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Picasso visiting TAMU-SA

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Recent rumors alleging that San Antonio's branch of Texas A&M University is trying to take over the spo t housing the financially beleaguered Museo Alameda might be based on some real aspirations — that have nothing to do with the pink building on Market Square owned by the City. According to Marilu Reyna, head of communications at TAMU-SA, the university would indeed like a museum. But not that one.

"I know the university has not made any formal inquiry about the Alameda's space to the Alameda or to the City of San Antonio. That has been completely hearsay. It leaves a question mark hovering over my head, as well," she told the Current. "The university has been talking about having a museum, but we have two five-acre lots on 410 on the frontage road, and there have been conversations since we opened that we wanted one of those plots of land to have a museum that tells the history of the university, and maybe as a welcome center for parents and other visitors."

Texas A&M came to SA in 2009, and for now the university is housed in a single building at One University Way. But it is growing fast. On February 9, the Texas A&M system board of regents approved $75 million for construction of two new Kell Muñoz-designed buildings: a Central Academic Building with floors of classrooms, lecture halls, an auditorium, and Patriot's Casa, a center dedicated to helping the school's military students and their families make the transition back to civilian life. Over 10 percent of the TAMU-SA student body are veterans.

The little Southside campus is pushing forward with ambitious art programming, too. This St. Patrick's Day, March 17, the exhibition "Picasso, Friends and Contemporaries" will open with over 70 pieces by Pablo Picasso, half of which have never been shown in this country. The show also includes works by Salvador Dalí and George Braque and introduces Bernardo de Gálvez, another Spaniard who, like Picasso, was born in Málaga, Spain. During the American Revolution, Galvez supplied George Washington's troops with 10,000 head of cattle raised on lands now occupied by the university.

But back to downtown. With little fanfare, the Museo Alameda opened Pre-Hispanic Art in Western Mexico earlier this month, a collection on loan from the SA branch of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in HemisFair Park. The exhibition will be on view till March 18. Will the Museo's much-promised tequila exhibition open soon after? Stay tuned.

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