Luminaria Contemporary Art Festival Sets the Stage for a Fun Night
The magic of light and the Arts transformed San Antonio’s Hemisphere plaza Saturday night into a world of wonder and illumination. Each year, over 20,000 visitors come to enjoy art from local, national, and international artists as they present their unique installations and interactive presentations under the lights of the Hemisphere Tower at the annual Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival. The family friendly festival, free to the public, offers a variety of tasty food and drinks for purchase to complete a night of fun and community. This interactive Arts festival brings innovation, film, dance, music, and statement art pieces together, to produce a kaleidoscope of light and performances for all art lovers to experience and admire.
Under a full moon and perfect sixty degree weather, Denver based acrobatic fire spinners “Lunar Fire” lite up the Main stage to open the night. Over fifty artists of all media present their art in this year’s fair. In hidden gardens, under sock covered trees, artistic inventions fill the evening with sounds and sights to touch, explore, and experience. On the Hemisphere Plaza five outdoor stages, numerous indoor venues, and other-in between points of interest, feature performances and presentations of psychedelic lights and music of rockers like the Holy Knives and punk-rock artist Amalia Ortiz’s with her punk-rock musical, The Canción Cannibal Cabaret.
Close by, along the banks of the famous San Antonio River, film enthusiasts enjoy popup film theaters showing art films and shorts which included Alejandro DeHoyos and his Emmy-winning film works, Salva Boothe animation, Walled Off, a statement about Trump’s Border Wall, and Ceech Marin’s Chicano Art Collection.
Another one of a kind installation at the festival included Nigerian artist Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya’s Asopomora Connectivity, a woven canopy temple with space for viewers to meditate and reflect. Canadian Justin Tate’s Touch Me inspired by the game Twister and Austin-based Robert Bart’s Giant Colorful Glowing Cicada Shells endlessly attract the growing crowds. What a fun night!
My favorite art piece, former Texans Carol Cunningham’s and Tom Turner’s inflatable, interactive Mission Moon Glow, sets high on a small hill on the edge of the plaza under a full moon, drawing in children and parents alike. I look back at the scene listening to the music, still clearly audible in the still night; The children hula hoop and dance, young lovers strolling hand in hand, gather under the soft glowing blue, pink, and purple lights of the massive inflated sphere to play, enjoying a break from the crowds and hustle of the plaza. As I leave the park, . The black silhouetted forms of the children and lovers spinning and dancing against the Moon Glow’s soft glowing canvas transforms the scene into a living piece of art I will never forget.
I highly recommend the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival for a fun weekend getaway. Whether you are an art lover or just wanting a fun time, Luminaria offers top-notch entertainment. Luminaria has a unique role in San Antonio, highlighting the arts as an important part of the city, while illuminating its historic downtown. If you get a chance next year, visit San Antonio for a dynamic evening of art.