Arts After Hours: Luminaria 2018

Who? You. 
Where? Hemisfair. 
When? This weekend, November 9 -11th. 
Why? It’s Luminaria, San Antonio!

It comes to no surprise that Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival is the place to be for art enthusiasts in San Antonio and, well, everywhere.

For those who might not be familiar with what’s been going on in San Antonio for the last ten years, Luminaria is an epic after-dark Contemporary Arts Festival. This year, Luminaria is expanding their hours for an art-filled weekend to coincide with the city’s tricentennial celebrations. The festival includes a VIP Preview, After-Dark Contemporary Arts Festival, Community Arts Day in Hemisfair, and a Performance at Mission San Jose.

Friday’s VIP Preview will provide VIPs an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek at Luminaria 2018 with three intimate artistic experiences. Want to be in the know before everyone else? Click here to become a Luminaria VIP and then tell us, ha!

Light art by Bill FitzGibbons and San Antonio Symphony playing in front of The Alamo during the first Luminaria. Photo Courtesy of Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival.

Throughout Saturday’s FREE After-Dark Contemporary Arts Festival, there will be an Art Quest for some family fun, and most importantly, a costume contest. All you have to do is “Light Up The Night” by wearing a bright, creative outfit to the festival, follow and tag @LuminariaSA on Instagram, and the winner will be announced at 11 PM. I heard last year’s prize was a year’s supply of free Whataburger, so don’t miss out! 

The Sunday activities will be divided into two venues. You can connect with people and artists from around the world at the Artist Market, Artist Workshops and Demos, and Artist Brunches at Hemisfair between 11 AM to 3 PM. If you can’t make it to the day-time events, there will be a closing performance by Agarita at Mission San Jose starting at 4 PM.

There is no doubt that Luminaria is connecting you with artists all weekend, but who are these artists you are being connected to? Luminaria’s featured artists “showcase innovate, edgy and ever inspiring art in the form of visual art, music, performance, film, poetry, and more.” With over 50 artists participating in the festival, some of San Antonio-based visual artists include Albert Alvarez, Fernando Andrade, Hilal Lalo Hibri, Jesse J. Ruiz, Jose Villalobos, Justin Parr, Adam Smolensky, Kat Cadena, Mary Jendrzey, Malia Gomez, and Laura D. Schultz, among others.

Featured artists were selected by the 2018 Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival Curatorial Committee that includes San Antonio-based visionaries, artists, art professionals, and industry leaders. As part of the Curatorial Committee, Alana J. Coates recalls “one of the biggest challenges of being part of the Luminaria Curatorial Committee is that we had to convince the whole Committee to select an artist for inclusion. In that regard, there were some artists on my wish-list that didn’t make the cut into the final programming. However, that being said, the biggest advantage of being part of the Curatorial Committee, was having the pleasure of meeting and working with some incredibly talented folks, all extremely knowledgeable and passionate in their respective areas. And the director and staff of Luminaria are amazing too.”

Indeed, it’s no lie when they say it takes a village. This weekend-long festival would not have been made possible without the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival Curatorial Committee, Mission San Jose Interpretive Arts Program Curatorial Committee, Production Team, and Staff under the leadership of Luminaria’s Executive Director, Kathy Armstrong.

Long story short, “the total line up is really great. Go in flat shoes and enjoy it all” says Coates.

Luminaria’s After-Dark Contemporary Arts Festival is a free event and will be on Saturday, November 10th from 7 PM to midnight. There will also be maps provided throughout the grounds. Lastly, Luminaria does not have public confirmed event parking, so it is highly recommended to take the bus, use ride share, ride your bike, or walk to Hemisfair (get those steps in). Check out the details on the many ways you can get to the festival here.

Courtesy of Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival

Author: Deliasofia Zacarias

Deliasofia Zacarias is one of the Unfiltered San Antonio co-founders. Double-majored in business and studio art, Zacarias is interested in art politics, food, and a whole lot of Netflix. She is currently LACMA's Emerging Art Professional Fellow in Los Angeles, CA.

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