CAM–Contemporary Art Month–is an annual, month-long, citywide celebration of the contemporary arts. Since 1985, this event has taken place every July and has served to showcase and promote the diverse and vibrant contemporary arts community of San Antonio. Participation is voluntary and self-curated.
CAM was founded in 1985 by Jeffery Moore, then the director of the Southwest Craft Center. Moore approached the owners of the vacant Blue Star Complex about the possibility of utilizing their property for a one-time exhibit. The rest, shall we say, is history. Moore went on to found and become the inaugural director of the Blue Star Art Space–an organization still committed to providing a revolving venue for the contemporary arts.
Since its inception, Moore’s modest July event has morphed into a citywide contemporary art extravaganza. The event has been a success on all accounts–if, that is, you consider success to mean the bolstering of a diverse, vibrant contemporary arts community recognized both at home and abroad. Last year, 75 local studios and galleries participated in CAM, and this year, they anticipate this number to rise.
2004 is the first year CAM has its own organizational infrastructure, with active fiscal sponsorship from ASKEW, a 501 c (3) arts organization. Though new as a group, They are still committed to CAM’s original goals: to foster, showcase and promote the contemporary art in all its forms. They are artists, curators, critics, educators, grant writers and administrators seeking the blessing of the local and regional contemporary arts community in this pursuit, and wholeheartedly welcome the input of our peers.
Their advisory committee currently includes: Ken Little (Artist; Professor of Art, UTSA), Hills Snyder (Artist; Senior Lecturer, UTSA and Director, Sala Diaz), Michelle Monseau (Artist; Director, Three Walls Gallery), Jennifer Jankauskas (Critic, Independent Curator), Leigh Anne Lester (Artist; Co-Director, Cactus Bra Space), Andy Benavides (Artist; Director, 1906 Gallery), Karen Mahaffy (Artist; Instructor, Palo Alto College), Risa Puleo (Independent Curator), Anjali Gupta (Critic; Editor, Art Lies Magazine), Rick Hunter (Artist) and Robert Tatum (Artist, Art Director and Independent Curator).
Their intent is not to seize arbitrary control of a populist event or limit or dictate content–CAM will remain a self-curated event; however, we will add a diverse array of “official” events to the mix–events and exhibits that showcase both local and international artists and arts organizations, and will work to generate national and international publicity for this collective endeavor.
Robert Tatum is spearheading fund raising and will art direct the CAM 2004 promotional campaign. Artist and graphic designer Andrea Caillouet will design the print version of the CAM 2004 calendar; with cover art by James Cobb. Freelance writer and editor Anjali Gupta will cull together the event listings and freelance writer and editor Jeff Grouser will serve as the calendar’s copy editor.
Tom Frost III is serving as CAM’s Treasurer, Anjali Gupta is serving as CAM’s Assistant Director and Robert Tatum is the Director of CAM 2004.
The San Antonio Current has made CAM a special deal–for a nominal fee, the calendar will appear in full in the Current for four weeks in July, giving us a local distribution potential of over 200,000 units. The calendar will also be available online at camsanantonio.org. Direct mail, billboard and poster campaigns are also underway featuring artwork by Ken Little, Rick Hunter, Cruz Ortiz, Mr. Danny Geisler and Chuck Ramirez.
In order to cover the costs of the promotion, design, production and distribution of the CAM 2004 calendar and related promotional materials, they are asking all participants to pay a nominal fee.
Fees for CAM calendar listings are as follows:
Individual Artists and Artist-run Galleries/Studios:
Commercial Galleries and Retail Outfits:
Institutions and Museums:
At the moment, listing fees are their only source of working capital; therefore, they ask that participants register and submit fees as soon as possible so that promotional materials can be produced well in advance. CAM is a not-for-profit entity with 501C(3) status pending, so all listing fees are 100% tax deductible. Their fiscal sponsor for 2004 is ASKEW, a local art-in-education organization. ASKEW board member Tom Frost III is serving as CAM’s Treasurer, and all sponsorship inquiries should be directed to him.
Please make all checks or money orders out to CAM. They welcome any additional contributions, all of which are also, 100% tax deductible!
Their office is located at 427 N. Main, Suite #8. They can be reached at (210) 212-7082 or by email: infocamsanantonio.org. Check their website regularly for updates on this year’s events.
– Robert Tatum & Anjali Gupta