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Bishop & Valderas—10 years of Collaboration

Ten years ago when Kim Bishop and I first began collaborating I knew it was the beginning of an important art conversation between the two of us and everyone that we have worked and collaborated with ever since. This is a documentation of what these ten years of collaboration between the two of us, as well as all the artists that we continue to collaborate with in Tejas and nationally. Now we look forward to more collaborations in the next decade, the 2020's.

3D art film “Jaguar River” Luminaria 2010

From the top floor of the Fairmont Hotel, the morning of March 13, 2010, Kim Bishop and Luis Valderas surveyed the installation of an enormous movie screen in front of the HemisFair Arch. This day marked the beginning of a creative collaboration that has continued to the present day. At that evening's Luminaria Festival event, in San Antonio, Texas, Valderas collaborated with artists Kim Bishop, Paul Karam and Martin Rodriguez to produce, create and present the 3D art film “Jaguar River” Luminaria 2010. Bishop and her art students played a participatory role by engaging the audience through performance to the film. The 3D film of animation woven into San Antonio cityscapes was projected from behind the oversized screen display which faced the intersection of South Alamo and East Nueva St. As the sun began to set on March 13th, Bishop’s Brackenridge High School art students, dressed in matching crew T-shirts with multicolored glow strips dangling from their necks and arms, began to dance through the crowds of onlookers gathering in the intersection. They handed out over 8,000 3D glasses to the crowd of almost 200,000 attendees. That night, as the clock turned 10:00 the audience was instructed to look at the screen at one time for a chance to create a single photograph of the audience as the lasting art piece. It was a success. It was also the first in many collaborative public art and social engagement productions by the two partners. Bishop and Valderas have been a team working to develop, research and produce public art and social engagement art for their community ever since.

Art education collaborations 2010 through 2020

Art education collaborations have been another avenue that Bishop and Valderas have explored and facilitated with the idea of inspiring the future artists of the community of San Antonio and expanding their scope beyond the local artists that they know in the community. The extensive network of practicing artists that both have developed have been able to provide an international art outlook they introduce to young budding artists. For example, in early 2011 with “Grabado Casero” visiting artist Nortberto Treviño from Monterrey presented a workshop on printmaking from a suitcase by using a tortilla press to Bishop’s art students. Fall of 2011 saw the hosting of German artist Klaus Killisch together with Berlin Occupation survivor artists brought by Angelika Jensen to visit and present the history of these artists to art students at Brackenridge High School.

Resident Artist Project for ArtPace at Brackenridge High School 2011

Bishop and Valderas have also collaborated with major art and education institutions in San Antonio. For example, in the spring of 2011 Valderas was selected as the Semester Resident Artist for ArtPace at Brackenridge High School. This was another collaboration that had an educational component through the partnership and support of San Antonio ISD. Valderas taught Bishop’s AP-Art History class the skill of large-scale printmaking with industrial equipment. At the time Bishop and Valderas were collaborating to produce the largest mono-print in Texas—The Texas Size Print. The art students were trained in the process of writing a proposal for presentation before a review committee as well as following a concept from brainstorming to actual carving, printing and presenting the project on a public art level. The brainstorming and writing happened in the classroom, and the carving was done at Bishop and Valderas’ studio at the historic Gallista Gallery Complex on South Flores. The plates were printed at the parking lot at ArtPace in a limited edition on paper. These prints went on to be part of the student participation group in the Texas Size Print Public Art Event. Additionally, the students color-inlaid their plates with acrylic and sealed them, turning them into low relief sculptures that were installed permanently at Brackenridge High School.

The Texas Size Print @ Blue Star 2011

By this time the pop-up industrial press had a name, Art to the Third Power aka the A³ Press A3-Pop-Up Industrial Press. This same team of Bishop’s AP-Art History students from Brackenridge HS were volunteers during a large-scale steamroller printing event held at the Blue Star parking lot in the fall of 2011. The Texas Size Print was a three-color mono-print collaboration between Paul Karam, Bishop and Valderas. Each plate was cut with a circle inside a square that fit into the rectangle of an 8’ x 4’ x 1” sheet of birch plywood. Each image was inked in one color only; then 33 different combinations of the circle and square plates from each artist were fit together for the printing event. The large-scale prints were temporarily stored in a basement to dry for the showcasing of the large-scale mono print at Alamo Stadium in 2012.

The Texas Size Print @ Alamo Stadium 2012

The event at Alamo Stadium was a temporary public art installation. It required a total of 120 volunteers and the support of San Antonio ISD with their donation of the use of Alamo Stadium for this public engagement art installation. At the end of the day, the entire event was documented by photographers Paul Cruz, Luis M. Garza and David and Irene Castillo—Expose The Heart, and filmmaker James Borrego created a documentary about the event.

3rd Space Art Gallery founded 2012

July 14, 2012, marks the beginning of 3rd Space Art Gallery founded by Kim Bishop and Luis Valderas and located at the rear of the legendary Gallista Gallery Complex (now repurposed as Freight Gallery & Studios). The gallery space was blank white walls with grey floors and a warehouse style open ceiling. This area was connected to the garage bay studio that Bishop and Valderas shared next door. With 3rd Space Art Gallery, Bishop and Valderas set out to implement a research and arts incubation project in the San Antonio arts community. The premise behind it was to provide a free space for artists to be able to experiment with installation of their work without the worry of having to sell work to pay a percentage to the gallery. The exhibits were curated for the year organized with an open call to artists of any level of experience and location and there were 11 months available for exhibits. Artists from the Rio Grande Valley as well as from San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and New York were selected to participate in the schedule of exhibitions. 3rd Space quickly yielded results as an incubator. Many of the roster of participant artists refined their installation, exhibiting and documentation skills and have gone on to exhibit at other galleries around the South Flores/Lone Star area and further out.

6millimeters-An Alternative Video Venue

During Second Saturday evenings Bishop and Valderas set up an opaque screen where art films and video were rear projected and the audience got to view programming outside in the yard of the complex. It was dubbed 6millimeters and was another form of location activation practice and became an expected part of every Second Saturday event.

Kingsville Large-Scale Print Event —2013

Bishop and Valderas traveled with the A³ printing team to Kingsville where they collaborated with printmaking professor Jesus de la Rosa in their first large-scale printmaking event held in the downtown business district as part of a community festival.

San Marcos Hispanic Cultural Arts Center, Portraits of Our Community— Feb. 2014

Plans began in the spring of 2013 for a February 2014 date that marked the beginning of traveling the large-scale printing event called “Portraits of Our Community”. Bishop and Valderas coordinated with the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos to introduce a team of San Marcos artists to the skill of large-scale printmaking. This happened with a series of brainstorming meetings and methods workshops that Bishop and Valderas led. Participating artists included; Kim Bishop, Hunter McMain, Robin Orta, Sage Richardson, Thom Rogers, Bobby Thorp.

San Anto Cultural Arts Chupachanga-2 Steamroller of Doom—July 2014

The July 8, 2014, Chupachanga-2 Steamroller of Doom event was the first ever large-scale printing event that San Anto Cultural Art held, and they consulted with Bishop and Valderas to collaborate and produce the event as a fundraiser for the westside arts non-profit that is known for its Wevos Rancheros Springtime Gala.

Texas Size Breach in El Paso—Dec. 2014

San Marcos and the San Anto Chupachanga events were good exercises that led to the further development of the pop-up industrial large-scale printing press and the Texas Size Breach was conceived. By this time the pop-up press was working well, and collaboration was happening in groups of artists participating with the printing event and contributing to the large-scale print suite. The print would have two components, one on paper and one on bedsheets that would later be trimmed and sewn together by Bishop and Valderas for a larger installation piece. The December 18, 2014, Chalk the Block Festival held in El Paso was a two-day and two-night event with collaboration teams assembled in San Antonio and El Paso. Participating artists included Megan Harrison, Paul Karam, Jesus ‘Cimi’ Alvarado, Zeque Penya, Francisco Delgado, Ana Selferie, Ruben Urrea Moreno, Igloo Martin

Texas Size Breach @ Texas A&M—San Antonio Feb. 2015

Texas Size Breach was then brought to San Antonio, and another group of artists was assembled to create the San Antonio component of the print suite. A proposal for the exhibit of the print suite was negotiated with Texas A&M University at San Antonio, and the very first large-scale print event to be held at a Texas A&M System grounds was held on February 14, 2015. As agreed upon, the resulting suite of prints was then exhibited at the Museum at Market Square being run at the time under the auspices of Texas A&M University at San Antonio. The expanded exhibit took up the first floor of the museum and ran programming for three months with an opening event, artist talk and a printmaking workshop open to the public at Market Square. Participating artists in the Texas A&M print included Ricky Armendariz, Sabra Booth, Sarah Fox, Raul Gonzalez, Luis ‘Chispas’ Guerrero, Megan Harrison, Paul Karam and Celeste de Luna.

The Texas Size Breach Exhibit @ The Museum at Market Square—2015

The Open the Door Veterans Project—2015

The fall of 2015 ushered in another collaborative project organized by Bishop and Valderas called the <