On and Off “Fred” Returns to the Deco District

Rolando Briseño, Synergetic Scent

Public artist Rolando Briseño was visiting Cuernavaca, Mexico, several years ago when he found inspiration for a work of art while standing on the balcony of a friend’s home, overlooking the street scenes below.

Sticking to his signature symbol of tables and tablecloths, he hired models from the local art school and positioned two males on top of a round tablecloth surrounded by flowers, fruits and cell phones in their hands. “I photographed them from the balcony,” Briseño said. “I arranged them so that their arms and legs would take up as much space as possible. The cell phones give the photo a contemporary touch, and having them in outer space gives it a universal feel.”

The work, Synergetic Scent, will be displayed at Briseño’s home studio during the 9th annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour on February 20 and 21 in the Deco District.

“Fred,” as the event is commonly known, is a self-guided tour of private homes, art studios and galleries of more than 80 artists, including painters, sculptors, photographers and metalsmiths. In addition, more than 200 musicians, poets, and theater and dance groups help make this community event one of the most diverse studio tours in the region.

“It’s the only time of the year that these art studios are open in such large numbers in one weekend,” Fred founder and Bihl Haus Arts director Kellen McIntyre said.” You’ll get to see how artists live and work, and purchase or commission work directly from the artists.”

The Deco District, she adds, has become a hot spot for many of the Alamo City’s artists. In fact, all artists featured in Fred live and/or work in the surrounding Fredericksburg Road communities: Alta Vista, Beacon Hill, Jefferson, Keystone, Los Angeles Heights, Monticello Park and Woodlawn Lake.

Lotería-inspired works by Ernesto Olivo

Community artist Ernesto Olivo, who lives in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, plans to display screen prints of lotería cards from his exhibit, “Cultura,” that highlights LGBT, Latino and African-American culture. “My art is a reflection of who I am and what has impacted me growing up, such as being a queer man, a son, an artist, a DJ and being from Mexico.”

Olivo looks forward to meeting art enthusiasts, as he has during the past three years as a participating artist with Fred. “The tour is an art walk, but it’s also intimate because you allow people into your private space,” he said. “It gives artists who live in this area an opportunity to reach people who normally would not come to these neighborhoods or who don’t get out to experience art other than at an art gallery.”

Attendees can purchase advance copies of the color catalog — consisting of a map to help people plan their route, artist bios and an image of their work — or the online catalog for $10.

On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour

$10 in advance, $15 during the tour, 11am-6pm Sat, Feb. 20, noon-5pm Sun, Feb. 21, visit onandofffred.org or call Bihl Haus Arts at (210) 383-9723 for details.

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