AMOA-Arthouse's new Executive Director was given a casual-cool Austin welcome Wednesday night as the museum and art lovers celebrated his appointment and arrival to the Lone Star State.
After a seven-month international search, Louis Grachos was selected to direct the art museum into a new phase as a leader in Texas' contemporary art community — and the introductory event was one fit for art royalty.
Awash with glowing turquoise light, the second-floor gallery area of AMOA-Arthouse held a packed crowd of media, museum supporters, arts leaders and business community members who sipped on beverages by Tipsy Texan's David Alan, the W Austin's Joyce Garrison, Chimay and Pedernales Cellars, accompanying horderves by The Carillon, Lucky Robot, LavAzza Expresso, Noble Sandwich Co., and Salt Lick.
The event was one that highlighted the approachable, hip nature of Austin's creative class: A mural designed by Bryan Keplesky greeted those who ascended the central ipé staircase; a video installation by Jeff Kurihara beamed across one exposed brick wall of the gallery; and experimental percussion group Line upon Line and composer Graham Reynolds performed in the hours surrounding Grachos' introduction.
“To emphasize AMOA-Arthouse as a strong community collaborator, we reached out to leading organizations to highlight the very best of Austin‘s creative talent,” Terry Quinn, director of institutional advancement, tells CultureMap. “In addition to our long-term supporters throughout the community, we worked with Giant Noise to connect with Austin’s creative industry leaders to expand awareness and highlight the fantastic visionary leadership we have in Louis Grachos.”
Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein had the honor of introducing Grachos, an art expert who has held director and curatorial positions in the likes of Santa Fe, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Buffalo, saying "I've never met someone who so quickly understood what Austin was about."
Grachos spoke to CultureMap upon accepting the role at AMOA-Arthouse, describing Austin as a city with limitless potential while embracing its renowned festival culture.
"It's thrilling to be a part of a city that is so fluid and dynamic and growing that it always attracts creative people, whatever field they're in. Down the road, maybe there's an opportunity to have a program, like SXSW, that would bring that same kind of international status to the city's great new art."
"I believe strongly in learning the context of a situation, learning from those around me," he continued. "I can't just parachute in to a situation and start telling everyone how it's going to be."
To help him adjust to the aforementioned learning curve, take a trip down to AMOA-Arthouse and welcome Grachos yourself.