San Antonio's Contemporary Arts Festival - Saturday, November 10, 2018


2017 Luminaria Artists
Display artists from year:

View/Download 2017 Catalog

A'lante Flamenco

Austin, Texas

A'lante Flamenco performed a brand new dance evoking a safari called The Flamenco and Other Wildlife in the grotto by the San Antonio River. The production took the audience on a safari to a wondrous world full of music, movement, and magical beasts! Viewers of all ages were mesmerized by the stunning projected backdrops, creative costuming and dancing that evoked the essence of animals from all around the world.


San Antonio, Texas

Oklahoma born R&B singer-songwriter AMEA has been rising to attention with music and style often compared to Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill, and Syd the Kid. After countless shows throughout the United States, AMEA’s music has garnered acclaim with the release of her single record, "VayCay" shortly followed by her 2016 EP release Baggage Claim, via Spotify, and Soundcloud. With energetic live performances, AMEA enlightens and relates to her listeners with sub-conscious lyrics. She writes music with the mantra, "Inspire, Love, Dream."AMEA performed on the UNAM stage and at Luminaria's Closing Party at the Pavilion by Hilton.

Artpace Teen Council

San Antonio, Texas

For Luminaria 2017, Artpace Teen Council, in collaboration with Brenda L. Burmeister, worked with local teens and four San Antonio artists to create artwork in augmented reality (AR) that was scattered in and around Hemisfair park. The AR pieces included videos, images, words, sound, polls, and much more. The artwork was accessible to any viewer with a smartphone, and viewers were encouraged to search the Luminaria footprint for the artwork.

Ballet San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Ballet San Antonio's artistic director Willy Shives put together a program called Something Stupid to premiere at Luminaria 2017. The theme is described by a quote by poet Paul Valéry, "Love is being stupid together." Ballet San Antonio performed in the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Ben Jackson

Houston, Texas

Ben Jackson got his first taste of the comedy stage the summer of 2011. After following a strong list of comics at an open mic in 2012, he really kicked his comedy career into overdrive. Speaking on personal experiences he's witnessed, Ben has performed at the Houston Improv, Arlington Improv, Laugh It Comedy Lounge, and the Joke Joint Comedy Showcase. In 2017, he placed 2nd in the Funniest In South Texas Competition. Ben Jackson's audience overflowed the auditorium at UNAM.

Bill Simons

San Antonio, Texas

Bill Simons recreated the days of the circus sideshow in his work for Luminaria 2017. Visitors stepped through a curtain, and instead of seeing a bearded lady, they saw seven of his equally unique illuminated sculptures. Simons has been creating illuminated art for several years, and his work has been featured in several San Antonio galleries. Simons work was shown in the center of Hemisfair, next to the Convention Center.

Cade Bradshaw

San Antonio, Texas

Cade Bradshaw is a visual artist formally trained in biology. His work uses the scientific process to explore the complexity of our world. Making observations about our environments and lives, he devises quantitative and qualitative studies. Through this analysis, Cade makes objects exploring the nature of our realities. For Luminaria 2017, Bradshaw produced a minimalist video loop that illuminated the dark windows of the historic Hermann Schultz House.


San Antonio, Texas

Caesura is most interested in bridging the gap between poetry and communities. Members Melanie Robinson and Claudia Cardona visualize a future where poetry is tangible and accessible to all, a world where poetry isn’t intimidating. Their Luminaria project, Ololyga: Think Like a Mouth, explored the contributions and history of women in poetry. Caesura's project specifically highlighted women of color, queer women, and local women poets who are fundamental to the history of poetry. This project aimed to be a space where poetry is both interactive and informative. Ololyga: Think Like a Mouth was a three-room installation that was exhibited in UNAM.


Windhoek, Namibia

Castro plays a hot combination of African traditional, reggae, and jazz. The band was the 2013 Last Band Standing winner of Namibia and the 2014 Best Live Performance Award from the Namibia Music Awards. The band has gained international attention with successful tours to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Belgrade, Ecuador, and China. Performing for the first time in the USA, Castro is Luminaria's honorary guest as part of the International Sister City relationship between the City of San Antonio and the City of Windhoek. 

They performed on Saturday, April 7th at 7:30 PM as part of Viva Hemisfair Festival!


Austin, Texas

COLLIDE performed their project TRAFFIC JAM created by artist Steve Parker who makes large-scale performances for machines of transportation, utilizing carhorn orchestras, pedicab choreography, musical golfcarts, and amplified bicycles. For Luminaria, COLLIDE premiered a new work for two icons of central Texas: the automobile and the marching band. This new work featured the Alamodome’s resident marching band, the Spirit of San Antonio (SOSA) and a symphony of carhorns, performed in a parking lot by audience members. Each participant was provided with an intuitive graphic score and stopwatch, and “played” their vehicles - no previous musical experience was necessary.

COLLIDE performed in the parking lot by Magik Theatre.

CRITT Project

San Antonio, Texas

The CRITT (Conversations Representing Individual Thoughts Together) Project is a collaborative effort by Texas-based artists formed to foster dialogue through group exhibitions and critiques; project members Almendra C. Desmond, Yma Luis, Hilary Scullane performed Burst for Luminaria 2017. Hoping to inspire new human connections and conversations, performers moved in a seemingly choreographed dance, creating massive bubbles and using the human form and its movement to directly effect the shapes and sizes of the bubbles produced. This performance took place on the grassy slope along the river off of Market St.

Daisy & Buck

San Antonio, Texas

Missy & EPSR Martinez are Daisy & Buck, and they performed Scratch-n-Stitch for Luminaria 2017. They performed side by side, exhibiting their individual passions in parallel; DJ EPSR manipulated sound with the needle of his record player, and Missy manipulated fabric with the needles of her sewing machine. This battle-performance took place at the Longini Hermann house.


Austin, Texas

Core Members: Misa YamamotoFabian VillaSteven CasanovaAdrian OrozcoSixto-Juan Zavala

Essentials is a multi-media collective producing holistic applied arts experiences. The group creates a platform for emerging talent, innovative voices, and unseen narratives where collaboration is celebrated. Essentials is composed of and embraces artists of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. For Luminaria 2017, Essentials presented Biochromatic, which examined the limitations and exploitations of human perception. Photography, print, projection, and installation were utilized to explore uncommon arrangements of light, such as those found in the fringes of the natural world or on the edges of the human visible spectrum. Biochromatic was exhibited in the Mexican Cultural Institute gallery.
Esther de Monteflores

Seattle, Washington

Esther de Monteflores is an American circus artist, physical performer and choreographer. In her work, Esther seeks a balance between technical skill and expressive movement. Circus arts allow her to create work that is both intimate and spectacular, using the inherent element of risk to focus attention and spark imagination. De Monteflores’ latest work, Tiny Cities, is an absurd and whimsical celebration of Columba Livia, the common pigeon. Perched on a power line, windowsill or park bench, the pigeon is the wildness in our cities, inviting us to change our perspective and see our homes in a new light. She performed Tiny Cities in Yanaguana Garden.


San Antonio, Texas

Filthy is an experimental darkwave post punk three piece from San Antonio, Texas, described as “beautifully dark & art damaged princes.” Alex Alvarado and Leonard Guerra started the band in 2014. Their current lineup was formed in 2016 with the addition of Rick Flores on electronics. For Luminaria, Filthy performed a set of original music that is a side of San Antonio's underground music scene that is rarely heard, accompanied by projected imagery and texture that Filthy selected for each song. Filthy performed in UNAM.

Frank Valdez

Los Angeles, California

Frank Valdez specializes in painting people from underrepresented populations: immigrants, day laborers, students, maids and janitors. For Luminaria, Valdez worked in and around the Hemisfair District, painting portraits and landscapes of people and places in San Antonio. In UNAM, Valdez exhibited the painting series that told a fuller story of San Antonio than any one portrait could manage.

Gabriela Santiago and Nicolas Rivard

San Antonio, Texas

Artists Gabriela Santiago and Nicolas Rivard commemorated the cycle of commerce and community that has existed in the Hemisfair area for centuries by recreating signage of businesses that existed in the pre-1968 World's Fair Germantown neighborhood in white neon. During Luminaria 2017, illuminated neon signage hung above contemporary interpretations of the archived businesses starting at Hemisfair Boulevard and Nueva Street.

Gera Lozano

Brooklyn, New York

Gera Lozano is a conceptual artist based out of Brooklyn, New York whose goal is to beautify and bring to light both sacred patterns and the patterns woven into our social fabric. Lozano painted a mural of overlapping images in three colors that could be viewed separately as colored lights illuminated the mural throughout the night of Luminaria. Gera Lozano's mural "Humming Wings in Texas Dawn" was painted on the back wall of the Magik Theatre.

Henry Brun and The Latin Playerz

San Antonio, Texas

The Latin Playerz, led by Grammy Award winning Henry Brun, played latin jazz music driven by folkloric, Afro Caribbean rhythms. Led by artist AJ Rodriguez, interpretive dancers used their bodies as paintbrushes to express their interpretation of the music on canvas as they performed. This original multimedia performance was premiered on the Main Stage.

House of Trees

San Antonio, Texas

House of Trees presented Word Around Town, a collaborative project between San Antonio artists, writers and poets who created a network of illuminated, vintage, lettered signs that celebrated the people, landscape and culture of San Antonio. This project was built up of a series of double-sided arrowed marquees that focused messages toward the history of the city, its culture and Hemisfair itself. Word Around Town was installed on the main pathway in Hemisfair, near UNAM and Mexican Cultural Institute, and featured the works of Naomi Shihab Nye and John Phillip Santos.

Jason Ibarra

San Antonio, Texas

Jason Ibarra, also known as "Popguy," installed a light collage called Artist and Eye in Yanaguana Garden. Ibarra recently exhibited at the Culture Commons Gallery in the Plaza de Armas Building in San Antonio.

Julia Barbosa Landois

Houston, Texas

Julia Barbosa Landois is a performance, installation, and video artist. Her work for Luminaria took the form of a two-dimensional walking meditation labyrinth made out of repurposed materials found in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and based on suburban expansion in Texas metro areas. The work was inspired by similar patterns found across the world, from prehistoric petroglyphs in modern-day California to the floor of Chartres Cathedral. Visitors were invited to contemplate effects of the suburban lifestyle while slowly traversing on foot a map made possible solely by the culture of cars. Placement of this piece in the 19thcentury Carriage House in Hemisfair Park provided a further point of historical contrast and begged questions about the future of San Antonio’s footprint.

K23 Gallery

San Antonio, Texas

K23 Gallery featured a brilliant, melodious multicolored paradise of light and sound featuring three musical acts including Jerry Paper, a postmodern synth-pop producer from Los Angeles. Dancers as well as world-class light artists including Ether Wave, a 1960’s revivalist style light show from Austin, accompanied the musical acts. K23 Gallery installed a special performance area in the Magik Theatre Lobby.

King Pelican

San Antonio, Texas

King Pelican members Ernest Hernandez, Darren Kuper and Lloyd Walsh are 3 sonic pioneers, monitoring and listening to the echoes of surf and garage subcultures of the 1960s, while also heeding the call of 21st century rock and roll. King Pelican called attention to the importance of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Hemisfair '68 with an original multimedia suite called TRANSFORMATION 68: THE CONFLUENCE OF SAN ANTONIO AND HEMISFAIRthat married 8 original King Pelican instrumental compositions to iconic images from the Hemisfair '68 World's Fair. This performance took place on the Main Stage at Luminaria 2017.

Land Heritage Institute

San Antonio, Texas

Land Heritage Institute (LHI), in collaboration with EPIcenter, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Land Art Generator Initiative, presented the world’s first Solar Mural installation, a Land Art Generator artwork. La Monarca, a giant loteria card celebrating San Antonio’s status as the National Wildlife Federation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City, included an image by San Antonio artist Cruz Ortiz. The image was embedded into the solar-energy-producing-film that constituted the surface of this Land Art Generator artwork. LHI also hosted the 5th biennial LHI Art-Sci Symposium in partnership with Luminaria in Southtown on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at The Mercury Project (538 Roosevelt Avenue), free and open to the public.

Larry Garza

San Antonio, Texas

Larry Garza performed his brand of a stand-up comedy that blended his San Antonio, non-Spanish speaking origins with cynical satire about married life, social media, disease and religion. Larry Garza's audience overflowed the auditorium at UNAM and at Luminaria's Closing Party at the Pavilion by Hilton.

Leland Drexler-Russell

Austin, Texas

Leland Drexler-Russell launched TransPlant Design to imbue the world with an added sense of enchantment. He uses special effects techniques to create large, interactive installations that envelop participants in surreal environs. His inspiration comes from the amazingly diverse flora and fauna found on our earth and speculative astrobiology of faraway worlds. For Luminaria, Drexler-Russell created a collection of large, woven, illuminated sculptures titled Awakening, which were brought to life by viewer participation. Curious artifacts stirred upon human presence, leading viewers through an enchanted trail along the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Lower Dens

Baltimore, Maryland

Ribbon Music is pleased to announce the return of Baltimore's Lower Dens with their third album, Escape from Evil. On Escape From Evil, Lower Dens' Jana Hunter emerges: cerebral and hot-blooded, rash and incorruptible, and, crucially, possessing of a loud, clear voice. The album sees Hunter stepping up and taking center stage, and emboldening every aspect of the band.

Lower Dens performed on the Main Stage.

Magik Theatre

San Antonio, Texas

The Magik Theatre has been providing children and families with professional, accessible, literature-based theater and education since 1994. The Magik Theatre presented Excerpts from the Kingdom of Texas at the Mexican Cultural Institute. 

Marisela Barrera

San Antonio, Texas

Marisela Barrera creates Tex-Mex stories on stage and in print. She is a genre fluid writer, with over twenty-five published essays, and she has directed over fifty plays in various venues: from street corners and cantinas to San Antonio’s Tobin Center. For Luminaria, she performed GenteTalk: Testimonios from San Antonio, a live theatre performance which she prepared for by capturing stories from gente (people) from each general sector of San Antonio: Southside, Eastside, Westside and Northside. She used these unheard stories as source material for her performance, which took place at the Mexican Cultural Institute at Luminaria 2017.

Matthias Neumann

Brooklyn, New York

Matthias Neumann is an artist based in New York City. His work fluctuates between architecture and a wide range of artistic media, with a particular focus on public art and installations in the public sphere. Neumann created a geometric wood sculpture conceived site-specifically at Hemisfair Park by reacting to his environment as he built the artwork. Neumann's sculpture is still on display outside of UNAM.

Michael Menchaca

San Antonio, Texas

For Luminaria 2017, Michael Menchaca created a video installation rich with repeated patterns, animations and a lightshow that hinted at the building's 1968 World's Fair usage history. Menchaca's installation converted the facade of the Sweeney house into a large-scale altarpiece that connected the structure back to its previous Irish immigrant residents.

Miniature Curiosa

San Antonio, Texas

Through low-fi technology, puppetry, toy theater, and non-linear storytelling, Miniature Curiosa explores the underbelly of childhood nostalgia with the disappointed eyeballs of adulthood. For Luminaria 2017, members Murphi Cook and Zach Dorn premiered The Clown Was Stung by Wasps, their most ambitious project to date. In this one-of-a-kind theatrical experience, five teens cozy up into yet another Friday night at Big Red's Drive In. Except this time, audiences can tune into their chatter via FM radios. Simultaneously, an obscure silent-film hits the big screen, creating a strange and enchanting landscape performed through the magic of live-projection puppetry. Together, these spectacles combined to create an immersive evening of secrets, nostalgia, and perhaps even a bit of terror. The Clown Was Stung by Wasps was performed at the Magik Theatre parking lot on Alamo St.

Nancy Wood

San Antonio, Texas

Nancy Wood is a classically trained artist currently using photography and digital painting to explore the aesthetics of the natural landscape. The colors in her work are intensified, and the forms are abstracted to express the mystical qualities one experiences while absorbed in the beauty of nature. Her work for Luminaria showed her fascination of the abstract qualities of freeway automobile lights captured in long exposures. Nancy Wood's photograph titled Early Morning Drive in San Antonio was exhibited outside the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Peterson/Hayes Duo

San Antonio, Texas

Local musicians Kristin Hayes (flute) and Eric Peterson (percussion) performed a program featuring the world premiere of a new work for flute and percussion by Thad Anderson written specifically for Luminaria 2017. This new work is inspired by three volumes of drumbeats by drummer Billy Martin, which were incorporated into the piece. The Peterson/Hayes Duo performed on stage in the Mexican Cultural Institute at Luminaria 2017.


Austin, Texas

ProyectoTeatro presented an original, multi-disciplinary project titled Brujas under the direction of award-winning theatre director Luis Ordaz Gutiérrez, and in collaboration with recognized Latino choreographers Roén Salinas and Jasmine De Leon. Brujas is a dance theatre piece that unravels the mystical representations of brujas (witches) and mythological deities in Mexican folklore to codify the cultural DNA passed on through generations of Latina women.

Public Art San Antonio (PASA)

San Antonio, Texas

Public Art San Antonio presented ART//craft, a travelling gallery and cultural space that delivers arts and culture to San Antonio communities. Sam Houston High School students in building technology classes designed and built the mobile gallery from a discarded shipping container.  Eastside artist SCOTCH! created the exterior mural. ART//Craft made its debut at Luminaria where they exhibited work completed as part of the Eastpoint Public Art Residencies Program, including paintings by Junye Butler and her students, original choreography created by Sam Houston High School dancers with artist Jennifer Edmonds-Jones, a short film by Sam Lerma, and more. ART//craft was located in front of the Mexican Cultural Institute for Luminaria 2017.


Barcelona, Spain

Reskate is a workshop and graphic arts studio from Barcelona that creates handmade, artisanal projects. Members María López and Javier de Riba - from Donostia-San Sebastián and Barcelona respectively - are primarily dedicated to projects including graphic design, illustration, installations, and murals. Reskate created an original glow-in-the-dark mural designed for Luminaria 2017. The mural is located between the historic Sweeney and Hermann Schultz Houses.

Ruth Leonela Buentello

San Antonio, Texas

Ruth Leonela Buentello is passionate about empowering communities through the creation of her personal work and public art. In 2009, Buentello founded the Mas Rudas collective in collaboration with like-minded Chicana artists. Through Mas Rudas, her work has evolved to explore the socio-cultural examinations of Chican@ identity, cultural representations of gender, and the cooptation of Chican@/Tejan@/Latin@ history and culture. Buentello created a painting for Luminaria that depicted a contemporary Latina immigrant mother figure. Ruth Buentello's painting was on display in the grotto along the San Antonio Riverwalk at Hemisfair.

San Antonio Dance Fringe

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio Dance Fringe is a group of strong-willed, forward-thinking dancers that have compassion for their fellow person. Sisters Ashley Mazzanti and Sarah Starkweather founded the group in 2009. They put together a performance for Luminaria that featured impeccable technique and touched on 2017 social issues in order to provoke strong feelings. San Antonio Dance Fringe performed on stage in the Mexican Cultural Institute.


San Antonio, Texas

Sanctuary is an arts collective composed of two aerialists, Julia Langenberg and Ady Franckowiak, a playwright, Sheila Rinear, a theatre director, Lisa Fritschle, three actors, Gloria Sanchez, Marisa Varela, Tyler Keyes, a music composer, Jaime Ramirez, and a lighting/sound designer, Gregory Starbird. They performed a piece called Beyond Walls for Luminaria 2017. The story carried a timely message of welcoming, refuge, and the human capacity for hope. Beyond Walls was performed in the recently redesigned playground in Yanaguana Garden.

Sarah Fox & Jared Theis

San Antonio, Texas

Sea of Love is an original animation and musical score created by Sarah Fox and Jared Theis. It was their most ambitious collaboration to date. The landscape and characters in the animation was of the land and of the sea. The film explored the symbiotic if separate relationship between two main characters, one a young bird boy, the other a mermaid of sorts. The film and score provided an immersive environment where the viewer could enter a vivid world where creatures familiar yet strange swim, fly and grow on a journey of love and acceptance. Sea of Love was projected onto the wall of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and could be seen from all around the park and surrounding streets. The film was also screened in the Mexican Cultural Institute auditorium.

SWell Cycle

San Antonio, Texas

SWell Cycle connected San Antonio to local artists by having artists Ruth Buentello, Kathy Sosa, Cristina Sosa Noriega, Resa Wohlrabe and James Sedgwick paint up to ten Bcycle bike frames from the city's bike share program. The painted bikes were displayed on the pathway along the Convention Center during Luminaria. After their unveiling, the bikes were added into the SWell Cycle fleet and can be seen and used by hundreds of thousands of San Antonians and visitors for years to come.

TAB Labs

Oakland, California

TAB Labs members Bill Baird and Taurin Barrera premiered Skywave, an installation that was made for Luminaria that took the guise of a radio-centric museum exhibit in the year 2117. The duo provided San Antonians with an uncanny and fun experience of interactive multimedia and immersive A/V. Above all, they provided a unique and memorable experience to visitors -- something they have never seen before, while celebrating San Antonio and the mystery and beauty of radio technology. The location of Skywave was along the San Antonio Riverwalk and the Convention Center, on the path to Hemisfair.

Tatsuya Nakatani

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Tatsuya Nakatani is a Japanese avant-garde percussionist and acoustic sound artist. Based in the United States, he has released over 80 recordings in the last two decades and tours extensively. Utilizing gongs, drums, cymbals, singing bowls, his breath, wooden sticks, metal objects, and the idiosyncratic bows and mallets he handcrafts in his workshop; he sculpts an intense, intuitively primitive, expressive sound form that defies genre. His work engages improvised-experimental music and movement, while still retaining the traditional sense of space, depth and deep time found in Japanese art. For Luminaria 2017, Nakatani spontaneously composed and performed a fiercely intimate solo acoustic sound piece in Yanaguana Garden.

The Lullwood Group

San Antonio, Texas

The Lullwood group is an artist collective seeking to encourage audience participation, foster exploration and promote art discovery. Members include artists: Chris Castillo, Anthony Francis, Joe Harjo, Joseph Duarte, Julie Ledet, Clay McClure, and Connie Swann. For Luminaria 2017, the group will perform Law of Reflection, in which each member will wear entire-body-covering bodysuits covered in thousands of mirror tiles. The Lullwood Group danced their way through the entire Luminaria footprint and incorporated the public into their spontaneous performance.

The Octopus Project

Austin, Texas

The Octopus Project is Toto Miranda, Yvonne Lambert, Josh Lambert and Lauren Gurgiolo. The group of multi-instrumentalists has been releasing joyous party music since 2002, following a musical path that veers through blown-out rock’n’roll, vibrant electronics, surreal pop and expansive psych landscapes. The Octopus Project performed at the Main Stage during Luminaria 2017.

Wayne Holtz

San Antonio, Texas

Wayne Holtz plays an exciting mixture of experimental pop and rock/indie music. He performed on stage at UNAM and at Luminaria's Closing Party at the Pavilion by Hilton.

PO Box 120188, San Antonio, Texas 78212 (210) 721-1670