The hot art ticket this week is undoubtedly PartyShop, a farewell fire sale and cocktail hour in what is soon to be Finesilver Gallery’s former San Antonio digs. Appetizers and martinis will grease the shopping wheels in case a 15 to 25-percent markdown on works by Lloyd Walsh, Vincent Valdez, Chris Sauter, and Lordy Rodriguez (among many other hyper-talented contemporary Texas artists) doesn’t automatically send your hand into a wallet-pocket nose dive. Pieces by Walsh, Valdez, and Sauter will be included in a silent auction, and if you’re feeling frugal, you can buy a $10 raffle ticket for a drawing for a Sauter sculpture and cross your fingers. Finesilver is even offering a door prize (no purchase necessary): two free nights for two at the Isabella Court apartment in Houston — where you can easily wander into Finesilver’s year-old Oil City outpost. According to the PartyShop press release, “2007 will mark the beginning of our new program in our new San Antonio location …” We’ll be looking forward to it. In the meantime, enjoy the discount: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, 816 Camaron. 354-3333 or Finesilver.com for more info.
The past isn’t ever past in San Antonio, is it? Or sometimes it’s indistinguishable from the contemporary. Last Friday — gloriously sunny, blue-skyed, sweet and temperate — Bob “Daddy-O” Wade engineered one of those timeless Southwestern art moments with the unveiling of his “Junkyard Dog,” a story-high, faded-blue Pontiac Spitfire that he transmogrified with hoods from a VW bug, a pink/peach Cadillac, and several shiny hubcaps. The noonday fiesta rolled pleasantly into early afternoon with Frito pie from Austin’s Ranch 616 (where Daddy-O is the house artist), lukewarm beer, a fabulous 7-piece mariachi band, and a car wreck caused by rubbernecking of these attractions. The new installation coincides with the restoration of Wade’s best-known work: the giant cowboy boots that announce North Star Mall is still kickin’ it. The “Junkyard Dog” hangs out in another part of town entirely, the Alamo City Inc garage on Somerset, just south of Southcross, where you can see the world’s largest jets lumbering impossibly slowly from Kelly’s airstrips as you drive down the road. Check out my camera-phone pics from the event at Sacurrent.com.
After you drive down to Alamo City to pose the kids by Wade’s dog, park your car off of North McCullough and Olmos and strike out for the Uptown Art Stroll — a two-day tour of 20 studios and galleries featuring jewelry, ceramics, prints, photography, painting, and, shucks, even woodcarving. Three McCullough galleries — Gavin Metalsmith, Gallery Ortiz, which carries Jayne Lawrence and Mark Hanson, and Hunt Gallery, which represents landscape painter Charles Field — join the tour this year. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Map and addresses at Southofbasse.com.
Artists might find the stroll relaxing after agonizing over which image to submit for the $50,000 Hunting Art Prize — the newly monied winner of which will be feted at a gala April 28, 2007. (Yes, 50 grand. Hunting PLC is a Houston-based oil-services company. They have, you know, money to burn.) The competition is open to Texas residents 18 years or older, who must fill out a form at Huntingartprize.com and mail in one slide of a single two-dimensional work (no photography). Postmark deadline: November 17. Former Museum of Fine Arts Core Resident Francesca Fuchs — who participated in last fall’s Wall Painting show organized at UTSA by former prof Fran Colpitt — won the 2006 prize. You can see how high the bar is set at Francescafuchs.com.