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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 Open the Doors Public Art Project. Working in collaboration with the Texas French Alliance from Houston, the team created an art rehabilitation pilot project with the aim of introducing art instruction to veterans dealing with PTSD and providing strategies and practices to help them deal with their symptoms of PTSD. The Open the Doors Pilot Project resulted in the creation of five kinetic sculptures representing doors of transition back into the community for the veterans. These sculptures are now permanently placed on the grounds of a church sanctuary on the northside of San Antonio. Participating artists included Jose Cosme, Joseph Duarte, Bill FitzGibbons, Sarah Fox, Luis M. Garza, Michelle Garza, Terry Ibañez, Mark Anthony Martinez, Gary Sweeny and Cody Vance.

Walking On The Moon: Conversations about changes—2016

Bishop and Valderas were approached by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center to curate and install at the the 3rd Space Art Gallery guest exhibit — Walking On The Moon: Conversations about changes: location, movement and consequence. “Giant steps are what you take…” Featuring Sabra Booth, Kimberly Garza Campbell, Jose Cardenas, Jose Cosme, Howard Crunk, Adriana Gallego, Luis M. Garza, Lucy Helton, Farad Ibrahimovic, Sue and Mark Peavy, Polina Novozhenets and Michael Witzel. The exhibit was an opportunity for the research that had been collected at 3rd Space to be used in the form of a mindful community discussion about changes as they affect location and the consequences of the movements that follow.

The Ricky Armendariz Bolts 2017

The beginning of the year got us together for the printing of the Ricky Armendariz Bolts. This event was hosted by Bill FitzGibbons at Lone Star Studios. These were 40 large scale textile relief prints that he contracted us print for him with our A3 Pop-Up Industrial Press at Lone Star Studios. After which the textile prints were transported to the Do-Seum to finish drying out and for installation by Ricky for his Do-Suem Artist-In-Residency 2017 project proposal. A3-Pop-Up Industrial Press

Border Promise: A Print Austin 2018 Event @ the Elizabet Ney Museum

As part of the Print Austin 2018 print fair, Bishop and Valderas transported the A³ pop-up industrial press to the grounds of the Elizabet Ney Museum along Waller Creek. Behind the museum, volunteers from the Austin community helped produce each print by dancing in sock feet on the inked plate to transfer the picture onto a bed sheet. The 12 printed sheets (100 ft.)were hung to create a mural along Waller Creek facing 4th Street.

TexChange: SGCI 2019—March 6, 2019

SGC International is an educational non-profit organization representing artists of original prints, drawings, books and handmade paper. Printmaking and prints have long been associated with accessibility, distribution of information, versatility of form, and cultural impact. This panel will take this role and expand on printmaking in social practice and community-oriented art, a field of art practice which aims to create social/political change in the creation of art while enhancing community itself.

We began our morning with coffee and a few more friends. Meredith Dean was with her group from Santa Reparata International School of Art as well as fellow Artist-Lab cohort and printmaker Nicole Geary. Our presentation panel was at 8am sharp and at first I was thinking it was going to be a small group of a few early birds but by the end of the panel presentation there was a full house and lots of eager listeners. Laura Berman lead the panel with a historic presentation about printmakers and printing collectives lead the way into Celeste De Luna presentation of Las Imaginistas and their recent El Taller de Permiso in Brownsville, Texas. Laura Brown from the Twin Cities showed us how the Proof Public Letterpress Project began creating engagement with the public and artist in their community. Kim Bishop and I followed up by presenting about our A3 Pop-up Industrial Press and speaking about the beginning of large scale prints in San Antonio in 2005 and following it up with our Texas Size Print and the ongoing Texas Size Breach Project. Alvaro D. Marques closed out the panel with his presentation about the history of Self Help Graphics in Los Angeles. After the panel presentation we had a chance to talk to the audience and we hung out with the guys from El Paso's Horney Toad Prints-Manuel Guerra and Francisco Delgado. I look forward to keeping in touch with all these amazing artists/printmakers and continuing to share our experiences and what we are learning along the way. For more on our presentation visit the link: The A3 Press Presents@TexChange SGCI-2019

NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibition —2019

The NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Exhibit was planned in the fall of 2018. Article in the Texas Observer

“Admitted: USA, an exhibition of work created by artists in the inaugural round of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in San Antonio. The initiative pairs artists who were born outside the United States, or whose parents were born outside the United States, with mentor artists who orient them to the local creative scene and help them fine-tune their professional skills. NYFA started the project in 2007 and, since 2017, has expanded it to other cities including Detroit, Newark, and Oakland.

For the San Antonio program, NYFA selected an initial group of San Antonio immigrant artists in 2018 with input from mentors nominated by local arts nonprofits. The mentees included immigrant artists from eight countries, as well as U.S.-born artists whose parents grew up in another country. The work of both mentors and mentees is on view at the Centro de Artes in Market Square through September 29; meanwhile, a second round of artists and mentors completed the program this year.” —Texas Observer

JUMP INTO theFLUX:2020—The New Era of practicing art during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the production of the event to be rescheduled to a future date to be announced by the City of San Antonio.

“The idea behind the Project:MASA-IV 2020 exhibit is to affect change by continuing discussions, educating and bringing together the community around ideals of social justice and inclusiveness through cosmic awareness, the use of science fiction, science, and social/political satire.”

The documentation of the previous three Project:MASA exhibitions has given a voice and platform to participating artists of the local and national Latino community. This facilitated the presentation of their work as part of the Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas Exhibit sponsored by the Getty Foundation at ARTSBlock, UC Riverside CA, in 2016-17 and subsequently the Queens Museum in Queens NY and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in Manhattan NY in 2018-19.

The Historic Pearl commissions the A3 Press to print the River Print Suite & Bas Relief November 2020

What is it?

The River Print Suite is a series of large scale prints that were produced on site at The Historic Pearl’s new Oxbow Building by the Pop-Up Industrial Press(the A3 Press) operated by Bishop & Valderas LLC. The river themed suite includes a print portfolio of each of the five images, as well as a bas relief assembled from the sealed maple relief plates to be exhibited in Oxbow’s north lobby at 1803 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78215.

How does it work?

Using the exquisite corpse method developed by the Bureau of Surrealist Research the team of collaborating artists carved relief plates from 3’ x 3’ x 1” maple plywood with a river themed image unseen by each other until printing day. The A3 Pop-Up Industrial Press is a guerrilla style form of printmaking that brings printmaking to the streets. It requires the collaboration of not just the artists but the community to make it happen. The printing event serves both as a spectacle that creates memories and a mixer that introduces the community to its members. The volunteers required to make it happen are all introduced and taught the specific skill set of large scale printmaking on the spot.

The event day.

A total of 25 community volunteers from UTSA, The Historic Pearl and Bishop & Valderas participated in the 4 hour print event held during the Covid-19 Pandemic in San Antonio. A total of 41 prints were pulled, amounting to one artist proof and seven suites of the limited edition.

...and we are still moving forward—if you are interested in collaborating with us drop us an email. —Kim&Luis 2020

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