Co-Lab Projects occupies vacant Congress Ave. space for exhibits

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"Youngsons: Live Free With Guys" at Co-Lab Projects' Demo Gallery. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

For all the hand-wringing over risings rents and increasing shortage of suitable space for artists and arts groups, one tiny non-profit visual arts organization is taking advantage of the changing landscape.

For the next year-ish, Co-Lab Projects will operate Demo Gallery at 721 Congress Avenue a long-empty retail space right next to to the historic Paramount and State theaters.

Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

“Youngsons: Live Free With Guys” at Co-Lab Projects’ Demo Gallery. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

After sitting empty for nearly two decades  — an eyesore on Austin’s prominent avenue — the shell of a building is now slated to be “car-free” apartment tower, designed by Austin architect Brad Nelsen.

While that project gets going, the developers have let Co-Lab have the rather raw high-ceilinged space for a longish-term pop-up gallery.

Opening its doors with the recent West Austin Studio Tour, Co-Lab kicked off with “Youngsons: Live Free With Guys,” featuring the lively, vibrant collaborative paintings of Drew Liverman and Michael Ricioppo.

 

 

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“Youngsons: Live Free With Guys” at Co-Lab Projects’ Demo Gallery. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

“Youngsons” runs through June 24. Opening July 2 is “Room With A View,” a solo exhibit by Adam Crosson who creates intriguing, thoughtful installations.

Gallery hours are 12 noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays.

"Youngsons: Live Free With Guys" at Co-Lab Projects' Demo Gallery. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

“Youngsons: Live Free With Guys” at Co-Lab Projects’ Demo Gallery. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

Co-Lab has been footloose for a while after leaving the East Austin location it had for several years where organizers kept producing a steady stream of exhibits and happenings.

The artist-run group has always been skilled when it comes to the pop-up, staking out art exhibits in all kinds of venues.

Nimbleness proved a good strategy for this smaller arts organization in Austin’s rapidly changing and ever pricier urban landscape.

Mural on the Eighth Street side of 721 Congress Ave. where Co-Lab Projects is operating a pop-up gallery for the next year. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.

Mural on the Eighth Street side of 721 Congress Ave. where Co-Lab Projects is operating a pop-up gallery for the next year. Photo by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.


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