Luminaria 2010, held in down town San Antonio on March 13, was a bit of a disappointment when compared to last year’s event.
Last year, the event seemed more accessible and visually fantastic. The biggest problem I had was with the new location. At Luminaria 2009 the main stage was to the left of the Alamo, and the Convention Center shows were easy to locate. This year, the printed map for the event was horrible; it was out of perspective and oriented incorrectly. As I companion of mine said “this isn’t a map, it’s litter.” We accomplished a stroll through Hemisphere Plaza, where the event was supposedly located, after a long walk through the Convention Center, which we mistakenly entered from Market Street. The Convention Center was hosting an event dubbed “Corrosion 2010,” and it was not seemingly related to Luminaria, although one might wonder…
We started our trip earlier in the day on Broadway at the 118 Gallery. A satisfying photography show featuring Ansen Seal and Al Rendon, among others, greeted us, and the street life was interesting. This was not an official venue for Luminaria, but a rogue band had set up anyway in an alley next to a neighbouring gallery, and people were stopping on their long walk to HemisFair to view the outlying gallery shows and listen to the music.
Once down town, and after eating (which was part of our problem — it was already late), we ventured to the RiverCenter, where a gallery there was disappointingly closed. Crossing the street to the Convention Center area, we found it deserted. No signs pointed us to Luminaria. This is where we found the “litter” that attempted to be a map. We strolled down the walkway at HemiFair Plaza and saw some glass makers, a few booths, some projections and lights, a lot of people, a couple of bands, and not much else.
Later, we understood if we had ventured into that side of the Convention Center, we would have seen more art. But there was little direction available for the art aficionado, and more noise and circus for the down town reveller. It was not an intuitive festival layout. In fact, the feel was more like Night in Old San Antonio from the 1980′s than an art show. People were, without a doubt, having a good time. It was just not what I expected from the experience.
I hope that next year’s event be better planned and more intuitive with the viewer / attendee in mind. Better maps, more literature, and a clear route to the venue would be appreciated. Also, an earlier start on our part is recommended. Still, it was an enjoyable evening and a fun time with good friends.