While we're not quite in the hazy, crazy days of summer just yet, June is the time of year when Austin begins to slow down. For a few magical weeks, locals get a break from the festival hustle, and the most important decisions revolve around where to swim during the day and what to grill at night.
Just because we're taking a collective cultural breather doesn't mean the city's art world is cooling down. Along with the triple-digit temps, Austin's musuems, galleries, and theaters are rolling out some of their most interesting and innovative programming of the year. From Sundance short films to a stirring take on modern education, these eight cultural events will help you keep your cool.
"The Door by the Garden" — now through June 23
Say goodbye to the current incarnation of Pump Project Art Complex during its final show, "The Door by the Garden." Weird and whimsical, the work — a collaboration between Austin-based artists Nat Bradford and Tsz Kam — examines girlhood and womanhood by staging fantastical scenes "in which objects and figures become characters with inevitable roles to play in seduction and repulsion." A note to parents: "The Door by the Garden" may not be suitable for children.
Jamal Cyrus and Julia Barbosa Landois' "Regional Fictions" — now through July 7
Mass Gallery's newest exhibition, "Regional Fictions," reimagines traditional educational materials and recreates them using multiple “de-colonized” perspectives. Using the classroom as a lens, Jamal Cyrus and Julia Barbosa Landois ask the viewer to think critically about the narratives we learned as students and how those same narratives are being taught to a new generation of American children.
Ingrid Tremblay's "Salty Feel" — now through July 8
An Austinite by way of Canada, Ingrid Tremblay is currently an MFA candidate in Sculpture and Extended Media at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work, now exhibiting at the grayDUCK Gallery, is a meditiation on memory, and how these memories blend together to create a sense of place. With "Salty Feel," Tremblay uses sculpture to examine memory, reality, and the relationship between human beings and the material world.
Harry Ransom Center's "Vaudeville!" — now through July 15
If you haven't taken in "Vaudeville!," the Harry Ransom Center's dynamic look at how vaudeville set the stage (pun intended) for contemporary film and television, this is your last chance. Explore themes of race, immigration, and nationalism at the turn of the 20th century through the Ransom Center's extensive archive, which includes pieces from Harry Houdini, Tony Pastor, and Florenz Ziegfeld, among others.
Margaux Krump's "The Lure" — June 16 through July 26
Houston-based artist Margaux Krump explores gender and power dynamics in this timely exhibition at Women & Their Work. Krump blurs the line between hunting and courting, human and animal, man and woman, and predator and prey using photographs, sculptures, and drawings. Krump's work is ultimately an examination of power and its effects on relationships in both the human and natural world.
2018 Sundance Shorts — July 28-31
Austin Film Society brings its ever popular Best of the Fests back for another year. Enjoy the best short films from this year's Sundance, arguably America's most prestigious film festival. The 95-minute program features seven Sundance standouts, including Maude by Austin-based filmmaker and actress Anna Margaret Hollyman.
Jimmy Descant's “Western Futurism” — now through August 1
Artist Jimmy Descant describes himself as a "severe reconstructivist," an apt description for his intricate collages, now on display at Yard Dog Art gallery. Using found objects, photographs, and a whole lot of metal, Descant scours thrift shops and flea markets to find the materials for his multi-media pieces. His eye-popping sculptures reflect upon the people, landscape, and social and political conditions of the American West.