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Perhaps inspired by the massive “Common Currents” exhibit that featured 300 local artists depicting the 300 years of San Antonio’s history, the Carver Community Cultural Center – which participated in “Common Currents” – decided to include 300 ordinary San Antonians in another Tricentennial art initiative named the San Antonio Door Project.

With grants from the Tricentennial Commission and the Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Foundation, the Carver invited artist Steve Prince to spend a couple of weeks in the Alamo City to make this happen.

“What we had in mind was a community-based project with residents creating the work that reflects the diversity in our city,” said Cassandra Parker-Nowicki, the cultural center supervisor at the Carver.

Known for his public art projects, the New Orleans native who now teaches at Wayne State University in Detroit, will lead a total of 20 free workshops all over the city through June 9. San Antonians of all ages and skill levels are invited to sign up. Assisting Prince will be San Antonio artist Wardell Picquet.

The idea is to include North and South, East and West, said Prince, with doors being a metaphor for opening up, connecting and understanding each other.  Workshop participants will get a wood bloc, the tools to carve it and instructions on the technique but the designs they produce is entirely up to them. Themes of history, culture, family, personal struggle and others will be explored. In the end, all 300, or possibly more, pieces will be assembled into a large sculpture featuring four intersecting doors pointing Easy, West, North and South, respectively.

“Taken together, these pieces become the communal voice of the city,” said Prince. They will tell “what San Antonio was, what it is and what it can be.”

The first couple of workshops have already taken place at the Magik Theater’s satellite space off 281 on the far Northside, with others following at the Carver (Eastside) Our Lady of the Lake University (Westside) and at the Presa Community Center (Southside). There will be several sessions in each location.

Prince is a distinguished printmaker and sculptor who has created several public works across the country and led a number of community-based projects which resulted in permanently installed artworks. That will be the case here, too. After displaying the final sculpture in all four quadrants of the city – at libraries and community centers – the four doors will be separated and each will be put on permanent display in publicly accessible locations in the respective city quadrants.

This is public art actually created by the public. Be part of it!
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To see the times, dates and addresses go to www.bitly.com/CCCCportal  Photo: Steve Prince