State of the Arts
In need of some creative motivation and a shot of imagination? Check out these 10 carefully curated exhibits this month ranging from comics to quilts and monsters to altars. And then there’s everything in between like the history of Pride parades at the Austin Public Library, cultivating community with Sam Coronado through screen printing at ACC, examining dresses and fabrics that have shaped Mexican culture and tradition at the Bob Bullock, and exploring the personal and cultural aspects of cotton through various Texas generations at Women & Their Work.
Ignite your inner artist this October with the variety and scope of arts on offer in Austin.
ICOSA Collective Gallery
“As It Was: Jonas Criscoe & B. Shawn Cox” — Now through October 29
“As It Was” explores the transformative power of quilting using traditional patterns, manipulated surfaces, and found materials. Artists Jonas Criscoe and B. Shawn Cox transform the familiar and nostalgic into an altered variation of its former self. Criscoe is an interdisciplinary artist and native of Austin, and a founding member of ICOSA, an artist-run exhibition space. Cox is a full time working artist in Austin who uses unconventional mediums to create analog transformations exploring subtext of collective social and personal mythologies.
“Jen Rose: The Unnameable Monster of the American Psyche” — Now through November 5
Jen Rose’s monsters, ranging in size from 8 feet tall to 5 inches small, are like objects in a museum of curiosities — they have an offbeat beauty to them that is hard to describe. Alien and familiar at the same time; the monsters draw you in. Charming, but also a bit odd, they are like the ugly duckling that you fall in love with and want to take home and nurture. Rose’s monsters are assembled with materials such as nylon cord and hand-made porcelain, but she’s also exploring materials such as ratan, foam, cactus fiber, gold luster, platinum luster, and a patent pending glow glaze.
“About the Altar/Ofrenda” — Now through November 20
This exhibition marks the 39th Annual Día de los Muertos exhibition and celebration at the Mexic-Arte Museum since 1984. “About the Altar” pays tribute to the tradition that celebrates the return of souls of family and friends on November 1 and November 2. Ofrendas, recuerdos, memorias, photos and offerings are assembled and shared in a room by community members to remember loved ones who passed away. This year, the installation will include a section to honor and memorialize the souls of the children and teachers lost in the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.
Art Galleries at Austin Community College
“Cultivating Community through Art: Sam Coronado’s Serie Project and its Continuing Legacy” — Now through December 8
Sam Coronado (1946 – 2013) was a former ACC professor, artist mentor, and Chicano art movement icon. His teachings and guidance made a lasting impact on Austin’s artistic community and beyond. His legacy includes the grant-funded Serie Project (1993-2013), which provided new opportunities for hundreds of emerging and established artists to learn screen-printing techniques by producing prints at Coronado Studio, in the Montopolis neighborhood. Coronado ensured that the high-quality works made at the studio were reproducible, affordable, and represented the viewpoints of undervalued communities. This exhibition demonstrates the far-reaching impacts and new opportunities that can be cultivated through persistence and dedication to the arts.
“Hilos de Tradición: Dresses of Mexico” — Now through February 26, 2023
This exhibition in collaboration with the Brownsville Historical Association, presents Mexican textiles as living traditions with roots that can be traced back thousands of years to the earliest peoples in Mesoamerica. The tools, patterns, materials, and techniques of crafting these textiles have evolved over the centuries. But the common thread in all of the textiles is the link they represent between Mexico’s past and present. The dresses reflect both the indigenous and European influences that have shaped Mexican culture and tradition. Through it all, color and pattern shine brightly as a testament to the vibrant and varied regions of Mexico. "Hilos" features 37 traditional outfits representing the states of Mexico, with hands-on stations allowing visitors to feel and examine up close the basic fabrics used to make the dresses on exhibit, the embellishments used to add texture and movement, and the details of embroidery stitches and woven patterns.
“Comic Con: Comic Inspired Art” — October 5 through 31
In October RichesArt is celebrating Comic Con (occurring in New York City this month) with plenty of pop culture comic book themed comedy shows, art history lectures, art classes, and other various events. Anything comic-inspired will be celebrated. Curated by Chris Tobar and Richard Samuel, artists represented will include Rachel bell, Lulu, Brandon Hill, Kennedy Thompson, Douglas brown, Chadd Stader, Monday and Treasure Coleman, just to name a few.
“Carol Dawson: Monochromes” — October 8 through 30
Carol Dawson draws inspiration from the natural world, exploring the life cycles of flowers from their buds, infancies, blooms, and deaths. Only allowing herself to use at most three pigments in her works, she is intrigued with the idea of growth through restriction. This theme is also inherent in her use of negative space surrounding the florals, giving the works a sense of abstraction and movement. Dawson describes her work as “a process of diving straight into the delicious richness of the subject … while also using the discipline I’ve imposed for myself for the purpose of distilling the flowers’ life cycles into their purest, most vital forms.”
Link & Pin Gallery
“Lines of Interaction, a solo exhibition of works by Larry Akers” — October 13 through 29
Using layered, patterned, refractive, or reflective materials, color, and light, Texas artist Larry Akers produces kinetic sculptures with a twist; the only moving part being the viewer. His goal is to create feasts for visual perception, free of interpretative baggage and appealing to everyone's childlike impulse to intuitively grasp the unusual. The viewer is invited to look ever closer and by doing so, become part of the artwork through their unique internal manipulation of it. Akers stated hope is that by examination, the viewer will better understand both the artworks and the relationship between vision and cognition.
Women & Their Work
“Jenelle Esparza: It Could Only Be Lived” — October 22 through December 15
Jenelle Esparza is interested in the landscape. She studies the ancestry and identity of a people through landmasses and other organic forms as they relate to culture and community, with a focus on the untold and lesser-known histories of a place and what was left behind. Esparza utilizes cotton as a root source material and inspiration. At least three generations of her family have picked cotton in Texas, which connects her to other Latino families who share the same history and also to the larger story of cotton in America. Her work explores the personal and cultural aspects of cotton, including the effects of hard labor on the body and the resiliency and resourcefulness it instills.
Austin Public Library
“Austin Proud: A History of Pride Parades in Austin” — October 26 through January 10, 2023
“Austin Proud” presents photographs, flyers, and clippings from the Austin History Center collections documenting the history of Austin's LGBTQ Pride parades and marches from 1971-2002. The exhibit will travel to Austin Public Library branches through June 2023. Currently on display at the Central Branch, starting October 26 it will move to the Twin Oaks Branch.