Put Fiesta Arts Fair On Your List

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Medal Love. Fiesta Arts Fair 2015. Photo by Page Graham.

After 43 years, Fiesta Arts Fair at the Southwest School of Art (SSA) is still consistently rated as a favorite among Fiesta-goers, young and old. This year’s fair will take place on Saturday, April 16, 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday, April 17, 11 am – 5 pm. Typically 12,000 people attend this event each year, so you are likely to run into a few people you know.

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Kings Anchovy LI, Michael Bobo and Wayne Beers at Fiesta Arts Fair 2015. Photo by Page Graham.

Barbara Hill and the rest of the SSA staff and volunteers work hard to keep the quality and the fun factor high. This year there will be more than 110 artists from across the country working in a variety of media. The show is juried and competitive, so the quality of the work shown is always top-notch. I had the pleasure of serving as a juror for the 2015 event and also exhibited there a few moons back, so take it from someone who knows. This year’s awards will be presented on Saturday, 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.

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SOLI @ 20: Simply Spectacular

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SOLI Ensemble takes a bow during a lengthy standing ovation at Gallery Nord.

PAST, the opening of SOLI Chamber Ensemble‘s 20th anniversary season, was our first adventure with the group – and definitely not the last. The event was hosted by Carina and Hans Gors at their beautiful contemporary art space, Gallery Nord, and it was an evening to remember.  An intimate group of about 50 enjoyed a presentation of world-class proportions in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The night began with a casual discussion of the music to be presented by the quartet. No quotes here, but let us just say that we have rarely encountered such a verbose group of artists. And this was a refreshing treat. It allowed us an eloquent glimpse of personality and passion prior to the performance.

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Jazz’SAlive @ 30: Dead Man Walking

As a newcomer to San Antonio, this was Tami’s first experience with Jazz’SAlive, the city’s homage to the art form held annually in Travis Park. And yes, we are jazz fans — Sunday brunch CANNOT commence without Henry Brun on KRTU. Back in 1985, when Page first arrived in town fresh from Canada, his first stop was at Jazz’SAlive. The incomparable Dave Brubeck was playing on the old, small Parks Department mobile stage, and Page’s buddy Charlie Mullins was running tech and sound that year. Mullins — gone too soon — went on to work as Road Manager for another legend, Steve Earle. Well, Page ended up working the show that night some 30-odd years ago. That’s just the way it rolls. Subsequently, in addition to being a local television director, Page went on to do sound for SA’s own Earfood Orchestra for a number of years.

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Courtesy S.A. Parks Foundation — Artwork by Robert Tatum

Tami’s deep experience as a visual artist took her to many of the best festivals in the country, notably The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. She has worked as a nonprofit arts administrator and has had the “joy” of working with teams to put these types of festivals together. So… we were really looking forward to having a great time when we rode down to soak up some good music and sunshine on Sunday afternoon. The experience in a word: Disappointing.

In the spirit of constructive criticism, let’s take a look at all the problems we encountered, and then offer up some solutions…

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Up on the Roof…

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A sign directing us to climb a long, steep ramp — definitely worth the trek

Follow the sign…keep going up and up and up until you emerge on the rooftop! That’s what we did Friday night — not once, but twice. Stonewall Gallery and Artpace both decided to present rooftop parties to kick off the Labor Day weekend, which is a great thing to do on a sultry summer night in San Antonio. This city is really starting to come into its own as an arts entertainment destination — we’re not driving to Austin anymore, they’re coming here!

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Tango y más: A Sunday Matinee with Daniel Monserrat

Imagine yourself in a smoky Buenos Aires cafe late one Friday night, listening to the sound of tango music being provided by a familiar, local duo. It may be a little hard to do on a sultry Sunday afternoon, sitting by the San Antonio River — but that’s the image that came to my mind as I closed my eyes and enjoyed the music provided by Daniel Monserrat.

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Great entertainment? You bet! Something a little different and totally unexpected. Why is this so?

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King William Summer Concert Series: Last Call!

San Antonio Rhythm Cats earlier this summer

Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats earlier this summer

The season comes to a close this Sunday, July 21, with Daniel MonserratFeaturing Tango and Salsa vibes, this Argentinian has a vibrant local following, promising to end the 2013 season with a flourish! Join us on the lush banks of the San Antonio River fronting the offices at the San Antonio River Authority, 100 E. Guenther Street. Bring a picnic basket and something wonderful to drink and you should be good to go. The set kicks off around 6:30.

Seeing as the much anticipated Austin Piazzolla Quintet was rained out a few weeks ago, we are hoping for a reschedule…. We’ll keep you informed of any developments on that front.

It’s been a great summer concert series, thanks to the King William Association.

For more photos of previous concerts, click here.

And here.

Looks like fun, right? Join us.