SAN ANTONIO – The COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy for businesses across the country, and museums are not exempt from the list.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio is working to get more visitors this summer and they are bringing in historic pieces and interactive experiences -- where you become part of the art.
“Well, it’s been tough for us, too, but we’re happy to be back as we see tourism increase here in San Antonio. We have more visitors than ever. So we’re really happy to be back on the Riverwalk and see the people come back through,” Meredith Balzen with the Briscoe Western Art Museum said.
There is technology and a STEAM component welcoming families and students, as you are scanned into the actual artwork.
“It’s like we’re immersing our visitors in the art, because we say that art tells stories. And you can be immersed in that story, because you’re part of Western art, too,” Balzen said.
But that’s not all, you can become some what of an art investigator.
“So it’s a fun element. You pick up a gallery guide as you go through the exhibition. You look at things like originality, technique, composition, esthetic awareness. And then you can come here and you can vote between these two pieces of art, pick up a little token and drop it on in,” Balzen said.
And the museum continues to come up with fun and creative ways to bring more locals to check out the experience.
“We have a free locals day every first Sunday of the month. It also includes admission to our special exhibition so a local can come here for free,” Balzen said.
An exhibit this summer spotlights the founding fathers of Western art and includes “The Sons of Charlie Russell: Cowboy Artists of America” which is available for viewing May 27 to Sept. 5. Other exhibits include:
Full STEAM Ahead: Red Moon, Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Guests will learn about the lunar eclipse, and the significance the moon had on the people of the American West. Guests will also learn and practice perspective and contrast in creating art, exploring “Red Moon,” by CAA member Phil Epp and featured in The Sons of Charlie Russell.
Full STEAM Ahead: All A-Gnome, Saturday, July 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Families will make their own gnomes inspired by the beloved children’s book “Charlie Russell and the Gnomes of Bullhead Lodge” by renowned author and Briscoe curator Emily Wilson. Wilson curated The Sons of Charlie Russell exhibition.
Full STEAM Ahead: Whimsical Windmills, Saturday, August 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
While conservation and renewable energy efforts may seem like new solutions to the energy crisis, cowboys and settlers alike used renewable energy long before access to gas and electricity was ever invented. Guests will learn how windmills were some of our first sources of alternative energy.
For a full list of exhibits, click here.