|Norma Ramirez' new work is featured at this year's annual Art in the 'Hood.
On the wrong side of the river, thirsty mosquitos fill the air outside a corrugated metal warehouse. Rusty trains move by slowly, with a delibrate dignity aquired with age. Patchy grass fights the dirt for dominance, and the atmosphere heaves with humidty from the nearby riverbanks. The number 357 has been hastily scrawled on the exterior of buiding - the only clue that this seemingly-abandoned industrial castoff is the site of the Big Tex Grain Mill.
Art in the 'Hood's current location has some people wondering: Is the annual Southtown event really even in the 'Hood? Technically, the newly minted executive director of the Southtown Mainstreet Alliance posits, the warehouse is across the river - but those kind of restrictive definitions would leave Blue Star out of the loop too. SMA Executive Director Vincent Martinez, appointed to his position only last week, explains that planning this year ran a little behind - nearly three months: "We're all impressed that it happened this quickly." But the member board of nearly 30 members, which struggled to put together the event as they held down jobs and lives of their own, was determined to carry on the tradition.
| ART IN THE 'HOOD
6-11pm Friday, July 4
Big Tex Grain Mill
401 Blue Star, #357
Outside the Grain Mill, a cool, throaty breeze tickles the outcroppings of the building - a small indication of the thunderstorm scheduled to hit on Friday, July 4. This year's theme, "Some Like It Hot," will doubtlessly be demonstrated inside the muggy building - as damp First-Fridayers pile in to stay dry. •