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Tejano Conjunto Festival Poster Art Unveiled

Cyle Perez
Texas Public Radio
Cristina Balli (fourth from left) stands next to Grand Prize winner Ciara Casares and other winning artists. The new poster is behind Casares.

The Tejano Conjunto Festival will offer more than live music selections this year. A particular piece of artwork will be at the center of the event.

"Everybody always looks forward to seeing what this year's image of the Conjunto Festival is going to be,” said Cristina Balli, executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, “because it's on posters, it's on t-shirts everywhere. So fans of Conjunto Festival really look forward to it."

Before the festival, the Guadalupe asked artists to submit their concepts in poster form, and 65 responded. The Center announced the winner on Wednesday, and Balli said this year's selected artist breaks new ground.

"For the first time, a high school student wins the contest,” Balli said. “This year it's Ciara Casares from Communications Arts High School in Northside ISD."

The top prize nets Casares $1,500 for the poster, which has a mosaic look to it.

"It has some elders dancing in there, and then it has images of some iconic conjunto musicians that are ambassadors of conjunto music all over the world, and that's Flaco Jimenez and Max Baca," she said.

The festival begins on Wednesday, May 15th, kicking off with a free seniors’ dance at the Guadalupe Theater.

"On Thursday night we have our annual Conjunto Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and that has become a really lovely program that people look forward to," she said.

Credit Cyle Perez / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Ciara Casares and her winning festival poster (left).

On Friday they switch to the West Side's Rosedale Park, where music reigns for three days.

"Friday we have Rio Jordan, who are the sons of Esteban Jordan,” she said. "Another generation of Conjunto Music, Flavio Longoria, who is the son of Valeria Longoria.”

Balli said Saturday is dedicated to conjunto music from all over Texas.

“And then on Sunday we feature some of the San Antonio greats, like Eva Ybarra, Los Texmaniacs, with Flaco Jimenez," Balli said.

Ybarra is a member of the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame, and Jimenez and Los Texmaniacs have six Grammys between them.

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii