Friday, January 23, 2009

Funky Monkey Girls on the web...

I was "snoping" around google & look what I found!!!
Made in San Antonio: One-of-a-Kind Gifts
San Antonio has a long-standing tradition of handmade wares and art of all kinds, kept alive by the artists and craftspeople themselves, supportive museums and galleries, and the enthusiasm of locals and visitors for one-of-a-kind creations. An unabashed fondness for fiesta-bright colors, intricate patterns and expressive folk art have shaped this rich and varied scene, along with the influence of Mexico and Latino culture. From hand-beaten copper bowls to hand-blown glass, hand-built ceramics and offbeat jewelry made of recycled odds and ends, a near-endless array of intriguing gift ideas awaits you in San Antonio.Oh, and don’t forget—the capital of Tex-Mex cuisine brims with edible treats to take home as presents or to feast on for your own pleasure. Melt-in-your-mouth tamales, zesty salsas, hand-dipped chocolates and luscious pecan pralines are just some of the tasty possibilities.
Artsy Shopping Village
One of the best places to begin your retail quest is La Villita, which is at street level just above the River Walk and the Arneson River Theatre. Its cozy stone and stucco cottages, where settlers once took refuge from marauding Indians and General Santa Ana’s army, now hold crafts and art of all kinds. Check out the stoneware and earthenware pottery by Walt and Cynthia Glass at The Village Gallery, the turquoise necklaces and unique apparel at Angelita, the one-of-a-kind pieces of upscale jewelry at Chamade Jewelers and the warm, hand-woven wraps in rich colors at Village Weavers. Copper Gallery features handcrafted copper bowls, platters and huge pots, plus small things such as copper napkin rings and jewelry. To take home a bit of San Antonio as seen through an artist’s eyes, Artistic Endeavors carries wonderful paintings of local scenes, the Alamo and the Spanish missions. La Villita’s 25 shops and galleries give you a lot to explore.
Crafty Museum Shops and Cool Galleries
On the west side of downtown at Market Square, the Museo Alameda plunges you into the city’s Latino culture with a re-created Mexican-style botanica installation—complete with herbal remedies, love potions, candles, and religious images—by local artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz, who has staged shows in New York, Rome and Florence, Italy.Yet this is merely the entry foyer of the Museo’s gift shop. Inside you’ll find festive papel picado (intricately cut tissue paper) doilies and banners by Kathleen Trenchard, funky jewelry by the Funky Monkey Girls (Donna and Jolene Hardy), ceramics by Laura Salazar, small nichos (miniature painted tin shrines to hang on the wall) by Joe Ontiveros and other work by local artists. Especially fun are the T-shirts by Ray Chavez embellished with colorful Lotería images (a Mexican game similar to bingo) and Alejandro Diaz’s “Make Tacos Not War” T-shirts. Market Square is where you can find cowboy hats, belt buckles and other leather goods at JB Leather, and sterling-silver and turquoise jewelry at Texas Star. Aztec Mexican Imports there sells fine Mexican wear and authentic pottery. All of the items are pieces of art, but if you want to shop where the locals do, go to Alamo Fiesta on Main. The shop geared to Hispanic families celebrating special occasions carries piñatas, colorful masks and other Mexican crafts.Like the mercado, many museums carry works by local and regional artists. Downtown, the San Antonio Museum of Art features gorgeous glass bowls by Gini Garcia, silver and turquoise jewelry by Britney Cox and “Doorways of San Antonio” prints by a local photographer.The gift shop at the Southwest School of Art & Craft downtown offers an impressively diverse selection of art jewelry: check out the colorful bracelets made from recycled tin containers by Kari Stringer and the hand-cast kinetic flower jewelry by Russell Smith. Or that perfect fashion accessory might be a hand-woven scarf by Clare Watters. Capturing the essence of the 1950s’ modern style are the hand-crafted lamps by Moonshine Lamp & Shade.Heading north of downtown to the Witte Museum, you’ll discover books featuring local artists and photographers, such as San Antonio in Color and Art at our Doorsteps. There are also hand-painted tile trivets by Magda Csihas featuring the historic Spanish Missions, enamel and ceramic earrings and pins, and fiesta-hued hand-blown glass hearts fringed with ribbons to sparkle in a window.A bit farther north is the McNay Art Museum, with a shop selling stunning art glass necklaces, bracelets and earrings by Susan Butler as well as Roy Simpson’s elegant gold and silver jewelry inset with precious and semiprecious stones. Other great finds here are the fused glass platters from Dragonfire Hot Glass Studio and the charming ceramic casitas (small houses) by Magda Csihas.San Antonio’s folk art tradition comes on strong in the appealing mix of critters and other objects at San Angel Folk Art gallery in the Blue Star Arts Complex in Southtown, just south of downtown. Human faces grin at the ends of tree branches in a wood carving by the Rev. Seymour Perkins, while exquisitely painted Day of the Dead skeletons dance across the glassware of Jon Karl Dawson. Then there are the clever earrings and pins made from recycled bottle caps by Chris Ake and Rhonda Kuhlman, ceramics and T-shirts by Alex de Leon and miniature houses with detailed interiors by Sally Ozuna. Eminently wearable are the locally crafted shirts in eye-catching prints.Ceramics in the Mexican folk art style is the specialty of Mujer Artes, a gallery and workshop where women hand-build their colorfully glazed creations (instead of using a potter’s wheel), including pots, bowls and humorous Day of the Dead skeleton figures. Mujer Artes is located in a small yellow house one street north of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, which is a few blocks west of downtown. **Here is the website:

**We are in this museum in the giftshop in San Antonio............this is totally awesome!!!****

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