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Southwest School of Art & Craft
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Owner description: An art school with an art gallery, lectures and concerts which are open to the public.
Reviewed June 7, 2012

everything you come across is different, an experience for different intellects.

Thank tracieann1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 18, 2012

The SW School of Art is first & foremost an art school that offers numerous classes (weaving, pottery, sculpture, jewelry making, photography, etc.) It is in the process of transitioning to a 4 year art school from the current Certificate program. Do not expect to visit and see the students at work! It is a school, the students are either receiving instruction OR using their time in the laboratory or workshops.
Art is displayed on the central hallway of the old dormitory, i.e.,the current administration bldg, leading to the small restaurant. The main exhibition gallery is across the street in the Annex building where classes are also taught on the 2nd floor.

What makes this place unique is the fact it is located in the Old Ursuline Convent buildings (with the earliest building having been built about 1851). The architecture and the grounds are absolutely beautiful! It was an early school for girls in San Antonio that operated for over 100 years. There is a small museum on the grounds and the docents will gladly give free tours of the grounds as well as the beautiful chapel. In the chapel, be sure and view the beautiful tapestry, the beautiful windows and the chandeliers. In the museum there is also a 15 minute video giving the history of the Old Ursuline Convent and the Art School available for viewing. These buildings are excellent examples of an adaptive reuse of historic properties. They are also excellent examples of the long-standing tradition of historic preservation by the San Antonio Conservation Society in San Antonio. After "saving" the buildings from destruction by potential developers after the Ursulines relocated their school, the Conservation Society began restoration and then sold the property to what was then called the SW Craft Center... now the SW School of Art.

The restaurant, the Copper Kitchen, has excellent food--- two hot entrees, a variety of salads, and made to order sandwiches--- at very affordable prices, especially for downtown San Antonio. The restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 11:30 - 2 p.m. and is a favorite among locals especially those in nearby offices. Go early as occasionally the hot entrees are depleted by 1:30; be prepared to stand in line if you arrive at 11:30 a.m.!

The gift shop, located in the old dormitory building, offers a nice selection of merchandise from artisans around the country. Unfortunately, very few San Antonio artists are found here, so do not go expecting to be able to purchase student works. Periodically, the School has student exhibitions.

Visitors are welcome to walk through the beautiful grounds that has access to a less traveled and less crowded portion of the San Antonio River Walk. A River Taxi will make a stop at the SW School of Art garden area.

There is no fee to visit the museum or the grounds. The only expenses are your purchases at the restaurant and at the gift shop.

This place is not to be missed if one is looking for something to do in San Antonio that is not normally seen by most tourists.

2  Thank Zell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2011

The architecture was interesting and grounds are lovely with a fountains in the courtyards. There wasn't much art available to see and the gift shop didn't really have any local work by the artists. They do have a nice restaurant, however, we did not stop to eat.

Thank cakedeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011

We stopped by the Southwest School of Art to see two exhibits, one featuring 8- by 6-foot color photos of the landscape and land use in Idaho. The exhibition at the Navarro Campus was striking.

Across the street at the Ursuline Campus, we enjoyed seeing Barbra Riley's creative blending of contemporary still life with art from the classical period. Her digital photos are reminiscent of 17th century still life paintings.

Beyond these two exhibits, there was student art and photos from Express-News newspaper photographers on display. We visited the gift shop then had a nice lunch (special, $7.50) of meat loaf, mashed potatoes and salad in the historic Ursuline building.

Check the school's website, www.swschool.org, to find out about the changing exhibits.

Thank llr43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2011

We stopped in the museum section of the school and were then directed to the art section where there was a current exhibit by the students. The setting is lovely and the staff helpful.

1  Thank ChrisV_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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