New creative alliances, fresh grapefruits plucked from trees, River Walk bike rides and SO much ART. Just a few of my favourite San Antonio residency things…
My journey begins with tacos. Post chomps Justin Parr and Anthony Dean-Harris whisk me to FL!GHT gallery where Ed Saavedra and other artists are hanging out. I take in the Angel Rodríguez–Díaz show and settle in.
FL!GHT is an artist-run gallery nestled in the Blue Star Arts complex on the San Antonio river. I had performed waaaay back in 2005 at their former grain silo location as alter ego Lederhosen Lucil and artist/co-owner Justin Parr programmed LL again in 2009 as part of the Luminaria kick-off party at Artpace along with DJ Jester The Filipino Fist and Joe Jack Talcum. FUN!
After hearing of my Wichita, Kansas residency at Fisch Haus in 2016, Parr thought it would be fun to bring me to San Antone and see what might transpire. This inaugural residency a rare opportunity to explore the local arts and culture scene during CAM. With an armful of greens from Hot Wells, a loaner bike n’ helmet I’m free and fuelled to roam.
Curious about my new environs I visit the Blue Star galleries, buy tacos and home-brewed raspberry kombucha at the General store and fall head over heels for The Brick. I wander in one evening when some music catches my ear and from then on day or night I experience art markets, dance classes, games night, pop-up snack stands, live music, a mystic fair…
I meet Brick curator Elizabeth Ciarfeo outside on a bright sunny day and inquire about the Parisian style “Rue Bernard” sign. My first bachelor apartment in Montreal was on Rue Bernard! She explains it’s the name of one of the co-founders Bernard Lifshutz and I tell her how much I love her space and that I’d like to host an event there. Things are bubbling…
CAM begins! On opening night I meet Rick Stemm who tells me about his work at Say Si so I stop in for a tour. This creative youth development program featuring visual arts, media arts, theatre, and film runs year-round and helps prepare students for higher education and professional careers. Rick introduces me to artists/educators Guillermina Zabala and Ed Menenses and collectively I’m invited to give an artist talk.
I explore the silent auction and come across a flyer for the Young Playwrights Festival (Artist-Instructor Amalia Ortiz) that I decide to take in that same night. These scenes written and directed by emerging young playwrights are poignant, well-crafted and emotionally charged. “Stall Block Tango” composed and choreographed by Julia Rodriguez, a comedic musical scene set in a women’s bathroom stall, is one of the stand-out pieces for me.
Engaging new audiences through live performance is an integral part of my residency so on March 1st I transform FL!GHT gallery into a surreal summer landscape and unleash Lederhosen Lucil.
On March 9th it’s the Sweet 16 birthday party (16 years of FL!GHT!) so I add to the mix with décor/cake and a gallery serenading.
Ethel Shipton’s piece “You Can’t Unring” makes me think of Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” so an impromptu sing-a-long with FL!GHT revellers ensues. Couldn’t be a more timely piece.
The group show features over 30 works by local and regional artists who have contributed to FL!GHT shows over the past 16 years.
On March 20th I put on a cabaret at The Brick featuring live music and video projections. For this final performance I play works in progress, screen videos including a Hyperbubble music video by Walley Films, bring out Lederhosen Lucil to HOSE, raffle off the PSR-185 keyboard and spark an impromptu dancing boys performance. Out with a BANG!!!
FOR MAKING THIS RESIDENCY POSSIBLE THANKS TO: Justin Parr, Ed Savaadra, Anthony Dean-Harris, and the rest of the FL!GHT crew. You provided me with the spark, space, time, technical support and camaraderie.
Also mad thanks and love to those who hosted me – lent equipment, drove me around town, photographed shows, helped with performance logistics, offered delicious things to eat, engaged me in conversation day or night, took me to both known and more obscure places – ultimately welcoming me into their worlds along the way: Alex Rubio, Lloyd Walsh, Angela & Mark Walley, Jess Barnett DeCuir & Jeff DeCuir, 1906 South Flores Crew, Elizabeth Ciarfeo and The Brick Crew, Sarah Donaldson, Timothy Lefkovitz, Thomas Rey, Keith Sechrest, Rick Stemm & Celeste Derozier, Guillermina Zabala & Enrique Lopetegui Caprario (+ Shanti!), Josh Richards, Ned Meneses, Jacquenette Arnette, Blue Star Bicycle Co., Robot Monster and Dustin Reichert.