San Antonio, TX (June 29, 2022) – The McNay Art Museum’s mission to engage a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts takes shape this summer in the form of a new interactive studio opening Friday, July 1, in the Museum’s AT&T Lobby. Visitors are invited to reflect, co-create, and share experiences through engaging activities centered around artwork in the Museum’s permanent collection in collaboration with an inaugural studio artist.
“We wanted everyone to see and feel our community-driven mission the moment they walked through the door,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director and CEO. “As San Antonio’s place of beauty and belonging, we’ve made tremendous progress outdoors in removing all visual barriers to the McNay experience; the Studio brings that momentum indoors and deepens our commitment to the South Texas community we proudly serve.”
Building on the Museum’s recent improvements to its grounds through a $6.25 million Landscape Master Plan, the Studio’s design reflects the lush gardens throughout the McNay’s 25-acre campus and its signature architectural elements. The McNay’s oasis-like environment extends indoors through a unique buildout conceived by The DoSeum Design Studios, in concert with McNay education, curatorial, and operations staff.
“This unique space invites visitors of all ages to engage with the McNay’s world-class art collection in a new and experiential way,” said Meredith Doby, Vice President of Exhibits and lead of DoSeum Design Studios. “Visitors are welcomed into in a site-specific experience infused with surrealist natural elements, curiosity-driven interactives, and a personalized interaction with the collection.”
Activities in the Studio are designed to facilitate learning, inspiration, and innovation through shadow play, exhibition design, discovery boxes, community reflection prompts, and more. Alongside objects from the permanent collection, San Antonio artists will present artwork responding to a thematic prompt.
San Antonio-based Soomin Jung Remmler is the inaugural Studio artist, whose artwork will be on view through 2022. Remmler is known for meticulous landscape drawings rendered in gouache, colored pencil, and graphite on paper. The artist was born in Seoul, South Korea, and received an MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2008. The artist was awarded a residency at the Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy. In addition to her artistic practice, Soomin is a full-time lecturer at Texas State University in San Marcos.
For the inaugural presentation, Remmler responded to the prompt, “What does home mean to you?”, with a series of drawings depicting vibrant landscapes. The artist also collaborated with Museum staff to create experiences within three hidden discovery boxes that speak to her interpretation of home.
“I created the little village and a house in response to the fantastical foliage walls throughout the Studio because they remind me of the nature that exists within all of us,” she said. “The miniature houses, stars, moon, and origami airplanes symbolize home as the place where one’s heart is.”
All activities can be explored at the visitor’s own pace, allowing for a self-guided experience. In the future, the Studio will hold artist-led workshops, programming, and exhibition-related community engagement opportunities. Access to the Studio is included with general admission and is free every Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., and on the first Sunday of every month.
Funding for the Studio is generously provided by the Greehey Family Foundation, Bank of America, and the Smothers-Bruni Foundation.
Special thanks to McNay staff, San Antonio artists, and the San Antonio community for providing essential feedback in the planning process, which helped bring the space to life.
About McNay Art Museum
The McNay Art Museum engages a diverse community in the discovery and enjoyment of the visual arts. Built in the 1920s by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay, the Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first modern art museum when it opened in 1954. Today, 200,000 visitors a year enjoy works by modern masters including Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The 25 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds include sculptures by Willie Cole, Robert Indiana, Luis A. Jiménez Jr., Alejandro Martín, George Rickey, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith, Tom Wesselmann, and more.
The McNay is open Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m.