Mission & History

Our Mission

Artpace San Antonio is a nonprofit residency program which supports regional, national, and international artists in the creation of new art. As a catalyst for artistic expression, we engage local communities with global art practices and experiences.

Our Vision

To be a creative laboratory that uses art to produce a lasting impact on the lives of the arts community in San Antonio and around the world.

Our Values

Collaborative. We connect artists to resources which inspire provocative risk-taking and the creation of ambitious new work.

Innovative. We challenge artists and communities to expand the bounds of creativity.

Diverse. We engage globally to embrace a wide range of perspectives, cultures, and ideas.

Global. We are a catalyst for international creative discourse.

Distinctive. We define a standard of excellence to foster the creative process.

Our Founder

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.

Our History

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.