The Museo Alameda isn’t the only museum in town enduring chronic difficulties — or getting a leg up from the City while dodging standard funding protocols. The Dolph and Janey Briscoe Western Art Museum was originally planned to open in 2010 in a reconverted library on the River Walk, reconfigured with design improvements by noted architectural firm Lake/Flato. The date was later changed to fall 2011. Now, who knows? Earlier this month the Briscoe’s offices informed the Current that the museum’s opening has been delayed again, to fall 2012. In a followup call to the Briscoe last Friday, the museum stated they were in the process of hiring a new director, hopefully to be in place by November. It was suggested we call back when that leadership is in place for an update on that scheduled opening. In the meantime, we learned from a source in the City that the Briscoe has become the beneficiary of $100,000 in the city’s 2012 budget. The money isn’t going through the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs, it’s just a line in the adopted budget. Yeah, that was slick.
Here’s some happy news. The San Antonio Museum of Art has extended its hours to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and Café des Artistes at SAMA is celebrating with a bistro-style dinner menu that includes specialties like duck and ceviche. Date night? You might find us there during the day, as the museum’s wi-fi has been expanded to reach the café, which no doubt will become an adjunct office for some art-inclined Current staffers. And this Saturday, October 1, is the opening of SAMA’s new blockbuster, “5,000 Years of Chinese Jade.” The show brings jade treasures from the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Collection together with never-seen-in-America jades from the National Museum of History, Taiwan. Way cool.
Also on the museum circuit: SA’s bad-boy artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz has two exhibitions running concurrently at two outta-state museums. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is showing “Poodles & Pastries,” a paintings show, while the Ceramics Research Center at the Arizona State University Art Museum presents “Bisque Without Borders” and “Limpia: Rethinking the Collection,” two ceramics exhibitions. All shows run to December 31. Expect Franco to be doing his signature hustle, selling works on the cheap with a smile and a haggle.