Enjoy art to your heart’s content this month in Austin with exhibits that will romance the intellect and seduce the senses. Meagan Hofstetter’s bold colors and intuitive abstract pieces bedazzle at the Dougherty Arts Center, while Candace Hick’s embroidered composition books on canvas emerge from her fascination with learning. Cowboys and horses with a dash of Banksy-influence dot Brandon Owen’s canvases at Vaughn Gallery, and a show at the Blanton explores artists and their “Day Jobs." Get fired up and inspired with these opportunities and more this February.
“EXISTENCIA: Daniel Rodríguez Collazo and Edgardo Kerlegand” — Now through February 25
“Existencia” or ‘existence' is a reference to the artists’ forms of expression as they relate to the human existence — one on the internal and physical forms of the human figure, and the other on the forms that humans create and exist in. Cuban artist Daniel Rodríguez Collazo’s main interest as a creator is rooted in the observation and analysis of architecture’s powerful connection with the individuals who inhabit it, from its functional to its subjective aspects. Mexican artist Edgardo Kerlegand has always been interested in painting the human figure; the spiritual and the introspective aspect of his subjects characterize much of his work.
“Understanding Coincidence in the Multiverse: Candace Hicks” — Now through February 25
With a background in book art, Candace Hicks’ work is based on reading fiction. Her latest exhibition features her 8“x10.5” hand embroidered compositions on canvas she calls “Notes for String Theory” as well as her multi-page hand embroidered bookworks, “String Theory." Both of these series focus on literary coincidence and Hicks’ fascination with the phenomenon of learning a new word or hearing about something in particular only to begin seeing it seemingly everywhere or reading the same unique phrase or idea in more than one book in short succession.
Dougherty Arts Center
“Cosmic Garden: Meagan Hofstetter” — Now through March 11
Vibrant and bold colors draw the viewer into Meagan Hofstetter’s "Cosmic Garden" exhibit, which consists of interactive and intuitive abstract resin pieces that seem to be ever changing — depending on the lighting and distance. Also at the Dougherty, “Between You and Me” features new paintings by Kat Spears and “Dreamscapes” by Caroline Walker.
The Fine Arts Gallery at Southwestern University
“Irresistible Revolutions” — Now through March 10
"Irresistible Revolutions" celebrates collective rest, dreaming, play, pleasure, and care as empowering, embodied practices that actively create the worlds we truly desire to live in together. The exhibition features artists whose works point to mindsets, rituals, and relationships that resist the everyday violence of white supremacy, capitalism, and cisheteropatriarchy, shifting us toward paradigms of healing and connection.
“Of all the things I’ve ever known: Brandon Owen” — February 9 through 28
Drawing on his memories of a rural childhood, teen years spent skateboarding, and two tours of duty in Afghanistan, Owen's newest body of work is a labor of love created while awaiting the birth of his first child. “Now I want to be more delicate and more precise with what I am trying to accomplish. I’m more concerned with making meaningful and interesting pieces,” Owen says in an artist statement. By combining his intuitive, illustrative instincts with the cowboy influences of his youth, filtered through a lifetime of graphic design, Owen produces pieces stripped down to their essential element. With works ranging from quilts to CNC cut wall reliefs, this collection of work reflects the material influences of the South and the Old West.
Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery
“I C U: New Works by Heyd Fontenot” — February 10 through 26
Longtime Austin resident and interdisciplinary artist Heyd Fontenot returns to Texas after a lengthy artist’s residency on the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, Canada. He brings with him a collection of freshly minted drawings and large scale paintings never before exhibited in Austin. Fontenot’s stylized nude portraits are prized for their beautiful draftsmanship and unexpected humor, and his artwork focusing on the human figure has been widely exhibited for more than 20 years. Within the sex-saturated psyche of American culture, the artist combats both religious dogma and conservative hypocrisy to celebrate humanity in all of its lovely imperfection. With “I C U”, Fontenot continues to explore the human form and experiment with immersive installation.
Blanton Museum of Art
“Day Jobs” — February 19 through July 23
One of the typical measures of success for artists is the ability to quit their day jobs and focus on making art full time. Yet these roles are not always an impediment to an artist’s career. This exhibition illuminates how day jobs can spur creative growth by providing artists with unexpected new materials and methods, working knowledge of a specific industry that becomes an area of artistic interest or critique, or a predictable structure that opens space for unpredictable ideas. “Day Jobs” is dedicated to demystifying artistic production and upending the stubborn myth of the artist sequestered in their studio, waiting for inspiration to strike. The exhibition will make clear that much of what has determined the course of modern and contemporary art history are unexpected moments spurred by pragmatic choices, rather than dramatic epiphanies.
“Mix ‘n’ Mash: Alimento para el alma / Food for the soul” — February 24 through March 19
This group exhibition explores the theme of food from over 200 artists, from its ability to lift the spirit and bring communities together to the traditions that are passed from one generation to the next, bringing us closer to our history and our families. Food preparation also has as much creative potential as any traditional media (painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.). “Alimento para el alma / Food for the soul” celebrates the variety of foods interpreted by artists.