There's no denying Austin is an artsy town. From the visual to the musical to theatrical arts, more companies are springing up each year, turning out more work than anyone can possibly experience.
With so many outlets for creative expression, props should go out to the tireless critics from the Austin American-Statesman and The Austin Chronicle who do their damndest to see all of the shows — the good and the bad — throughout the year in order to reward the standout productions that Austin had to offer.
Nominations for visual art awards spanned the gamut of Austin's smaller independent galleries such as Co-Lab and grayDUCK Gallery as well as the large institutions like the Blanton Museum and AMOA-Arthouse.
The informal committee's opinions were released at midnight on Thursday, May 24, and present a few pleasant surprises among of the large-scale arts organizations that appear on this nominee list every year.
For example, nominations for visual art awards spanned the gamut of Austin's smaller independent galleries such as Co-Lab and grayDUCK Gallery as well as the large institutions like the Blanton Museum and AMOA-Arthouse. Specific highlights include the many nominations for the installation works at Women & Their Work Gallery and the UT Visual Arts Center.
The University of Texas Theatre and Dance Department showed impressively for their many nominations in the dance award categories, many of which were for the outstanding end-of-season production, Catalyst. Ballet Austin, meanwhile, dominated the categories for this year's work on Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project, The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel among others.
Finally, new work theatre and small houses occupy the majority of the nominations for Theatre. Companies like Hyde Park Theatre, Poison Apple Initiative, Cambiare Productions and Breaking String Theatre receive much deserved praise for their recent productions around town. Matt Hislope and Josh Meyer get recognized for their last two groundbreaking efforts, Jubilee and Surprise Annie. And three recent UT playwrighting graduates are nominated for their UT New Theatre productions: River City, Static and Bacha Bazi (Boy Play).
The awards ceremony takes place on June 4 at 7 p.m. at Cap City Comedy Club. The casual ceremony is free and open to the public.