an exhibit & performance by
Opening Reception Friday, January 14, 5:30-8:30 pm
Carol Cisneros’s jazz-inspired “Falling,” a retrospective of 20 years of art and music making, opened with a reception at Bihl Haus Arts on Friday, January 14, 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The evening included a special premiere performance at 7:30 to introduce the new CD “Falling,” a 21st Century jazz sonata by Carol Cisneros with Jay Fort’s Nuclear Hamsters, including Chuck Glave, George Prado, and Joe Gonzalez. (The CD ($15) is available for purchase at Bihl Haus.)
Cisneros’s saturated palette, colors on the retro side—Aquamarine, Caribbean Green, Electric Lime, Magenta, Pink Flamingo, Scarlet, Wisteria . . . the best in Crayola’s box of 64—combines with an obsessively rich surface made up of fragments of torn musical notation, product labels, foil and fabric scraps, and other crinkled bits. Splintered poetry and jazz refrains tumble in and out of one another, making acrobatic leaps across these large confettied paper grounds. Jiggly plastic bubble eyes, glued here and there, inject an eerie humor. Smaller works on paper, also brilliantly colored, and large fre-hanging canvas paintings round out the exhibit.
Joy, a child-like joy, and pain too—of falling, of growing older, of opportunities lost and found—reverberate through this body of work and echo in the original music that Cisneros performs on opening night. The hauntingly beautiful centerpiece of this performance, titled “Falling,” namesake of the exhibit, is dedicated to the heroes and victims of September 11, 2001.
Music and art, art and music, San Antonio native Carol Cisneros has been making both all of her life. For this artist, boundaries between the audial and the visual are virtually nonexistent. An accomplished guitarist, jazz vocalist, composer, educator, writer, and visual artist, Cisneros holds an MA in Music from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). She began her professional musical career at the age of 17 at San Antonio’s Hilton Palacio del Rio. She went on to perform at the Monterrey Pop Festival with Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. She has sung her way across Texas, spent three years in Las Vegas, and played with Jay Fort’s Nuclear Hamsters in Europe. She has exhibited her artwork at venues throughout San Antonio, including San Pedro Springs, One9Zero6 Gallery, and Bihl Haus Arts. Debilitating hip surgeries in 2003 almost put an end to her public career, but continuing to make art and music in her studio has, as she states, “literally saved my life.” Through this exhibit and performance, the artist celebrates the power of the arts to heal.
In addition, Carol will present a gallery talk about her work in this exhibit on Saturday, January 29th, at 2 pm. This exhibit is funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts through the San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs.