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Arts & Culture

Canciones, Block Prints And Boot Scootin': Your Weekend Is Here

Matt Buikema

Spend an evening at the Pearl relishing a special South Texas sound, tour a new McNay exhibit exploring the Mexican Revolution, and boot-scoot your way across an authentic Texas dance hall. It’s the weekend, and there’s plenty for you to do.   

Friday, head down to the Pearl for what Rose Reyes said they call Canciones.

"Canciones is an ongoing music program that celebrates the music of South Texas," she said. 

Reyes said Friday’s concert has another stand-out aspect to it.

"This one in particular will celebrate women's music. I'm very excited to see all these women on the stage," Reyes said.

The women they've chosen to perform are each quite different from the last.

"Each of the artists, Azul Barrientos, and Las Tesoros, as well as Eva Ybarra the accordion queen — they'll all have their own set, and then collaborate throughout the set," she said. 

Credit Matt Buikima
Eva Ybarra

Best case scenario, they will all perform together at some point. It's all happening at Pearl Park, surrounded by restaurants, and anchored by that cooling splash pad. And if you're trying to stay within budget, this event won't tax it.

"It's free to the public. There's plenty of free parking," Reyes said. 

IF YOU GO What: Canciones at the Pearl Where: Pearl Park When: 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Friday Cost:  free

The McNay Art Museum boasts a new exhibit, and Lyle Williams said it’s  all about the Mexican Revolution.

"San Antonio ties to the Mexican Revolution are very, very deep," he said.

Many fled the 1910 Revolution, coming here, including the man who would briefly be its first president.

"Francisco Madero was in exile here in San Antonio and developed a lot of his ideas about governance and democracy while he was here," Williams said.

The pieces from the linoleum block print exhibit are from artist Artemio Rodriguez, who Williams said is the greatest living Mexican printmaker.  But why use linoleum instead of wood?

Credit McNay Art Museum
Adelitas, by Artemio Rodriguez

"It works along the same lines as wood cut but it's easier to carve,” he said. “And the linoleum is more like rubber much softer, much more forgiving."

The work displayed focuses on two key people: Ruler Porfirio Díaz, and Emiliano Zapata. The contrast in the way they're each depicted is stark: Diaz in epaulettes and finery, and Zapata as a man of the country.

"He's sitting you on on horseback with a backdrop of rural Mexico a mountainous landscape behind him," Williams said. 

Entry into the McNay also lets you see its several other exhibits. 

IF YOU GO What: La Revolución Mexicana: 100 Years Later Where: McNay Theater When: whenever the McNay is open Cost:  $20 adults, $15 seniors, active military free

And on both Saturday and Sunday, Shane Roach says Gruene, Texas has a unique plan to help you cool off.

"People will float the river--the Guadalupe or the Comal--then maybe stop and get at bite at the Grist Mill, then come over to the show," he said.

That show is happening at Gruene Hall, an old school Texas dance hall, right next door to the Grist Mill. Roach says what you’ll find at Gruene Hall isn’t run-of-the-mill.

"It's kinda stepping into the past a little bit. It was built in the late 1870s,” he said. “It's pretty rustic as far as the climate control goes; it can get pretty warm."

I suggested that’s what they made beer for.

"Absolutely!" he exclaimed. 

Credit Jim Flynn
Jack Ingram

Providing boot-scootin' music on Saturday and Sunday nights is perennial Gruene Hall favorite Jack Ingram. Ingram's been putting his spin on the well-worn Texas Troubadour path for the last two decades.

"That's sort of a tradition of craftsmanship that's come down from people like Willie Nelson and Guy Clark,” Roach said. “People just love seeing something that's homemade."

Ingram's not performing alone; he’s got the “Beat-Up Ford Band” backing him up. All in all, it’s a night that's just about as Texas as it gets.  


IF YOU GO What: Jack Ingram concerts Where: Gruene Hall, Gruene When: doors open 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday Cost:  $20