Image courtesy of Briscoe Western Art Museum

No other region has quite captured the public’s imagination quite like the American West. From the sweeping mountaintop vistas to the harsh desert flats, the landscape has fueled countless works of art. Although many still view it through the amber of history, the realities and myths of frontier life still resonate today.

It’s a subject well-known by the Briscoe Western Art Museum, whose annual Night of Artists Exhibition and Sale returns to San Antonio March 24 through 25. The two-day spectacular showcases nearly 300 new works by 80 of the nation’s vanguard Western artists. The event kicks off a six-week public viewing included with admission to the museum.

The paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works displayed reflect a panoramic vision of the Western United States, ranging from portraiture to nature studies. Works by greats like Billy Schenck, Don Oelze, Z.S. Liang, C. Michael Dudash, George Hallmark, Kim Wiggins, Bonnie Marris, Michael Ome Untiedt, Teresa Elliot, and Jan Mapes will be quickly snatched up by collectors.

The blockbuster show also gives guests a chance to discover emerging artists. Among the notable new talent this year are Jeremy Lipking, Eric Bowman, Glenn Dean, Dustin Van Wechel, Bob Guelich, Kevin Red Star, and Tony Pro.

"With a rich array of works from today’s top artists, events like Night of Artists prove the strength of Western art," said Michael Duchemin, Briscoe's President and CEO, via release. "The genre continues to flourish thanks to the talent showcased by our participating artists and the increasing number of collectors and enthusiasts drawn to the beauty and spirit these works capture,”

Opening weekend kicks off with an exhibition preview in the Briscoe's Jack Guenther Pavilion on the River Walk banks. The exclusive evening begins with cocktails amongst the art before a seated dinner. A high-spirited auction will provide a dramatic crescendo.

Guests wanting a more in-depth understanding of the Western art can participate in the Briscoe Bison Society Collectors Summit on March 24 and 25. Collectors, gallery owners, and artists will chat at a series of panels held at the Westin Riverwalk, offering expert advice on market trends.

Other highlights include The Night of Artists awards luncheon and the exhibit opening reception in the McNutt Sculpture Garden, both on March 25. Art fans will surely want to check out the evening Luck of the Draw sale, where attendees can snag up pieces at a fixed price.

Tickets, benefiting the museums exhibitions and programs are available online. Those who are not able to make it can view the dazzling collection March 26 through May 7.

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art

Ancient art and modern fashion collide at San Antonio museum's bespoke fashion show


Move over Met Gala! The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) recently held its own glittering event celebrating the intersection of fashion and art.

On March 2, the downtown museum teamed up with local custom clothing company Limatus Bespoke for an exclusive fashion show inspired by SAMA’s current exhibition, Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii. The capsule collection featured 12 made-to-measure looks, all currently available at Limatus’ Pearl flagship.

The exclusive event was designed to delight the senses, with guests enjoying sips and light bites while perusing the Roman Landscapes collection. Live music by San Antonio’s Steven Lee Moya created a sophisticated atmosphere tailored to the fashions and art.

While the show did not feature Rihanna dressed in a papal mini dress, plenty of local notables did grace the event. Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia, Tatiana Herrera-Schneider (Chief Engagement Officer, SAMA), and Lisa Abel (Chief Development Officer, SAMA) moonlit as models.

Following the fashion show, the models perched in the Cowden Gallery next to the works that their looks were inspired by. The innovative approach offered guests a deeper understanding of the inspiration behind each design.

The Roman Landscapes exhibition provided plenty of sparks for the imagination. The collection includes 65 wall paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and cameo glass and silver vessels created between 100 BC and 25 AD. Together, they provide a storybook portrait of ancient Roman Italy when the mundane and mythological collided.

Whether an art lover or a style maven, locals should be advised not to be fashionably late. Limatus Bespoke’s spring/summer 2023 collection will only be available until the exhibit’s end on May 21.

Limatus Bespoke/ SAMA Fashion Show

Photo courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art teamed up with Limatus bespoke for an exclusive fashion show.

Roots salad Kitchen/ Facebook

Where to round out Black Restaurant Week San Antonio, plus more top stories

hot headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. 8 mouthwatering spots serving up specials during Black Restaurant Week San Antonio. Each year, participating restaurants agree to donate a dollar from a special to a local charity; this year, the San Antonio Food Bank.

2. Ride a giant concha bike when this funky mural rolls into San Antonio's Medical Center. The owner of Alamo Biscuit Co. and Panaderia has decided to transform his storefront via a humungous 1,300-square-foot mural with an Alamo City Twist.

3. Local artist floods San Antonio with two water-inspired performances. Pamela Martinez works with a revolving crew of collaborators to explore “water as a carrier of culture throughout the city.”

4. San Antonio retires into 6th best spot in the country to put away your work boots. Rental marketplace Zumper analyzed data from 100 cities nationwide to find the best American cities to retire, ranking San Antonio at No. 6.

5. Here's the income it takes to live among the top 1 percent in Texas. SmartAsset analyzed 2019 data from IRS tax units and adjusted the figures to 2022 dollars to find the top 1 percent and 5 percent in the state.

rendering courtesy of Alamo Biscuit & Panaderia

Ride a giant concha bike when this funky mural rolls into San Antonio's Medical Center


Medical Center might have some of San Antonio’s most unsung restaurants, but it isn’t exactly a scenic drive. So business owner John Vale decided to give the area a little zip.

The owner of Alamo Biscuit Co. and Panaderia has decided to transform his storefront via a humungous 1,300-square-foot mural with an Alamo City Twist. Although high winds have somewhat delayed the project, Vale expects it to be ready for close-ups in two weeks.

The goal was to create a fun photo op for customers and passers-by. A sort of “Where’s Waldo” game of the eatery’s offerings, the mural includes menu items like pancakes, coffee, bacon, and pastries. There are also visual nods to the River Walk and Alamo, and a few whimsical elements such as a rendering of Vale’s dalmatian, Cookie, and a red-wattled stranger decked out in Willie Nelson’s garb.

The centerpiece, however, is a bike with giant concha wheels. The element was designed to be interactive; guests can hop on for a selfie. Extra points if they hold one of Alamo’s pink-hued sweet rolls in the frame.

To complete the gargantuan task, Vale enlisted friends Nicholas Monroe and Jonah LaMonica of Scribe Werks. The process took months of sketching and planning, hours of work, and over 200 cans of spray paint. Rustoleum, give them a sponsorship deal.

Once completed, the mural will give guests another reason to journey to 9630 Huebner Road. But they definitely shouldn’t make it a drive-by. Chef Caesar Zepeda’s accessible menu of brunch classics equally deserves a spot on the ‘gram.

Photo courtesy of Culture Commons

New exhibit in downtown San Antonio spotlights Black contemporary artists

Art News

An opening reception on Thursday, January 19, celebrated the launch of a new exhibit designed to spotlight the multifaceted work of talented Black artists. Located in the City of San Antonio's Culture Commons Gallery inside the Plaza de Armas Building (115 Plaza de Armas), “Between Yesterday & Tomorrow: Perspectives from Black Contemporary Artists of San Antonio” showcases the cultural and life experiences of local Black artists.

Featuring a wide range of drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital media, assemblage, sculpture, and quilting, themes of the exhibit include Black history and identity, family dynamics, social connections, personal human experience, spirituality, and resilience.

"The goal was to drive the collective vision of Black contemporary artists as documentarians of the historical and social conscience of their time,” Curator Barbara Felix commented. “When the individual selected works came together in the gallery, I realized the prospect of this show was coming to fruition in a way that beautifully celebrates each artist and their vision."

Participating artists include Bernice Appelin-Williams, John Coleman, Kaldric Dow, Kwanzaa Edwards, Anthony Francis, Alain Boris Gakwaya, Deborah Harris, Edward Harris, Paul Hurd, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Alethia Jones, Theresa Newsome, Wardell Picquet, Calvin Pressley, Don Stewart, Naomi Wanjiku, and Angela Weddle.

“Culture Commons is an accessible gallery space that can draw the public to be plunged into an artistic experience that amplifies the diverse voices of our community,” said Department of Arts & Culture Executive Director Krystal Jones in a release. “The ‘Between Yesterday & Tomorrow’ exhibit is an important addition to the arts landscape of the city, and we could not be more pleased to provide a platform to present it to the public. This rich collection of artists provides gallery visitors unique perspectives into the personal experience of being Black in San Antonio.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public every Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm. Following the opening reception on January 19, the exhibit will remain open through November 17, 2023, with various community events scheduled throughout the year, including:

POETRY NIGHT: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised — Wednesday, February 22, 2023 (6 – 9 pm)
An evening of music and voices curated and hosted by 2020-2023 San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson

ARTIST TALK: Panel Discussion — Wednesday, May 17, 2023 (6 – 8 pm)
Featuring curator Barbara Felix and exhibited artists discussing unique stories about their art, influences, and experiences with participation from audience members.

PRIDE MONTH EVENT: Comfortable in Our Skin — Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (6:30 – 9 pm)
An evening of music and dance honoring our LGBTQIA+ Community

FILM NIGHT — Wednesday, August 23, 2023 (6 – 8 pm)
Join the Department of Arts & Culture and local African American filmmakers in the screening of several short films.

DANCE EVENT: Premier Dance Performance by Tanesha Payne — Wednesday, October 11, 2023 (6 – 8 pm)
Experience the world premiere of a new site-specific dance choreographed by San Antonio based movement artist Tanesha Payne, who uses dance to make people a better version of themselves.

Courtesy of TPWD

Stunning new art exhibition celebrates 100 years of Texas State Parks, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Stunning new art exhibition celebrates 100 years of Texas State Parks. Kicking off at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, "The Art of Texas State Parks" will travel to several cities around Texas between 2023 and 2024.

2. Travel + Leisure named this North Texas city among the world's 11 best places to visit in January. Travel + Leisure has named Fort Worth one of the 11 best places to travel in the United States and around the world in January 2023.

3. San Antonio Spurs break NBA ticket records with 50th Anniversary celebration at the Alamodome. Friday’s matchup was only the fourth NBA game with an attendance exceeding 50,000.

4. Downtown San Antonio museum kicks off 2023 with a free Wild West Wildlife festival this month. The Briscoe Western Art Museum hosts its family-friendly Wild West Wildlife festival on January 21.

5. Tom Hanks gets good again playing a grump in A Man Called Otto. The film calls upon Hanks to play a grump, a trait that wouldn’t seem to mesh with his typically friendly demeanor.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Shiner Beer crafts new barbecue joint at iconic Texas brewery

Lewis and Clark, Sonny and Cher, SpongeBob and Patrick. Duos float in and out of pop culture at hummingbird speed. But few have quite as much staying power as beer and barbecue. So, it’s only natural that one of Texas’ most iconic breweries would want to break out the smoker.

According to a release, Shiner Beer is untapping a new market with the April 1 grand opening of K. Spoetzl BBQ Co. Housed at the newly expanded Spoetzl Brewery, the eatery will welcome carnivores seven days a week.

Pitmaster Tommy Schuette, the former proprietor of the Shiner Barbeque Co., will lead the charge with the state’s holy trinity of smoked meats, including brisket, sausage, and ribs. Other favorites like pulled pork and chicken will be served alongside a meaty assortment of salads, loaded potatoes, and sandwiches.

Of course, no Texas barbecue joint can get away with skimping on the sides. Potato salad and pinto beans are served throughout the week, but weekend guests get a little extra. Diners can also opt for green beans, coleslaw, creamed corn, and giblet rice from Thursday through Saturday.

In celebration of K. Spoetzl BBQ’s debut, samples will be passed out between 10:30 am-6 pm on April 1. QR codes will also be scattered across the grounds giving visitors a chance to win gift cards, shirts, hats, and more. Diners will also be given a free beer token for every $25 spent at the restaurant that day.

In addition, budding influencers can post a picture of Schuette to social media to get a coupon for 10 percent off. (As a rule, pitmasters do not need a yassify filter.)

After the grand opening celebration, K. Spoetzl BBQ will be open daily. Hours are 10 am-4 pm, so plan accordingly.

Texas rises through the ranks of most innovative states, says new report


The Lone Star State has again taken a step up on an annual report that ranks the most and least innovative states in the country — this time cracking the top 15.

Texas ranked No. 15 in personal finance site WalletHub's 2023’s Most and Least Innovative States ranking. It's a steady improvement for the state, which ranked No. 16 in 2022 and No. 17 in 2021.

The report analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia and how each performed across 22 key metrics, including population of STEM professionals, venture capital investment activity, number of technology companies, patents per capita, and more. The data was pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation, National Center for Education Statistics, United States Patent and Trademark Office, and other records.

Here's how Texas performed at a glance:

  • No. 18 – for share of STEM professionals
  • No. 16 – for projected STEM job demand by 2030
  • No. 25 – for eighth grade math and science performance
  • No. 21 – for share of science and engineering graduates aged 25 or older
  • No. 13 – for share of technology companies
  • No. 31 – for R&D spending per capita
  • No. 18 – venture capital funding per capita

For the 11th year, Texas won Site Selection Magazine's Governor's Cup, the governor's office announced earlier this year. The award, which Texas has won 19 times since its inception in 1978, recognizes the nation’s top-performing state for job-creating business relocations and expansions.

"Texas truly is America’s economic engine, and we stand apart as a model for the nation. When choosing where to relocate or expand their businesses, more and more innovative industry leaders find themselves at home in our state," Governor Greg Abbott says in a news release about the award.

"I congratulate the exceptional economic development teams at the local, regional, and state level who have worked so diligently to attract and retain these growing businesses and the jobs they create in diverse communities across this great state," he continues.

The most innovative states included the District of Columbia, which ranked at No. 1, followed by Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, and California, respectively. The least innovative state was identified as Mississippi, followed by Louisiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Arkansas, respectively.

Source: WalletHub

Access to quality education is a significant contributor to each state's innovation economy, the experts say in the report.

"Investing in education, particularly K-12 but also at the University level, it is no accident that innovative ecosystems develop in states with strong education systems and research universities," says David L. Deeds, professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. "These institutions build strong capable modern workforces that attract capital, and jobs and create innovations. The benefits do not happen overnight, in fact, they take years if not decades, but consider what The UC’s or the University of Texas at Austin have meant for the development of premier innovative ecosystems."

San Antonio reels in big names for South Side poetry festival


From Dr. Carmen Tafolla's This River Here to Miss Congeniality, San Antonio has long provided fodder for poets and moviemakers alike. Now, the two art forms are coming together during a spectacular cultural event at the Mission Marquee Plaza.

The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office will once again salute rhythm and rhyme during Viva Poesía: Palabras, Música, y Cultura on April 1, 6-10 pm. The annual bash, made possible in part by the City's Department of Arts and Culture, kicks off National Poetry Month by honoring the artistic influence of local poets.

In honor of the Mission Drive-In's 75th anniversary, this year's theme will be "For Reels! A Poetic Tribute to the Movies." Guests can hear original works from a star-studded lineup, including San Antonio's past Poet Laureates Tafolla, Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson, Jenny Brown, and Dr. Octavio Quintanilla. Local spoken word artists Eddie Vega, Rooster Martinez, Arrie Porter, Isabel Brown, and Ollie McCrary will also perform pieces created especially for the event, celebrating the magic and nostalgia of films.

During the event, Department of Arts and Culture Director, Krystal Jones, will introduce San Antonio's new Poet Laureate, Nephtali De León, to San Antonio's literati. Emceed by Anthony "The Poet" Flores, Viva Poesía will also feature live performances by local comedians, the Wonder Theatre, the San Antonio Philharmonic Brass Ensemble, Como Las Movies, and more.

The family friendly event will also offer engaging activities for the younger set, like make-and-take art activities and interactive workshops led by local artists and poets. Plus, pop-up vendors will serve grub and drinks throughout the evening.

The event is free and open to the public, with free on-site parking. More info about Mission Marquee Plaza and its jam-packed 2023 season can be found online.

"Vast artistry, rich culture, and vibrant traditions make San Antonio a city filled with diverse creativity," said District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran via a release." The entire family is invited to experience the sights, sounds, and festivities of Viva Poesía…."