For a few short weeks it will actually be cold in Austin, signaling it's high time for holiday cheer while the complimentary weather lasts.
From now until Jan. 1, holiday window displays created and installed by students from the St. Edward’s University Theatrical Design Department will be up for viewing in 13 different 2nd Street District storefronts.
Borrowing from the imaginative, dramatic displays assembled each year by retail stalwarts like Macy's and Bergdorf Goodman, management behind the 2nd Street District decided the downtown pedestrian area would be ideal for Austin's inaugural Holiday Window Walk.
"Small businesses aren’t necessarily tethered by corporate guidelines when it comes to window displays, and we have so many dynamic retailers in central location," explains marketing manager Julie Sutton-McGurk. "[The stores are] logistically unencumbered for design and installation, as well as for the community to view."
The 17 participating students were tasked to create displays guided by Austin's "deeply rooted musical culture" (this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Live Music Capital of the World moniker), while maintaining a distinct holiday point of view.
The themes that have emerged from these protocol range from "Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly" to "The Twelve Days of Princemas." And thanks to a generous donation from 2nd Street District resident Silicon Laboratories, the student behind the holiday window deemed best by a judging panel will take home a hefty prize—up to $5,000 in scholarship funds.
"We knew we wanted to focus on theatrical design departments at a collegiate level, as set design is most transferrable as far as the required skills are concerned. We are looking forward to more schools being involved next year. Hopefully, we can grow on every level—participation, competition, design and scholarship funds," says Sutton-McGurk.
So grab your jacket, family or loved one (and perhaps a thermos of mulled wine) and head downtown to see what Austin's young, creative minds have dreamt up this holiday season.
Click here for a map of participating storefronts including Estilo, Etcetera Etc., gallery D, Girl Next Door, Langford Market, MISSBEHAVE, Plain Ivey Jane, St. Bernard Sports, Prize, 1020 Glass Art, Lofty Dog, Teddies for Bettie and *delish.