Arts Artifacts

News and notes from the San Antonio art scene

Where oh where has our arts-funding process gone? It’s disappeared deep into the bowels of City government, where it is scheduled to be examined February 13 in the Urban Affairs Committee, after which it will proceed to the full Council for approval. Or amendment, as was the case with the 2006 arts funding approved by the Council in January. In a move any U.S. Senator would approve, at the 11th hour District 5 Councilwoman Patti Radle transferred funds from a new collaborative-programming initiative to six organizations, including the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and Arts San Antonio, who had received funding cuts in the last round based in part on panelists’ scores, a move that would seem to invalidate the arts-funding process entirely.

The Council needs to step up its current involvement, however, or it will still be reviewing the new process this fall, when they’re scheduled to vote on 2007-08 funding recommendations. “We’re already at least three weeks behind in getting the Requests for Proposals out,” says the Office of Cultural Affair’s Danita Nelson. In the meantime, OCA is still seeking panelists for the operations-funding program and the projects program. Interested parties can call OCA at 222-2787. You can view the current funding-process recommendations at, and attend the February 13 meeting, 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Plaza B Room, 114 W. Commerce.

There is still time to register for the second semester of classes at the new non-profit Inspire Fine Art Studios, 335 W. Sunset, where low fees open the door to hands-on study of ceramics, painting, metalworking, and more. For more info, visit

If you like a stiff drink with your art, stop by the meet-the-artist reception for Robert Tatum, 5-7 p.m. Thursday, February 9, at the Vbar in Hotel Valencia, 150 E. Houston. Tatum, like his fellow L.A. native, George Yepes, has been painting on guitars lately (Yepes has been customizing axes for film auteur Robert Rodriguez), and this show will highlight his work on small instruments.

Speaking of Yepes and Rodriguez, the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center is hosting a two-man show featuring their collaborative work, which opens First Friday, April 7.

Blue Star Executive Director Bill Fitzgibbons also announced last week the development of an artists’ residency program with the Mexico City-based Sebastián Foundation — which is funded and operated by Mexican sculptor Sebastián, whose “Torch of Friendship” anchors the traffic island at Commerce and South Alamo. Fitzgibbons hopes to send the first batch of local artists south this summer. You can thank Sebastián by attending the unveiling of his new sculpture installation at the San Antonio Public Library’s Downtown Branch April 8, where library architect Ricardo Legorretta also will be in attendance. More details to come.

Elaine Wolff


A detail from “The Cygnets,” a 2002 painting by Mark Flood.

The most exciting art news this week comes from Finesilver Gallery, 816 Camaron, which is holding a public art opening at its San Antonio location for the first time in more than a year, 6-8 p.m. Friday, February 17. The show, which is up through March 15, features Mark Flood and Zane Lewis. A show at the Houston Finesilver branch, 3913 Main, featuring Virginia Fleck and San Antonian James Smolleck, closes February 18. More info:


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