Brick Sunday Arts Market
Although it’s still somewhat new on the scene, Brick has quickly become a hotspot in the Blue Star Arts Complex. The Sunday Arts Market is the longest-running event at Brick and brings in a wide array of artisans, from tarot readers to tea vendors, depending on the week. Though the vendors change periodically in order to promote variety for return customers, visitors are guaranteed to find a selection of handmade artisanal goods, unique art, and great food. Regular vendors include Charlie Rehfeld, who makes guitars and amps from vintage cigar boxes ($35-$170) and Denise Smith, a jeweler that stocks imported, vintage and handmade pieces ($20-$300). On some evenings, the party continues once the market winds down — the space is sometimes converted to a dance floor for swing dance nights, and when The Walking Dead airs Brick hosts watch parties for zombie fans. 108 Blue Star, (210) 262-8653, brickatbluestar.com.
Walking into D’Ette Cole’s Dignowity Hill emporium Good Goods offers an odd sensory rush of entering an expertly designed environment. Wall arrangements are Instagram-worthy to say the least, mid-century furniture groupings appear ready to host a retro cocktail party, and everything else looks “curated,” yet in the least stuffy sense of the word. Opened in the summer of 2015, the shop exemplifies the eclectic taste of Cole along with a few collaborators who “infuse goods” sourced throughout Texas and on travels to Europe and India. A pleasant surprise for such a special space, much of what Good Goods sells is priced within the realm of the reasonable. Perhaps the shop’s biggest wow factor, however, is the way Cole repurposes and reconfigures objects and collections in ways that spark the imagination — dozens of wicker baskets form a conglomerate tableau on one wall and framed vintage bingo cards ($18 each) are hung on another with art gallery precision. 904 Nolan St., (210) 229-0663, goodgoodstx.com.
High Five Shop
Although his original business plan involved buying a trailer, packing it with artist-made goods and staging pop-ups across the country, Joseph Silvas accepted a friend’s offer to take over a small but primely located shop on the St. Mary’s Strip. Opened in 2015, his quaint High Five Shop has quickly become a gifting go-to thanks to its curated mix of cards, stickers, T-shirts, zines, pins and prints created by well-known mainstays (including Cruz Ortiz and Tattooed Boy) and emerging artists alike. Himself a working artist who scored an award for Best Streetwear Designer at the second annual San Antonio Fashion Awards in 2016, Silvas sees the shop as a way to help “local artists and brands grow by introducing their designs to a wider audience.” On a recent visit to the street-smart shop, a number of items made by Mexico City transplant Inés Estrada caught our eye, including her comics collection Impatience, a hard-to-pass-up 2017 “Catlendar” ($10), an embroidered “magic eyes” cap, and a T-shirt starring a beer-guzzling bear. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Estrada is High Five’s biggest seller. 806 E. Mistletoe Ave., (210) 380-1637, facebook.com/highfiveshopsa.
Upon entering Mockingbird Handprints, visitors are immediately immersed in swaths of color and texture. One of the first things that catches the eye is a rack of fabric samples designed by owner Jane Bishop, which can be made to order on a variety of fabrics that range from lightweight cotton to faux suede ($36-$64/yd.). In addition to her own work, Bishop has collected pieces from almost 30 artists and artisans in the space, most of whom are local makers, and still stocks works made by her former Mockingbird partner Paula Cox, who moved to Colorado in 2016. Customers who want to bring home a unique memento of San Antonio’s charm need look no further than Diana Kersey’s nature-inspired ceramics ($15-$400), which are featured in local public works such as the Mulberry Avenue Bridge near Broadway. This year, Bishop plans to introduce a bi-monthly art show with opening receptions on first Thursdays, bringing new work into the space on a rotating basis. 1420 S. Alamo St., Suite 108, (210) 878-5711, mockingbirdhandprints.com.
San Ángel Folk Art
Tucked in the Blue Star Arts Complex, San Ángel Folk Art has been a mainstay for folk and outsider artists for 29 years now. Owner Hank Lee is a veritable fount of information both about local and international art as well as San Antonio history. Friendly and welcoming, Hank guides visitors through the gallery, explaining the history behind the displayed pieces, like the sequined Haitian drapos that adorn the walls, joking about a work by the late Seymour Perkins, a disembodied ceramic head of none other than Donald Trump ($150), and all the while littering in references to local spots and restaurants also worth visiting. Amidst the multitudinous pieces of original art — which include works by Issac Smith, Margarito Melchor, and many others — San Ángel also stocks small items like vintage postcards ($0.95), milagro charms ($0.95), and market bags ($3.95), and has a table dedicated to secondhand books and magazines ($3.95), the proceeds from which benefit local stray cats. 110 Blue Star, (210) 226-6688, sanangelfolkart.com.
Yeya’s Antiques and Oddities
Once described by a customer as “Ozzy Osbourne meets Martha Stewart,” Yeya’s Antiques and Oddities is a DIYer’s paradise, full of objects that range from the rusty to the uncommon to the just plain weird. The store is situated on East Commerce Street within spitting distance of downtown’s high rises, but the atmosphere is more like your weird aunt’s old house — 1950s family portraits in gilded frames sit on shelves next to antique ceramics, surrounded by miscellaneous hardware that ranges from old door hinges to vacuum tubes. Collectors of all kinds can find something to love: owner Mario Cooremans has gotten his hands on everything from vintage license plates ($10-$30) to small animals preserved in formaldehyde ($30-$200), and also has an impressive collection of large letters from old signs ($15-$40). Refurbishers and fans of industrial chic have a veritable playground to choose from, but just about anyone can find a unique treasure here. 1423 E. Commerce St., (210) 827-5555, yeyasantiques.net.