Courtesy Blanton Museum of Art

Free up your mind, spirit, and some time this December to appreciate all the arts on offer in Austin, from new installations to pop-up shows and year-end group exhibitions. New lights dazzle at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden with family-friendly sculptural art works from the Design Shine juried competition; over 120 rescue dogs have earned the spotlight in art works created by local and national artists capturing the Tito’s distillery dogs rescued over the years; and the Blanton presents the work of modern artists created prints, drawings, paintings, illustrated books, sculptures, and decorative objects informed by the craftsmanship and compelling historical figures of the Middle Ages in Medieval X Modern. So many options to dazzle the senses this holiday season.

Long Center
“Impressions of Tito’s Distillery Dogs Over 25 Years” — Now through January 4, 2023

Inspired by the 120+ distillery dogs rescued over the years, Tito’s Vodka for Dog People has unveiled its newest project, a one-of-a-kind, 25-piece art collection featuring vibrant dog artwork created by local and national artists. Dogs are a huge part of the brand's story, and since the early days when strays found their way to the distillery, they were always well received and the employees would feed, nurture, and find them loving homes. Each portrait depicts a dog’s unique story and legacy of resilience, with featured work by local artists including Tom Jean Webb, Sam Soper, Saira Holland, Raine Lipscher, Lindsay Laser Smith, Judy Paul, John Walker, Joel Ganucheau, Jeff Skele, Hope Perkins, Erika Jane Amerika, Elissa Marie, and Amy Ringholz.

ATX Wonderspaces

“Micromonumental Mapping, the Essence of Creation by Limelight” — New Installation
The Essence of Creation by Limelight was originally created to be displayed on the Opéra de Lille in France for the Lille Video Mapping Festival that was set to take place in April 2020. Due to COVID 19, the festival had to be postponed so the artists decided to downscale and project it onto a 1:40 3D model of the building. Inspired by the national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo, who has been recognized as a god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, poetry, war and death, the artwork conveys this complexity by using the symbolic and physical elements of the building.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden

“Design Shine” — December 1 through April 15, 2023
Presented by the Emerging Professionals Committee of AIA Austin and the UMLAUF, the Design Shine juried competition was created to promote emerging talent in the fields of architecture and design. This year’s competition showcases winning installations by three local design teams, Crux Celestia, Introspectacle and Prismascope. Each presents a unique interpretation of the 2023 theme, Designing for Discovery with the goal of enlivening and energizing the UMLAUF Garden in new and unexpected ways with captivating, family-friendly sculptural art works. All three installations include elements of light that can also be enjoyed during evening events or viewed from the street.

Wally Workman

“America Martin: Solo Show” — December 3 through 30
America Martin is a Colombian-American fine artist based in Los Angeles and has been called a rising star in the contemporary art world with a national following. Martin describes herself as a painting anthropologist, working primarily with paint on canvas and paper to explore the human experience and the human form. Taking inspiration from Mid-Century Modernist masters, her distinctive style is underscored by the use of boldly brushed lines and punctuated bursts of color to imply tone and mood. She treats her subjects with an obvious reverence, and in a manner that captures their individuality and their dignity.

Ivester Contemporary

“Late Bloomer” — December 3 through January 14, 2023
Late Bloomer is a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Honduran-American artist Jasmine Zelaya. Zelaya has used portraiture to explore themes of identity throughout her career, specifically from the perspective of a first generation, Latinx artist. This newest body of work is heavily informed by memory, the awkwardness of youth, and the experience of assimilation. Graphic floral masks, a subtle head tilt, teary eyes, and explosive gradients of color all coalesce to capture the strong, mixed emotions of introspective teen years. Zelaya’s work explores themes of identity, assimilation and the brown body through a familial narrative rich with symbolism.


“31 BY 12” — December 10 through January 7, 2023
This annual group exhibition includes work by twelve artists: Adrian Armstrong, Miguel A. Aragon, Connie Arismendi, Jennifer Anderson, Pepe Coronado, Laura Berman, David Everett, Mike Hart, Peter Nickel, Heather Parrish, Maricela Sanchez, and James Sullivan. Thirty-one refers to the number of projects published during 2022. Each project might include over fifty unique monoprints while some projects are editioned etchings or lithographs.

Blanton Museum

Courtesy Blanton Museum of Art

Carlos Alonso, Que corrían mordiéndose [Those Who Run Biting Each Other], on display at the Blanton.

“Medieval X Modern” — December 10 through July 9, 2023
Many artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were fascinated by the styles and subjects of medieval art. Soaring cathedrals and ornate illuminated manuscripts impressed artists living in an era of increasing mechanization, while reverent visions of saints and heroes offered inspirational models in the midst of war and political violence. Along with representative medieval objects, Medieval X Modern presents the work of modern artists from Europe and the Americas who created prints, drawings, paintings, illustrated books, sculptures, and decorative objects informed by the spectacular craftsmanship and compelling historical figures of the Middle Ages. Drawing primarily from the Blanton’s permanent collection, Medieval X Modern offers a wide array of artistic responses to the European Middle Ages, including one of the museum’s most iconic works — Ellsworth Kelly’s "Austin."

Courtesy of the Bob Bullock Museum

Ignite your inner artist at 10 expertly curated Austin exhibits this October

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.

Courtesy of the Bob Bullock Museum

Hilos de Tradición: Dresses of Mexico gallery-sinaloa

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.

Bob Bullock

“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.

Wally Workman

“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.

Bee Cave Arts Foundation Facebook

Bee Cave Arts Foundation

Bee Cave Arts Foundation< div> WEBSITE >

Bee Cave Arts Foundation was founded in 2010 to enrich the lives of the community of Bee Cave. Today, visitors from across Texas and beyond come to enjoy contemporary art exhibitions and programs.


Volunteers are always welcome. Kindly use the website's secure contact form to reach Deby Childress, Director of Bee Cave Arts Foundation.


Membership is $10 for students; $20 for seniors (age 65 and older); $30 for members; $60 for families; $100 for supporters; $250 for leaders; $500 for benefactor; and $1,000 for sustainers. Donations of all sizes are welcome, as well as AmazonSmile supporters. There is also a Charity Wish List on Amazon.com.


The Foundation hosts the annual Member Artist Exhibition BuzzFest, plus art classes year-round for adults and children.

Photo courtesy of Art City Austin

Art Alliance Austin

Art Alliance Austin< div> WEBSITE >

Established in 1956, Art Alliance Austin’s goal is to strengthen Austin’s artistic community through experiences. Through festivals like Art City Austin and projects like Hello Lamp Post, Art Alliance Austin dedicates itself to giving artists and art organizations platforms for showcasing their work. Flexibility and inclusiveness is a key part of Art Alliance Austin’s mission and one of the reasons the organization has continued to evolve so successfully. Working behind the scenes on administrative things like development, event planning, and marketing, Art Alliance Austin helps connect artists and audiences. In doing so, it generates impressive economic benefits for the entire city.


A donation to Art Alliance Austin directly supports the arts and helps them reach their goal to support Austin galleries and artists. Art Alliance Austin has a close-knit volunteer community; contact info@artallianceaustin.org for current opportunities.


The Art Alliance Membership program is being updated. Please contact info@artallianceaustin.org for further details.


Artbash is a unique and immersive annual kick-off party for the East Austin Studio Tour, and Art Alliance Austin’s biggest membership drive and fundraiser of the year. 

Photo by Amy Price

Black Fret

Black Fret< div> WEBSITE >

Black Fret's mission is to empower musicians to create and perform new music. For centuries, classical music has had the benefit of community financial support. Black Fret is an innovative evolution focused on supporting popular local music. It is a new model of arts patronage anchored by three main initiatives: providing grants and mentoring to exceptional musicians, gathering to see Black Fret nominees perform in unique locations, and building an endowment to allow for more grants and more performances.


Black Fret volunteers are driven, dedicated, reliable self-starters who help events run smoothly and safely, while also having a great time. The music, the people, and the overall energy of the community make it a special experience. The vast majority of performances occur every other Saturday night. Volunteers must be available from 5-11 pm. Black Fret asks that volunteers commit to at least one event per month. For more information, head here.



Black Fret members pay annual dues of $1,500 (80 percent of which is tax deductible) to fund artist grants and performance fees. Members nominate the bands they love, gather to see them perform in interesting venues all over the city, and vote to allocate Black Fret grants to exceptional artists at the end of each year, awarded at the Black Fret Ball. As a Black Fret member, you gain access for yourself and a guest to over 20 unique performance events each year.


The annual Black Fret Ball, where yearly grant recipients are announced, is a star-studded musical evening at The Paramount Theater featuring live performances by Black Fret grant nominees for an audience of Black Fret members.

Austin Classical Guitar Facebook

Austin Classical Guitar

Austin Classical Guitar< div> WEBSITE >

Austin Classical Guitar, the leading nonprofit of its kind in the country, inspires individuals through musical experiences of deep, personal significance. It presents concerts in several diverse series and promotes lifelong learning in the arts.

ACG supports guitar programs in nearly 60 schools around the Austin area, bringing high-quality, long-term education to 4,000 students each week. The flexibility and comprehensiveness of ACG's curriculum, published online at GuitarCurriculum.com and used by hundreds of teachers throughout Texas and around the world, has shown classical guitar to be a uniquely effective and engaging solution for under-resourced schools struggling to provide high-quality arts education.

ACG has expanded to include innovative programs for Travis County youth who are incarcerated or on probation, as well as braille-adapted instruction. Through a partnership with Carnegie Hall, ACG offers the Lullaby Project, an arts intervention for new and expecting mothers facing economic, social, and psychological challenges.


The dream at Austin Classical Guitar is a world where music is here for everyone, connecting us, inspiring us, and bringing joy and meaning wherever it goes. Join by volunteering, becoming a member, making a gift, sponsoring a program or event, or becoming a business partner.


Join a vibrant community of like-minded people who appreciate the power of music to lift and inspire. ACG members receive the best prices on tickets for all major concerts, including the International, FlamencoAustin, and Summer series. Memberships are valid for one year, and fees are tax-deductible. Student or senior (60-plus) membership for two people is $15; regular membership for one person is $25, and two people is $35.


Guitars Under the Stars is the annual gala for ACG Education. It's a night for gratitude and celebration in a magical setting, with inspiring speakers, custom cocktails, an elegant dinner, and a concert by a fantastic visiting artist.

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2 trailblazing Texans to be honored with history-making award at Austin museum

local history ripples

There are many conceptions of Texas around the world, but most can agree that Texans do have a knack for making history. An annual acknowledgement by the Texas State History Museum Foundation (TSHMF) will celebrate the contributions of two very different Texans who used their leadership skills to coordinate huge wins for their respective teams.

Retired Navy Admiral and former University of Texas System Chancellor William H. McRaven and former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach will be honored with the History-Making Texan Award at the 19th Annual Texas Independence Day Dinner, taking place March 2, 2023, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

Photo courtesy of Bullock Museum

The History-Making Texan Award winners will be celebrated at the Bullock on March 2.

McRaven’s contributions and Staubach’s are similar by nature of leading teams — one commanded troops and the other played an integral part in the Dallas Cowboys into a wave of undeniable success — but the similarities mostly stop there.

McRaven led troops to rescue the ransomed Captain Richard Phillips, search for Osama Bin Laden, and ultimately capture Iraqi politician Saddam Hussein. The Four-Star admiral has advised U.S. presidents in his retirement and written several books, mostly imparting wisdom around changing one’s own life, and hopefully the world around them.

Staubach took a more entertainment-based path to greatness, rising to fame as a star player while lifting the rest of the Cowboys with him. The team had nine consecutive winning seasons with Staubach, of 20 total. Aside from giving Texans yet another point of state pride, Staubach spent his retirement and influence on real estate and philanthropy.

“Our recipients reached the pinnacle of accomplishments and eminence in their fields. Importantly, they were selected as honorees based on their personal character and commitment to improving the lives of others,” said dinner chair and TSHMF trustee Lisa Cooley in a press release. “They stand as role models to emulate, and we look forward to sharing their dramatic and inspiring stories with our guests.”

The dinner supports the Bullock Texas State History Museum with ticket sales and underwriting from nearly 500 attendees annually. Austin’s Jan Felts Bullock, wife of Bob Bullock and museum trustee, joins Dallas’ Cooley as honorary chair. In 2022, the award went to pianist James Dick and philanthropist Lyda Hill.

More information about the foundation and the History-Making Texan Award is available at tshmf.org.

SXSW rolls out next round of music showcases for 2023, including 29 Austin artists

300 more

Obviously, 190 music showcases is not enough for South by Southwest. That’s 19 a day? Make it another 301. On December 7, SXSW announced the second round of 2023 showcasing artists, bringing the current total to almost 500 acts performing March 13-18, 2023, in Austin.

Of those newly announced artists, 29 are from Austin, and eight more are from Texas, keeping the local numbers relatively high compared to the whole world. This round contains almost 10 percent Austin bands, while the first round contained nearly 7 percent.

Some of the more widely recognizable Austin acts announced in the second round include:

  • Good Looks: Vocalist and guitarist Tyler Jordan cites an increasingly venerated Austin band, Spoon, as an influence. Good Looks is guitar riff-driven, wistful, and a little Southern in sound.
  • Graham Reynolds (solo), Graham Reynolds & The Golden Arm Trio: A prolific composer and bandleader, Reynolds’ name pops up all over Austin films and awards ceremonies. He appears solo and with an eclectic jazz trio.
  • Kalu & The Electric Joint: Frontman Kalu James arrived in Austin from Nigeria at 18 and has made a strong name for himself (and guitarist Jonathan “JT” Holt) through psychedelic, vaguely jazzy, and decidedly funky jams.
  • Pleasure Venom: One of the rawest acts in town, Pleasure Venom is well-known for punk hits (and honest takes) that don’t hold back. The band is consistently making news between lots of live shows and festival appearances.
  • Primo the Alien: Solo artist and producer Primo the Alien is bringing the 80s back with synthy electro-pop. She attaches it all to a double persona that’s both candid on social media and a delivery system for sensory overload onstage.
  • The Tiarras: A triple-threat band of sisters, The Tiarras are always thinking about family and stepping into their power. They’ve tackled topics like lesbian and Latina representation, and although they’re young, they’re seasoned pros.

The remaining Austin bands in the second round are: Andrea Magee, Big Wy's Brass Band, Billy King & The Bad Bad Bad, Caleb De Casper, Daiistar, Del Castillo, El Combo Oscuro, Font, JM Stevens, Johnny Chops, Marshall Hood, Otis Wilkins, Pink Nasty Meets El Cento, Rett Smith, Rod Gatort, Schatzi, Shooks, S.L. Houser, The Tender Things, Thor & Friends, Trouble in The Streets, and West Texas Exiles.

Showcases are the base unit of the SXSW music experience, so to speak. They may be solo or part of a multi-day affair, especially when sponsored by large entities like Rolling Stone. Attendees with music wristbands get priority, but all wristbands get access if space remains.

Even as the lineup seems to bulge at the seams, a press release states that there are more to come. A full schedule of showcasing artists, where users can select events for their customized schedule, is available at schedule.sxsw.com.

Austin's Central Library announces open call for artists for future gallery exhibits

Beyond Books

People can learn a lot at the library. Besides all the books, magazines, online resources, and in-person programming, Austinites enjoy a buffet of rotating art exhibits that populate the gallery at the Central Library downtown, publicizing local artists and teaching visitors about the culture around them.

Now the ever-changing Austin Public Library is looking for another new exhibit sometime in 2024 between January and September, and inviting artists to apply through February 28.

Good news for artists who crave freedom, and frustrating news for artists who love something to bounce off of: This engagement offers few to no parameters. There is no explicit theme, but the library does claim a mission in a press release about the call for artists.

“The mission of the Central Library Gallery is to support local artists and art communities, raise awareness of contemporary and diverse forms of art, and to provide exhibitions in which a wide variety of identities and interests are represented,” said the release.

The Central Library website lists four current exhibitions: Hannah Hannah lends some expressionist portraits, Release the Puppets tells stories in a classic and playful medium, the Austin American-Statesman explores Austin communities of color through photographs, and a traveling exhibition documents Pride parades of the past.

The call is addressed to “artists, collectives, curators and beyond,” further widening the possibilities, but still restricting them to applicants residing in Texas. Applicants should consider the size of the gallery (2,700 square feet) and a few logistical stipulations, including that pieces may not be hung from the ceiling, and that walls may be painted.

When the jury — made up of local artists and others in the industry — announces a winning proposal in March 2023, the artist will be offered a stipend to complete the work. All project costs are the exhibitor’s responsibility, so this stipend is not unlike an advance, except that the project will not continue to generate revenue at the library.

Applications are open now through 11:59 pm on February 28, 2023. Applicants may make their proposals via submittable.com.