Here’s a sample of the free images:
Not many galas come with two big stars. Make that three.
One obvious star attraction at the opulent Blanton Gala was the rehung permanent collection. In a mixture of formal and gallery attire, guests promenaded up the grand staircase early in the evening to view the American, European, Latin American, video and special exhibit rooms. They looked fantastic, more clearly articulated and presented, along with almost twice as much art on display as in the past at the 10-year-old University of Texas art museum.
The other two stars shined as well. Folks from New York, Santa Fe, Dallas, San Antonio and especially Houston joined Austinites in celebrating the Blanton’s very special patrons — Michael and Jeanne Klein. These art collectors have been with the Blanton and director Simone Wicha every step of the way. They donated “Stacked Waters,” which transformed the museum’s rather chilly atrium, and they led the way in acquiring and building “Austin,” Ellsworth Kelly‘s campus retreat now under construction — it is expected to open in a year.
Not coincidentally, the Kleins, who enjoyed two rapturous standing ovations during the gala and gave a very funny speech in tandem, have promised to give a collection 28 videos to the Blanton. It includes works by Tania Bruguera, Isaac Julien, Pipilotti Rist and others. The museum will share ownership of pieces by Eve Sussman and Ana Mendieta with the Whitney Museum of American Art.
As part of the reinstallation, the Blanton has created a gallery — where the contemporary installations once stood next to the soon-to-be-delivered Meredith Lounge — dedicated to the ongoing display of video works. Its inaugural installation is artist Javier Téllez’s “Letter on the Blind For the Use of Those Who See” (2007), one of the Kleins’ promised gifts to the Blanton.
His graffiti has breathed life into Austin streets for more than 20 years. It’s been featured throughout Europe, in documentaries and group exhibits.
But after helping shape the local graffiti scene, native Austinite Nathan “Sloke One” Nordstrom has found another way to push the boundaries of the art form.
With his first large-scale solo show opening Feb. 4 at the Sam Z. Coronado Gallery at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, Nordstrom paves the way for local graffiti artists to move from the streets to the galleries.
“I think (the exhibit) can show emerging graffiti writers that if you continue to practice and develop your skills that it isn’t just limited to the streets, trains or rooftops,” he says. “Graffiti-inspired art can and does have a place in galleries.”
The exhibit “Another Side: Selected Works by Nathan Nordstrom AKA Sloke One” will feature photographs of his graffiti from the U.S. and abroad, graffiti pieces on canvas and graffiti-inspired abstract art, which will all be available for sale. …
We’re bringing the Austin Arts blog up to date by teasing to recent and still relevant arts stories on other American-Statesman and Austin360 pages.
This was a peek at Nancy Flores’ story on graffiti artist Nathan “Sloke One” Nordstrom.
She’s Wonder Woman like you’ve never seen her before, with the words “peace,” “justice” and “respect” tattooed in Spanish on her forearm, chest and arm.
The reimagined superhero, brought to life by stencil artist Eleanor Herasimchuk (better known as Niz), fiercely watches over downtown Austin from the Fifth Street and Congress Avenue wall on which she’s been painted.
Herasimchuk’s take on Wonder Woman is part of a new round of innovative, bilingual murals featured on Mexic-Arte Museum’s Fifth Street wall project called El Mero Muro. Museum officials expect to unveil at least seven new murals throughout the year aimed at boosting the Latino presence downtown and attracting new patrons after a 2015 report by market research firm Contemporanea found that many Latinos felt that museums across the country felt unfriendly, uninviting and expensive.
“While museums are broadly acknowledged as educational institutions, the personal relevance and importance of these institutions has not been established for many Latinos surveyed,” according to the report.
With a prominent Fifth Street wall that, according to Mexic-Arte, catches the eye of more than 35,000 drivers each day, the cultural arts museum knew it had a unique opportunity to address some of the report’s findings in a highly visible way.
“People say that downtowns are the living room of a community,” said Sylvia Orozco, the museum’s executive director. “We all need to feel welcome when we’re in the living room. People need to know that this is a place for them, and if they come in they’ll see and connect even more.” …
We’re starting to bring the Austin Arts blog up to date with recent and still relevant arts stories.
This is part of Nancy Flores’ article on graffiti at Mexic-Arte Museum.
Here’s a taste of Sunday’s story about the seismic shifts at the Blanton Museum of Art.
Now look closer.
That is what the Blanton Museum of Art urges you do after five years spent reimagining, planning and executing a complete rehang of the permanent collection at the 10-year-old University of Texas spot, beloved by locals, tourists and students alike.
Walking around the museum’s second floor in preparation for the official unveiling on Feb. 11 (gala) and Feb. 12 (general public), one notices that there is more art (almost twice as many pieces), a new emphasis on the collection’s strengths (works on paper, etc.), better routing (fewer pass-through corridors), a few rarely exhibited pieces (discovered in the vaults), more coherent groupings and explanations (in English and Spanish), completely new galleries (including ones dedicated to video, plus Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American), strikingly colorful wall tinting (to set off the Old Master paintings), more art in public spaces (jazzing them up) and a new focus on engaging each work of art.
“We have a new museum in Austin,” proclaims Director Simone Wicha. “I wanted the Blanton’s experience to represent the personality we embody at the museum — energetic, smart, fun, friendly, curious, sophisticated and collaborative. My challenge to the team was for us to reconsider the museum in a way that was more visually arresting, more thought-provoking and nationally innovative.”
Last week we caught up with David “Shek” Vega, the San Antonio artist and owner of buzzed about Gravelmouth Gallery who serves as curator’s for this year’s Young Latino Artists exhibit at Mexic-Arte Museum.
Vega titled the exhibt “Amexican@” — that @ symbol a key to defining the 11 artists and one collective Vega selected, all millennials or younger born in the 1980s and 1990s.
“These artists deal with identity, but not necessarily in the same way as the Chicano artists who came before them,” told me during our walk through the exhibit. “We’re Mexican and we’re American and so we’re ‘Amexican@.’”
Since he was curating the current show (it’s up through Aug. 28; Sundays offer free admission), Mexic-Arte Museum invited Vega — a busy muralist, check out what he did for the Spurs — to create a mural on the museum’s East Fifth Street outside wall.
Check out our story on “Young Latino Artists 21: Amexican@”
Vega and his “Juegala Fria: Play it Cool Austin” mural at Mexic-Arte Museum, E. Fifth St. and Congress Ave.
Like we said, museums typically keep it a constant low-humidity 72 degrees inside to protect delicate art and historical objects.
That makes museum the perfect afternoon’s chill getaway in the stifling midsummer heat. And even if you’ve lived in Austin for a while, it’s good to re-visit familiar places. (Hint: Museums change it up way more often than you think.)
Our interactive map and guide to Austin many museums is here: http://www.austin360.com/interactive/art-culture-museums
And here’s few top picks to get you started:
Earlier this month we launched Camp Austin360 — our invitation to you to recapture the spirit of summer camp fun and try somethings try something new.
Here’s an artful option: Why not see the summer sunset in sublime color at the Turrell skyspace?
Tucked on top of a University of Texas building, a sleek curvilinear roofless chamber is James Turrell’s “The Color Inside,” one of the famed artist’s “skyspaces” — a radically reimagined observatory for creative contemplation of the sky.
At sunset, an hourlong sequence of slowly changing colored LED lights illuminate the inside walls, radically yet subtly altering your perception of the heavens.
Over the course of an hour, the colors shift, saturating the space with intense and varying shades of purple, green, yellow, pink, blue. And through the aperture in the ceiling, a remarkable visual phenomena happens. The sky appears in complementary hues. Walls awash in blue make the sky look yellow. A flush of pink turns the sky green.
A recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, Turrell is a pioneer in the use of light as an artistic medium.
In naming “The Color Inside,” Turrell said: “I was thinking about what you see inside, and inside the sky, and what the sky holds within it that we don’t see the possibility of in our regular life.”
Commissioned by UT’s public art program, Landmarks, “The Color Inside” is a permanent work of art, one of several daring pieces added to the campus.
“The Color Inside” is open every day that the UT Student Activity Building is open. Start time for the evening light sequence changes daily. And if you can’t make the evening light sequence you can visit anyway. Turrell’s
Admission free but with seating limited to 25 people, reservations are recommended. turrell.utexas.edu
And be sure to check out our guides to Austin’s museums and galleries
We know. There’s lots to do in Austin. And whether you’re new to town or have been here for years, Austin’s ever-exploding arts scene can sometimes overwhelm.
Not to worry. We’ve got it all laid out for you to peruse with several interactive, easy-to-use map guides that will get you out and seeing things.
And they’re in: The Austin Critics’ Table today announces the nominations for its 2015-2016 arts awards.
Now in its 24th year, the Critics’ Table in an informal group of arts writers from the American-Statesman and the Austin Chronicle who annually recognize achievement in the arts.
The free awards ceremony is at 7 p.m. May 23 at Cap City Comedy Club.
Also being honored this year as new inductees to the Austin Arts Hall of Fame are Austin Symphony Orchestra music director Peter Bay, Ballet Austin executive director Cookie Ruiz and Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mills.