Semmes Gallery

Semmes Gallery is one of three gallery spaces at the University of the Incarnate Word. Frequently hosting students, guest artists, solo and collective exhibitions, it is a dynamic gallery featuring works as diverse as the artists themselves. At any given time, guests may find paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photography, digital art and more.

Summer 2022- "A Sense of Place: Texas Landscape Art Quilts (SAQA)"

Opening Reception: 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, June 10, 2022

Exhibit on Display: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, June 10 – Friday, August 19, 2022

saqa quilt image dqFrom above or below, from far or near, Texas geography, geology and landforms inspire artists with the diversity, grandeur, mystery and complexity that unrolls from the Gulf to the Staked Plains to the Borderlands and the Hill Country. This exhibit presents an exploration of the vast Texas landscape by artists working in the art quilt form ranging from representational to abstract styles. The work examines our human attachment to specific places, and what makes those places meaningful and unique. This exhibit aims to provide its audience with a more in-depth understanding of the range of expression and processes of the art quilt form.

This exhibition consists of work created by SAQA members in Texas. Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications.

Texas, Sense of Place

I would like to start by saying that it was an honor to jury this show. I found the jury process difficult due to the high quality of work submitted for “Sense of Place,” Texas. This exhibit brought up my own memories of the Texas landscapes, particularly the Medina River and old growth Cypress trees; the Guadalupe mountains and Barbary sheep; the Chisos mountains and the sign of large cats such as mountain lions; the Rio Grande and ancient canyons; Amarillo wind farms, cows, Cadillacs…the list goes on. I have a personal account of the incredible diversity of landscapes and resources present within the borders of Texas.

I feel that the work represented in this art show will bring a sense of unity across the state, with themes such as sustainability, hard work, pride, and humor. The statement each artist wrote helped to envelop my senses with more detail. For instance, I enjoyed references to the Marfa Lights and other more abstract themes hidden within the works. The essence of impressionism can be tracked throughout these quilted objects. In other works, realism and a photographic quality serve as examples of the true range quilts and textiles can achieve. Like the state of Texas, which has a large variety of vital natural resources, textile artists living within the state exemplify a keen similarity—a complex collection of skills, styles and materials that compose a patchwork in the shape of the State of Texas

--Joshua Willis

“SAQA” Studio Art Quilt Associates 

saqa quilt image west texas

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
(except UIW holidays)
Kelso Art Center / Semmes Gallery
(Broadway and Hildebrand on UIW campus)

FALL 2022/"Todo Bajo el Cielo" (Everything Under the Sky)

Opening Reception: 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, September 9, 2022

Exhibit on Display: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, September 9 – Friday, October 21, 2022

fotoseptiembre logo image

Anayantzin Contreras

contreras abstract art image

Born in Mexico City and currently residing in Monterrey, Mexico, Miss Contreras studied Photography in the Brigham Young University (Utah) program and Architecture at UdeM (Universidad de Monterrey) and works as a professional architect. Her photographic works have been featured in individual and collective exhibitions and are in private collections in Mexico and abroad.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Ritte

ritte art image of a girl on a chairBorn and currently residing in Monterrey, Mexico, Mr. Ritte studied Architecture at UdeM (Universidad de Monterrey), and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Education from the same university; he has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Animation and Digital Arts from Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña in Barcelona, Spain; and studied Fine Arts and Art History in Florence, Italy. He is Professor of Photography and Digital Media at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (I.T.E.S.M) in Monterrey, Mexico.

The work of Mexican photographers Anayantzin Contreras and José Luis Rodriguez Ritte explores the tensions embodied by their country’s syncretic heritage: tensions between nature and culture, instinct and intellect, design and improvisation, the local and the global, history and contemporaneity.

These works, created in Mexico and abroad, are informed by cross-cultural exchange but also deeply grounded in the history of Mexican visual culture, in which figuration and abstraction have alternated through centuries to deploy, respectively, spirituality and intellectualism. Some of the images are presented as traditional 2-D works, some others are seeking status as objects: through the use of tactile, non-traditional materials and arrangements they evoke presence and encounter, juxtaposing tradition and modernity.

In Contreras’ work, landscape becomes introspective, disembodied and ethereal, while natural forms are abstracted into line, texture and arcane geometry; Rodriguez Ritte explores idiosyncratic beauty without indulging in the narrow optics of the ethnographic gaze: the portrait is a convergence of personal and social truths, while architecture lays bare contradiction and paradox, but also imagination. Both artists focus on revealing the complexity and sophistication that, combined with a contemporary sensibility, reveal the adaptive, receptive nature of a culture in a constant state of renewal. “Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.”

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
(except UIW holidays)
Kelso Art Center / Semmes Gallery
(Broadway and Hildebrand on UIW campus)

Free and Open to the Public


Spring 2022/Senior Capstone Exhibition Spring 2022:

Inoculum Senior Exhibition

Opening Reception: Friday, April 22, 2022, 6 - 8 p.m.

Exhibit on Display: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, April 22 – Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Senior Capstone Exhibition is the culmination of work graduating seniors have created in the pursuit of their bachelor's degree. The pandemics has made everything different and often difficult. The work created for this exhibition is commendable especially when considering the extenuating circumstance all have endured over the past two years.

  • Ileana Chavez
  • Nimsi Coronado
  • Isaac Grigar
  • Sylvia Halbeisen
  • Lauren Holmes Baloco
  • Heather Olivarri
  • Mariana Ruvalcaba
  • Stephanie Silva

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
(except UIW holidays)
Kelso Art Center / Semmes Gallery
(Broadway and Hildebrand on UIW campus)


Spring 2022/SAISD Campus Collaborative Art Fair 2022

Opening Reception: 5 - 8 p.m., Friday, March 25, 2022

Exhibit on Display: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, March 25 – Friday, April 8, 2022

painted image of an elephant with a broken tuskAfter a year of hybrid learning, students and teachers in SAISD are pleased to showcase their best work from the 2021-2022 school year. This exhibit includes artwork from Advanced Learning Academy, CAST Med HS, CAST Tech HS, Cooper Academy at Navarro, Fox Tech HS, St. Phillips ECHS, Steele Academy, Travis ECHS, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, YWLA Primary, and Young Men’s Leadership Academy.

painted image of a city skyline at night Gallery hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
(except UIW holidays)
Kelso Art Center / Semmes Gallery
(Broadway and Hildebrand on UIW campus)


Fall 2021/46th Annual Juried Exhibition Fiber Artists of San Antonio Present:

Sarah FoxThe Language of Fiber Art

Opening Reception: 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8, 2021
Sarah Fox, Exhibit Juror/Awards at 7 p.m.

Exhibit on Display: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 8 – Friday, Nov. 12, 2021

The annual Fiber Artists of San Antonio Art Exhibition will be held on October 8 through November 12, 2021. The theme for this year’s exhibition will be “The Language of Fiber Art.” Fiber lends a unique expression in art that has its own distinctive delivery of the message. Whether traditional or non-traditional techniques are employed there is an observable richness through this medium. Come join us in sharing stories, ideas, or conceptual designs so specially told through fiber art.

This exhibition will be juried by Sarah Fox. She is an artist, an educator, and the director of the innovative community art space Clamp Light Studios and Gallery, the creator and co-director for the Brick Gallery in the Blue Star Arts Complex. FASA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission it is to promote and advance fiber as an art form through education and exhibition opportunities.

Fiber Artists of San Antonio

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
(except UIW holidays)

Kelso Art Center / Semmes and Condos Student Gallery
(Broadway and Hildebrand on UIW campus)
(210) 829-3852

Note: University guidelines regarding Covid-19 restrictions including masks and social distancing will be required.

Fall 2021/"Humanity in Black and White"

Alejandro Abarca "Humanity in Black and White: Photography of the Homeless and Black Lives Matter"

Masked person in white walking in front of police in riot gear

Born in Corpus Christi and raised in San Antonio, Alejandro Abarca uses his photography to show injustice within America, bringing awareness to those afflicted by systemic injustice, as well as those suffering across the world. Abarca states, "My photography conveys a pang of societal guilt. This guilt, I hope to spread through contagion. The homeless, a class unspoken for, neglected and unheard. Black Lives Matter, a movement seeking change in the face of relentless opposition. These are the subjects of my work.
They inspire reflection in me, as I hope they do in you. Alejandro Abarca

An opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 10 from 6 – 8 p.m. The exhibit will be on display from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30 – Thursday, Sept. 30 in the Kelso Art Center/Semmes Gallery.

Opening Reception: 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
Exhibit on Display: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday, Aug. 30 - Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021

Related Events: “IMAGO DEI. How do we learn to recognize the face of God?” | Sept. 16, 2021, 5:15 p.m.

Join students, faculty and friends who have moved among the unsheltered and the vulnerable with Alejandro Abarca and Kathy Vargas for a conversation at this special event. Guests will include Dr. Hans Bruntmyer with students and faculty from the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine involved with street medicine; Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Religious Studies; Dr. John Kainer, and Dr. Sean Vina, Sociology; Dr. Mark Boston; and Dr. Arturo Chavez, associate vice president for Mission and Ministry, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For more information about this program please contact the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability at (210) 283-6423 or visit the office location in Administration Building room 158.

ALL THAT WE ARE: The 2021 Senior Capstone Art Exhibition

Samantha Casillas, BFA, Concentration in Drawing

Katie DiPietro, BFA in Photography

Edward Esteves, BFA, Concentration in Drawing

Sofia L. Garcia, BFA, Concentration in Painting

Miranda L. Hanzal, BA, Art/English

Leanna M. Herrera, BA, Art

Amber E. Kellogg, BA, Art

Elizabeth Kohl, BFA, Concentration in Painting

Melsven, BFA, Concentration in Painting

Karly Nicholls, BA, Art

Hannah M. Schaefer, BA, Art

Carlos Vega, BA, Art

Layla Ventura, BFA, Concentration in Drawing

Benjamin K. Zernial, BA, Art

Summer 2021

Karen Vernon, Exhibit Juror

Texas Water Color Society 72nd Annual National Exhibit

Karen Vernon, Exhibit Juror (photo left)

Opening Reception: Friday, June 11, 2021, 5 - 7 p.m.
Awards: 6 p.m.
Exhibit on display: Friday, June 11 – Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021

Semmes and Condos Galleries

Texas Water Color Society Exhibit Preview