Every Time We Say Goodbye

Michael Guerra Foerster

Exhibition: May 19 – Sep 4, 2022


The summer Main Space exhibition features local artist and City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture 2022 Individual Artist Grant Recipient Michael Guerra Foerster . In his exhibition, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Foerster explores ideas of intimacy, separation, grief, and memory through ceramic sculptures he calls Floops. This work takes root in the artist’s subconscious and touches upon the fundamental transformation of interpersonal relationships through time, the coping mechanisms used to bring closure to traumatic experiences, and the incredible toll of the human condition.

Throughout the exhibition, several unique and strange forms draw inspiration from animation, games, and toys representative of the early 2000s. These forms are littered with cracks and spontaneous ashen markings produced in the pit firing process, a method Foerster sees as a stand-in for the human condition: huge flames, rapidly changing pressure, and falling debris creating a variety of effects, desirable or otherwise. 

The expressions on the Floops are simple yet evocative. While some radiate confidence, others express insecurity, and still, others betray no emotion whatsoever. Many of the Floops in the space also emit incense, trailing clouds of smoke in the gallery and recalling the violent nature of pit firing, giving that conceptually traumatic experience a presence. Here, however, the sour scent of charred wood has been replaced by that of copal and palo santo, thought to cleanse and bring healing. Each form exists as a different manifestation and amalgamation of influences Foerster considers significant: close friends, friends, family long lost, distant memories, past traumas, and coping mechanisms.

While supplies last, the artist invites visitors to pull a ticket from the designated area and take it to the front desk to receive a gift to take home. 

Sponsors

This exhibition is supported through generous donations from the Linda Pace Foundation, the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation of the San Antonio Area Foundation, The Parker Foundation, Inc., Howard and Betty Halff Charitable Fund, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.  

Artist

Michael Guerra Foerster

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Michael Guerra Foerster is an artist living and working in San Antonio, Texas. Michael creates whimsical ceramic sculptures that focus on the ideas of happiness, change, trauma, despair, and transformation. In giving form to these ideas, Michael attempts to heal himself through the making process while also bringing some joy to the viewers. Michael received a BFA with a concentration in ceramics from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2018, has studied at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and has exhibited nationally, including creating temporary and permanent public art pieces in San Antonio. Michael is also currently a visual arts instructor at SAY Sí (San Antonio Youth Yes), where he teaches middle and high school-age artists, who in turn regularly inspire and inform his work. The curriculum he co-creates focuses on creating elevated and original artwork while also focusing on social justice and community-centered

action.

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