State of the Arts
7 Austin exhibits and one big studio tour to tantalize the creative senses this month
It’s November and therefore time for the Austin Studio Tour. Now with over 520 participants citywide over three weekends, the Tour champions the wildly diverse artistic talent residing here in Austin. As if that weren’t enough, there are other exhibits worth trumpeting, such as Slugfest Printmakers with their take on “Obscure Holidays” at Link & Pin; Tammie Rubin’s work at grayDuck that extracts images, symbols, and maps, to create visual codes of Black American citizenry; or Gary Webernick’s use of light, sound, and motion combined with photographs and found objects to construct a multi-media environment at Lydia Street. Get engaged and enchanted this month with the abundance of Austin arts.
“Austin Studio Tour” — Now through November 20
The ever-popular studio tour is back, combining the former East and West Studio Tours into one citywide event presented across three weekends. Divided into three categories, tour-goers can select between Artists that include studios or spaces featuring one or more artists, Dedicated Art Spaces that have arts programming year-round, or Temporary Art Experiences with group exhibitions or space interventions created for the tour. Choose your own art studio adventure!
“Ellen Heck: Cornucopia” — Now through November 27
Ellen Heck, a North Carolina resident with Austin roots, has created a series where vases and vessels are modeled from math forms that deal with infinity, chaos, and origin. These jewel-toned, semi-surreal oil paintings contain layers of figuration under grand impasto still lifes, exploring visual metaphor and its role in revealing meaning through substitution. “Replacing different parts of a repeated composition, I am interested in seeing how incremental changes can affect meaning,” Heck says on her website. “As this project has progressed, the paintings have become more stylized and other art historical influences are interweaving.”
Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery
“Jill Pankey and Bob Pankey: Figure, Floral & Fauna” — Now through November 30
Jill Pankey has been experimenting and exploring the figure and themes of body image most of her life as an artist. Much of her work focuses on color, pattern, movement and celebrating the inevitable process of aging. Her motivation and inspiration to explore this continuing series came to her in a reccurring dream she's had all her life where she can fly at will over treetops and buildings — no age or care in the world — and sees others in the distance doing the same. Over the past twenty years, Bob Pankey has mainly created art from graphite and ink mediums. He uses raw, bright, explosive colors that evoke emotion and draw attention to the subjects he paints such as animals and landscapes. His pieces attempt to translate emotion and feelings into color as well as communicate his individual interpretation of each subject.
“Black Owned: Prints and Drawings by Adrian Armstrong” — Now through December 3
Adrian Armstrong's multidisciplinary practice, which encompasses drawing, painting, installation, and sound, documents the contemporary Black experience in the United States and how this experience intersects with the history of photography, portraiture, and collage. Using friends, family members, and acquaintances as subjects, Armstrong’s single and multi-figural works probe the influence of place and popular culture on the formation of self-image, community, connection, tenderness, and love — both platonic and romantic. More specifically, he is interested in the complex ways race informs how we assign value to and interact in the spaces we occupy.
Link & Pin Gallery
“Obscure Holidays” — Now through December 10
Featuring Slugfest Printmakers, the portfolio “Obscure Holidays” is the end product of an annual exchange portfolio in which the members and friends of Slugfest Printmaking Workshop create a print based on a theme. This year’s theme, Obscure Holidays, was suggested by member Carolyn Porter. For an exchange portfolio each participant creates a specific number of prints on a specific paper size to be included in the edition. Each member receives a portfolio of one print from every participant and one of their own.
ICOSA Collective Gallery
“After Some Reflection” — November 11 through 20
In this juried group exhibition, ten artists were chosen from 226 submissions responding to an open call for works based on the theme of “self-discovery.” “Many artists go through some form of self-reflection as they create,” notes curator Jill Schroeder. “They contemplate personal identities, social undercurrents, and cultural landscapes. These artists show strength by not downplaying their individuality or differences.” Artists from Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and other parts of the country are represented.
“Tammie Rubin: Faithful” — November 12 through December 18
“Faithful” contemplates faith as determined actions in place of passive belief. Tammie Rubin extracts images, symbols, maps, and creates visual codes that speak of Black American citizenry. Rubin experiments with countering the deletion of Black Americans from narratives of Americana while playing with image deconstruction. The works display acts of faithfulness to “American life,” despite the realities of negotiating a maze of institutional discriminatory practices such as redlining, economic isolation, and political and social inequality. Rubin uses images, metaphors, and symbols to evoke the continual striving for freedom, autonomy, joy, and full citizenship.
Lydia Street Gallery
“Gary Webernick: True Stories & Divine Accidents” — November 12 through December 23
Gary Webernick approaches his art as he approaches his life — with a sense of adventure, humor (often dark), and whimsy. Sometimes hysterical, sometimes elegant, sometimes baffling, often with light, movement, sound, or all of the above, Webernick has been creating now for over five decades. “I most often use light, sound and motion combined with photographs and found objects to create a multi-media environment,” Webernick shares in an artist statement on the gallery website. "When compelled, I add personal narrative and political/social comment to my work. I use both 2- and 3-dimensional formal elements, but often create work that takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues, often using historical references combined with popular culture.”