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Blessings upon Linda Pace, the Pace picante sauce heiress, for creating artpace, an artist residency, recognition and education program, located at 445 North Main Avenue in downtown San Antonio.

Pace passed away in 2007 at the age of 52, but her love of art lives on. Since 1993, more than 150 artists have been awarded fellowships to nurture their talent. The current crop of residents, whose art is on display through September 11, includes Andrea Büttner of Frankfurt, Germany; Kurt Mueller of Houston, Texas; and Adrian Williams of Portland, Oregon. In addition, Australian artist Tracey Moffatt, a 1995 artpace resident, makes a return visit with “First Jobs,” a photographic series, and “Handmade,” videos that use nearly 1,000 film clips to explore Hollywood themes of love, doom, revolution and mothers, among others. These visiting artists are also connected to local students and art educators who visit, learn and create their own art.

Chalk it Up, a family event that will take place on Saturday, October 8, this year, is one of artpace’s most well-known and fun annual events. Houston Street is closed down to serve as a giant canvas for chalk murals created by local artists, visitors, residents and passers-by. The event, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., is free and open to the public. Don’t miss it!

Taco Friday is another reason to visit artpace. It’s a two-for-one: art and food! Every Friday from noon until 2 p.m., El Tacomiendo taco truck pulls up to artpace’s courtyard oasis to provide a wide variety of scrumptious fare. My personal favorite is their tostada de camaron, a shrimp chalupa, for $3.50. It doesn’t get any better than that! Be sure to visit the drink table. For $1, you may have your choice of a Mexican soft drink or bottled water. My husband and I both had Sangria Señorial, an alcohol-free sangria, that was quite tasty and hit the spot.

The programs and exhibitions that artpace offers are all free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of its members, foundations and corporate donors. By joining artpace, you are able to get into many of the nation’s contemporary art venues for free, and you are given discounts around town at various restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. For example, Santikos Theatres gives artpace patrons a buy one/get one free ticket at all seven of its venues just by showing your membership card at the box office. How great is that?!

artpace is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. and by appointment. Free parking is available at 513 North Flores.