South Congress Avenue, affectionately known as SoCo, has long been a signature Austin neighborhood, drawing tourists and locals alike to its shops, restaurants, and bars. On Thursday, the bustling 78704 district welcomes its newest art gallery to the mix.
Located on the third floor of the ‘04 shopping complex, 78704 Gallery is a space devoted to the city’s burgeoning visual arts scene and exposing the city and its many visitors to homegrown undiscovered talent.
“Austin has been known as a performing arts city for many, many years the world over. I saw a need for more galleries," 78704 Gallery founder and curator Matt Wayne says. "I felt like it was the right time to launch a gallery that could share our local treasures and talented artists with people that come and visit the city. We need more outlets for our artists to showcase their beautiful work.”
The 78704 Gallery is a multi-use art space offering art consulting, exhibit space, and an innovative forum for contemporary art. The gallery’s inaugural exhibit showcases the photo work of Texas artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, locally known for creating the iconic and colossal pair of cowboy boots outside San Antonio’s North Star Mall. Wayne says the Wade exhibit was a no-brainer for the gallery opening.
“Bob epitomizes what it means to keep Austin weird. He’s the exact reason why I wanted to open this gallery," says Wayne. "We have this diamond mine in our backyard known as Bob Wade and I wanted to give him an outlet to present his work and celebrate his immense talent.”
Aside from offering exhibits from local artists, Wayne hopes 78704 Gallery will kick start the cultivation of Austin as a visual arts hotbed. “I’m excited to be a part of the Austin art ecosystem. With the opening of 78704 Gallery, I hope to help elevate the city’s visual arts to the same level as the city’s performing arts. That’s my goal and I think 78704 Gallery can accomplish it.”
78704 Gallery opens Thursday, October 8. 78704 Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, and Saturday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.