First Friday preview 

February marks the beginning of all things lovey-dovey. Yes, roll your eyes but First Friday won’t completely bog you down with cutesy art. (But if you are in need of cheesy gifties then stop by street-side vendors for that one ... there’s plenty to grab up from ’em.) Here’s a sampling of what’s in store down South Alamo: Blue Star’s Three Walls gallery is back after a lengthy hiatus, Loft 120 is up to new happenings, and the kids over at Say Sí are at it again — things are back to normal over in Southtown and we couldn’t be happier.

The small quarters that house Cactus Bra space haven’t stopped Leigh Anne Lester from booking innovative artists (Leslie Raymond’s November video-based show In the Garden was refreshingly raw and drew a steady crowd.) and this month’s offering is no exception. Jared Theis’s Sheet Music Drawings & Quantum Mechanics is a gorgeously designed series of works that bring music and art together. Theis’s exhibition was born from his recent study of chamber music and interest in microscopy. Drawing microorganisms atop vellum sheet music that Theis has either studied, performed, or loved throughout his life makes the exhibition even more magical. His works are highly complex pieces — Theis often shifts between sculpture and drawing as well.

Down the street over at Say Sí students are back from winter break and taking center stage with “Movements and Monographs,” a series of traditional and non-traditional print works. Visual-arts students will show etching, solar plate, and collagraph-process pieces, while media-arts students will showcase digital self-portraits and animation projects using Photoshop, Flash, Blender, Mirage, and Stop Motion. The exhibit runs through February 15 so be sure to check it out while it’s still up.

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More First Friday events include:

6-9pm
Can You Pay the Gas Bill?
Three Walls, Blue Star studio 106D, Blue Star, Building B, (210) 212-7185

Austin artist Josh Welker is focusing his work on two forms — the pedestal and the architectural support. His work in this project allows him to enact a process of reproduction — this makes each new work “the formal reconsideration of a previous incarnation.”

6-11pm
Loft 120, 120 Blue Star #2,
(210) 845-1478

As promised, big changes have come to Loft 120 and it’s not just the $5 entry fee. Ten painters and photographers will have work on view, DIY jewelry-makers are slated to be on hand, Mnolo (left) will perform, and an in-house cash bar is another added feature to bring in the crowd. Organizers are hoping the loft’s new lounge appeal won’t disappoint their monthly followers.

7-10pm
Tal y Como Soy
Gallery 118, 118 Broadway,
(210) 225-5877

Raquel Racusin’s solo art exhibition displays her careful balance between motherhood and painting. A Venezuelan-born artist, she dabbled in fashion design and launched a promotion and design company while jet-setting between Thailand, New York, and California. Her works elicit a very earthy, motherly feel — bright hues and sunflowers are her trademark in this exhibition.

Joan Grona Gallery, 112 Blue Star,
(210) 225-6334

A new batch of artists makes their way into Joan’s space this month and the show features a range of media. From J. Derrick Durham’s philosophy-themed works to Randall Reid’s minimalist approach and Tim Olson’s collage and egg-tempera pieces — there’s plenty to take in. The variation in the works will provide a nice change for the space.

Ovidio C. Giberga
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center,
116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960

A first glance at Giberga’s “Reclining Male as Flower Brick” may remind Blue Star patrons of Oliver Herring’s September 2007 show (Remember that one with the photo collage featuring that naked guy? Yeah, you remember.), but it’s nothing like it. Giberga uses the male figure to express identity (as a means to convey ideas and acculturation) — he’s also found inspiration in autobiographical experiences as a first-generation Cuban American living in Spain, Columbia, Venezuela, and Italy. His artist statement invites “the viewer to think abstractly as to their contents and purposes.” Giberga is currently at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he is head of the ceramics programs.


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