Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

Life in the studios at South Flores and Lone Star

Photo: Photos by Scott Andrews, License: N/A

Photos by Scott Andrews

Andy Benavides at home in his 1906 building

Photo: , License: N/A

Joe Lopez at Gallista Gallery on South Flores

Founded almost 20 years ago when artists Andy Benavides and Alberto Mijangos bought an old, dilapidated building at 1906 South Flores, just south of what we now call Southtown, the art district that has grown around the original creative outpost has ebbed and flowed over the years. But as talk of dissatisfaction over the increasing gentrification of the Blue Star Arts Complex and the commercialization of First Friday — now focused on the bar scene — grows louder, interest in the collection of artist-run spaces is rising.

A micro-distillery, Dorćol Distilling Company, first attracted to the area by the crowds during Second Saturday last fall, is now finishing off new construction on East Lachapelle Street; owner-distillers Chris Mobley and Boyan Kalušević say they hope to start production in the next few months. This March, the City’s Department of Planning & Community Development published a master plan for the Lone Star Community within which the art district is located, with ambitions to develop the neighborhood into an arts and entertainment district.

Expectations for the area, variously referred to as the South Flores or Lone Star Art District, are high at the moment, and each Second Saturday presents a host of art options. The 1906 building contains five art galleries; Bill FitzGibbons’ sculpture studio at 107 Lone Star becomes a pop-up gallery run by the Lullwood Group, an artist collective, and across the street, a bungalow named the Flop House opens its doors. On the west side of South Flores, Gallista Gallery, the second oldest art space in the area, and site of 10 artists’ studios, is at full capacity, and has added two galleries. Across the train tracks to the north on Lachapelle, Alex Rubio and Roland “Nightrocker” Fuentes stage a new art show every month at R Gallery. Adding to Second Saturday action, the SoFlo Market, a pop-up presenting handmade art and a farmers market, is open during daytime hours at 1344 South Flores prior to the night’s event.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Benavides says it all began when he teamed up with fellow artist Mijangos, who then had his studio at 1906 South Flores, to buy the building. Benavides’ frame shop, now in the 1906 building where he lives with his wife Yvette and son Augusto, was located on South Alamo for several years during the 1990s.

During that time, Benavides, along with the owners of other art-focused businesses that once populated South Alamo Street, was instrumental in starting the First Friday art walk. But, he told the Current, as the King William neighborhood saw a surge of revitalization, rents went up. Mijangos discovered that there was an opportunity to purchase the 1906 building, and suggested the move to Benavides, who, as the owner of two businesses, had access to bank loans. “We signed the agreement, literally, with a handshake in the parking lot,”he said, “and decided that somehow, we’d get our checks in every month.”

Benavides recalled, “This was a very dilapidated property, all overgrown with trees, and a homeless guy, Felix. It was his home prior to ours.”

Recently in Arts & Culture
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus