Courtesy Link & Pin

Nature captivates this month, not just in blooming and bursting forth with color, but in many of the exhibits on display this April in Austin. “Green Eyes” at Northern-Southern takes inspiration from riverscapes and explosions of sunlight; Nola Parker paints landscapes on panels capturing the contrast between nature's beauty and danger; and the Wildflower Center shows us a short film exhibit called “a seed a deer a seed” about conservation, vegetation, and wildlife. For more of mother nature’s beguiling ways, visit installations at Zilker Botanical Gardens and Waterloo Park. The arts are buzz-worthy and flourishing this month in Austin.


“Green Eyes: Michelle Marchesseault” — Now through April 30
Michelle Marchesseault, a multidisciplinary artist and designer, began the work for “Green Eyes” in rural isolation in the Catskills during the pandemic. She finished the show in Austin, where she now lives. Marchesseault describes the pieces — abstract, semi-representational, and symbolic — as, “Twists and Riverscapes. Picnics in ancient places. Memories tumbled with magic. Vulnerable practices, explosions of sunlight. Change and comfort.”

Wally Workman

“Nola Parker: Holding Space” — Now through April 30
Nola Parker is a self-taught landscape painter who lives and works in central Vermont. She paints landscapes on panels depicting scenes from Texas, Vermont, Colorado, and Massachusetts: landscapes both “stumbled upon and sought out from the past two years.” To Parker, the outdoors was always beautiful and a bit dangerous — a refuge but also a place of mystery. Her series The Neighborhood" depicts the manmade safety of our lives, while "The Wild" depicts the mystery of the undomesticated.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

“a seed a deer a seed” — Now through May 31
Marianne Hoffmeister Castro, a Chilean artist residing in the U.S. and this year’s St. Elmo Arts Fellow, examines the contemporary western world's representation of nature and animality. Her short film, “a seed a deer a seed,” shines a light on the Wildflower Center’s conservation efforts by threading together vegetation surveys, nocturnal footage of animals in the area, archival material from the herbarium, and fragments of conversations with Conservationist Botanist Minette Marr.

Zilker Botanical Garden

“The Surreal Garden Exhibition” — April 7 through 8 & 13 through 15
For the second consecutive year, Ion Art illuminates the Zilker Botanical Garden with “The Surreal Garden Exhibition.” The Surreal Series is an interactive art experience full of fantastical and whimsical neon sculptures created by Sharon and Greg Keshishian and the Ion Art Team. They have integrated the sculptures into the serene setting of the botanical garden, creating an enchanting neon world and a way to benefit the Garden. Dress up in surreal attire is encouraged.

Co-Lab Projects

“Sonic Meditation for Solo Performer Steve Parker” — April 13 through May 6
“Sonic Meditation” reimagines the college marching band as a tool for meditation. The project examines themes of healing, injury, and labor in NCAA football, drawing from legacies of sonic therapy. The installation is an ecosystem of automated sonic sculptures made from salvaged marching band instruments," and is activated by a viewer wearing an EEG headset. The device measures and transmits electrical brain activity, which is then translated in real-time to be played by the instruments.

ICOSA Collective Gallery

“Dream States” — April 14 through May 13
This exhibit presents the works of five animation artists and takes visitors on a journey to explore the pursuits of human connection and our relationships to technology and infrastructure, the natural world, and personal desires. “Dream States” includes hand drawn and painted cel animations, as well as original artwork from the films. In each piece, the filmmaker takes stock of the world as it is and responds in kind, playing with surrealism and varying tones of repetition, color, sound, and narrative storytelling.

Ballerina Dreaming by Sonja Kever

Courtesy Link & Pin

Ballerina Dreaming by Sonja Kever as part of “Size is Everything,” on display at Link & Pin Gallery this month.


Expresiones de Mexico, Arte de la Gente / Art of the People” — April 14 through August 20
Following the revolution in the 1920s, Mexico’s leaders sought to define and promote Mexico’s culture and art. This campaign included looking to artists from regions all over Mexico. Mexican art, past and present, comes in a great assortment of styles, subjects, and mediums. This collection has been compiled over the course of the nearly forty years of Mexic-Arte Museum’s history and will give light to some of the key master artists in Mexico who have made this art so sought out worldwide.

Link & Pin Gallery

“Size Is Everything” — April 22 through May 27
“Size is Everything” ponders the question, what if art was all one size? Not too big and not too small. And what if you combine modern art, abstract pieces, traditional works, and whimsical art all in the same room? With that in mind, gallery owner Debra Watkins has conceptualized an exhibit that displays diverse genres of art that are visually similar — only because all the works are 20x25 and have been framed similarly so that the show will look like one body of work.

Waterloo Park

“Seeing Bees” — April 23 through May 21
Featuring the artwork of world-renowned photographer Dan Winters, Wild Spirit Wild Places presents “Seeing Bees,” an immersive art and education experience inspired by the essential role bees play in our environment. View Winter’s subjects, the bees, through large format images created using a scanning electron microscope. The exhibit hopes to raise awareness and foster appreciation for the essential role these insects play in our ecosystem.

Courtesy of the Neill-Cochran House Museum

9 enticing art exhibits to whet the appetite in Austin this January

State of the Arts

As a new year rolls in and annual resolutions reset, the Austin arts beckon with exhibits to motivate, inspire, and ignite a new year of creativity. Peek behind the scenes with the Ransom Center’s moviemaking exhibit, or see the works of glass and oil on canvas from Austin artist Rejina Thomas at t he Neill-Cochran House. There’s also Print Austin’s annual “5x5” exhibition at Link & Pin, and a a multi-disciplinary exploration of what’s behind the “Façade” at the Visual Arts Center. It’s a smorgasbord of arts to energize the start of your year!


“El Nacimiento” — Now through February 5
If you aren’t ready to say goodbye to the holiday season just yet, visit Mexic-Arte to enjoy the largest museum display of Mexican nativity scenes in Texas. Each year on December 16th, nacimientos are set up in homes throughout Mexico, demonstrating the diversity and richness of cultural ancestry. Mexic-Arte Museum presents a variety of nacimientos from all over Mexico, including Chihuahua, Izúcar de Matamoros, Oaxaca, Mexico City, Metepec, Santa Maria de Garcia, Tlaquepaque, and Tonalá. Over 400 pieces reflects how nacimiento-making has transformed over the years, integrating uniquely Mexican motifs, styles, and iconography.

grayDuck Gallery

“Renee Lai: In The Water You Become” — January 7 through February 19
Renee Lai is an Asian American artist working in painting and drawing whose latest oeuvre focuses on the line between representation and anonymity. The exhibit demonstrates, “traces left behind by my body — silhouettes, records of movements made while swimming, a doubling of myself in a painting,” says Lai in an artist statement. “The large scale of the work imbues my body’s outlines with a mystical power. The reductive shapes of my body form an imposing collection, body after body confronting the viewer.”

Women & Their Work

“Jade Walker: Wayfinding” — January 7 through February 23
In this large-scale installation, sculptor Jade Walker uses color, weaving, rope, tools, notions of signage, and found objects to articulate questions around how we engage with our environment. “Wayfinding” asks whether we embed in our landscape or attain places to hold as our own. Influenced by the modernist writer and poet, Nan Shepherd, nature writer and linguist, Robert Mcfarlane, and textiles as a form of universal language, Walker’s exhibition includes architectural interventions as well as intimate embellishments of familiar tools and found natural elements. Walker's art identifies the need for wayfinding as we navigate the environment for ourselves and for future generations.

The Neill-Cochran House Museum

“Signs and Symbols: The Trees are Talking” — January 11 through August 13
This one-woman show features the work of longtime Austin artist Rejina Thomas, whose graphic glass studio became the first East Austin hub for many Austin creatives. Featuring more than 40 works of glass and oil on canvas, this exhibition explores how signs and symbols constantly surround us in both the natural and built environments. Her work blurs past and present, reminding us that we are all connected — not only to one another, but to those who came before us and those who will follow. Navigating both America and Austin as a Black woman has given Thomas a unique perspective on her own heritage, as well as the cultural ties that bind us across races and ethnicities.

Old Bakery and Emporium

Walking in My Shoes: The Art of Robert R. Jones” — January 14 through March 18
"Walking In My Shoes" is an artistic exploration of walking in someone else's shoes. This perspective shift provides a different angle from which to experience love, entertainment, and empathy. “Many ideas and themes come from my observations of daily life and spirit filled activities in and around my community,” Jones says in her artist statement. “Things I experience, see, and feel passionate about. Growing up was a simple pleasure and continues to lend nostalgic memories to many of my paintings.” Bright and colorful images bring a joyous feeling of visual contentment, even where there is pain or sorrow deep within.

Link & Pin Gallery

“Print Austin’s 2023 5x5 Exhibition” — January 19 through February 11
Starting in 2021 as an online exhibit, the concept for “5x5” was to have five artists judged on five submitted works. Artists drawn to submit to this call have at least five pieces of work, presented together and chosen from among all the entries.

The Visual Arts Center, The University of Texas at Austin

“Façade” — January 20 through March 10
“Façade” brings together the work of artists from various disciplines and backgrounds to explore the truths within any given object, historical narrative, or identity. Through sculpture, works on paper, video and painting, these artists question outward appearances, both personal and communal, addressing the notion of an idealized self, replicas, false control, and performative interactions. In doing so, they attempt to uncover the motivations behind our drive to conceal, perform, and play pretend. The artists in this exhibition consider façade an undeniable reality, encouraging visitors to take a critical view of façadism and examine how our attachments to performance and deception influence our experiences of the world around us.

Lydia Street Gallery

“Daniel & Marjory Johnston: The What of Whom”  — January 21 through March 5
This exhibit presents new, never-before-created works of art by the world-renowned outsider poet, writer, and musician Daniel Johnston. In collaboration with his sister, artist Marjory Johnston, these works created contain lyrics from some of his over 900 songs, depicted in over 100 watercolors and collages. Each piece has the song and CD title identified on the piece.

Harry Ransom Center

Neill-Cochran House Museum

Courtesy of the Neill-Cochran House Museum

Reji Thomas, Untitled (2020). Oil on Canvas, 25 x 18 in. Collection of the artist. From “Signs and Symbols: The Trees are Talking”.

“Drawing the Motion Picture – Production Art and Storyboards” — January 28 through July 16
Explore the beauty and complexity of moviemaking through sketches, storyboards, and designs that illuminate history of film production from the silent era to the present day. Rare concept paintings, set designs, film stills, and more tell a visual story of some of our favorite films, bringing a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the creative process of filmmaking. See production art associated with iconic movies like Rebel Without a Cause, Raging Bull, Top Gun, Apollo 13, and Lawrence of Arabia — many connected with innovative directors like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, Mike Nichols, Michael Powell, Nicholas Ray, Martin Scorsese, Stephen Spielberg, King Vidor, and more.

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10 restaurant and bar openings — including a pop-up — top Austin's tastiest food news

News You Can Eat

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

ICYMI: Buckle in for tons of openings this week. During our busy week we covered the opening date for Radio/East, which is the highly anticipated expansion of Radio Coffee & Beer; the arrival of Tarbox & Brown, a San Marcos restaurant with lots of cultural influences, led by a chef with South African and Chinese roots; and the debut of Bacalar, a Mexican restaurant that marks the return of a former Top Chef winner to the Austin food scene. We also heard about a secretive new speakeasy, Trona, from an entrepreneur with a very cool track record. But there's more we haven't told you about yet.

First-year Texas Longhorn player Deandre Moore just got a check for his "name, image, and likeness," and used that money to open the Jive Turkeyfood truck (1637 E. Riverside Dr.). And even cooler — he hired his mom. Taleea Moore is cooking up lots of turkey dishes, inspired by the family's athletic at-home eating that has long subbed out poultry for beef. There are only three regular menu items so far: a turkey burger (of course), a Thanksgiving-inspired cornbread comfort bowl, and a deep-fried turkey taco. The rest are seasonal treats.

Austin could always use more cool cocktail spots — they book up fast on the weekend — so people are excited to welcome Daydreamer, a "cocktail and champagne bar." (That's not to be confused with Daydreamer Coffee, which opened last year.) There's lots to dream about, but most appealing is that this venture comes from the minds of a whole bunch of industry vets from very cool spots all around Austin. Follow your dreams to 1708 E. 6th St.

Longtime Austin establishmentJuliet Italian Kitchen, also known for dreamy vibes thanks to pretty interior design and a great location in the Zilker area, is expanding into Georgetown. The stylish vibes will continue at 701 S. Main St., in Georgetown's Old Masonic Lodge Building, which was built in 1900. This will be the restaurant's third location, and will include an upstairs bar and dining area, plus a patio, seating 188 guests in total.

The team behind Drinks Lounge just launched Drinks Backyard, bringing even more casual vibes to South Austin — where they'll really be appreciated. Located at a former liquor store (6328 S. Hwy. 183), this bar takes advantage of the two acres around it with a stage, covered lounge seating, and a 14-foot TV for sports and movies. The bar and patio are open now, but the backyard is still getting ready. Eventually, it will welcome guests under 21 and pets. Smokin' Brew-B-Q is the first food truck onsite, with more coming soon.

We focused on other things last week, but two casual chains shared news we don't want to gloss over. Graze Craze, a charcuterie shop, has opened its first location in the Austin area, in Lakeway (2127 Lohman’s Crossing Rd., Ste. 304). The company takes its meat-cheese-and-other-snacks curating very seriously, and these gargantuan charcuteries are sure to impress large parties.

Similarly, Seattle-based Eastern European pie-maker Piroshky Piroshky is making its Texas debut — but in this case, they're not sticking around. Catch the pop-up in Austin on October 6 to see why this bakery is popular enough to pull off a national tour. The team is posting locations as they go on Instagram.

Radio Coffee brings the brews to new East Austin shop and music venue in October

going live in the fall

When it comes to expanding the influence of coffee connoisseurs in Austin, there's room for everyone on the East Side.

One East Austin coffee shop just changed hands for a fancy rebrand, and another recently expanded out of the area into Buda. Cosmic Coffee, a South Austin staple, blew everyone out of the water with a gorgeous, sprawling industrial complex on East 4th Street, and now another neighboring coffee and beer combo is following suit.

Radio/East, a second location spun off from the original music-loving Radio Coffee & Beer, will open its doors at 3504 Montopolis Dr. in East Austin on Wednesday, October 18.

The new family- and dog-friendly space sprawls across two acres, which is divvied up among a 1,200-square-foot indoor coffee shop, indoor and outdoor live music stages, and a food truck park. Guests will be able to order their favorite drinks from the indoor counter, or they can choose to order from either of the two outdoor windows that open to the grand shaded backyard. And we can't forget one of the more rare features: plenty of parking for customers.

Radio's founding father-son duo Jack and Greg Wilson brought on two new partners — Trey Hudson and Nine Mile Records owner Rick Pierik — in the hopes of developing and maintaining this new spot as a community-focused space, much like the beloved original.

“With the new space, we’ve been able to create a through line to the existing concept of Radio,” said Hudson in a release. “With Radio/East we tried to listen to what the Montopolis community needed and we hope that we can be as central to this neighborhood as we have been to the area around Menchaca.”

Pierik will be the driving force behind Radio/East's musical events. Local musicians and touring bands will all get their chance to take the stage with four nights of performances planned indoors and outdoors beginning on Thursdays.

With Austin's wide-ranging music taste, Pierik will seek to reflect the city's musical diversity with every show.

"Jack Wilson and I are looking to bring together diverse programing from every corner of the music industry, booking up-and-coming national and international acts alongside all of the amazing Austin talent we've known and admired for years," said Pierik. "We're especially committed to helping local artists develop their fanbases through quality concert experiences and eclectic bills."

A list of events following Radio/East's grand opening is as follows:

  • October 19 – Sunrosa with Guma and Feeling Small
  • October 20 – Redbud with Mockjaw, Tearjerk, and Creekbed Carter Hogan
  • October 21 – Peachfuzz 10th Anniversary Party featuring The Texas Gentleman, Brown Burlesque, Lady Dan, and a to-be-announced special guest
  • October 28 – First Annual Radio/East Chili Cook Off and the Austin Flea, featuring Mother Neff, The Push & Shove, and Sour Bridges
  • October 31 – A Rocky Horror Halloween featuring A Giant Dog with Trouble in the Streets
  • November 11 – A Free Lunch Benefit featuring Caroline Rose and BRUCE
  • November 17 – Money Chicha with The Tiarras

Tickets for the upcoming shows can be purchased online beginning Friday, September 29.

In addition to keeping Radio/East music-focused, visitors can expect to see some classic beverages on the menu, with a few new twists to keep customers coming back. The new location will have two tap towers with eight craft beer taps, four rotating specialty draft cocktails, and plenty of wine to go around.

Radio/EastGet a local favorite beer on draft, or try a new specialty draft cocktail.Photo by Renee Dominguez

Bar Manager Jacob Biggie has been hard at work to develop new creative cocktails for the new location, including Phantom Mood (Still Austin Gin, hibiscus, lime, and cucumber with soda) and Sensitive Artist (Senza Maeso hybrid spirit, Aperol, St. Germain, lime juice). Guests can also try the new seasonal non-alcoholic highball, dubbed the Chai-ball.

The lineup of food vendors at the new East Austin digs include Veracruz All Natural with its binge-worthy tacos; organic pizza slices from Side Eye Slice (a sister concept to Side Eye Pie); and Radio's own food truck – Shortwave Diner – offering classic American diner fare and comfort food such as smash burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken and waffles, and more.

Following the grand opening at 7 am on October 18, Radio/East's operating hours will be 7 am to 1 am Monday through Saturday, and 7 am to 10 pm on Sundays.

Austin is No. 12 in the U.S. with the highest number of 'unretirees'

Office News

Many Austin seniors are still punching the clock well past retirement age. According to "Cities with the Most Working Seniors," a new employment study by business website ChamberofCommerce.org, more than a quarter of Austin seniors aged 65 and up are still employed, making it the No. 12 city in the U.S. with the most working seniors.

More than 25,400 Austin seniors aged 65 and up are employed out of a total 93,861, or 27.1 percent of the city's senior population.

The No. 1 city in the U.S. with hard-working oldsters is Alexandria, Virginia, located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where 36.8 percent of its seniors still employed. Coming in second was Tallahassee, Florida, with 30.9 percent. In third place was Dallas, with 30.3 percent of the senior population clocking in for work around the city.

To determine their ranking, the site examined the percentage of seniors aged 65 and over who were actively employed within the last 12 months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their analysis included data from 170 of the nation’s most populous cities.

The report says the median household income of a senior citizen in Austin is $58,546, and hints at the rising cost of living coupled with personal extenuating circumstances leading to a new trend of "unretiring" seniors within the local workforce.

"Deciding when to retire is one of the most important financial and personal decisions that workers can make," the report's author said. "Before making the leap, make sure you have factored in your savings, social security benefits, spending habits, economic volatility, and how your social life will change after retirement."

Also in Central Texas, San Antonio ranked No. 82 overall with 22.1 percent of the senior population currently in the workforce. Although that seems like a smaller number of people, it's actually much larger than Austin, with 41,918 seniors toiling away out of a total 189,544.

San Antonio's relatively high percentage of working seniors might come as a surprise, considering the city was named one of the best cities for retirees earlier in 2023.

The top 10 U.S. cities with the most working seniors are:

  • No. 1 – Alexandria, Virginia
  • No. 2 – Tallahassee, Florida
  • No. 3 – Dallas, Texas
  • No. 4 – Irvine, California
  • No. 5 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 6 – Plano, Texas
  • No. 7 – Anchorage, Alaska
  • No. 8 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • No. 9 – Overland Park, Kansas
  • No. 10 – Madison, Wisconsin

ChamberofCommerce.org is a digital site for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The full report and its methodology can be found on chamberofcommerce.org.