ruby city san antonio

Art enthusiasts will be excited to hear that a new, free art museum is hitting the streets of San Antonio. Slated to open this October, Ruby City is a 14,472 sq ft contemporary art center filled with works from renowned local and international artists.

The late Linda Pace who called San Antonio home was an avid collector, philanthropist, and is the visionary behind the Ruby City campus. She wanted to expand the city’s contemporary art scene while also exposing artists from other places to the beautiful San Antonio area.

Ruby City’s director of collections and communications, Kelly O’Connor, said for Pace, “it wasn’t just about exposing San Antonio to the art world, but also exposing the world to San Antonio.”

When coming up with a design, Pace had a dream about a red structure, which led her to draw up a rough sketch that she then discussed with architect David Adjaye. She wanted the space to complement San Antonio’s landscape, intrigue visitors with its unique appearance, and be a place of inspiration for all. After Pace’s passing in 2007, Adjaye and other collaborators wanted to make her vision come to life, so that’s exactly what they did.

“My goal was to translate Linda’s idea into a building that will do justice to her legacy,” said Adjaye.

The glistening red concrete building matches the distinctive historic architecture in many of the city’s old missions. Adjaye also used a combination of elements like crushed red glass to deliver a shimmering vision of Pace’s ruby city, similar to the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.

Over 900 works of art including paintings, videos, and sculptures from the Linda Pace Foundation Collection will now be housed in Ruby City. The grounds also feature a small green space called Chris Park, named after Pace’s son, along with Studio, a space for curated shows year-round.

The center will feature three inaugural exhibitions from Pace’s collection, namely, Walking Dream that embodies the feelings of home and centers around self vulnerabilities and the artistic creation process. Featured artists include Do Ho Suh, Leonardo Drew, Teresita Fernández, Wangechi Mutu, Cornelia Parker, and San Antonio natives Ana Fernandez, Cruz Ortiz, Chuck Ramirez, and Ethel Shipton.

Playtime is the second inaugural exhibit that uses immersive video installation to focus on global capital, race, transcultural identities, and migration. The film by Isaac Julien features James Franco, Maggie Cheung and Mercedes Cabral on-screen.

The final inaugural exhibit, Jewels in the Concrete, revolves around a Julien video installation called Stones Against Diamonds and displays one of Pace’s own pieces, Mirror Mirror — a large dome that acts as a mirror to the viewer.

You can visit Ruby City at 150 Camp Street, San Antonio, Texas 78204 and enjoy these spectacular exhibits for free starting October 13, 2019. For more information visit