The Art Initiative

The Art Initiative at The Tobin Center 

Providing a platform where San Antonio’s visual arts are spotlighted in a world-class venue, The Tobin Center introduces The Art Initiative. Aligning performance art with visual art, The Art Initiative will enrich and enhance guests’ experiences, providing moments of great discovery and opportunities to explore the technical layers of performance art. Set in a hub of consistent cultural activity, The Art Initiative will connect with community partners to introduce Tobin guests to local artists working at a nationally and internationally recognized level of achievement.

Enhancing performances being presented by The Tobin Center and its resident companies, the Art Initiative includes support from the McNay Art Museum, presenting original scene and costume designs from its own Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts connecting to select performances. Founded by San Antonio native and philanthropist Robert L. B. Tobin, the McNay’s Theatre Arts Collection is internationally renowned for preserving and exhibiting original theatre designs in an art-museum context. 

The Art Initiative recently partnered with AIA San Antonio and the city’s Department of Art and Culture to host PAPER CLOUD, a project conceived and executed by San Antonio artists Cade Bradshaw and Stuart Allen of BRIDGE PROJECTS. Fabricated with bond paper, wire, LED tape light, and, lots of staples, PAPER CLOUD is a collaborative endeavor, constructed by more than 90 individuals over the course of nine workshops. Building on the strength found in numbers, the group’s collective effort yields a result greater than the sum of its parts. PAPER CLOUD will be on display at The Tobin Center through the end of this year. 



Ramin Samandari 

San Antonio Faces of Art

Selected works courtesy of the artist 

Iranian born, San Antonio artist and photographer Ramin Samandari began collecting portraits for this project in 2016.  Over a period of 2 years he offered an open invitation to artists and art supporters to sit for a portrait in his studio.  The resulting survey captured over 200 artist's faces and their emotions without distraction.  The inaugural exhibition presented at the Cultureal Commons at Plaza De Almas was a unique overview of our city's artistic identity at the begining of the 21st century.  The Tobin Center is proud to partner with the City of San Antonio and Culture Commons in once again inviting audiences to explore and discover the face of Contemporary Art Month in our vibrant city.  

Alejandro Diaz

Selected works courtesy of the Sala Diaz Gallery

September 2017 -> June 2018

Based in New York City, Alejandro Diaz is originally from San Antonio, TX where he developed an exciting and pertinent body of work exemplifying the complex and visually rich cultural milieu particular to South Texas and Mexico. Diaz’s work has been reviewed in publications such as the New Yorker, The New York Times, Art in America, the LA Times, Flash Art, Vogue Mexico, Artforum, and Frieze. His work is in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of Art, LACMA, El Museo del Barrio, NY, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Fundación Jumex, and The RISD Museum of Art. 



Chuck Ramirez

Selected Purse Portraits courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art, the exclusive representative of the Estate of Chuck Ramirez

September 2017 -> June 2018

Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010), one of San Antonio’s most beloved artists, was a major force in the San Antonio art community before his untimely death in a 2010 cycling accident. A 2002 Artpace resident, Ramirez’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. As an artist and graphic designer, Ramirez employed the visual and conceptual techniques found in contemporary advertising and package design, isolating and re-contextualizing familiar objects to explore cultural identity, mortality, and consumerism through his photographs and installations. In 2012, The Smithsonian American Art Museum purchased Ramirez’ limited edition large-format photograph, Seven Days: Breakfast Tacos, for the institution’s permanent collection. The work is currently included in the traveling exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art.


For more information the Arts Initiative at The Tobin Center contact Rick Frederick, Director of Resident Company & Community Engagement at The Tobin Center, via phone at (210) 223-3333 ext. 7016 

To tour the exhibits of The Arts Initiative at The Tobin Center, outside of the hours of ticketed events, please contact Rick Frederick.