Apr 21, 2016 - 01:49 pm CDT

In an episode of the APL Volumes podcast, Cultural Arts Division staff member Calder Kamin interviews artists Shagun Singh and Rick Lin of Urban Matter Inc. about public art and their new artwork Golden Afternoon, a public art installation in the Seaholm Redevelopment commissioned by Austin Art in Public Places.

Golden Afternoon is a responsive public art installation in the parking structure of the Seaholm Redevelopment Project. Inspired by the wildflowers of Texas, the installation mimics a hanging garden that has overgrown from the flower beds on the ground level, down the open stairwell, and making its way into the parking lot. Reminiscent of a trip down the rabbit hole from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the artwork experience is heightened by lighting which responds to people moving up and down the stairs.

 

APL Volumes is the podcast from the Austin Public Library. APL Volumes shares stories of creativity, knowledge, and innovation through conversations with people who do life in Austin, TX.

Golden Afternoon by Urban Matter Inc.

Golden Afternoon by Urban Matter Inc.

Feb 22, 2016 - 05:09 pm CST

Each year, as part of the People’s Gallery exhibition at Austin City Hall, the public is invited to vote for their favorite artwork in that year’s show. For the 2015 exhibition, the oil painting Sedona Lake, by artist Lawrence Jolly, was selected as The People’s Choice. Mayor Adler and District 6 Council Member Don Zimmerman will present Jolly (a resident of District 6) with a Certificate of Congratulations at the February 25, 2016, City Council meeting as Jolly’s painting becomes part of the permanent collection of the City of Austin.

Jolly strives to connect the spiritual and natural worlds through his realistically rendered paintings, though also includes surrealist painters like Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte among his influences. Sedona Lake is a diptych depicting a pastoral scene of a lake juxtaposed with a smiling young girl riding a rocking horse. Jolly was inspired to paint the lake after seeing a photo of a lake scene on a friend’s Facebook page. After starting the landscape, the artist wanted the work to better reflect his remembrance of sacred places from his youth and joy of childhood. Jolly paired the landscape with a portrait of young Sedona, the daughter of a friend, upon a slightly submerged rocking horse once used by Jolly’s daughter.

Sedona Lake by Lawrence Jolly

"Sedona Lake" was displayed in the 2nd floor lobby as part of the 2015 People's Gallery exhibition.

The water below and sky behind the young girl is rendered so as to imply a dream state. The girl connects the memory of her childhood safe-place through her horse, loosely tethered by a braided rope that also appears in the lake scene hovering in the clouds representing the infinity of time.

Jolly previously worked as a graphic designer and owner of Jolly Design. Jolly is now a full time studio artist and participated in Artist INC Live Austin with the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division last fall. Artist INC Live is a competitive and nationally recognized 8-week long seminar that trains creatives from all disciplines on the business skills they need to build a successful arts business and sustainable career.  Jolly said, “I am so grateful for the people in my life who have loved, supported and encouraged me to pursue this passion.”

Artist Lawrence Jolly poses in front of his painting with his young model, Sedona.

Artist and Model: Lawrence Jolly poses with Sedona, who modeled for his painting "Sedona Lake"

Sedona Lake can be seen on the third floor of Austin City Hall, as part of the 2016 People’s Gallery exhibition. Other works by Jolly will be exhibited during the West Austin Studio Tour May 14-15 /21-22, 2016, and more information is available at LawrenceJolly.com.

This year marks the 12th annual People’s Gallery exhibition. The opening reception is Friday, February 26, from 6-9 pm at Austin City Hall (301 W 2nd St). The 2016 exhibition will be on view Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, through January 2017.

Jan 13, 2016 - 04:19 pm CST

In an episode of the APL Volumes podcast, Cultural Arts Division staff Calder Kamin and Natalie Roberts sit down with artist David Goujon and Art in Public Places project coordinator Anna Bradley to talk about TEMPO, a project that commissions temporary public art installations and time-based works for sites across the city. David was among the artists commissioned for TEMPO 2015. David's artwork, Las Piñatas, was installed at Edward Rendon Park in East Austin, October - December 2015.

APL Volumes is the podcast from the Austin Public Library. APL Volumes shares stories of creativity, knowledge, and innovation through conversations with people who do life in Austin, TX.

Las Pinatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers

Las Piñatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers

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Oct 16, 2015 - 01:40 pm CDT

El programa Art in Public Places (Arte en Lugares Públicos – AIPP – por sus siglas en inglés), un programa de la División de Artes Culturales del Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin, se enorgullece en anunciar las 10 obras de arte seleccionadas a través del proyecto temporal de arte público TEMPO 2015. Las obras de arte están ahora exhibidas en parques locales e instalaciones de la Ciudad. Invitamos a la comunidad a descubrir estas obras de arte y a asistir a eventos especiales durante todo octubre y noviembre. Visite la página de internet austintexas.gov/TEMPO para obtener un mapa de las exhibiciones y más información acerca de cada obra de arte.

El proyecto TEMPO se inició en la primavera del 2015, con una invitación a todos los artistas del área de Austin para que presentaran sus propuestas para exhibir obras de arte de manera temporal en propiedades de la Ciudad. Se eligieron diez propuestas, ocho de artistas individuales y dos de equipos de artistas, que se exhibirán durante distintos períodos de tiempo entre agosto del 2015 y enero del 2016.

Las obras seleccionadas representan una variedad de temas – desde la comunidad de adultos mayores hasta la historia cultural local y temas del medio ambiente.

Las Pinatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers

El artista David Goujon se inspiró en la destrucción de la tienda de piñatas Jumpolín para crear su escultura Las Piñatas en el Distrito 3. Tres piñatas en forma de burros, hechas de tablones de madera contrachapada de 10 pies de alto y papel de color, “pastean” ahora en el parque Edward Rendon Sr. Park (en 1700 Nash Hernandez Sr. Road y Chicon St.), y estarán en exhibición hasta el 22 de noviembre. Goujon explica que las esculturas representan que "cada acto de creación empieza como una forma de destrucción, y cada ciudad ve partes de ella morir antes de crecer y desarrollarse".

La artista Annelize Machado tuvo su inspiración en el edificio histórico Old Bakery & Emporium, localizado en Congress Avenue y 10th Street, y su misión de “celebrar al adulto mayor como un talentoso y solidario miembro de la comunidad”. El cortometraje de Machado, Born and Bread, destaca a adultos mayores del Old Bakery & Emporium y del South Austin Senior Center (Centro para Adultos Mayores del Sur de Austin) y del Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center (Centro para Actividades de Adultos Mayores Conley-Guerrero). El cortometraje tendrá su primera presentación en el Old Bakery el 14 de noviembre.

Earth Mother by Yuliya Lanina, photo by Philip Rogers

Varios artistas tomaron su inspiración del mundo natural, incluyendo la escultura de Yareth Fernandez,  Los Balcones, en el parque Bull Creek District Park del Distrito 10. Tres esculturas en forma de bancas simulan las formaciones locales de piedra caliza. La escultura de Yuliya Lanina, Earth Mother, en el parque Ramsey Park del Distrito 9, es una cabeza de 6 pies de alto de una mujer, y está esculpida de poliestireno reciclado, sembrado con flores y gramas locales. KNOT , la escultura de George Sabra, dirige la atención del público al cambio climático y a los hidrocarburos como causa principal del calentamiento global; esto lo logra por medio de los materiales utilizados, 20 barriles de petróleo de 55 galones recogidos, comprimidos y unidos para formar un nudo de acero de 11 pies de altura. KNOT estará exhibido el 17 de octubre en la Gran Inauguración del Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (Centro de Descarga para Reciclar y Reutilizar) de Austin.

Las diez obras de arte podrán verse durante los meses de octubre y noviembre. Consulte la página de internet del proyecto www.austintexas.gov/ TEMPO, para obtener más información acerca de cada una.

Próximas Exhibiciones y Eventos Especiales:

Artista: Juan Deleon
Obra: Omission
Cuándo: 14 y 15 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.

Artista: George Sabra
Obra: KNOT
Cuándo: 12 de octubre al 7 de noviembre
Dónde: Centro de Descarga Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center, 2514 Business Center Dr.
Gran inauguración del Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (Centro de Descarga para Reciclar y Reutilizar), el 17 de octubre de 10:00 am a medio día, incluyendo manualidades para niños, una cabina de fotografías, música en vivo, una exhibición de arte, y kioscos de diferentes compañías locales, organizaciones no lucrativas y oficinas de la Ciudad.

Artistas: Melissa Borrell y Hanna Lupico
Obra: Sky Lines
Cuándo: 3 de octubre al 20 de diciembre
Dónde: Parque Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.
Presentación especial del baile “Under the Overpass at Skylines” por Dance Waterloo and Cindertalk, el 21 y 22 de noviembre a las 7:00 y a las 8:00 p.m.

Artista: Annelize Machado
Obra: Born and Bread
Cuándo: 14 y 21 de noviembre, y 5 y 12 de diciembre
Dónde: Edificio The Old Bakery & Emporium, 1006 Congress Ave.
Diariamente habrán seis presentaciones del cortometraje de Machado, a las 6:15; 6:45, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15 y 8:45 p.m.

Otras exhibiciones disponibles para visitar desde ya:

Artista: Olivia Martin Moore
Obra: Memorial
Cuándo: 17 de agosto al 18 de enero
Dónde: Parque Convict Hill Quarry, 6511 Convict Hill Rd.

Artista: Yuliya Lanina
Obra: Earth Mother
Cuándo: 1ero de octubre al 31 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Ramsey, 4301 Rosedale Ave.

Artista: Yareth Fernandez
Obra: Los Balcones
Cuándo: 2 de octubre al 8 de enero
Dónde: Parque Bull Creek District, 6701 Lakewood Dr.

Artista: David Goujon
Obra: Las Piñatas
Cuándo: 12 de octubre al 22 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Edward Rendon Sr., 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Artistas: Jennifer Chenoweth y Dorothy Johnson
Obra: The Public Sentiment Campaign
Cuándo: 12 de octubre al 8 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Dove Springs, 5801 Ainez Dr.; Parque Mabel Davis, 3427 Parker Ln; Parque Montopolis, 1200 Montopolis Dr.

Cuándo: 9 de noviembre al 6 de diciembre
Dónde: Parque Brentwood, 6710 Arroyo Seco; Parque Beverly S. Sheffield, 7000 Ardath St.; Parque Gustavo “Gus” Garcia, 1101 E. Rundberg Ln.; Parque Quail Creek, 1101 Mearns Meadow Blvd.

Cuándo: 7 de diciembre al 4 de enero
Dónde: Parque Pickfair, 10904 Pickfair Dr.; Parque Schroeter, 11701 Big Trail; Parque Great Hills, 10801 Sierra Oaks; Parque Riata, 12401 Riata Trace

Artista: Ethan Azarian
Obra: Migration
Cuándo: 15 de octubre al 7 de enero
Dónde: Centro del Vecindario Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center, 2800 Webberville Rd.

 

División de Artes Culturales de la Ciudad de Austin

La División de Artes Culturales del Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin ofrece liderazgo y dirección para los programas de artes culturales de la ciudad, y para el desarrollo de las artes y las industrias culturales. La División de Artes Culturales es responsable del Programa de Financiamiento de las Artes Culturales, del Programa de Arte en Lugares Públicos, del desarrollo de las artes basadas en la comunidad, y de los programas de ayuda para el desarrollo de la filmografía y las artes creativas en Austin.

El programa de Arte en Lugares Públicos (AIPP, por sus siglas en inglés) fue fundado en 1985. Este programa, a través de comisiones, donaciones y préstamos, adquiere y le da mantenimiento a obras de arte en instalaciones y parques de la ciudad, para el enriquecimiento cultural de la comunidad de Austin. De conformidad con una Ordenanza de la Ciudad, el AIPP asigna 2% del financiamiento elegible para proyectos de mejoras de capital a la adquisición de obras de arte para lugares públicos específicos. En el 2015 se celebra el 30 Aniversario del AIPP en Austin, la primera municipalidad de Texas que se comprometió a incluir obras de arte en proyectos de construcción.

Para obtener más información, por favor visite la página de internet www.austincreates.com.

Oct 16, 2015 - 01:15 pm CDT

Art in Public Places (AIPP), a program of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department, is proud to announce the 10 artworks commissioned through the TEMPO 2015 temporary public art project. The artworks are now on display in local parks and City facilities. The community is invited to discover these artworks and attend special events throughout October and November. Visit austintexas.gov/TEMPO to see a map of the installations and more information about each artwork.

The TEMPO project launched in spring of 2015 with an open call to Austin-area artists to submit proposals for temporary artwork on City-owned sites. Ten proposals by eight individual artists and two artist teams were selected and will be installed for varying durations beginning in August 2015 and continuing through January 2016.

The selected artworks address a variety of themes –from Austin’s senior community to local cultural history to environmental issues.

Las Pinatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers, three large pinata burros

Artist David Goujon was inspired by the razing of the Jumpolin piñata store to create his sculpture Las Piñatas in District 3. Three, 10-foot- tall plywood and colored-paper piñatas burros now “graze” in Edward Rendon Sr. Park (at 1700 Nash Hernandez Sr. Road  and Chicon)and will be on view through November 22. Goujon says the sculptures note that "every act of creation begins as a form of destruction and every city will see the parts of itself die as it grows and expands."

Artist Annelize Machado took her inspiration from the Old Bakery & Emporium, a historic building located on Congress Avenue and 10th Street, and its mission “to celebrate the older adult as a gifted, contributing member of the community.” Machado’s short film Born and Bread features senior clients from the Old Bakery & Emporium as well as the South Austin Senior Center and Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center. The film will have its premiere screening on November 14 at the Old Bakery.

Earth Mother by Yuliya Lanina, photo by Philip Rogers, large female head with plantings

Several artists took inspiration from the natural world including Yareth Fernandez’s Los Balcones in District 10’s Bull Creek District Park– three bench-like sculptures that mimic the local limestone formations –and Yuliya Lanina’s Earth Mother in District 9’s Ramsey Park–a 6-foot-tall female head sculpted from recycled Styrofoam planted with native flowers and grasses. George Sabra’s sculpture, KNOT, calls attention to climate change and fossil fuels as a major cause of global warming through the artist’s choice of materials–20 reclaimed 55-gallon oil drum barrels, compressed and attached to form an 11-foot-tall steel knot. KNOT will be on display at the Grand Opening of Austin’s Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center on October 17.

All 10 artworks will be on view during October and November. Check the project website, www.austintexas.gov/ TEMPO, for more information about each artwork.

Upcoming Installations and Special Events:

Artist: Juan Deleon
Title: Omission
When: November 14 and 15
Where: Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.

Artist: George Sabra
Title: KNOT
When: October 12 to November 7
Where: Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center, 2514 Business Center Dr.
Grand opening of Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center on October 17, 10:00 am – noon, will include kids’ crafts, a photo booth, live music, an art display, and booths from local businesses, nonprofits and City departments.

Artists: Melissa Borrell & Hanna Lupico
Title: Sky Lines
When: October 3 to December 20
Where: Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.Special performances of “Under the Overpass at Skylines” by Dance Waterloo and Cindertalk November 21 & 22 at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Artist: Annelize Machado
Title: Born and Bread
When: November 14, November 21, December 5, and December 12
Where: The Old Bakery & Emporium, 1006 Congress Ave.
Each day will have six screenings of Machado’s short film at 6:15; 6:45, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15, and 8:45 p.m.

Other Installations now on view:

Artist: Olivia Martin Moore
Title: Memorial
When: August 17 - January 18
Where: Convict Hill Quarry Park, 6511 Convict Hill Rd.

Artist: Yuliya Lanina
Title: Earth Mother
When: October 1 to November 31
Where: Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale Ave.

Artist: Yareth Fernandez
Title: Los Balcones
When: October 2 to January 8
Where: Bull Creek District Park, 6701 Lakewood Dr.

Artist: David Goujon
Title: Las Piñatas
When: October 12 to November 22
Where: Edward Rendon Sr. Park, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Artists: Jennifer Chenoweth &  Dorothy Johnson
Title: The Public Sentiment Campaign
When: October 12 to November 8
Where: Dove Springs Park, 5801 Ainez Dr.; Mabel Davis Park, 3427 Parker Ln; Montopolis Park, 1200 Montopolis Dr.

When: November 9 to December 6
Where: Brentwood Park, 6710 Arroyo Seco; Beverly S. Sheffield Park, 7000 Ardath St.; Gustavo “Gus” Garcia Park, 1101 E. Rundberg Ln.; Quail Creek Park, 1101 Mearns Meadow Blvd.

When: December 7 to January 4
Where: Pickfair Park, 10904 Pickfair Dr.; Schroeter Park, 11701 Big Trail; Great Hills Park, 10801 Sierra Oaks; Riata Park, 12401 Riata Trace

Artist: Ethan Azarian
Title: Migration
When: October 15 to January 7
Where: Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center, 2800 Webberville Rd.

Jul 28, 2015 - 01:19 pm CDT

Creative Action is a creative youth development organization based in Austin serving over 17,500 students annually. Last summer, the organization received a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” program. This grant has supported community engagement activities at Creative Action's new headquarters and community arts center in central east Austin, the Center for Creative Action. The Our Town grant helped the organization with ongoing creativity programs for all ages at the Center, free Community Art Sunday events for the surrounding neighborhood, and a community mural project.

Four students making a presentation to a classroom

Just one of Creative Action’s many programs is Color Squad, a teen program employing young artists, ages 14-18. Color Squad teens engage with Austin communities to design murals, sculptures, and installations that enhance public spaces and reflect their history. This collective of young artists works under the guidance of Program Director Lindsay Palmer, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, to transform public spaces as well as produce an artistic portfolio of original work for each student. Color Squad has helped restore the South Austin postcard mural with the original artists, designed and built original signs for local East Austin businesses, and helped residents create eco-friendly art in a neighborhood park. The teens practice professional skills including time management, cooperation, self-awareness, communication, and leadership.

This year, as one of the Our Town funded activities, Color Squad launched a far-reaching community mural project. Through historical research, interviews with long-time neighborhood residents, guest artist workshops, guided tours by staff of the Austin African American Cultural Heritage District, and community design charrettes the Color Squad teens have designed a colorful mural reflecting the theme “Map Your Roots/Routes.”

Mural wall in progress

The Color Squad is currently painting the mural on the back wall of the the Center for Creative Action. The mural will run along Austin’s urban rail line and will be seen and enjoyed by hundreds of commuters and visitors to the area daily. Capital Metro has partnered on the project to help the community learn how public art can support civic life, such as access to and use of public transit. This year’s group of 12 dedicated students are transforming public spaces in Austin and preserving the history of one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods.

“Color Squad has opened so many doors for me,” says high school senior and Color Squad member Kim Delorea. “Before, I didn’t know anything about this neighborhood. But through our research and tours, we learned about segregation in Austin, and I was really surprised with how recent it was and how it still affects people. When people see our mural, we hope they can see the rich history and culture of this neighborhood, and how we want to convey diversity and acceptance.”

Close-up of mural art

This group of young artists continues to paint the mural through the summer with plans for an unveiling in the fall. You can follow the mural's progress on Facebook. Creative Action's Community Art Sundays will begin again this September.  For more information about Creative Action's programs and events, visit creativeaction.org.

Images courtesy of Creative Action.

May 01, 2015 - 11:36 am CDT

THANK YOU to everyone who came to the thinkEAST Living Charrette on April 9-12, 2015!  It was a tremendous success!  Over 1,000 people came out to the thinkEAST property in the Govalle-Johnston Terrace neighborhood over the course of the 3 ½ days. 

thinkEAST - row of tents and people walking through site

On Thursday night, the charrette opened with Adrian Quesada and the Battle of the Golden Ages: Cumbia vs. Hip Hop. Then on Friday, before the site opened to the public, the Cultural Arts Division/Economic Development Department and Imagine Austin sponsored an all-day gathering of city staff & project partners – the "thinkEAST City Strike Team."  thinkEAST is a model project of Imagine Austin and the Economic Development Department, and the goal was to become familiar with the unique assets and issues, identify ways to help move the project forward, and to explore and develop tools for using this as a best practice for building creativity-centered developments across Austin. (Contact Janet Seibert,  512 974-7860, for further information.)

two female volunteers talk to a male visitor

On Saturday and Sunday, the thinkEAST property came alive with the “listening phase” of the thinkEAST Living Charrette. There were temporary structures, installations, workshops, classes, visual preference activities, visioning sessions, demonstrations, performances, food events, and youth programming. This was a time when partners gathered additional input and ideas from the neighborhood, arts community, and citizens to help shape, explore and prototype strategies for developing a creative community rich in inspiration and innovation. 

pop up sewing factory

The thinkEAST team continues to work!  With so much good information gleaned during the listening phase, they are busy going through it all. Over the summer they will begin to bring ideas forward to the public with final plans being presented by the end of 2015. If you or your organization would like to learn more about what's happening at thinkEAST, please contact the project team and join the thinkEAST email list

Male and female volunteer at Micro Unit station

thinkEAST Living Charrette partners and contracted team members:

This public/private partnership includes developer/thinkEAST property owners Richard deVarga and Robert Summers; nonprofit hybrid arts organization Fusebox Festival, Executive Director Ron Berry and Managing Director Brad Carlin (with support from documentarian Elise Sibley Chandler and artist and scholar-in-residence Carra Martinez); Bullseye Business Development, Fred Schmidt; and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, staff Janet Seibert. Event site layout, charrette planning and facilitation, and master planning: TBG, Chris Jackson, Brent Spraggins, Jessie Krier, Brian Ott, Nicole Warns; Fiscal and economic analysis, integration with City planning initiatives and tools: Matthew Kwatinetz, QBLRE.

thinkEAST Living Charrette NEWS, STORIES, BLOGS, and MORE.

Thank you for the photos – Elise Sibley, Chris Jackson, Lani Gonzalez, and Janet Seibert!

The thinkEAST Living Charrette Project is a recipient of a 2014 ArtPlace America grant.

logo: Artplace

Apr 06, 2015 - 11:21 am CDT

The City of Austin’s Creative Ambassador program designates local artists who are traveling overseas as representatives for Austin’s cultural and creative community. Anuradha Naimpally, was designated as a Creative Ambassador in the 4th quarter of 2014. Naimpally is the creative director of Austin Dance India and a soloist and teacher of the classical Indian dance style Bharata Natyam. She has received the prestigious Jacqueline LeMieux Prize from the Canada Council and the title of Sringara Mani from the Sur Sringara Samshad in India. The Austin Area Critics Circle has named her Best Dancer and awarded several of her performances with Best Production.

In December 2014 - January 2015, Naimpally and her dance troupe traveled throughout India to perform at historic sites, including Tanjavur, the birthplace of their dance style. The tour included eight solo performances by Naimpally and ensemble performances at six historic temple sites throughout southern India. She plans to return to India in April 2015 for a two-week tour of Kerala during their temple festival season.

Here are her impressions from the Austin Dance India tour:

Austin Dance India dancers in costume

Austin Dance India dancers (before leaving Austin!)

I embarked on a six-city heritage tour with a group of 18 students from Austin. We performed at ancient heritage sites in southern India, some over 1000 years old. Bharata Natyam, the classical style that I teach and perform here in Austin, originates from this part of the country so we were taking it back to its roots. We were accompanied by three musicians from Chennai and my dance master from Mumbai.

Austin Dance India group at a temple

During our travels we wore special t-shirts that were designed with our name, Austin Dance India, and the Texas map on it. This brought a lot of interest in our group and to our work since we distinctly looked like we had come from somewhere far away! This initiated a conversation about where we were from and what we did so we were able to talk to many local people who showed an interest in what were doing.  Also, when we were on our way to the actual performances, we wore our colorful traditional costumes which peaked interest in onlookers. Many people asked and then followed us to the venue so they could watch us. I think they were curious that we were doing traditional dance but had come from the US.

Dancers perform in front of a temple

We traveled in a large 34-seater coach since several family members had signed up for the tour as well. Since this coach could not maneuver into small town lanes, frequently we would have to walk down crowded streets in full costumes with bells tied around our ankles (as we do for  our dance). We were really a sight to see, filing out of this huge coach in the middle of small town! So many tourists as well as locals wanted to take pictures with us!

Dancers in costume walk down a street

One thing that really struck me during this amazing tour was that people everywhere are curious and like to know about others. We can really help increase awareness of our work and our city just through our travels and talking with local people.  In the end, hundreds of people in remote parts of India got to see a group of dancers performing an art that originated in their local town but is being taught in a wonderful city far far away. So Austin is now definitely on their map as a city that promotes this ancient art form.

A crowd watches a dance performance on an outdoor stage

All photos courtesy of Anuradha Naimpally.

Feb 19, 2015 - 04:16 pm CST

The City of Austin’s Creative Ambassador program designates local artists who are traveling overseas as representatives for Austin’s cultural and creative community. Visual artist Judy Jensen was designated as a Creative Ambassador in the 3rd Quarter of 2014. Known for her expertise in reverse painting on glass, Judy has exhibited her artwork internationally and has pieces in numerous public and private collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places Collection.

Judy traveled to Thailand in the fall of 2014 as a part of her ongoing project to replace 19th century Burmese glass paintings in a Buddhist temple in Mae Hong Son which were destroyed by an earthquake. She was also invited to give a lecture at Bangkok National Museum. A  ceremony was held at the temple, Wat Chong Klang, in Mae Hong Son, to bless and celebrate the gift of her paintings to the temple.

Here are her impressions from the trip:

I’ve been to Bangkok many times, and have already seen most of the city’s premier sights at least once.  So aside from my professional obligations, the focus of this trip was building relationships. Louise Truslow, a prominent Bangkok artist, had read about my project in 2013, and approached me about speaking at the Bangkok National Museum. She’s a member of the National Museum Volunteers (NMV), a wonderful group serving the Bangkok National Museum by arranging their English-language lecture programming, among many other functions. I leapt at the opportunity.  

Louise Truslow and Judy Jensen

Louise Truslow (left) and Judy Jensen (right)

I’ve given this lecture before, but never to an audience in Thailand, who would understand all my references to Thai culture, geography, and Buddhism. After my arrival in Bangkok, I gave myself a few days to recover from jet-lag, but was excited to finally present my lecture to an enthusiastic audience. I realized everyone would be curious to discover how an artist from Austin, Texas could have become involved in a project so far from home, so I took advantage of the opportunity to discuss Austin’s creative community, and the role it played my current artistic direction.

Judy Jensen speaking at the National Museum in Bangkok

Speaking at the National Museum in Bangkok

The NMV had also planned an excursion to Mae Hong Son, in part so interested members could see the results of my project first-hand, as well as hearing me lecture on-site in the beautiful temple, Wat Chong Klang. After the lecture, I met the excursion coordinator, Wilfried Giessler, as well as a few members of the group who planned to accompany him. I could tell we were going to have a good time together in Mae Hong Son. 

The following day in Bangkok, my husband Emil and I had lunch at the historic Jim Thompson House.  James H.W. (Jim) Thompson was an iconic figure in Southeast Asia, who re-energized the Thai silk trade in the ‘50s and ‘60s, took it global, then mysteriously disappeared while on a hiking trip in Malaysia in 1967. His home, set in a lush garden, is now a museum housing his fantastic art and ceramic collection.  Our lunch partner was Jane Puranananda, a Board Member of the James H. W. Thompson Foundation. The Thompson Foundation had awarded me a grant for my project in 2013, and our lunch was a chance to update Jane (and through her, the Board) on the project’s status. Jane’s a fascinating woman. Aside from her legal practice, she’s a well-known writer and expert on Southeast Asian textiles, and I enjoyed our conversation immensely. 

Judy Jensen ready to board an airplane with suitcases

Boarding a single engine prop flight to Mae Hong Son, with a suitcase full of glass paintings

On November 1st, we flew to Mae Hong Son, stopping in Chiang Mai to change from a jumbo jet to the single-engine prop plane (whoa!) which would hopefully take us safely to Mae Hong Son.  Not trusting the amount of storage space that might be available, I’d reserved an extra seat to hold my paintings for the temple. I didn’t want the fragile glass paintings to end up in the cargo hold. The 30 minute flight to Mae Hong Son, as usual, grew progressively more enjoyable.  The scenery in northwestern Thailand—rolling green mountains covered in tropical forest—is absolutely spectacular, and the steep approach into Mae Hong Son is unforgettable.  

We were met at the airport by our good friend, Tawatchai Natipakorn, an attorney, who also owns Fern Resort in Mae Hong Son. As any of my friends can tell you, Fern Resort has been my #1 favorite place in the world since my first stay there in 2000. It’s a group of lovely rustic bungalows, set in a gorgeous garden in the tropical forest outside of Mae Hong Son. When I first became interested in undertaking this project, I had approached Tawatchai for assistance. I can’t overstate how essential his help was—setting up appointments with the temple’s abbot, providing lodging, transportation, and translating—well, the list goes on and on.    

Emil and I had two days to relax in Mae Hong Son before the NMV excursion group arrived on November 5th. There was also a brief ceremony planned in Wat Chong Klang that same morning, to bless and celebrate my gift of paintings to the temple. I was supposed the address the NMV group before the ceremony, but found that was my only opportunity to speak with the temple’s abbot regarding the next group of paintings to be replaced. So Emil did an excellent job telling the group about the project, while I conferred with the abbot.

Board displaying art by Judy Jensen

Display of my paintings during the ceremony at Wat Chong Klang

The ceremony was small and lovely, attended by friends and local professional people. Photo ops abounded after the ceremony ended. I chose this opportunity to give Tawatchai the official gift from the City of Austin, to honor his continued generous contribution to this project. And, at last, I was able to address the NMV excursion group, and answer questions. I met them again for lunch the following day, and we got to know each other. They were art-loving expats from around the world—a most interesting group.

Judy Jensen presenting a gift to Tawatchai Natipakorn

Presenting the official gift from the City of Austin to Tawatchai Natipakorn

Emil and I spent most of our time with our good friends Tawatchai, his wife Wasana, and Somling Vongthong, who runs a tour agency out of Chiang Mai. Aside from our constant forays to eat absolutely delicious northern Thai food, I had a chance to talk to them about a plan I have to begin the steps to create a Sister City relationship between Austin and Chiang Mai. Wasana, Tawatchai, and Som are a very well-connected trio, so I know will be able to make the introductions to begin to forge the necessary relationships. I’m looking forward to returning to Thailand again in November of 2015, to give another lecture, and continue my project. I want to maintain the Austin/Thai connection!

Interior of Wat Chong Klang temple

Interior of Wat Chong Klang

All photos courtesy of Judy Jensen.

Learn more about Judy and her temple project in this previous post to the Austin Creates blog.

Jan 29, 2015 - 10:35 am CST

The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department has contracted arts research and consulting firm WolfBrown to conduct an assessment of what professional development opportunities are currently offered in the community. Artists and arts organizations are invited to take the Building Austin's Creative Capacity survey through March 14, 2015.

Why Should YOU Take “Building Austin’s Creative Capacity” Survey?

There’s more to having a successful creative practice than just being creative. In order to produce creative work on an ongoing basis, you need know-how, connections, and access to resources (time, space, money, equipment, materials, and a place to perform, exhibit, or sell your work). Without these, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to produce much work, no matter how great your creative genius is. This is true for nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as for individual creatives.

With Individual Creatives, some get the resources, support, and infrastructure they need from an employer. Those are individuals whose creative goals line up with the needs of a business or nonprofit organization. As salaried employees, they may be in the rare position to focus on their creative work, while someone else takes care of the fundraising, bookkeeping, tech support, marketing – the business-side of their work.

Mostly, Creatives have to make their creative practice happen on their own steam. Some Creatives support their creative practice by working a day job. Some become the sole proprietor of their own business or go on to create a nonprofit organization around their creative work. For many, the ability to maintain their creative practice depends on a mix of things: doing as much as possible themselves, keeping their costs low, and getting help and support from friends and colleagues when they need it.

Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations also need know-how, connections, and access to resources in order to continue producing work that audiences and consumers desire to access. Similar to the passionate individual creative following their vision, the work of organizations is driven by the organization’s vision and their public benefit mission.

But they still need that business acumen to succeed in a world that is short on financing and that must constantly deal with space and resource constraints.  Small, emerging organizations are building their business capacity at the same time they are building and producing creative work to share with their constituents. Mid-range and large organizations may have some similar issues as the smaller organizations, but because these organizations may own or have long-term rent and numbers of staff to support, they must constantly address sustainability issues.

In developing a “Needs Assessment” of Austin’s Creative Sector, we soon adopted the phrase “Building Creative Capacity” to describe our effort to take a comprehensive look at the support structures needed for Austin’s individual creatives and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations to perform at their optimum level and to build capacity and sustainability over time.

With the two surveys that are a part of the Building Austin’s Creative Capacity: Assessing the Service Needs of Our Creative Community initiative, the Cultural Arts Division seeks to gain a better understanding of what Austin’s Creatives need in order to “take their creative practices to the next level;” that is, to increase their level of production, the quality of their work, and/or the sustainability of their operations.

To assess the current level of Creative Capacity in the community it’s important that we hear from as many of you individuals and organizations as possible in order to understand your specific challenges and needs. And, in thinking about building Austin’s creative capacity as a whole we also need to think about networking and coordination among organizations and individuals, so that all Creatives are able to find out about, access, and take advantage of the opportunities and resources that will help them strengthen and grow their creative practice.

In a culturally vibrant and creative community such as Austin, there’s often someone who knows the answer to your question, who has the resources that you need, or can teach you what you want to learn— you just need to know who that person is. Beyond making those connections, however, there are likely some gaps in the support infrastructure that can be addressed strategically in order to help Austin’s Creatives sustain and expand their creative practices. Identifying those gaps and opportunities is one of the goals of this initiative and the key to Building Austin’s Creative Capacity.

Whether you are an Individual Creative or you represent a Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organization, please take Building Austin's Creative Capacity SURVEY by March 14, 2015. The City of Austin recognizes the contribution that you all make to the Austin economy, the cultural vitality of the City, and the social wellbeing of the community. The information gleaned from the Survey will enable the Cultural Arts Division and other service providers to identify, develop, and deliver programming, workshops, and relevant topics to address your needs in the most effective manner possible.

Collage of artists and workshop participants

Feb 22, 2016 - 05:09 pm CST

Each year, as part of the People’s Gallery exhibition at Austin City Hall, the public is invited to vote for their favorite artwork in that year’s show. For the 2015 exhibition, the oil painting Sedona Lake, by artist Lawrence Jolly, was selected as The People’s Choice. Mayor Adler and District 6 Council Member Don Zimmerman will present Jolly (a resident of District 6) with a Certificate of Congratulations at the February 25, 2016, City Council meeting as Jolly’s painting becomes part of the permanent collection of the City of Austin.

Jolly strives to connect the spiritual and natural worlds through his realistically rendered paintings, though also includes surrealist painters like Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte among his influences. Sedona Lake is a diptych depicting a pastoral scene of a lake juxtaposed with a smiling young girl riding a rocking horse. Jolly was inspired to paint the lake after seeing a photo of a lake scene on a friend’s Facebook page. After starting the landscape, the artist wanted the work to better reflect his remembrance of sacred places from his youth and joy of childhood. Jolly paired the landscape with a portrait of young Sedona, the daughter of a friend, upon a slightly submerged rocking horse once used by Jolly’s daughter.

Sedona Lake by Lawrence Jolly

"Sedona Lake" was displayed in the 2nd floor lobby as part of the 2015 People's Gallery exhibition.

The water below and sky behind the young girl is rendered so as to imply a dream state. The girl connects the memory of her childhood safe-place through her horse, loosely tethered by a braided rope that also appears in the lake scene hovering in the clouds representing the infinity of time.

Jolly previously worked as a graphic designer and owner of Jolly Design. Jolly is now a full time studio artist and participated in Artist INC Live Austin with the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division last fall. Artist INC Live is a competitive and nationally recognized 8-week long seminar that trains creatives from all disciplines on the business skills they need to build a successful arts business and sustainable career.  Jolly said, “I am so grateful for the people in my life who have loved, supported and encouraged me to pursue this passion.”

Artist Lawrence Jolly poses in front of his painting with his young model, Sedona.

Artist and Model: Lawrence Jolly poses with Sedona, who modeled for his painting "Sedona Lake"

Sedona Lake can be seen on the third floor of Austin City Hall, as part of the 2016 People’s Gallery exhibition. Other works by Jolly will be exhibited during the West Austin Studio Tour May 14-15 /21-22, 2016, and more information is available at LawrenceJolly.com.

This year marks the 12th annual People’s Gallery exhibition. The opening reception is Friday, February 26, from 6-9 pm at Austin City Hall (301 W 2nd St). The 2016 exhibition will be on view Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, through January 2017.

Austin Creates
Jan 13, 2016 - 04:19 pm CST

In an episode of the APL Volumes podcast, Cultural Arts Division staff Calder Kamin and Natalie Roberts sit down with artist David Goujon and Art in Public Places project coordinator Anna Bradley to talk about TEMPO, a project that commissions temporary public art installations and time-based works for sites across the city. David was among the artists commissioned for TEMPO 2015. David's artwork, Las Piñatas, was installed at Edward Rendon Park in East Austin, October - December 2015.

APL Volumes is the podcast from the Austin Public Library. APL Volumes shares stories of creativity, knowledge, and innovation through conversations with people who do life in Austin, TX.

Las Pinatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers

Las Piñatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers

Tagged:
Austin Creates
Oct 16, 2015 - 01:40 pm CDT

El programa Art in Public Places (Arte en Lugares Públicos – AIPP – por sus siglas en inglés), un programa de la División de Artes Culturales del Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin, se enorgullece en anunciar las 10 obras de arte seleccionadas a través del proyecto temporal de arte público TEMPO 2015. Las obras de arte están ahora exhibidas en parques locales e instalaciones de la Ciudad. Invitamos a la comunidad a descubrir estas obras de arte y a asistir a eventos especiales durante todo octubre y noviembre. Visite la página de internet austintexas.gov/TEMPO para obtener un mapa de las exhibiciones y más información acerca de cada obra de arte.

El proyecto TEMPO se inició en la primavera del 2015, con una invitación a todos los artistas del área de Austin para que presentaran sus propuestas para exhibir obras de arte de manera temporal en propiedades de la Ciudad. Se eligieron diez propuestas, ocho de artistas individuales y dos de equipos de artistas, que se exhibirán durante distintos períodos de tiempo entre agosto del 2015 y enero del 2016.

Las obras seleccionadas representan una variedad de temas – desde la comunidad de adultos mayores hasta la historia cultural local y temas del medio ambiente.

Las Pinatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers

El artista David Goujon se inspiró en la destrucción de la tienda de piñatas Jumpolín para crear su escultura Las Piñatas en el Distrito 3. Tres piñatas en forma de burros, hechas de tablones de madera contrachapada de 10 pies de alto y papel de color, “pastean” ahora en el parque Edward Rendon Sr. Park (en 1700 Nash Hernandez Sr. Road y Chicon St.), y estarán en exhibición hasta el 22 de noviembre. Goujon explica que las esculturas representan que "cada acto de creación empieza como una forma de destrucción, y cada ciudad ve partes de ella morir antes de crecer y desarrollarse".

La artista Annelize Machado tuvo su inspiración en el edificio histórico Old Bakery & Emporium, localizado en Congress Avenue y 10th Street, y su misión de “celebrar al adulto mayor como un talentoso y solidario miembro de la comunidad”. El cortometraje de Machado, Born and Bread, destaca a adultos mayores del Old Bakery & Emporium y del South Austin Senior Center (Centro para Adultos Mayores del Sur de Austin) y del Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center (Centro para Actividades de Adultos Mayores Conley-Guerrero). El cortometraje tendrá su primera presentación en el Old Bakery el 14 de noviembre.

Earth Mother by Yuliya Lanina, photo by Philip Rogers

Varios artistas tomaron su inspiración del mundo natural, incluyendo la escultura de Yareth Fernandez,  Los Balcones, en el parque Bull Creek District Park del Distrito 10. Tres esculturas en forma de bancas simulan las formaciones locales de piedra caliza. La escultura de Yuliya Lanina, Earth Mother, en el parque Ramsey Park del Distrito 9, es una cabeza de 6 pies de alto de una mujer, y está esculpida de poliestireno reciclado, sembrado con flores y gramas locales. KNOT , la escultura de George Sabra, dirige la atención del público al cambio climático y a los hidrocarburos como causa principal del calentamiento global; esto lo logra por medio de los materiales utilizados, 20 barriles de petróleo de 55 galones recogidos, comprimidos y unidos para formar un nudo de acero de 11 pies de altura. KNOT estará exhibido el 17 de octubre en la Gran Inauguración del Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (Centro de Descarga para Reciclar y Reutilizar) de Austin.

Las diez obras de arte podrán verse durante los meses de octubre y noviembre. Consulte la página de internet del proyecto www.austintexas.gov/ TEMPO, para obtener más información acerca de cada una.

Próximas Exhibiciones y Eventos Especiales:

Artista: Juan Deleon
Obra: Omission
Cuándo: 14 y 15 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.

Artista: George Sabra
Obra: KNOT
Cuándo: 12 de octubre al 7 de noviembre
Dónde: Centro de Descarga Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center, 2514 Business Center Dr.
Gran inauguración del Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (Centro de Descarga para Reciclar y Reutilizar), el 17 de octubre de 10:00 am a medio día, incluyendo manualidades para niños, una cabina de fotografías, música en vivo, una exhibición de arte, y kioscos de diferentes compañías locales, organizaciones no lucrativas y oficinas de la Ciudad.

Artistas: Melissa Borrell y Hanna Lupico
Obra: Sky Lines
Cuándo: 3 de octubre al 20 de diciembre
Dónde: Parque Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.
Presentación especial del baile “Under the Overpass at Skylines” por Dance Waterloo and Cindertalk, el 21 y 22 de noviembre a las 7:00 y a las 8:00 p.m.

Artista: Annelize Machado
Obra: Born and Bread
Cuándo: 14 y 21 de noviembre, y 5 y 12 de diciembre
Dónde: Edificio The Old Bakery & Emporium, 1006 Congress Ave.
Diariamente habrán seis presentaciones del cortometraje de Machado, a las 6:15; 6:45, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15 y 8:45 p.m.

Otras exhibiciones disponibles para visitar desde ya:

Artista: Olivia Martin Moore
Obra: Memorial
Cuándo: 17 de agosto al 18 de enero
Dónde: Parque Convict Hill Quarry, 6511 Convict Hill Rd.

Artista: Yuliya Lanina
Obra: Earth Mother
Cuándo: 1ero de octubre al 31 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Ramsey, 4301 Rosedale Ave.

Artista: Yareth Fernandez
Obra: Los Balcones
Cuándo: 2 de octubre al 8 de enero
Dónde: Parque Bull Creek District, 6701 Lakewood Dr.

Artista: David Goujon
Obra: Las Piñatas
Cuándo: 12 de octubre al 22 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Edward Rendon Sr., 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Artistas: Jennifer Chenoweth y Dorothy Johnson
Obra: The Public Sentiment Campaign
Cuándo: 12 de octubre al 8 de noviembre
Dónde: Parque Dove Springs, 5801 Ainez Dr.; Parque Mabel Davis, 3427 Parker Ln; Parque Montopolis, 1200 Montopolis Dr.

Cuándo: 9 de noviembre al 6 de diciembre
Dónde: Parque Brentwood, 6710 Arroyo Seco; Parque Beverly S. Sheffield, 7000 Ardath St.; Parque Gustavo “Gus” Garcia, 1101 E. Rundberg Ln.; Parque Quail Creek, 1101 Mearns Meadow Blvd.

Cuándo: 7 de diciembre al 4 de enero
Dónde: Parque Pickfair, 10904 Pickfair Dr.; Parque Schroeter, 11701 Big Trail; Parque Great Hills, 10801 Sierra Oaks; Parque Riata, 12401 Riata Trace

Artista: Ethan Azarian
Obra: Migration
Cuándo: 15 de octubre al 7 de enero
Dónde: Centro del Vecindario Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center, 2800 Webberville Rd.

 

División de Artes Culturales de la Ciudad de Austin

La División de Artes Culturales del Departamento de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad de Austin ofrece liderazgo y dirección para los programas de artes culturales de la ciudad, y para el desarrollo de las artes y las industrias culturales. La División de Artes Culturales es responsable del Programa de Financiamiento de las Artes Culturales, del Programa de Arte en Lugares Públicos, del desarrollo de las artes basadas en la comunidad, y de los programas de ayuda para el desarrollo de la filmografía y las artes creativas en Austin.

El programa de Arte en Lugares Públicos (AIPP, por sus siglas en inglés) fue fundado en 1985. Este programa, a través de comisiones, donaciones y préstamos, adquiere y le da mantenimiento a obras de arte en instalaciones y parques de la ciudad, para el enriquecimiento cultural de la comunidad de Austin. De conformidad con una Ordenanza de la Ciudad, el AIPP asigna 2% del financiamiento elegible para proyectos de mejoras de capital a la adquisición de obras de arte para lugares públicos específicos. En el 2015 se celebra el 30 Aniversario del AIPP en Austin, la primera municipalidad de Texas que se comprometió a incluir obras de arte en proyectos de construcción.

Para obtener más información, por favor visite la página de internet www.austincreates.com.

Austin Creates
Oct 16, 2015 - 01:15 pm CDT

Art in Public Places (AIPP), a program of the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department, is proud to announce the 10 artworks commissioned through the TEMPO 2015 temporary public art project. The artworks are now on display in local parks and City facilities. The community is invited to discover these artworks and attend special events throughout October and November. Visit austintexas.gov/TEMPO to see a map of the installations and more information about each artwork.

The TEMPO project launched in spring of 2015 with an open call to Austin-area artists to submit proposals for temporary artwork on City-owned sites. Ten proposals by eight individual artists and two artist teams were selected and will be installed for varying durations beginning in August 2015 and continuing through January 2016.

The selected artworks address a variety of themes –from Austin’s senior community to local cultural history to environmental issues.

Las Pinatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers, three large pinata burros

Artist David Goujon was inspired by the razing of the Jumpolin piñata store to create his sculpture Las Piñatas in District 3. Three, 10-foot- tall plywood and colored-paper piñatas burros now “graze” in Edward Rendon Sr. Park (at 1700 Nash Hernandez Sr. Road  and Chicon)and will be on view through November 22. Goujon says the sculptures note that "every act of creation begins as a form of destruction and every city will see the parts of itself die as it grows and expands."

Artist Annelize Machado took her inspiration from the Old Bakery & Emporium, a historic building located on Congress Avenue and 10th Street, and its mission “to celebrate the older adult as a gifted, contributing member of the community.” Machado’s short film Born and Bread features senior clients from the Old Bakery & Emporium as well as the South Austin Senior Center and Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center. The film will have its premiere screening on November 14 at the Old Bakery.

Earth Mother by Yuliya Lanina, photo by Philip Rogers, large female head with plantings

Several artists took inspiration from the natural world including Yareth Fernandez’s Los Balcones in District 10’s Bull Creek District Park– three bench-like sculptures that mimic the local limestone formations –and Yuliya Lanina’s Earth Mother in District 9’s Ramsey Park–a 6-foot-tall female head sculpted from recycled Styrofoam planted with native flowers and grasses. George Sabra’s sculpture, KNOT, calls attention to climate change and fossil fuels as a major cause of global warming through the artist’s choice of materials–20 reclaimed 55-gallon oil drum barrels, compressed and attached to form an 11-foot-tall steel knot. KNOT will be on display at the Grand Opening of Austin’s Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center on October 17.

All 10 artworks will be on view during October and November. Check the project website, www.austintexas.gov/ TEMPO, for more information about each artwork.

Upcoming Installations and Special Events:

Artist: Juan Deleon
Title: Omission
When: November 14 and 15
Where: Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.

Artist: George Sabra
Title: KNOT
When: October 12 to November 7
Where: Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center, 2514 Business Center Dr.
Grand opening of Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center on October 17, 10:00 am – noon, will include kids’ crafts, a photo booth, live music, an art display, and booths from local businesses, nonprofits and City departments.

Artists: Melissa Borrell & Hanna Lupico
Title: Sky Lines
When: October 3 to December 20
Where: Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile St.Special performances of “Under the Overpass at Skylines” by Dance Waterloo and Cindertalk November 21 & 22 at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Artist: Annelize Machado
Title: Born and Bread
When: November 14, November 21, December 5, and December 12
Where: The Old Bakery & Emporium, 1006 Congress Ave.
Each day will have six screenings of Machado’s short film at 6:15; 6:45, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15, and 8:45 p.m.

Other Installations now on view:

Artist: Olivia Martin Moore
Title: Memorial
When: August 17 - January 18
Where: Convict Hill Quarry Park, 6511 Convict Hill Rd.

Artist: Yuliya Lanina
Title: Earth Mother
When: October 1 to November 31
Where: Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale Ave.

Artist: Yareth Fernandez
Title: Los Balcones
When: October 2 to January 8
Where: Bull Creek District Park, 6701 Lakewood Dr.

Artist: David Goujon
Title: Las Piñatas
When: October 12 to November 22
Where: Edward Rendon Sr. Park, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

Artists: Jennifer Chenoweth &  Dorothy Johnson
Title: The Public Sentiment Campaign
When: October 12 to November 8
Where: Dove Springs Park, 5801 Ainez Dr.; Mabel Davis Park, 3427 Parker Ln; Montopolis Park, 1200 Montopolis Dr.

When: November 9 to December 6
Where: Brentwood Park, 6710 Arroyo Seco; Beverly S. Sheffield Park, 7000 Ardath St.; Gustavo “Gus” Garcia Park, 1101 E. Rundberg Ln.; Quail Creek Park, 1101 Mearns Meadow Blvd.

When: December 7 to January 4
Where: Pickfair Park, 10904 Pickfair Dr.; Schroeter Park, 11701 Big Trail; Great Hills Park, 10801 Sierra Oaks; Riata Park, 12401 Riata Trace

Artist: Ethan Azarian
Title: Migration
When: October 15 to January 7
Where: Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center, 2800 Webberville Rd.

Austin Creates
Jul 28, 2015 - 01:19 pm CDT

Creative Action is a creative youth development organization based in Austin serving over 17,500 students annually. Last summer, the organization received a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” program. This grant has supported community engagement activities at Creative Action's new headquarters and community arts center in central east Austin, the Center for Creative Action. The Our Town grant helped the organization with ongoing creativity programs for all ages at the Center, free Community Art Sunday events for the surrounding neighborhood, and a community mural project.

Four students making a presentation to a classroom

Just one of Creative Action’s many programs is Color Squad, a teen program employing young artists, ages 14-18. Color Squad teens engage with Austin communities to design murals, sculptures, and installations that enhance public spaces and reflect their history. This collective of young artists works under the guidance of Program Director Lindsay Palmer, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, to transform public spaces as well as produce an artistic portfolio of original work for each student. Color Squad has helped restore the South Austin postcard mural with the original artists, designed and built original signs for local East Austin businesses, and helped residents create eco-friendly art in a neighborhood park. The teens practice professional skills including time management, cooperation, self-awareness, communication, and leadership.

This year, as one of the Our Town funded activities, Color Squad launched a far-reaching community mural project. Through historical research, interviews with long-time neighborhood residents, guest artist workshops, guided tours by staff of the Austin African American Cultural Heritage District, and community design charrettes the Color Squad teens have designed a colorful mural reflecting the theme “Map Your Roots/Routes.”

Mural wall in progress

The Color Squad is currently painting the mural on the back wall of the the Center for Creative Action. The mural will run along Austin’s urban rail line and will be seen and enjoyed by hundreds of commuters and visitors to the area daily. Capital Metro has partnered on the project to help the community learn how public art can support civic life, such as access to and use of public transit. This year’s group of 12 dedicated students are transforming public spaces in Austin and preserving the history of one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods.

“Color Squad has opened so many doors for me,” says high school senior and Color Squad member Kim Delorea. “Before, I didn’t know anything about this neighborhood. But through our research and tours, we learned about segregation in Austin, and I was really surprised with how recent it was and how it still affects people. When people see our mural, we hope they can see the rich history and culture of this neighborhood, and how we want to convey diversity and acceptance.”

Close-up of mural art

This group of young artists continues to paint the mural through the summer with plans for an unveiling in the fall. You can follow the mural's progress on Facebook. Creative Action's Community Art Sundays will begin again this September.  For more information about Creative Action's programs and events, visit creativeaction.org.

Images courtesy of Creative Action.

Austin Creates
May 01, 2015 - 11:36 am CDT

THANK YOU to everyone who came to the thinkEAST Living Charrette on April 9-12, 2015!  It was a tremendous success!  Over 1,000 people came out to the thinkEAST property in the Govalle-Johnston Terrace neighborhood over the course of the 3 ½ days. 

thinkEAST - row of tents and people walking through site

On Thursday night, the charrette opened with Adrian Quesada and the Battle of the Golden Ages: Cumbia vs. Hip Hop. Then on Friday, before the site opened to the public, the Cultural Arts Division/Economic Development Department and Imagine Austin sponsored an all-day gathering of city staff & project partners – the "thinkEAST City Strike Team."  thinkEAST is a model project of Imagine Austin and the Economic Development Department, and the goal was to become familiar with the unique assets and issues, identify ways to help move the project forward, and to explore and develop tools for using this as a best practice for building creativity-centered developments across Austin. (Contact Janet Seibert,  512 974-7860, for further information.)

two female volunteers talk to a male visitor

On Saturday and Sunday, the thinkEAST property came alive with the “listening phase” of the thinkEAST Living Charrette. There were temporary structures, installations, workshops, classes, visual preference activities, visioning sessions, demonstrations, performances, food events, and youth programming. This was a time when partners gathered additional input and ideas from the neighborhood, arts community, and citizens to help shape, explore and prototype strategies for developing a creative community rich in inspiration and innovation. 

pop up sewing factory

The thinkEAST team continues to work!  With so much good information gleaned during the listening phase, they are busy going through it all. Over the summer they will begin to bring ideas forward to the public with final plans being presented by the end of 2015. If you or your organization would like to learn more about what's happening at thinkEAST, please contact the project team and join the thinkEAST email list

Male and female volunteer at Micro Unit station

thinkEAST Living Charrette partners and contracted team members:

This public/private partnership includes developer/thinkEAST property owners Richard deVarga and Robert Summers; nonprofit hybrid arts organization Fusebox Festival, Executive Director Ron Berry and Managing Director Brad Carlin (with support from documentarian Elise Sibley Chandler and artist and scholar-in-residence Carra Martinez); Bullseye Business Development, Fred Schmidt; and the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, staff Janet Seibert. Event site layout, charrette planning and facilitation, and master planning: TBG, Chris Jackson, Brent Spraggins, Jessie Krier, Brian Ott, Nicole Warns; Fiscal and economic analysis, integration with City planning initiatives and tools: Matthew Kwatinetz, QBLRE.

thinkEAST Living Charrette NEWS, STORIES, BLOGS, and MORE.

Thank you for the photos – Elise Sibley, Chris Jackson, Lani Gonzalez, and Janet Seibert!

The thinkEAST Living Charrette Project is a recipient of a 2014 ArtPlace America grant.

logo: Artplace

Austin Creates
Apr 06, 2015 - 11:21 am CDT

The City of Austin’s Creative Ambassador program designates local artists who are traveling overseas as representatives for Austin’s cultural and creative community. Anuradha Naimpally, was designated as a Creative Ambassador in the 4th quarter of 2014. Naimpally is the creative director of Austin Dance India and a soloist and teacher of the classical Indian dance style Bharata Natyam. She has received the prestigious Jacqueline LeMieux Prize from the Canada Council and the title of Sringara Mani from the Sur Sringara Samshad in India. The Austin Area Critics Circle has named her Best Dancer and awarded several of her performances with Best Production.

In December 2014 - January 2015, Naimpally and her dance troupe traveled throughout India to perform at historic sites, including Tanjavur, the birthplace of their dance style. The tour included eight solo performances by Naimpally and ensemble performances at six historic temple sites throughout southern India. She plans to return to India in April 2015 for a two-week tour of Kerala during their temple festival season.

Here are her impressions from the Austin Dance India tour:

Austin Dance India dancers in costume

Austin Dance India dancers (before leaving Austin!)

I embarked on a six-city heritage tour with a group of 18 students from Austin. We performed at ancient heritage sites in southern India, some over 1000 years old. Bharata Natyam, the classical style that I teach and perform here in Austin, originates from this part of the country so we were taking it back to its roots. We were accompanied by three musicians from Chennai and my dance master from Mumbai.

Austin Dance India group at a temple

During our travels we wore special t-shirts that were designed with our name, Austin Dance India, and the Texas map on it. This brought a lot of interest in our group and to our work since we distinctly looked like we had come from somewhere far away! This initiated a conversation about where we were from and what we did so we were able to talk to many local people who showed an interest in what were doing.  Also, when we were on our way to the actual performances, we wore our colorful traditional costumes which peaked interest in onlookers. Many people asked and then followed us to the venue so they could watch us. I think they were curious that we were doing traditional dance but had come from the US.

Dancers perform in front of a temple

We traveled in a large 34-seater coach since several family members had signed up for the tour as well. Since this coach could not maneuver into small town lanes, frequently we would have to walk down crowded streets in full costumes with bells tied around our ankles (as we do for  our dance). We were really a sight to see, filing out of this huge coach in the middle of small town! So many tourists as well as locals wanted to take pictures with us!

Dancers in costume walk down a street

One thing that really struck me during this amazing tour was that people everywhere are curious and like to know about others. We can really help increase awareness of our work and our city just through our travels and talking with local people.  In the end, hundreds of people in remote parts of India got to see a group of dancers performing an art that originated in their local town but is being taught in a wonderful city far far away. So Austin is now definitely on their map as a city that promotes this ancient art form.

A crowd watches a dance performance on an outdoor stage

All photos courtesy of Anuradha Naimpally.

Austin Creates
Feb 19, 2015 - 04:16 pm CST

The City of Austin’s Creative Ambassador program designates local artists who are traveling overseas as representatives for Austin’s cultural and creative community. Visual artist Judy Jensen was designated as a Creative Ambassador in the 3rd Quarter of 2014. Known for her expertise in reverse painting on glass, Judy has exhibited her artwork internationally and has pieces in numerous public and private collections including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places Collection.

Judy traveled to Thailand in the fall of 2014 as a part of her ongoing project to replace 19th century Burmese glass paintings in a Buddhist temple in Mae Hong Son which were destroyed by an earthquake. She was also invited to give a lecture at Bangkok National Museum. A  ceremony was held at the temple, Wat Chong Klang, in Mae Hong Son, to bless and celebrate the gift of her paintings to the temple.

Here are her impressions from the trip:

I’ve been to Bangkok many times, and have already seen most of the city’s premier sights at least once.  So aside from my professional obligations, the focus of this trip was building relationships. Louise Truslow, a prominent Bangkok artist, had read about my project in 2013, and approached me about speaking at the Bangkok National Museum. She’s a member of the National Museum Volunteers (NMV), a wonderful group serving the Bangkok National Museum by arranging their English-language lecture programming, among many other functions. I leapt at the opportunity.  

Louise Truslow and Judy Jensen

Louise Truslow (left) and Judy Jensen (right)

I’ve given this lecture before, but never to an audience in Thailand, who would understand all my references to Thai culture, geography, and Buddhism. After my arrival in Bangkok, I gave myself a few days to recover from jet-lag, but was excited to finally present my lecture to an enthusiastic audience. I realized everyone would be curious to discover how an artist from Austin, Texas could have become involved in a project so far from home, so I took advantage of the opportunity to discuss Austin’s creative community, and the role it played my current artistic direction.

Judy Jensen speaking at the National Museum in Bangkok

Speaking at the National Museum in Bangkok

The NMV had also planned an excursion to Mae Hong Son, in part so interested members could see the results of my project first-hand, as well as hearing me lecture on-site in the beautiful temple, Wat Chong Klang. After the lecture, I met the excursion coordinator, Wilfried Giessler, as well as a few members of the group who planned to accompany him. I could tell we were going to have a good time together in Mae Hong Son. 

The following day in Bangkok, my husband Emil and I had lunch at the historic Jim Thompson House.  James H.W. (Jim) Thompson was an iconic figure in Southeast Asia, who re-energized the Thai silk trade in the ‘50s and ‘60s, took it global, then mysteriously disappeared while on a hiking trip in Malaysia in 1967. His home, set in a lush garden, is now a museum housing his fantastic art and ceramic collection.  Our lunch partner was Jane Puranananda, a Board Member of the James H. W. Thompson Foundation. The Thompson Foundation had awarded me a grant for my project in 2013, and our lunch was a chance to update Jane (and through her, the Board) on the project’s status. Jane’s a fascinating woman. Aside from her legal practice, she’s a well-known writer and expert on Southeast Asian textiles, and I enjoyed our conversation immensely. 

Judy Jensen ready to board an airplane with suitcases

Boarding a single engine prop flight to Mae Hong Son, with a suitcase full of glass paintings

On November 1st, we flew to Mae Hong Son, stopping in Chiang Mai to change from a jumbo jet to the single-engine prop plane (whoa!) which would hopefully take us safely to Mae Hong Son.  Not trusting the amount of storage space that might be available, I’d reserved an extra seat to hold my paintings for the temple. I didn’t want the fragile glass paintings to end up in the cargo hold. The 30 minute flight to Mae Hong Son, as usual, grew progressively more enjoyable.  The scenery in northwestern Thailand—rolling green mountains covered in tropical forest—is absolutely spectacular, and the steep approach into Mae Hong Son is unforgettable.  

We were met at the airport by our good friend, Tawatchai Natipakorn, an attorney, who also owns Fern Resort in Mae Hong Son. As any of my friends can tell you, Fern Resort has been my #1 favorite place in the world since my first stay there in 2000. It’s a group of lovely rustic bungalows, set in a gorgeous garden in the tropical forest outside of Mae Hong Son. When I first became interested in undertaking this project, I had approached Tawatchai for assistance. I can’t overstate how essential his help was—setting up appointments with the temple’s abbot, providing lodging, transportation, and translating—well, the list goes on and on.    

Emil and I had two days to relax in Mae Hong Son before the NMV excursion group arrived on November 5th. There was also a brief ceremony planned in Wat Chong Klang that same morning, to bless and celebrate my gift of paintings to the temple. I was supposed the address the NMV group before the ceremony, but found that was my only opportunity to speak with the temple’s abbot regarding the next group of paintings to be replaced. So Emil did an excellent job telling the group about the project, while I conferred with the abbot.

Board displaying art by Judy Jensen

Display of my paintings during the ceremony at Wat Chong Klang

The ceremony was small and lovely, attended by friends and local professional people. Photo ops abounded after the ceremony ended. I chose this opportunity to give Tawatchai the official gift from the City of Austin, to honor his continued generous contribution to this project. And, at last, I was able to address the NMV excursion group, and answer questions. I met them again for lunch the following day, and we got to know each other. They were art-loving expats from around the world—a most interesting group.

Judy Jensen presenting a gift to Tawatchai Natipakorn

Presenting the official gift from the City of Austin to Tawatchai Natipakorn

Emil and I spent most of our time with our good friends Tawatchai, his wife Wasana, and Somling Vongthong, who runs a tour agency out of Chiang Mai. Aside from our constant forays to eat absolutely delicious northern Thai food, I had a chance to talk to them about a plan I have to begin the steps to create a Sister City relationship between Austin and Chiang Mai. Wasana, Tawatchai, and Som are a very well-connected trio, so I know will be able to make the introductions to begin to forge the necessary relationships. I’m looking forward to returning to Thailand again in November of 2015, to give another lecture, and continue my project. I want to maintain the Austin/Thai connection!

Interior of Wat Chong Klang temple

Interior of Wat Chong Klang

All photos courtesy of Judy Jensen.

Learn more about Judy and her temple project in this previous post to the Austin Creates blog.

Austin Creates
Jan 29, 2015 - 10:35 am CST

The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department has contracted arts research and consulting firm WolfBrown to conduct an assessment of what professional development opportunities are currently offered in the community. Artists and arts organizations are invited to take the Building Austin's Creative Capacity survey through March 14, 2015.

Why Should YOU Take “Building Austin’s Creative Capacity” Survey?

There’s more to having a successful creative practice than just being creative. In order to produce creative work on an ongoing basis, you need know-how, connections, and access to resources (time, space, money, equipment, materials, and a place to perform, exhibit, or sell your work). Without these, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to produce much work, no matter how great your creative genius is. This is true for nonprofit arts and culture organizations as well as for individual creatives.

With Individual Creatives, some get the resources, support, and infrastructure they need from an employer. Those are individuals whose creative goals line up with the needs of a business or nonprofit organization. As salaried employees, they may be in the rare position to focus on their creative work, while someone else takes care of the fundraising, bookkeeping, tech support, marketing – the business-side of their work.

Mostly, Creatives have to make their creative practice happen on their own steam. Some Creatives support their creative practice by working a day job. Some become the sole proprietor of their own business or go on to create a nonprofit organization around their creative work. For many, the ability to maintain their creative practice depends on a mix of things: doing as much as possible themselves, keeping their costs low, and getting help and support from friends and colleagues when they need it.

Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations also need know-how, connections, and access to resources in order to continue producing work that audiences and consumers desire to access. Similar to the passionate individual creative following their vision, the work of organizations is driven by the organization’s vision and their public benefit mission.

But they still need that business acumen to succeed in a world that is short on financing and that must constantly deal with space and resource constraints.  Small, emerging organizations are building their business capacity at the same time they are building and producing creative work to share with their constituents. Mid-range and large organizations may have some similar issues as the smaller organizations, but because these organizations may own or have long-term rent and numbers of staff to support, they must constantly address sustainability issues.

In developing a “Needs Assessment” of Austin’s Creative Sector, we soon adopted the phrase “Building Creative Capacity” to describe our effort to take a comprehensive look at the support structures needed for Austin’s individual creatives and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations to perform at their optimum level and to build capacity and sustainability over time.

With the two surveys that are a part of the Building Austin’s Creative Capacity: Assessing the Service Needs of Our Creative Community initiative, the Cultural Arts Division seeks to gain a better understanding of what Austin’s Creatives need in order to “take their creative practices to the next level;” that is, to increase their level of production, the quality of their work, and/or the sustainability of their operations.

To assess the current level of Creative Capacity in the community it’s important that we hear from as many of you individuals and organizations as possible in order to understand your specific challenges and needs. And, in thinking about building Austin’s creative capacity as a whole we also need to think about networking and coordination among organizations and individuals, so that all Creatives are able to find out about, access, and take advantage of the opportunities and resources that will help them strengthen and grow their creative practice.

In a culturally vibrant and creative community such as Austin, there’s often someone who knows the answer to your question, who has the resources that you need, or can teach you what you want to learn— you just need to know who that person is. Beyond making those connections, however, there are likely some gaps in the support infrastructure that can be addressed strategically in order to help Austin’s Creatives sustain and expand their creative practices. Identifying those gaps and opportunities is one of the goals of this initiative and the key to Building Austin’s Creative Capacity.

Whether you are an Individual Creative or you represent a Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organization, please take Building Austin's Creative Capacity SURVEY by March 14, 2015. The City of Austin recognizes the contribution that you all make to the Austin economy, the cultural vitality of the City, and the social wellbeing of the community. The information gleaned from the Survey will enable the Cultural Arts Division and other service providers to identify, develop, and deliver programming, workshops, and relevant topics to address your needs in the most effective manner possible.

Collage of artists and workshop participants

Austin Creates