News Release | April 1, 2024

UTSA ITC, San Antonio Mexican Consulate partner on National Poetry Month exhibition

UTSA ITC, San Antonio Mexican Consulate partner on National Poetry Month exhibition
Portrait of Octavio Quintanilla

Octavio Quintanilla

Celebrating the rich tapestry of Mexican-American heritage and artistic expression, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC), UTSA Art Collection, and Mexican Consulate in San Antonio, alongside the Mexican Cultural Institute, will host a captivating exhibition by acclaimed former San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla throughout April in observance of National Poetry Month. The exhibit will be on display at the Mexican Cultural Institute’s Diego Rivera Gallery.

The exhibit will showcase Quintanilla’s “Frontextos,” a collection of visual poems seamlessly blending text and imagery on canvas. Curated by UTSA Art Specialist Arturo Infante Almeida, the selection of works promises a journey into Quintanilla’s childhood memories expressed in vibrant colors and intricate mark-making.

Almeida, who has long admired Quintanilla’s work as an artist, saw a synergy between the poet’s creations and the spirit of National Poetry Month. Almeida remarked, “Octavio combines paint, canvas, and language in his work. With this fusion of poetry and painting, he breaks free from the usual rules of art and storytelling.”

Octavio Quintanilla artwork

“No es necesario escribir ‘poema’ en un poema” – Octavio Quintanilla

Quintanilla conceptualized his “Frontextos” in 2018. He said about the collection, “The only thing I can say is that these Frontextos want to be seen, they want to be read, and they want to be heard.”

An artist’s reception is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Free and open to the public, attendees will have the opportunity to delve deeper into Quintanilla’s world through readings and discussions led by the poet himself.

“The collaboration between our institutions is a testament to the power of art in fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation,” said Monica Perales, ITC associate vice provost. “By showcasing Quintanilla’s multidimensional contributions to the literary and visual arts, this exhibition will honor his Texan and Mexican heritage and will spark dialogue and inspiration for generations to come.”

Explore Further

Attend the Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 6-9 p.m. at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 643 E. Nueva, in the Hemisfair district.
View the Exhibit: Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Private viewings by appointment.
Learn more about Octavio Quintanilla

By James Benavides