Photo courtesy of The Briscoe Western Art Museum

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is under new management, thanks to a dedicated president who is already well acquainted with the inner workings of the downtown San Antonio arts gem.

Former Briscoe vice president Liz Jackson has officially been promoted to the museum's president and CEO.

Former Briscoe President and CEO Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., will continue to work for the museum as an independent consultant. Both Duchemin and Jackson joined the Briscoe leadership team at the same time back in 2017. Under their combined leadership, the Briscoe's annual Night of Artist's event has become one of the top-grossing Western art exhibitions in the nation. Yes, you read that right: Not just Texas, the entire country.

Jackson brings her expertise in nonprofit development through contributed and earned income to the table, having already grown the overall earned and contributing revenue more than 220 percent during her tenure as the Briscoe's vice president.

Not only that, but the Briscoe's new president was responsible for creating and implementing the Annual Dolph & Janey Briscoe Legacy Luncheon. The purpose of the event is to honor the charitable spirit of the event's namesakes. In other words, the Briscoe is in capable hands following Duchemin's departure.

John T. Montford, Chair of the Briscoe’s Board of Directors, echoed that sentiment via an official statement: "Liz’s record of success and her contributions at the Briscoe prove that the museum is in great hands.”

He was also full of praise for the Briscoe's former president, adding, "Michael’s experience and acumen have been instrumental to our continued development. We are eager to build on that strong momentum as we celebrate our 10th anniversary later this year."

Speaking of the 10th anniversary, the Briscoe's 10th birthday is this October, and the museum will more than likely be holding a vast array of events to mark the occasion.

Jackson, who assumed her new role at the Briscoe on July 1, has already dived headfirst into strategic planning for the museum's 10th anniversary celebrations, in addition to her other job responsibilities ensuring the Briscoe's continued success.

Here's to another ten years.

Courtesy Briscoe Museum

New exhibit at the Briscoe Western Art Museum shines spotlight on the best of the artistic Southwest

Art is everything

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is kicking off the summer in style with a new exhibition celebrating the work of a woman who advocated for artists in the Southwest.

Southwest Rising features works from artists that worked with the famous gallery director and art dealer, Elaine Horwitch. Lauded for her dedication to championing the works of Indigenous, Latino, folk, and craft artists, Horwitch recognized that Southwestern art was really an amalgam of different cultures — or to quote the phrase she coined, "Southwest pop."

The Southwest Rising exhibition officially opens at the Briscoe on Friday, May 26. Access to the exhibition is included with the price of regular Briscoe museum admission.

If you want to check out the Southwest Rising exhibition a bit earlier, however, you can get a sneak peak at the Briscoe's preview party event. Tickets costs $30 per person (for non-members), and includes complimentary valet, and access to beer, wine, specialty cocktails, and appetizers during the preview party. Guests will have a chance to mingle with two special guests of honor – Michael Duchemin, PhD, President and CEO of the Briscoe, and the curator of Southwest Rising, Dr. Julie Sasse, Chief Curator at the Tucson Museum of Art.

You can purchase tickets to the Southwest Rising preview party here.

But don't fret if you miss out on the preview party: The Briscoe has a whole weekend full of themed events planned, including an educational conversation on Saturday, May 27 involving Dr. Sasse, art critic, writer, and widow of one of the featured Southwest Rising artists, Bob "Daddy-O" Wade, along with Brian Blount, another artists featured in the Southwest Rising exhibition.

The educational talk will take place on May 27 from 1-2 pm and is included with the price of museum admission. That same day, guests can enjoy an interactive program exploring how light is utilized in the pieces featured in the Southwest Rising exhibition. The hands-on activity takes place on May 27 from 11 am to 1 pm.

Dr, Duchemin summed up the importance of the Southwest Rising with an official statement: "Horwitch was responsible for launching the careers of hundreds of artists from the region and she championed Indigenous, Latino, folk, and craft art, exhibiting it alongside international art stars from around the country. She brought national and international art to regions that had been steeped in historic and Western art traditions and fostered the changing definition of contemporary western art.”

Southwest Rising

Courtesy Briscoe Museum

John Fincher, Monaco, 2014.

Downtown San Antonio museum kicks off 2023 with a free Wild West Wildlife festival this month

Wild Wild West

If your year is already off to a wild start, it might be time to just lean in and get even wilder. The Briscoe Western Art Museum certainly thinks so, hosting its annual Wild West Wildlife Festival on January 21.

The free community event includes free admission to the museum and its exhibitions, as well as animal fun, education, and hands-on crafts for all ages. Held rain or shine in the museum's Jack Guenther Pavilion, the festival features art, storytelling and more to inspire everyone to explore the nature all around them.

Taking place from 10 am to 3 pm, the Wild West Wildlife Festival highlights the wildlife that calls the West home, celebrating the flora and fauna that define the West and inspire Western art. According to a release, the event focuses on Texas habitats and creatures great and small, helping attendees learn more about the animals and natural beauty that put the “wild” in the wild West.

Animal-themed art activities will give everyone something wild to enjoy, and local wildlife experts will share details about the animals that call San Antonio home. And if you get wildly hungry, Lada Ladies food truck will be on hand to keep everyone fed.

Other activities include:

  • Animal stories with Miss Anastasia, the beloved former elementary teacher who makes books come to life.
  • Owl pellet education: Discover what bones and more are left behind after owls enjoy their dinner.
  • Learn about cyanotype with local artists Mary Margaret Johnson. Using the sun’s UV rays to make prints, this process was one of the first ways of producing photographs and dates back to 1842.
  • Join Mitchell Lake Audubon Center educators and learn about animals you might have seen in your own backyard, how to match them to their tracks, and create your own track to take home.
  • Learn how pollinator plants help out these animals and other wildlife while making your own paper pot to fill with a nectar plant to benefit these animal friends.
  • Explore animal skins, skull replicas, and more with Hill Country State Area as they share information about Texas wildlife and examples of the many ways people in the past interacted with nature.
  • Make your own bird feeder and other wild crafts such as bear fork painting, egg carton animals, bison masks and pressed flower bookmarks.

This fun, family-friendly event is also a celebration of Thomas D. Mangelsen – A Life In The Wild, an exhibition containing 40 of the renowned nature photographer’s most resonant photographs — images that take viewers on a journey across the West and around the globe.

On view at the Briscoe through January 29, the exhibition (which also features a children’s area allowing children to connect with the animals captured by Mangelsen’s lens) is included with museum admission and free for everyone to enjoy during Wild West Wildlife.

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San Antonio singer owns the stage on 'The Voice,' charms all four judges

You Don't Own Her

In an episode of singing competition The Voice that aired on Monday, October 2, a singer from San Antonio wowed all four judges with a rendition of Lesley Gore's You Don't Own Me."

The song is famous for its bluesy, haunting verse, followed by a soaring chorus setting the singer's foot down. Of course, for a vocal competition, Rudi Gutierrez (who performs as Rudi) kicked things up a notch. She sang with a fuller voice than the raw original, and inserted plenty of runs to show vocal agility on top of richness.

The Voice sets the celebrity judges up facing the opposite direction of the stage, so that they can't see the singer until they're already committed to the voice. Still, it's not a completely blind competition, and Rudi looked cool in studded and sparkling denim from head to toe.

Gwen Stefani turned first, only 25 seconds in and a few words into the chorus. Since Stefani has always been a full-throated singer who goes for the drama, this was right on-brand. She said she felt "euphoria" later during the judges' reaction period.

"this sh!t is bananas," wrote Rudi on Instagram. "4 chair turn, a block, and a standing ovation?! let’s goooooo!!!!" She also shared a screenshot from 2014 professing her admiration (or something more?) for the iconic No Doubt singer.

Next Niall Horan blocked John Legend, who turned seconds later (unaware of the block), followed by Reba McEntire, who made the judges' support unanimous. Of course, Rudi chose her longtime crush Stefani as her vocal coach.

The 28-year-old singer usually records dreamy pop tracks with an R&B influence, so it'll be interesting to see how she continues to put her own spin on classic songs. She mentioned a common artistic struggle onstage — not making enough money through music alone — and shared that she'd been working at her father's auto body shop.

To see the judges' reactions and hear Rudi's audition, watch the clip on YouTube. Watch The Voice on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7 pm on NBC.

Office sexual politics rear their ugly head in Netflix's Fair Play

Movie Review

The career of Alden Ehrenreich has – so far – been one without much progress. He was the star of Beautiful Creatures 10 years ago, a film that made little impact. Since then, he’s been in a Woody Allen movie, a Coen Brothers movie, and played a young Han Solo, none of which made him a star. After a few years away from movies, he’s back with a bang in 2023, with roles in Cocaine Bear, Oppenheimer, and now Netflix’s Fair Play.

Ehrenreich plays Luke, who’s in a relationship with Emily (Phoebe Dynevor), which they must keep secret because of a no-fraternization policy at the hedge fund where they both work. Working in finance, both are naturally ambitious, although Luke is a bit more naked in his desires. When Emily gets promoted ahead of Luke, he is at first is supportive, but is soon unable to hide his jealousy.

Written and directed by Chloe Domont in her feature film debut, the film tracks the devolution of Luke and Emily’s relationship, going from hot and heavy to heavily antagonistic. The sexual politics at play in the story are front and center, with Emily being the lone visible woman working in an otherwise all-male office. Luke initially bristles at whispers that Emily was promoted for reasons other than her financial skills, but working as her underling starts to bring out the worst in him.

Because Luke and Emily start the film as equals, the power dynamics take on an unusual form. Emily arguably does much more for Luke after her promotion than he would for her if the roles were reversed, sometimes to her own detriment. His blindness to her helpfulness, which eventually turns to suspicion, speaks volumes about the fragile ego of many men.

Another type of reversal is the sexuality depicted in the film. Most films of this type build up to the big sex sequences, using them as a culmination of a particular relationship. But Domont starts the film with them, and uses the absence of them later on as a way to denote how much Luke and Emily have drifted from each other.

It’s understandable why Domont set the film in a hedge fund, given the disparity between men and women in the field. But the scenes in which the employees, led by boss Campbell (Eddie Marsan), talk about the intricacies of their work just don’t pop, mostly because the dense terminology feels like the characters are speaking a foreign language.

Ehrenreich and Dynevor (best known for Bridgerton) each start off great, but as the film goes along and they’re required to get increasingly histrionic, they both become less believable. Domont saves most of the drama for the film’s final act; if the film was more balanced in its ups and downs, the two leads might have been able to even out their performances as well.

Still, the film has a propulsion to it that keeps it interesting, and the intensity of the final sequence is sufficient to forgive any earlier missteps. And, unfortunately yet again for Ehrenreich, it’s Dynevor who leaves the bigger impression, making a case that she should get many more lead roles in the future.


Fair Play is now playing in select theaters; it debuts on Netflix on October 6.

Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor in Fair Play

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor in Fair Play.

Kendra Scott teams up with Texan style influencer for milestone breast cancer awareness collection

Wear for a cure

Kendra Scott is already a Texas charity champion, but for a new collection the lifestyle brand is kicking its philanthropy up a notch. This will be the first time an entire collection will give back, and the focus is turned to an indisputably important cause: breast cancer research.

Kendra Scott — who loves a Texas connection — is joining native Houston fashion influencer Nasreen Shahi (@heynasreen), for a limited-edition jewelry collection. It will include two necklaces, two pairs of earrings, and a bracelet, all named after Shahi's mother.

Although Shahi's mother is the muse, it is her own experience with breast cancer that ties the collection to the cause. The fashion maven was diagnosed in 2021, and it's the outpouring of community support that the collection celebrates.

"This is a difficult month for most survivors because you reflect on so much of your own journey," wrote Shahi on Instagram on October 1, commemorating the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The pieces are gold (with some silver options) and very simple, setting stones in abstract patterns meant to be layered. The centerpiece is an emerald eye of protection, a classic Middle Eastern motif. A release states that avoiding pink was intentional, but does not share why. From a wearer's perspective, it may feel refreshing to wear a breast cancer collection that isn't so literal, and doesn't invite questions about the wearer's intent or connection.

Kendra Scott x Nasreen Shahi from @heynasreen collection necklacePhoto courtesy of Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott and Shahi have been "close partners" in previous years (the influencer has been featured on the Kendra Scott blog), but this is the first collaborative collection. All pieces will result in a 20 percent donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

The Kendra Scott x Nasreen Shahi from @heynasreen collection ($55-85) is available at kendrascott.com and in Kendra Scott retail stores.