Photo courtesy of Markets for Makers

There's no shortage of places to buy artisan goods in Austin, from craft stores to farmers markets and holiday bazaars. But one new market, debuting this December 2-3, has found success around eight other cities in the United States before opening in this crafty capital.

Markets for Makers — also in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, and Nashville — offers a broad scope of goods from makers all over. That's the draw; There will be some products by Austin makers, but the chain uses its many bases to its advantage, sharing products from independent artists local to other markets. The website estimates that 100 to 120 makers will be included in the upcoming sale.

“Our goal is to create curated shopping experiences that showcase one-of-a-kind products and build a community that supports, inspires, and encourages makers and small businesses," said founder of Markets for Makers Natalie Christensen in a release. "Austin, with its vibrant spirit, aligns perfectly with our vision, and we can't wait to embark on this exciting journey."

Shoppers will find home décor, fashion, art, and design items, among whatever else happens to show up. The markets have been building their maker base since 2015, attributing much of their success to community partners and social media — a grassroots strategy.

As Austinites know, these markets are often more of a social event than a place to pick up anything in particular, so this city's shopping culture is primed for the "experiential market" that will also serve food and beverages.

"We take great pride in showcasing the work of our talented and diverse collection of makers that represent a mix of local and national artists," said Christensen. “We want to spread the word about our upcoming market in order to attract the finest local talent and small businesses who will join us in this celebration of creativity.”

Austinites interested in selling their products ($400 per booth) can fill out an application at marketsformakers.com.

Like Austin's famous recurring mass markets Le Garage Sale and the City-Wide Vintage Sale, these new sales will be held at the Palmer Event Center and will require paid admission (currently set at $8 as an earlybird single-entry price, or $18 for unlimited weekend entry and a VIP preview).

Courtesy of Yard Dog

Escape the heat this July with 7 refreshing art exhibits in Austin

State of the Arts

The Austin arts sizzle this July with an assortment of innovative opportunities to whet the artistic appetite. Get your VR on at Wonderspaces with two new film installations to fill you with awe, artistically of course. Explore cultural connections between Texas and Mexico with ICOSA Collective in the exhibit “Where the Borders Meet.” Discover other landscapes in the symbolic drawings of Dan Jian at Women & Their Work. The art scene is simmering this July, and there’s so much to soak up.


Shigeto: Hovering and Immersive — New Installations
Wonderspaces is clever at constantly bringing in new immersive and thought-provoking art installations; Not to mention they have a full bar, so you can sip and enjoy the oeuvres. The latest installations are two new VR films, Shigeto: Hovering by Conor Grebel and 79Ancestors, and Immersive by Jérémy Oury, Antoine Briot, and ARCAAN Collective. Hovering is a transcendent tale of life-giving water brought to a dying planet. The film includes objects found in nature and digitally scanned, making an alien world of earthly design. Immersive is an 8-minute sequence of continually "self-reconfiguring geometric forms" and "electroacoustic compositions" that invite visitors into a new arrangement of space-time.

Link & Pin Gallery

“Summer Exposure: Session 2” — Now through July 8
Link & Pin is offering five exhibitions over the course of the summer, each lasting two weeks and running through Saturday, August 26. Their current show features work by Christopher Van Loan, Suzanne Courtney, and Gerda Sessions, aka Murdock. "Van Loan employs an innovative technique that blends traditional artistry with unexpected elements," says the gallery website. "Using unconventional tools like putty and drywall finishing knives, he applies foundational colors and textures onto the canvas." Courtney "loves mixed media," as displayed in her hybrid pieces, while Murdock’s abstract works "capture real life moments through the interaction of line, color and movement on canvas."

Yard Dog

Scott Griffin & Rita Koos: "Two Birds, One Stone” — Now through July 29
Married Toronto artists, Scott Griffin and Rita Koos produce paintings that although very different in aesthetic and style, still seem to compliment and pair well with of each other. Koos paints with a "bright, almost lurid palette" to create bold, heavily made-up ladies, while Scott uses "quiet and more muted tones" for his paintings of condensed bodies: in the water, on land, in the trees and in a chorus line.

ICOSA Collective Gallery

Jonas Criscoe & Mai Gutierrez: "Where The Borders Meet” — July 7 through August 5
“Where the Borders Meet” is, not surprisingly, an exploration of the cultural connections between Texas and Mexico. "Through the use of natural materials, found objects and imagery," each artist expresses existence between the borders and what it means for a border to be fluid and have no form, just a “soft transition from one body to another.” Criscoe is an interdisciplinary artist and Gutierrez is an Austin based multi-disciplinary architect and artist.

"Poker Face," by Rita Koos from "Two Birds, One Stone."

Courtesy of Yard Dog

"Poker Face," by Rita Koos from "Two Birds, One Stone."

Wally Workman Gallery

Joyce Howell: "Solo Show” — July 8 through 29
Joyce Howell’s paintings are all informed by nature, and her canvases are a swirl of placid and chaotic color. She describes her work as an ongoing conversation, “each color and mark applied to the canvas informs the next; colors give the impression of physical weight and become instruments, much as in a musical composition.” It’s no coincidence that Howell says her work is inspired by abstract expressionists.

Dougherty Arts Center

Begin Collective: "I See You See Me" — July 8 through August 12
“I See You See Me” is a photo exhibit that questions what queerness is "'supposed' to look like." Including residents from Austin, the premise of the exhibit asserts that "people who exist outside of Western society’s hegemonic norms are valuable and have stories worth sharing." Begin Collective, by its own description, "is a photo-based program serving folks at the intersection of LGBTQ+, non-binary and disabled, chronically ill, or neurodivergent identity."

Women & Their Work

Dan Jian: "The Bow Whispers to the Arrow” — July 15 through September 7
What’s more intriguing than canvases created with dust? Dan Jian’s drawings, which she calls “meditations on the act of looking” are created by using charcoal dust and burned ashes mixed together and then fixed on translucent paper. "This process allows the medium to form gravitational washes, similar to the effect of ink," describes the website. "Then ... she uses scissors, an Exacto knife, and glue to create introverted landscapes filled with imaginary narratives and symbols ... like mundane modern images pulled from the Texas landscape seamlessly [merging] with non-western and ancient pictorial motifs."

Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary

8 enticing Austin exhibits to jump into this June

State of the Arts

The arts in Austin make a splash this month with a refreshing assortment of exhibits. There are community made fairy dwellings to admire, and hopefully a fairy or two to see at Zilker Botanical Garden; a group photography show at Cloud Tree Gallery that questions the role of photographer in a world where we are all photographers on our mobile devices; Patrick Puckett gives us bold, confident Southern tinged portraits at Wally Workman; and Austin artist Thomas Flynn II paints forests and nature meant to tickle your fancy at Vaughn Gallery. Soak up these energizing summer exhibits while the sun shines.

Zilker Botanical Garden

“The Woodland Faerie Trail” — Now through June 10
The fairies have arrived at Zilker Botanical Gardens to take up their summer residency in tiny, natural homes created by Austin families, school groups, and individuals on display off the Oak Grove, along the winding Woodland Faerie Trail. The Garden hosts special events like a chance to visit the fairies by moonlight on June 3, or a Fae Fest on June 10, where you can make your own fairy wings, be a part of a fairy fashion show, or explore examples of plants featured in botanical folklore.

Dougherty Arts Center

“Darcie Book: Second Sight: A Visual Opera" — Now through July 22
Interactive installations are always fascinating because, suddenly, we are told we can touch the art and enjoy a tactile experience beyond just gazing at it. “Second Sight: A Visual Opera” by multidisciplinary artist Darcie Book is a single piece — an abstract narrative — that unfolds as the viewer-participant moves through the space and is confronted by unexpected materials. "In the darkness, in the unknown," the description posits, "we are in a world between dimensions."

Austin Central Library

“Aubree Dale: Go-To’s” — June 2 through August 12
“'Go-To’s' is an exhibition of oil paintings big and small peppered with small supplementary sculptures," explains the artist's website. Dale’s sculptures are fashioned out of "rescued plastics and homemade bioplastics" that become "transparent artifacts and portals." The exhibit sprung out of the artist becoming a mother and her feelings of anxiety and abundance as well as “a scaling back of my eagerness to please others.”

Cloud Tree Studios and Gallery

“Generation Loss: Image Making in an Age of Over-Saturation" — June 3 through 24
In this group photography show, twelve artists examine what it means to be a photographer "in an age where everyone is a photographer." The gallery explains that "in analog media development, the term 'generation loss' refers to the modification of content and reduction of detail when duplicates or multiple generations of copies are created." Are we responsible for “reducing” the art of photography because of the abundance permeating our lives via social media?

Wally Workman Gallery

"Patrick Puckett: Mythos" — June 3 through July 2
If you enjoy "bold colors and languid figures," you may enjoy the work of Patrick Puckett whose paintings are "unapologetically sure of themselves." The works on paper aim for intimacy, with confident brush strokes and colors. The figures in Puckett's paintings are "visual inventions" from his experiences living in the South.

Vaughn Gallery

“Thomas Flynn II: To Catch the Sun Dreaming” — June 8 through July 22
Thomas Flynn II is an Austin artist bringing a fresh perspective on plein air painting (i.e. painting outdoors) creating environmental and thought provoking paintings on raw canvas. In Flynn’s work forests and nature "represent a place of eternal play and exploration" as well as the "cycles of growth and decay." After viewing his work you feel like you’ve had your daily dose of Mother Nature.

Art for the People

“Vibrance of Summer" — June 10 through August 11
With more 35 artists participating, “Vibrance of Summer” is all about immersing oneself in the vibrance of summertime and the energy of the season. Some featured pieces include a stained glass mountain landscape, a multimedia textured work displaying the art of tree bark, and a moody painting of blueberries that subverts the usual colors of summer. If you need a cheerful, sunny arts experience, then Art for the People is offering a dose of cheer.

West Chelsea Contemporary

Beauty and the Beast, 1959 by Slim Aarons, estate stamped print.

Courtesy of West Chelsea Contemporary

Beauty and the Beast, 1959 by Slim Aarons, estate stamped print.

“EDITIONS” — June 16 through July 16
“Editions” features more than 100 artists over a span of six decades showcasing limited-edition prints, which as the gallery points out, "creates a sense of exclusivity and scarcity." It continues, "From modern masters and blue-chip artists to street art pioneers and ultra-contemporary innovators, the exhibit delivers a diverse range of artists who have each utilized printmaking as a way to experiment within and expand the reach of their artistic practice." From Chuck Close, Keith Haring and Damien Hirst all the way to Fab 5 Freddy, the exhibit packs a punch with the breadth and depth of artists.

Courtesy Link & Pin

9 ways to make art your second nature in Austin this April

State of the Arts

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.

Photo courtesy of MotherShip Studios

Bask in local artistry with the inaugural San Marcos Studio Tour in April


A new way to interact with local Central Texas artists is debuting at the end of March. The inaugural, self-guided San Marcos Studio Tour will feature more than 50 artists all across San Marcos and the surrounding area.

The tour will be led by women-owned and operated MotherShip Studios, an up and coming studio and gallery located between San Marcos and Martindale. MotherShip aims to facilitate community development by providing an affordable, welcoming studio space for local artists.

A special event will kick off the tour on the evening of March 31 at the MotherShip warehouse. The evening celebration will feature a group exhibition, live music, a giveaway, an artistic demonstration, and more. Attendees can also try one of the specially crafted complimentary drinks by local breweries such as Middleton Brewing, Still Austin Whiskey, and Austin Beer Works, who are sponsoring the event.

The studio tour will take place the weekend of April 1-2. Tour maps will be provided with numbers assigned to each artist’s studio, and signs will be posted to help tour-goers find their way around. During the weekend, visitors can also check out different group showcases at the warehouse in between their studio stops. While at the warehouse, they can also browse a catalog by the tour’s artists that will be available for purchase.

One of the goals of the tour is to showcase the “raw spaces” each local artist creates their work in, according to a press release. From their paint-splattered or photo-covered walls, these creative environments are where an artist feels most comfortable to create their work.

The San Marcos Studio Tour is free and open to the public. The tour’s kick off event will begin at 7 pm on March 31, and the self-guided tour will take place from 12 to 6 pm on April 1-2.

More information about the tour can be found on MotherShip Studio’s website.

Courtesy of Mexic-Arte

8 Austin exhibits to seduce the senses this February

State of the Arts

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.

Camiba Gallery

“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.

Ivester Contemporary

“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.

Vaughn Gallery

“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.

Courtesy of Mexic-Arte

"Mix n Mash: Alimento para el alma / Food for the Soul" at Mexic-Arte this February.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Country's largest hot springs pool complex plans for Dallas debut

Wellness wonderland

Austin has plenty of places to swim, but the spa culture is pretty niche. Those willing to take a drive for a luxurious weekend always have the Hill Country and Dallas as options, and soon there will be a new wellness spa-amusement park: WorldSprings, a nine-acre outdoor mineral springs experience, will debut in the latter city in spring 2024.

According to a release, it will be WorldSprings' first location in Texas and the largest experience of its kind in the country.

"With pools inspired by the most famous hot springs from around the world, guests can explore WorldSprings’ 45 outdoor soaking pools including cold-plunge pools, Finnish saunas, and a spa which will include wellness therapies as well as a cafe and bar," says the release.

Specific highlights of the experience will include:

  • The Family Pool, the Dead Sea Float Pool and South Pacific Region mineral pools for all ages
  • The Asiatic, European, and Americas region mineral pools for those 18 years old and up
  • More pools, with temperatures that range from warm to hot and from cool to ice cold
  • The Spa, with a menu of body treatments and massages
  • The Sanctuary, offering sound baths and yoga, breathwork, and guided meditation classes
  • Aqua classes, including Aqua Aerobics, Aqua Sculpt, Aqua Yoga and Aqua Float
  • Performance-enhancing treatments including cryotherapy, hyperbaric chambers, and compression therapy
  • WorldSprings Café, from which guests can order food and drinks poolside with their smartphones and pay with a wristband

WorldSprings Grandscape The ColonyThere'll be adults-only pools and family-friendly pools.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

The wellness offerings were created by WorldSprings' in-house functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Sara Gottfried, the release says.

Of course, there are not actual hot springs located beneath Grandscape. Each pool will be "meticulously crafted to mirror the mineral content of legendary springs from around the world," explains WorldSprings.

Memberships and three-hour passes will be available, "priced for all to enjoy as a weekly ritual for well-being," they say, although pricing has not yet been disclosed. A limited number of discounted Founding Memberships will be available starting early next year.

”Our ambition is that WorldSprings will democratize wellness by opening locations throughout the country,” says Rob Kramer, managing partner of WorldSprings' owner Off Road Capital, in the release.

The Dallas-area park follows locations in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and a similar concept in La Verkin, Utah, near Zion National Park.

Anticipated opening date is March 2024.

WorldSprings GrandscapeA spa will offer massages and body treatments.Rendering courtesy of WorldSprings

WorldSprings Grandscape will be at 3240 Plano Pkwy., The Colony, joining the booming 433-acre center that includes not only shopping and dining but an escape room, immersive entertainment venue, amphitheater, and more.

"Bringing WorldSprings to this ideal location is a remarkable milestone,” says Justin Foley, general manager of the upcoming Grandscape location, in the release. “As general manager, I'm honored and excited to be a part of such an amazing community and to unveil an exclusive outdoor mineral springs experience – a first of its kind destination in Texas."

3 Lubbock luminaries on what ignites the Hub City

Faces and Places

In Lubbock, Texas, where locals have been pouring their livelihood into both the city and their craft, the community has created a Texas experience like no other. What sets apart a destination from others is the welcoming faces who meet travelers with open doors and a willingness to share the West Texas way of life with all who wander through.

CultureMap recently checked in with three Lubbock luminaries to learn what drew them to the city, what dreams they're making come true, and how visitors can take part in the magic.

Matt Bostick, sommelier and hospitality director of Llano Estacado Winery
Though his roots are in Texas, Matt Bostick found his passion for wine in Italy. While studying hospitality in Florence in 2011, he met Parisian sommelier Quinton Paillard, who encouraged his budding love of vino and set Bostick on the path toward becoming a sommelier himself.

After earning his degree in restaurant, hotel, and institutional management from Texas Tech University in 2012, Bostick joined Jackson Family Estates in Los Angeles. From there, he further honed his expertise as the lead sommelier for Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, under the mentorship of Sarah Clarke A few years later, Bostick co-founded a restaurant called Baldoria and even developed a line of ready-to-drink cocktails with his business partner, David King.

"When David and I decided to create B&K Cocktail Company, our business venture brought us back to Texas," Bostick says. "With my family residing in Lubbock, it was a natural choice to settle here. Lubbock holds significant personal and professional values for me. It's my hometown, where I was born and raised, and where most of my family continues to live and contribute to this community."

Today, Bostick is the events director and sommelier at Llano Estacado Winery, Texas’ second oldest winery. Bostick guides visitors through a sensory journey, introducing them to the complexities of different wines, regions, and vintages while offering insights into history, production techniques, and the unique characteristics of each varietal.

"I help individuals identify tasting notes, appreciate nuances, and even recommend food pairings that enhance the overall culinary experience," he says.

Grape Day on October 21 is an ideal time to visit the winery to see Bostick in action. To celebrate the end of the harvest, which spans late July to early October, Llano features captivating self-guided tours, diverse art booths, delicious offerings from the finest local vendors, exciting games for kids, and a mesmerizing lineup of live music on the Lubbock Listening Room stage.

Admission is free, but for $35 attendees will receive a commemorative Grape Day wine glass along with two tickets redeemable for a glass of wine. Pre-sale drink tickets will also be available for purchase in a bundle of three tickets for $15 (otherwise each ticket is $8 at the event).

"Grape Day holds immense significance to me. It's a celebration that represents the culmination of hard work and a sense of community," Bostick says. "Llano Estacado Winery has not only been a pioneer in the Texas wine industry but has also contributed to our local community's growth. Events like this shine a light on the rich heritage and traditions of winemaking, connecting our community to a broader narrative of craftsmanship and appreciation for the finer things in life."

Ian Timmons, pitmaster and third-generation owner of Tom & Bingo’s BBQ
It's been called a West Texas legend since 1952, and as soon as you step inside Tom & Bingo's BBQ, you'll understand why. This old-school barbecue joint — and Lubbock’s oldest restaurant — is packed with nostalgia and dishes out authentic barbecue that would make original owners Tom and Bettye Clanton proud, and current owner Ian Timmons intends to keep it that way.

While studying at Texas Tech, Timmons worked under Dwayne Clanton (Tom and Bettye's son, who gained ownership of the restaurant in 1980) and earned hands-on experience as a pitmaster. Upon graduation, he moved to Denver with his wife, Kristi, where he worked at Denver Biscuit Company.

"I’ve always worked in restaurants," says Timmons. "From my first job at Dairy Queen to a local restaurant called Orlando’s, where I was a server and got fired for making pizzas during my shift."

Timmons' wife also happens to be Dwayne and Liz Clanton's daughter, making him the obvious choice to carry on the legacy when the couple was ready to retire in 2017.

Now, Timmons pays homage to Tom & Bingo's 70-year legacy by smoking modern bark-on-brisket, his own coarsely ground smoked beef sausage, and pork spare ribs on the original brick pits the predecessors used for decades. He's also expanded the menu to include scratch-made potato salad and slaw, but one item remains a constant since the early days of the restaurant: the steak burger.

"This fall we are switching from our legendary brick pits to a new Centex offset smoker, so it’s back to square one for us," reveals Timmons. "This fall will be a learning season for us! But we are excited to see what a new smoker can do for us."

You can also catch the eatery's new food truck out and about and look forward to more biscuit collaborations with Monomyth Coffee (inspired by Timmons' time in Denver, of course). "We'll also hopefully open a Biscuit Club location to help grow the breakfast scene in Lubbock," Timmons hints.

But perhaps the tastiest way to experience Tom & Bingo's, besides visiting the restaurant itself, is by sampling its goods at the Texas Monthly BBQ Fest in November. Held in Lockhart, November 4-5, the event helps raise funds for Feeding Texas and a network of food banks across the state.

Yung Cry Baby, aka Aaliyah Limon, resident artist with Charles Adams Studio Project
Full-time musician and vocalist Aaliyah Limon was born and raised in Lubbock, but when she was younger, she didn't feel the city had a place for her yet. After graduation, the aspiring talent took off to explore both coasts, working as a model and artist, but after a while realized she wasn’t as fulfilled as she had hoped and missed her family.

"I needed a break from my fast-paced lifestyle," she says. "I came back home to be with family, take a step back, and reassess what I really wanted to do with my life. When I moved back, my music took off much faster than I ever anticipated."

Now Limon is professionally known as Yung Cry Baby and serves as a resident artist with the Charles Adams Studio Project, a nonprofit that supports working artists in Lubbock.

"Because I'm passionate about it and motivated by the people who resonate with what I sing about, I've kind of kept with the momentum of things," Limon says. "I'm excited about what I do, and I love helping people heal through my music. Even if it only helps a little, it gives me a lot of joy knowing I can maybe help someone not feel alone."

Fans can see Yung Cry Baby perform not only at the karaoke bar she hosts at, but also at First Friday Art Trail, a monthly arts festival located in downtown Lubbock with a mission to bring together collectors, artists, and community friends for an evening of art, music, and fun. Participants are ever-changing, offering something for everyone.

"I love doing community-based things, especially when it comes to art," Limon says. "First Friday is always a blast for me."

Yung Cry Baby is currently working on her first full album, following the earlier release of her EP. Follow her on social media for updates.


Experience the people and places of Lubbock yourself by planning your next vacation here.

Llano Estacado Winery wine glass

Photo courtesy of Visit Lubbock

Matt Bostick helps visitors appreciate the wine at Llano Estacado Winery.

UT Austin rises to the top in new list of best Texas schools for 2024

go longhorns

The University of Texas at Austin continues its streak of high rankings for its high-quality educational experiences. The home of the Longhorns earned a coveted top three spot on U.S. News and World Report's just-released list of the Best Colleges in Texas for 2024.

UT Austin claimed No. 2 in Texas, and ranked No. 32 nationally. The public institution had an undergraduate enrollment of more than 41,300 students in fall 2022. The school, which costs $11,698 in tuition for in-state students and fees each year, ranks No. 9 for "Top Public Schools" by U.S. News.

In April, UT's Cockrell School of Engineering ranked No. 7 in U.S. News' ranking of the best graduate schools in the country, while McCombs School of Business earned the No. 20 spot among business schools.

UT Austin actually fared similarly in Niche'slist of top public universities, in which it ranked No. 6 nationally.

U.S. News' profile of UT Austin says the university prides itself on being a top-tier research institution.

"UT Austin has been a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities since 1929," the site says. "The university attracts nearly $800 million annually for research. Top accolades include the creation of the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines and the worlds’ fastest supercomputers for open research."

The university also boasts a rich campus culture that encourages students to participate in different organizations and activities.

"Students can participate in more than 1,000 clubs and organizations or in the sizable UT Greek system," the site says. "The university has several student media outlets, and its sports teams are notorious competitors in the Division I Big 12 Conference. UT also offers hundreds of study abroad programs, with the most popular destinations being Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and China."

Ahead of UT Austin in the ranking is Rice University in Houston. The "Ivy League of the South" ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 17 nationally.

Just behind UT Austin is College Station's Texas A&M University, which placed No. 3 in the Texas rankings and No. 47 nationally.

U.S. News' top 10 best colleges in Texas in 2024 are:

  • No. 1 – Rice University, Houston
  • No. 2 – University of Texas at Austin
  • No. 3 – Texas A&M University, College Station
  • No. 4 – Southern Methodist University, Dallas
  • No. 5 – Baylor University, Waco
  • No. 6 – Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
  • No. 7 – The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
  • No. 8 – University of Houston
  • No. 9 – Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  • No. 10 – University of St. Thomas, Houston

The full rankings can be found on usnews.com.