Snap To It

City's first-ever photography festival puts Austin creatives into focus

City's first photography festival puts Austin creatives into focus

"George Brainard: Austin Originals: Portraits of the People That Shape Our City" will be on display at the Austin Central Library. Photo by George Brainard/FotoATX 2018

If you want to see some incredible local photography, you better snap to it. (Sorry in advance, we can't capture this story any other way.) The inaugural FotoATX Festival, a month-long celebration of Austin photographers, is currently open at libraries, galleries, and community centers across the city. 

Each location houses a different exhibition and features work from dozens of Austin's working creatives and student artists. Themes range from portraits of the musicians, artists, journalists, and other icons that make Austin unique (Austin Central Library) to an exhibition dedicated solely to local women photographers (Elisabet Ney Museum).

The festival officially runs January 5 through February 3, with a city-wide open house held at each event space on January 13.

Austin locales participating in the event include:

  • Asian American Resource Center
  • Austin Central Library
  • Brush Square Museums
  • Dougherty Arts Center
  • Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center
  • Elisabet Ney Museum
  • George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center
  • Lewis Carnegie Gallery
  • McCallum High School Arts Department
  • Old Bakery and Emporium 

Among the work available for public view is "Where I Belong," an exhibition co-curated by local photojournalist Lizzie Chen and the Asian American Resource Center.

Her photos capture mixed-race Asian American Pacific Islander youth and teens at home in the Capital City, a story close to the native Texan's heart. "Mixed race youth are a growing part of our population, and I liked the idea of showing how diverse the mixed race Asian American Pacific Islander community is in Austin," Chen tells CultureMap.

In addition to highlighting often untold stories of the artists' subjects, Chen says FotoATX is also an opportunity to showcase the creatives that make Austin such a dynamic city.

"I’ve been a part of the photo community for a long time now, and I am really glad to see the City of Austin dedicating a festival to photography," the photographer says. "A lot of these photographers are doing important work, and this is an opportunity for the public to see those stories." 


"Where I Belong" and the nine other FotoATX shows are on display now through February 3. For a full list of programing and schedule of events, please go here