Since 2011, the Spotlight exhibition series has celebrated the remarkable achievements of student artists reflecting on one work in the McNay collection. This year, 1,105 students from 30 San Antonio area schools created works in various media responding to Willie Cole’s sculpture The Sole Sitter. The six-foot bronze is a recent addition to the Museum grounds and the first outdoor sculpture by an African American artist acquired by the Museum. For the preliminary model, Cole cleverly assembled a tower of women’s shoes, which was later enlarged and cast in bronze. This gentle giant rests, lost in thought, in the shade of the leafy McNay grounds.
In May during the Spotlight Celebration, the Museum displays all of the works inspired by The Sole Sitter, which rotate in a series of three exhibitions. Through the Spotlight program, McNay educators guide students and teachers through the creative process, provide in-classroom instruction, deliver free museum tours, and lead hands-on experiences at school events. The 2021–22 school year also welcomed the inaugural class of Museo Institute teachers who participated in Spotlight for the first time.
Major support for Spotlight: San Antonio’s K–12 Artists Examine Willie Cole’s The Sole Sitter is provided by the Semmes Foundation, Inc. Additional support is provided by Texas Commission on the Arts.
Image: Willie Cole, American, born 1955. The Sole Sitter, 2013. Bronze. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds from the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts.