Art City Sneak Peek

Austin's biggest art festival returns with some colorful surprises for 2016

Austin's biggest art festival returns with colorful surprises for 2016

Art City Austin
Art City Austin has new additions in store for 2016. Photo by Alicia Vega

Art City Austin is back and bigger than ever with a new location, a new concept, and some of the art world's most promising creators. The festival, April 29 through May 1, is the culmination of a national jury selection process that chooses the best artists from across the country to exhibit and sell their work in the Capital City.

For its 66th anniversary, Art City Austin relocates to the Palmer Events Center, the former site of the City Coliseum, where the festival began as Art Mart in 1950.

"We're very excited about this move," says Asa Hursh, executive director of Art Alliance Austin, which organizes the festival. "The Palmer is going to be a greatly improved location with ample parking, more shade, indoor and outdoor exhibitions, indoor restrooms, and other enhancements ... while still providing what our patrons expect — the best and biggest art marketplace in Central Texas, complete with music, food, and kids activities."

The new location allows for even more talent and spectacular art. A new indoor gallery will display contemporary work from galleries across Texas and self-represented artists, similar to national art fairs. And, once again, the festival will feature the Black Fret Music Stage, presented by KGSR. The lineup will include a number of Black Fret grant recipients and other Austin artists. 

More than 100 artists will display their work at the festival, including Kristi Abbott, who creates pop art portraits of celebrities; Tom Beach, whose Austin company Beachwalker Boxes handcrafts boxes from unique woods; Radim Schreiber, a photographer and videographer whose Firefly Experience project is awe-inspiring; and Haley LeBeuf, who creates simple, beautiful jewelry. 

Art City Austin takes place April 29 through May 1. Tickets range from $10 for a single-day pass to $50 for the Collectors Pass, which includes access to two Friday night receptions and a three-day pass to the festival. Kids 12 and under get in free.

For a full list of artists and galleries at the festival, visit Art Alliance Austin's website.