Best of SA 2007

Reader's Pick
Arts 

BEST OF ARTS
Best Gallery Show

1. Bettie Ward
      The Marvelous Hysterical,
       Southwest School of Art & Craft
2. Mike Esparza
       The Bijou
3. Casting a New Light
       Southwest School of Art & Craft

The always-polished Southwest School of Art & Craft scored twice in this category, once with their Fotoseptiembre group show, and again with Bettie Ward’s provocative embroidery `see The Art Capades, January 31, 2006, for a review.` Painter Mike Esparza, twin of the Current’s own Matt Esparza, also made an impression on readers.


Best Museum Show

1. Factory Work: Warhol, Wyeth, Basquiat
       The McNay Art Museum
2. The Genius of Shibata Zeshin
       San Antonio Museum of Art
3. Anything at the Witte

Our readers love the Witte’s Texana collections and kid-oriented traveling exhibits, but the McNay’s turn at Factory Work, a touring show that explored the mutual influence of Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth, and Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, took top honors. You can enjoy the second-place winner, Zeshin’s genius (the work was assembled by San Antonio collectors) for yourself through May 6. See Samuseum.org for details.


Best Security Guards

1. The McNay Art Museum
      6000 N. New Braunfels, 824-5368,
      Mcnayart.org
2. San Antonio Museum of Art
       200 W. Jones, 978-8100, Samuseum.org
3. The Witte Museum
       3801 Broadway, 357-1866, Wittemuseum.org

Security guards and docents don’t have the fancy, endowed titles, and in the docents’ case it’s purely a labor of love, but these two groups of dedicated individuals are the museums’ daily public face. Although they don’t always smile when they firmly shoo you out at closing time, the McNay’s floor staff took top honors, with a special mention for Sal DiGiacamo, who’s no longer with the museum.


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Hometown Artist's Rodeo at The Cove
Best Public Art

1. Hometown Artist’s Rodeo at The Cove
    606 W. Cypress, 227-2683, Thecove.us
2. The Torch of Friendship
       S. Alamo traffic island
3. Clogged Caps mural
       Train underpass at Nolan and Cherry

Multimedia sculptor, UTSA prof, and rockabilly Ken Little struck performance-art gold with the Hometown Artists’ Rodeo, a monthly revolving door of otherwise-hidden talents. Usually held the first Tuesday of the month. Check the schedule at Thecove.us. The Clogged Caps Mural, created by a team of street artists during CAM 2006, made the issue a second time for another reason: it’s been partially obliterated by upset neighborhood residents.


Best Art Classes

1. Southwest School of Art & Craft
      300 Augusta, 271-3374, Swschool.org
2. Stoli Playhouse Kreative Kids
       11838 Wurzbach, 408-0116, Stolientertainment.com
3. San Antonio College
       1300 San Pedro Ave., Accd.edu

Our readers thoughtfully chose something for everyone in this category, beginning with perennial winner Southwest School, which offers a dizzying array of classes for adults and children taught by artists and craftspeople whose work you regularly admire in galleries and museums. Stoli meets your child star’s needs with stage and movie camps, and San Antonio College is recommended for those embarking on a degree.


Best Cultural Event

1. Texas Folklife Festival
       June 8-10, 2007, Texancultures.utsa.edu
2. Fiesta
       April 20-29, 2007, Fiesta-sa.org
3. Asian Festival
       Feb 9, 2008, Texancultures.utsa.edu

A three-day cultural extravaganza steeped 36 years in tradition, the Texas Folklife Festival showcases the food, music, dance, arts, and crafts of the ethnic groups that comprise Texas. Learn to clog, get a henna tattoo, listen to storytellers weave tales, test your cowboy skills, and try everything from Belgian waffles to Indian sag paneer. Over 150 authentic foods are served, as well as a variety of beers and wines from around the world.


Best Popcorn

1. Blockbuster Video
       Blockbuster.com
2. Hollywood Video
       Hollywoodvideo.com
3. Adult Video Megaplex
       9405 N IH 35, 657-9999

This category was originally suggested after a run-in with some particularly stale popcorn from a theater that shall go unnamed. But your votes tell us if you want something done right, you have to buy it at a video store, pop it yourself, and sneak it in. However, the third-place winner makes us wonder about a potential typo in the ballot. There’s an “opc” in there …


Best Movie Theater

1. The Bijou
       Santikos.com/sites/crossroads
2. AMC Heubner Oaks
       Amctheatres.com
3. Palladium
       Santikos.com/sites/palladium

There’s something charming about the Bijou — not just because it regularly (often exclusively) showcases foreign and indie fare, or because one can order an in-movie meal, or because there’s art for sale on its walls. All of that is integral to the experience, but there’s something emotionally, architecturally special about walking down the entrance steps after buying a ticket, as though entering some literally and figuratively underground cine-club.


Best Local Filmmaker

1. Kerry Valderrama
      Garrison
2. Matthew Cockrell
      Case for a Killer (Lone Star Emmy-nominated TV news promo)
3. (Tie) Jim Mendiola
      Speeder Kills
    Samuel Lerma
      Shortchanged

San Antonio’s best local filmmaker (sorry folks, Robert Rodriguez was disqualified), actor-turned-director Kerry Valderrama, has wrapped his feature-length film Garrison. Kerry previously starred in The Water’s Edge and short film Judas: One of Twelve.


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The Methane Sisters’
Best Play

1. As Filthy As it Gets
      Jump-Start Performance Co.
2. Bus Stop
      Harlequin Dinner Theatre
3. Fences
       Jump-Start Performance Co.

San Antonio has chosen to honor an original, contemporary piece in the “best play” category — we only hope Say-Town’s theatrical venues will take notice. Our critic called the Methane Sisters’ ode to filth “a superbly constructed play with each scene carefully placed and trimmed down perfectly.” And August Wilson’s Fences males third-place honors for the Renaissance Guild.


Best Dance Performance

1. Unifyd Soul
       Myspace.com/unifydsoul
2. Ballet Folklorico de
    San Antonio
       Sadu.org/dance_companies
3. Footnotes
       Sametballet.org/footnotes

The overwhelming winners of this category, hip-hop dance group Unifyd Soul, work prominently with Best Of SA Hip-Hop Performance winners Varcity Squad. In December, both Varcity and Unifyd performed at the Venue for “Celebrity Status: A Black Carpet Event.” Their MySpace page touts, “We have no limits.” Clearly — they’re number one!


Best Musical

1. Honky Tonk Angel and Her Cowboy
       Steven Stoli Playhouse
2. Blue Man Group
3. (Tie) Songs for a New World
    High School Musical
    Rent

With a title like Honky Tonk Angel and Her Cowboy, how could the tale of a down-on-her-luck singer and musician not fare well in these parts? It was perhaps the Scrubs and Arrested Development-related hype, or maybe the “blissful party atmosphere” that catapulted the Blue Man Group, who brought their latest show to San Antonio in the fall, to the number-two position.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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