ATX Best of 2013
Art Inspiration

Exploring the art scene: The top 5 contemporary galleries in Austin

The top 5 contemporary art galleries in Austin

austin photo: news_adrienne_art galleries_mar 2013
grayDUCK. Courtesy of grayDUCK
austin photo: news_adrienne_art galleries_mar 2013
Tiny Park. Courtesy of Tiny Park
Women & Their Work art gallery
Women & Their Work. Photo courtesy of Women & Their Work
Austin Photo Set: News_Adrienne Breaux_Big Medium_August 2011_stairs
Big Medium. Photo by Adrienne Breaux
austin photo: news_adrienne_art galleries_mar 2013
austin photo: news_adrienne_art galleries_mar 2013
Women & Their Work art gallery
Austin Photo Set: News_Adrienne Breaux_Big Medium_August 2011_stairs

Austin's fine art scene, while arguably in its early stages, can still impress with a variety of contemporary art spaces bursting with artistic inspiration. Are you ready to totally immerse yourself? Full of exciting artists to be discovered, Austin is energetic and fast-paced. Find galleries and artists that are constantly moving, changing, making and wowing.

Stay on top of the best art Austin has to offer: Check out our five favorite picks for current spots to soak up contemporary creations.

Lora Reynolds Gallery
360 Nueces Street, Suite 50; Open Wednesday - Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

White walls, concrete floors and an awesome downtown location Lora Reynolds Gallery fits the bill for a contemporary art spot in Austin. But an impressive and revolving lineup of emerging, mid-career and established artists in mediums like drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, film and video sets this collection of well-decorated walls apart from other contemporary galleries.

Established in 2005, Lora Reynolds opened this contemporary art space after working with galleries in London and New York. A main exhibition space electrifies with six to eight shows annually and a project room presents four to six installations a year. The current exhibit is new work by artists Richard Forster and Ewan Gibbs, up through May 11.

Big Medium
5305 Bolm Road #12; Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. and by appointment

Big Medium
's draw is its role as an art hub in the Austin creative community: They're the leaders of the best art event east of the interstate (E.A.S.T.) and also coordinators of the distinguished Texas Biennial. Don't be blinded by all their community work and miss their efforts close to home: The Big Medium gallery is a well-curated collection of contemporary art and installations, made all the more wonderful by the colorful, East Side-esque feel of the area surrounding the white-walled gallery, which lives in a warehouse bay complete with roll-up doors.

Tiny Park
1101 Navasota Street, Suite 2; Open Saturday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. and by appointment

A nondescript brick exterior building houses Tiny Park, an art space founded in 2011, but this intimate and homey setting gets you all that much closer (and more comfortable) with contemporary art. Presenting contemporary art exhibitions, readings, performances and film screenings by local and national artists, Tiny Park mixes it up with guest curators and outside collaborations to bring awesome art to you.

Catch a one-person exhibition of mixed media works by Sonya Berg up through March 30, and look in the future for Artifact by Beili Liu, Scott Proctor and Jonathan Dankenbring, incorporating simple, familiar materials in sculptural works.

Women & Their Work
1710 Lavaca Street; Open Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"Women" might be in the title of this gallery on the edge of downtown, close to campus, but it's certainly not the only gender that will enjoy this expansive, yet intimate, visual and performing art space. Promising to be a "catalyst for contemporary art created by women living and working in Texas and beyond," its focus is tight, but the art displayed is anything but restrictive: Exhibitions are sometimes ambitious, often groundbreaking and always enriching.

In operation for over 30 years, Women & Their Work also hosts literary readings and educational workshops. Visit right now and see collage, works on paper and installation-based work by Kelly O'Connor with her Last Resort exhibit through May 9. On April 5 from 8 p.m. - 11 p.m., Women & Their Work celebrates its 35th anniversary at the Crystal Bash.

grayDUCK Gallery
608 W. Monroe Street, Suite C; Open Thursday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Set apart from downtown and not located on the East Side, this gallery represents a great contemporary spot on the South Side in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, right off of South First (totally walk-able to food trailers and cool South Austin culture). Heavily influenced by the "regional nuances" of a place, grayDUCK knows that it is through differences that folks see how similar they really are.

Expect to see an array of contemporary art from regions across the country (as well as our own) in the charming 1,000-square-foot warehouse space. You'll find both known and unknown Austin artists here, too, and with an emphasis on accessibility and affordable art, you won't be afraid to glance at the price tags. Through March 30 find an exploration of spaces between reality and imagined perceptions with David Ball, Jennifer Davis and Megan Kimber's A Certain Reality. Look for guest curator Wayne Alan Brenner presenting a celebration of the artist's journey with grayDUCK 5K featuring Kaci Beeler, Kristin Hogan, Katy Horan, Katy O'Conner and Katie Rose Pipkin.