MAM) summer interns. I’m currently a third-year MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth (not the fancy Ivy League Dartmouth, but shhh…). My concentration is in Artisanry, and I’m a weird ceramic-object-based performance artist. I could define myself as a mixed-media artist to make it easier to say, but where’s the fun in that?
The summer has been a whirlwind of making art, dog-sitting and interning at MAM. The experience of working with Gabriela Santiago and Mary Elizabeth Cantu has been wonderful, my fellow intern Olivia Hinojosa can do absolutely anything, and with their direction and help we all managed to pull together the wonderful show “Do I Remember the Alamo?” curated by Richard Teitz.
One of the interview questions Cantu asked me at the start of the summer was how I envisioned MINI ART MUSEUM expanding. I started to create a short-list of shows I would to curate and how I would display them. One idea not listed below that would be awesome: The new MAM board member Joseph Lopez and I fantasized about a Virtual Reality show/experience that someone could explore.
5 MINI ART MUSEUM Shows I Would Love to Curate
- Mini Performances: Short Moments of Disruption
60 second performances by local, national and international audiences to push the boundaries of performance and video art. The short-list of people I would love to invite: Iamamiwhoami, Rachel Maclean, Carrie Gates, Ben Aqua, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Margaret Meehan, Hiraki Sawa, Ben Peterson, Alfonso Espronceda, Mohan Modisakeng, Casey Jane Ellison and Libby Rowe (disclaimer: a collaborator of mine). This MAM show would be ultra-portable, fitting in a large backpack that has rechargeable battery packs in the back. Three affordable budget tablets would be attached to black zipper binders that have black matte board roofs to create mini dark viewing spaces (perfect for any lighting situation), and come with headphones.
- Mosaic: Traveling Home
The dream for this one would be created in collaboration with Blue Star Contemporary’s MOSAIC program with high school students. The challenge would be to create a 4″ x” 4 mini mosaic that explores the themes of home and ownership, how permanent or how fickle that can be with an upcoming generation that is less likely to ever own a home.
- Enlarge: Wee Got Bigger: Large Mini Objects
This one would change the idea of what MINI ART MUSEUM represents. Pairing with a gallery or a local school, the exhibition would take the artists’ precious tiny objects (i.e. a rusted Coca-Cola bottle cap) and enlarge them into large paintings, drawings or sculptures. In order to fulfill MAM’s mission to bring the art to the community, the artists will loan or donate the objects that inspired their artwork, shown with photos of the finished pieces next to the objects.
- Pride: Mementos of Identity
For PRIDE month in June, the show would invite LGBTQI artists and writers to create a book and corresponding gallery that explore the themes of identity and how they define their own.
- Fiesta Medals: Viva el Mini!
To celebrate Fiesta month in April, I would curate limited edition medals designed by local artists. This would also act as a fundraiser to help Spare Parts and the MINI ART MUSEUM find a permanent space.