The mission of the ON & OFF FREDERICKSBURG ROAD STUDIO TOUR is to promote the work of diverse visual and cultural artists, enhance the appreciation for the arts in the community, and stimulate economic revitalization and cultural tourism in our neighborhoods.
On and Off Fred, which celebrates its 13th season in 2020, was founded in early 2007 by Bihl Haus Arts director Kellen Kee McIntyre and area artists Dale Jenssen and David and Maria Guerrero. The inaugural Steering Committee also included area artists David Alcantar, Richard Arredondo, Marleen Hoover, Debora Keller-Rihn, Barbra Kelley, Sally Lewis, Norma Moore, Stacy Parten, Diana Roberts and David Rubin, plus area residents Charlotte Kahl, Edna Hinojosa, Roy Muniz and Carolyn Sanchez. The tour has grown from a core of 25 artists in 2008 to more than 60 featured artists, plus more than 200 visual, literary and performing artists who participate in official group shows and other special events. On and Off Fred features two full days of open studios that offer visitors the rare opportunity to interact with artists in their work spaces.
Fredericksburg Road was once a thriving business corridor that developed in the 1910s but suffered a downturn in the 1960s and never fully recovered. Geographically centered on Fred Road, as locals call it, the main goal of On & Off Fred is to galvanize interest for the arts in our community. Merging this event with other community efforts supports our collective goal to revitalize our neighborhoods.
From reclaimed former neighborhood grocery stores to intimate backyard sanctuaries, the studios on the tour provide the environments in which artists create a variety of works, such as large ceramic sculptures, metalwork, one-of-a-kind light fixtures, art photography, jewelry, fiber art and paintings in a variety of styles. Demonstration, hospitality, and opportunities to purchase art are all part of the On & Off Fred experience. Each year the number of participating neighborhood galleries and arts-related businesses grows, which speaks to the flourishing interest in the arts in this area.
Designated a historic district in 1995, Monticello Park was once a dairy farm owned by George Calvert who parceled it out to developers in the 1920s. Monticello Park is bounded by Fredericksburg Road on the east, Wilson on the west, Bihl Haus Arts on the north, and Donaldson on the south.
Bihl Haus Arts is the only professional non-profit art gallery located on the premises of the Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Living Apartments. In addition to organizing and participating in the On & Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour, Bihl Haus Arts offers regular exhibits with related lectures/performances and the Go! Arts Program, which provides free professional art instruction to seniors.
The Jefferson Neighborhood is located west of Fredericksburg Road and east of St. Cloud between Donaldson and W. Woodlawn Avenues. The area, with streets lined by stately homes set amid dense foliage, retains much of its regal authority. From the 30s into the 70s, Jefferson remained a fashionable place to live. The Jefferson Neighborhood Association was founded in 1982 to help preserve the integrity of the neighborhood.
The heart of the Woodlawn Lake Neighborhood is the lake itself. The Woodlawn Lake Community Association (WLCA) was organized in the late 1940s, but area residents have been working together since the 1920s to preserve and improve the community. It was designated a historic district in 2000.
Keystone is a triangular shaped neighborhood bordered by Fredericksburg road on the west, I-10 on the east, and Hildebrand Avenue on the north. The neighborhood is bisected by the Fulton Avenue Historic District, established in 2001. The Keystone Park Historic District was approved by the City Council in 2009.
The Beacon Hill Neighborhood was platted, along with its neighbor Alta Vista, in the early years of the 20th century as many people moved north from downtown to higher ground to escape the floodwaters of the San Antonio River. The area is characterized by well-constructed bungalows and appealing cottages as well as Itlianate and four-square two storied homes. Beacon Hill is a magnet for artists and art enthusiasts who appreciated the neighborhood’s many architectural treasures. It is the second neighborhood in San Antonio to achieve a Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) designation.
Alta Vista is one of the several older neighborhoods that evolved during San Antonio’s first and greatest expansion, which began in the 1850s. Bounded roughly between Hildebrand and San Pedro Park and IH-10 West and San Pedro Avenue, Alta Vista can likely attribute its development to the creation of San Pedro Park in the 1850s. Like Beacon Hill, the area attracts the artistic with several examples of public art. Alta Vista has also been designated a San Antonio Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD).