To Austin and Back Again

I enjoy being short. I am a small person and I know how to handle myself when I need to, being short you learn that, So when asked “Can you drive a 15 passenger bus to Austin?” The only thing that bothered me was this thought: If we get in a car accident, my knees are going to be taken out, because I have to pull my seat all the way to the dashboard. I’m a little person, what can I say.

The driving was fun, swinging that van around Austin’s streets, and trying to keep up with the lead vehicles was humorous. A few close calls, but nothing bad. But, the question is, “Why’d you go to Austin?”

We had a field trip so to speak. We went down to Austin to check out their art scene. Educational yes, but in the way where when I came back to Little Rock my head was screaming with ideas and frustrations on what we are missing in Little Rock.  I may be biased in this respect however. I do feel we have a great network of people that have the potential of being ground-breaking, but will the Little Rock community help cradle this network? There are signs of it here in Downtown. The SOMA district is doing wonderful things. I painting studio down on 7th I haven’t checked out yet. The ACAC just moved to Main st. And I can’t wait to get out of school and be able to help those guys.

However, when I think of the art’s scene in Little Rock, a comment on the movie True Grit written by Graham Gordy in Inviting Arkansas comes to mind. He was talking about how Arkansans are “Held together by bailing wire and twine” and that in itself is what I think of when I think of the Arkansas arts scene. It could slip at any moment, slightly broken, but still there. Our arts’ scene is raw, earthy, fertile and just silently waiting to be cultivated and grown into the community it wants to be. But I digress from the trip.

I’m from Texas, I was born in Dallas and raised there for a short time of my life. In essence it is apart of me in ways I don’t realize, and Austin is my favorite part of Texas. We went to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, AMOMA, Art House, Blanton Museum of art at UT, D Berman Gallery, Pump Project, Mexic Arte Museum, and other places. The most interesting to me was the studio visits at different artist’s houses. They opened up their homes to us and talked to us about their process, their studio, and their work. This was the most fascinating to me due to it’s intimacy. It’s like peaking into other artist’s minds. The artist’s in Austin open up their homes and allow people to come in for Art Walks, I believe, once a month. I love this idea so much. Among the  artists’ homes we visited my favorites were Dan Sutherland and Lisa Crowder. I was blown away by Dan Sutherland’s paintings and his process. Lisa Crowder is an inspiration to me and her studio is quirky and fun. I love her work. At the Pump Project we visited several studios. I really enjoyed the hospitality of J Prichard Design. They are such a sweet couple. We also visited the Austin Metal Authority. I just loved their facilities and Colby Brinkman’s work is awesome!

In the down time we visited S. Congress and checked out their shops and ate. I bought my Christmas presents, and some things for me. I must say, I’m known for not being a girly-girl, but I love to shop. This one place called Uncommon Objects was treasure trove central. But all the stuff I really wanted was way tooooooo expensive for my pocket. Like this two headed cow banner, these early 1900’s masks, and test tubes. I was in heaven with the possibilities for my home and projects. I just wish I could find a typewriter tool set. If anyone finds one, please let me know.

In the mean time I’ve posted my photos on facebook, and I’m thinking about getting a flickr account to share them. But for right now here are some for you to check out:

J Prichard at Pump Project

Lisa Crowder Studio

Austin Metal Authority

Uncommon Objects

Colby Brinkman Spider

Mexic Arte Museum

Art House

S. Congress

Dan Sutherland Studio

Pump Project

Overall it was a good trip and I’m glad I went. Met so many new people. Needless to say We got back safe and sound and ready for some relaxation.

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