Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
3:58 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Guitar Legend Monte Montgomery San Antonio Bound

A legendary guitar player is coming to San Antonio this weekend. He was named one of the 50 top players of all time by "Guitar Player" Magazine. Oddly, you may not know him.  

Monte Montgomery lives in Austin now, but the former San Antonian has traveled the world on the strings of his guitar. He tells the story of how he figured out early on that guitar was his future:

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Arts & Culture
2:50 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Botanical Garden Center Has Far Eastern Ideas For Making Your Garden Great

Japanese maple, lantern, meditation rock.
Credit San Antonio Botanical Center

There’s a guided tour happening Saturday morning at the San Antonio Botanical Garden Center that could change the way you see your garden. 

If your garden is a water-sucking, chaotic landscape, maybe you should look east. Like way east. To Japan.

“It really is one of the most authentic Japanese gardens of its size in the United States,” said Master Gardener Stephanie Jones.

She’s talking about Kumamoto En, the garden at the Botanical Center, and the course that’s full of ideas for you.

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Movie Reviews
10:51 am
Thu July 31, 2014

The Godfather Of Soul, In Charge And All Alone

Chadwick Boseman brings the funk as James Brown in "Get On Up."
Credit Imagine Entertainment

Pity the poor biopic. Whether about an artist, sports hero, musician or president, it has to please fans of the subject while struggling against the constraints of the form. Tate Taylor’s new film “Get On Up,” about the life of Soul Brother #1, James Brown, uses a variety of techniques, including a non-linear narrative and extensive breaking of the fourth wall, to try and break the mold, but it just can’t seem to get up offa that thang (“thang” in this case being a pretty standard VH1-style story).

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Arts & Culture
3:38 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Aerial Arts Company Set For Public Performance At First Friday

A riddle to ponder: They do a kind of dance, but not usually on the ground. They’re exceptionally athletic, but their moves tend to be subtle rather than demonstrative. They are athletes who play without a ball, a bat or a net. So what is it?

“It’s San Antonio’s only professional aerial arts company and school," said Julia Langenberg, who runs Aerial Horizon. I asked her to describe what they do:

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Arts & Culture
1:44 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

How They Killed Dublin Dr Pepper

Credit Spittin Image Films

The San Antonio Film Festival continues in the Alamo City.  I went to see one of their offerings Tuesday night, "Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr Pepper."

“The story is the death of a Texas icon," said Drew Rist, who edited and directed the indie film. We spoke at the Pearl Stables, where the film was screened.

“Since 1891, Dublin Bottling Works has been making Dublin Dr Pepper," Rist said. "Three years ago they got into a battle with corporate over if they could still make Dublin Dr Pepper. Corporate ended up shutting them down.”

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4:15 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Symphony Player's Day Job More Like A Calling

Steve Zeserman.
Steve Zeserman

If you ever see a list of people who are perpetually dissatisfied or unenthusiastic, here’s a name you won’t find there.

“My name’s Steve Zeserman and I play double bass in the San Antonio Symphony.”

His optimism is palpable, and you can hear it when he talks about anything. From his days in college at the Curtis Institute of Music:

“I guess it was similar to eating caviar every day for four years, the richness of the culture,” he said.

To landing his job with the San Antonio Symphony:

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Arts & Culture
1:35 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Blue Star Sending San Antonio Artists To "Mecca Of Contemporary Art"

Credit Blue Star Contemporary Art Center

A local artist heads to Berlin to begin his artistic residency.  That residency program is  a construct of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.

“We send four artists a year through an open call process," said Mary Heathcott, executive director of the Blue Star.

“They’re selected by a jury and they get to spend three months there to dive deeper into their practice; to meet new artists, to meet new curators, and to really be in the Mecca of contemporary art right now,” Heathcott said.

I asked the obvious question: "That costs a lot of money, doesn't it?"

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Classical Music
10:56 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Brilliant, Bloody Music

Credit Albany Records

Classical music, for all its beauty, has always had a violent streak, whether in the plots of operas, as inspiration for the music, or on rare occasions, in the concert hall. But an arresting new release on Albany Records makes no bones about the music within. Sporting a stylized illustration of a woman holding a bloody knife, the album's title reads in block letters, “Deep Water: The Murder Ballads.” (It's my favorite classical album cover of the year.)

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Arts & Culture
2:56 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Witte Museum Part 2: The Timeline For Renovations

The New Entry
Gallagher and Associates

The Witte Museum is undergoing a massive transformation. On the last report I detailed the Witte’s huge re-imagining, but any look at the future is made more interesting by looking at the past. I spoke with Witte President and CEO Marise McDermott about the museum’s history.

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Arts & Culture
3:49 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Witte Museum Soon To Be Unrecognizable

New Entrance to the Witte Museum
Courtesy of Lake Flato

One of the city’s oldest institutions is changing, and in a very big way.

"We’re adding 65,000 sq. ft., some of which is renovated space, some of which is new space," said Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum.

“The Witte is going through a major transformation, we’re very excited," she said. "It’s so radical, or so dramatic, that we are calling it the new Witte.”

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