Art Passion: AT&T donation elevates UTSA Collection

By Lety Laurel

If Yazmin Anzaldua were to stretch her arms just a bit in front of her, she could almost touch the Judith Nulty painting that hangs on the wall of the John Peace Library. Instead, the junior business management major works diligently on her iPad.

But the soothing blues, greens and browns of the valuable oil painting, called “Garden at Thorrent,” don’t go unnoticed. Nor does the rest of the art that surrounds her in the library.

“You know in museums, artwork is so far away and you aren’t allowed to get too close to them,” she said. “But here, they’re so close we can really enjoy them. You get bored looking at your books, and you look up and see a little bit of color.”

Indeed, the white walls of the second floor of the JPL form an ideal gallery for the paintings, most of them from two donations from AT&T’s art collection. On one wall hangs “Garden of Thorrent.” On another, pop art by Nick Krushenick, considered a pioneer of the style, hovers over an intimate study area, the painting’s loud red, yellow, orange and blue color scheme demanding attention.

Along a back wall looms artist Carmen Cicero’s “Fin de Siecle,” an acrylic on canvas that measures more than 96 inches across. It is the most expensive of the donated paintings, valued at $65,000.

“It is like you’re coming into a museum,” said Arturo Infante Almeida, art specialist and curator for UTSA. “These are museum pieces."

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