News & Media

News & Media

News Releases


Local Artists Transform Downtown’s Plaza de Armas Building with ‘Compositions in Space: Architectural Interventions’

Posted 4 years 328 days ago ago by Javier Flores (WHO)


Javier Flores, Department for Culture & Creative Development

Local Artists Transform Downtown’s Plaza de Armas Building with ‘Compositions in Space: Architectural Interventions’
New Exhibition Offers a Unique Experience with Multi-Dimensional Artworks

SAN ANTONIO (April 13, 2016) – The City of San Antonio’s Department for Culture & Creative Development (DCCD) unveils its new exhibition, “Compositions in Space: Architectural Interventions,” featuring the works of six local artists. The multi-dimensional installations challenge the viewer’s expectations of the building’s architecture. Two-dimensional works create illusions of perceived depth, videos transform the space into an abstracted environment, and sculptural installations occupy various areas of the gallery in unique ways. 

“The Plaza de Armas building is one that is filled with a significant amount of history and culture. Architecturally, especially with the recent state-of-the-art renovations, the building provides a unique space unlike any other in our city’s downtown,” said Debbie Racca-Sittre, DCCD interim director. “The Culture Commons exhibit hall at Plaza de Armas continues to be an emerging space to highlight local artists.”  

The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception on Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at Culture Commons inside the Plaza de Armas Building, 115 Plaza de Armas. The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibition runs through Friday, June 17, 2016, and features the work of six local artists including: 


  • Sylvia Benitez, “Selfish Giants (for Oscar Wilde)” – Inspired by nature and often choosing it as her subject, Benitez’s landscapes and installation works combine the serenity and volatility of the wild. For this exhibition, however, Benitez departed from her customary geo-architectural address and decided to activate the organic negative-spaces found between tree limbs.
  • Cathy Cunningham-Little, “Six Degrees” – This installation of silvered glass globes and silvered hand-blown glass eggs incorporates glass and light as a means of exploring relationships between man and nature, art and architecture, and culture and history. It is a visual metaphor for the theory of the Six Degrees of Separation theory. 
  • Mark Hogensen, “A Romance of a Few Dimensions” – From his “Plane Series,” the drawings by Hogensen in this exhibit are about the role perspective plays in our perceptions of planes. He explores linear perspective, as well as the viewer’s vantage point through the orchestration of lines and the presentation of constructed form. 
  • Ben McVey, “Fractures” – “Fractures,” which includes drawings and video, is based on ideas that relate to proxemics, which is the study of the spatial separation individuals naturally maintain and how this separation relates to environmental and cultural factors. Focusing on people’s relationships with social media and digital devices, McVey explores the breaking down of barriers between private and public spaces, resulting in a fragmentation within individual’s own daily interactions and lives.
  • Michele Monseau, “lakebyflowerlight with figure,” “fieldbylakelight with figure,” “lyingdown,” and “powerline (heave)” - These works explore cinematic and theatrical landscapes by seeking out discrepancies between individual experience of the landscape and architecture, and corporate (collective) abuses of the environment. The works in this exhibition utilize layering of different aspects of the landscape, using the human figure as vessel—a conduit for and casualty of the sublime.
  • Anita Valencia, “Butterfly Waystation” – Rampant consumerism and the depletion of the earth’s natural resources has long been a concern for Valencia, which she addresses in her art. For this large-scale installation, part of an on-going project, Valencia used discarded materials including aluminum cans, pull tabs, teabags, among others, to impress upon the viewer how much individuals consume and discard in their daily lives.

“This exhibit is unique in that it challenges the viewer in a number of ways,” said Sebastian Guajardo, Special Projects Manager. “The themes of these works – mostly centered on individuals and their relationships with their surroundings, natural or otherwise – will also provoke thought. We invite the entire community to stop by Culture Commons and view the exhibit.”

Culture Commons is open Monday-Friday, except City holidays, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and is free and open to the public. 

For more information on this exhibition and the Culture Commons store front gallery and exhibit hall, visit 


Background Color:
Background Pattern:
Sunday, March 7, 2021