Artpace nurtures the freedom to dream. We support the creative process and engage audiences with the most innovative art and artists from around the world.
Artpace was founded by artist, collector, and businesswoman Linda Pace (1945-2007) in 1993 and opened to the public in 1995. Pace conceived of Artpace as a laboratory of dreams, providing artists from all over the world with an environment that would encourage experimentation and growth.
In the years since, Artpace has garnered recognition for supporting creativity through its residency and exhibition programs, as well as its range of educational programs. Growing from the inspired vision of one woman, Artpace is now an internationally-respected public institution and a cornerstone of contemporary art in San Antonio and the region.
Artpace’s inaugural exhibitions featured artists chosen by Rob Storr, the then Senior Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY. As Artpace’s first guest curator, he chose three artists: Jesse Amado (San Antonio, Texas), Felix Gonzalez-Torres (New York, New York), and Annette Messager (Paris, France).
Since then, artists have come from as far away as Estonia and Australia, New York and California, and throughout the state of Texas. Initially the Texas artists only came from San Antonio but, in 1998, the regional pool expanded to other cities in the state. Artpace’s resident artists have been selected in two manners: by a panel of arts professionals and by individual curators. In our early years (1994, 1996, 1998) arts professionals—curators, directors, other artists, and arts writers—nominated artists for the residency slots. Nominated artists were then invited to apply for the residency. The applications were presented to a panel who would then select artists for almost two years of programming. A separate guest curator would also choose three individual artists for a single term. In 2001, Artpace switched entirely to the guest curator format, allowing the residencies to be more timely for the artists, the curators, and our public. Past guest curators include Okwui Enwezor, Susanne Ghez, Sun Jung Kim, Cuauhtémoc Medina, and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, among others.