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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

“We’re at Gallista in the complex,” says Valderas, “so we try to make sure our exhibits reach to what’s happening at Gallista Gallery and Lady Base. There is a huge amount of energy happening at Gallista now. It’s gone through these phases, but I think we are at a point where it will continue to grow, and be an integral part of the Lone Star Arts District.” During last month’s opening of work by Seguin artist Howard Crunk, “We had practicing artists coming by to see what’s happening,” says Valderas. “We get to see our peers.” The fourth artist to exhibit in Third Space’s ongoing series, Valderas will present new work this Second Saturday, May 11.

Sarah Castillo moved her studio to Gallista in November, and staged her inaugural show at Lady Base Gallery in March. A narrow space, she partitions her studio for exhibitions, which are focused uniquely on women artists and creatives of the LGBT community. “There are no restrictions on the kind of work shown,” Castillo told the Current. She found the local and Texas-based artists in an open call in the beginning of the year. A member of the Chicana arts collective Más Rudas, Castillo said she wanted to create an opportunity that might not be there otherwise. “The bonds, what I have learned and created in that environment working with these women, is very important to me as an artist,” Castillo said. “I don’t identify with the LGBT community, but I have a lot of friends that do. Particularly, there was one artist that I was interested in having him show his work here, and that was the basis for opening up only to these artists.” Of the artists scheduled to show this year at Lady Base, many have had difficulties exhibiting elsewhere; one has not shown in public for 10 years.

* * *

Until last year, the exhibition space at 107 Lone Star was called LoneStar Gallery, and was run by Sean FitzGibbons, son of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum executive director Bill FitzGibbons, whose cavernous sculpture studio carved out a once-a-month niche in front for show space. Sean left town for graduate school, and took the name with him. Now named 107 Gallery, the pop-up space is managed by the Lullwood Group, comprised of Emily Baker, Chris Castillo, Esteban Delgado, Joseph Duarte, Joe Harjo, Julie Ledet, Clay McClure, Willie Sanchez, and Connie Swann. Dedicated to “encouraging participation,” the group staged a rare exhibition of their own work during this year’s Luminaria where, to the delight of visitors, they filled a room of the Instituto Cultural de México with balloons and lights. Though several of the shows they have staged since taking over the 107 space last June have been rather traditional, at least in the media presented — paintings and sculpture — their last show, featuring Austin performance artist Katelina Hernandez singing lullabies while wrapped in a pillow-filled dress that cascaded to offer comfort to nestled visitors, was exceptional. Next up, on May 11, is “The Devil’s Triangle,” presented by the Lullwood Group and Outlaw Printmakers.

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