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the art issue, april 2008


from the

p u b l i s h e r It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized how supremely talented people in Austin really are. I knew about musicians and filmmakers, but I wasn’t overly aware of the art community. Of course, I knew about the major players like Ballet Austin, but I had no idea the depth of fine artists and other performing arts that we have available to us. I’m sure most of you know that while Austin is considered an extremely creative city, we’re not exactly viewed as an art mecca. Granted, we’re growing in this area, but there’s a lot of room to move. However, as far as I’m concerned, we really ARE an art mecca. No one knows it though. While I love the music and film scenes, artists definitely are the red-headed stepchildren. We at Rare are out to change that! By now, you know that we always feature a fantastic artist on each of our covers, but for this issue, we’re devoting the entire magazine to a bunch of art freaks and fanatics (we mean that as a compliment) that you may or may not have heard of. These are the people that we wish we could get to do our covers, but unfortunately, most of their work doesn’t necessarily translate to a flat piece of paper. So, if you’re not an “art person,” make it a point to do something artsy sometime soon. Go to a gallery on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Go to Art City Austin this year. Check out a play at the State Theater. Doesn’t really matter. Just support it. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money and you don’t have to really know anything about art. Just go — bring a friend! Talk about it. Find out what’s available to you. Get out of that bubble! I think if you do, you’ll begin to understand just how truly talented and creative Austin really is. Matt Swinney Publisher

Illustration By: Luis Abreux

Staff: Matt Swinney, Publisher Carrie Crowe, Associate Publisher & Editor Jake Bryer, Business Development Director Roxanne Wilson, Account Executive Mike Turner, Account Executive Missi Jay, Lead Designer Kristen Hurd, Junior Designer Cameron Jordan, Lead Photographer Alejandro Puyana, Intern Kevin Babb, Intern

Writers: Beth Ranson Carly Kocurek Cynthia Houchin JB Hager Linsey Krauss Marcus Gold Nicole Carbon Paula Kothmann Samantha Garrett Tolly Moseley Photographers: Andy Peterson :: Beau Rouin :: Cameron Jordan :: Caroline Mowry :: Chad Harlan :: Chanda Hopkins :: Cory Ryan :: Knox Photographics :: Ryan Wiley :: Shawn Kennedy ::


Cover Artist: Luis Abreux

10 JB Rants 16 New Era Publishing 18 Rare Perspective: Art on 5th 21 Art City Austin 23 Rare Finds: Downtown 26 A Scanner Darkly 28 Austin Art Car 30 Rare Perspective: Esther’s Follies 33 Rare Finds: Campus 36 Airbrush by Amy 38 Scottish Rite Theater 40 Rare Perspective: You Are Good Tees 43 Rare Finds: Midtown 46 SmART - Socially Motivated Art 48 Rare Perspective: Canvas Bar & Gallery 50 Austin Green Art 51 Rare Finds: East 54 Rare Perspective: The Long Center 58 The Enchanted Forest 60 Rare Perspective: Gallery Soco 63 Rare Finds: South 66 Dougherty Arts Center 67 21c Gallery 68 Ballet Austin Classes 71 Rare Finds: West 74 King of Kombat 76 Rare Perspective: Russell Collection 78 The Mean Dreams 81 Rare Finds: North 84 Food Stylist Amy Scofield 86 Floribunda Works 88 Rare Perspective: Bercy Chen Studio 91 Rare Finds: Living

Each issue, Rare Magazine chooses a local Austin artist to feature on our cover and section introduction pages. This month’s feature artist is Luis Abreux. Make sure you check out his art scattered throughout the magazine.

Co l o r, Ch a o s, Cu b a :

The Artwork of Luis Abreux 8

“Everybody has a past, present, future,” Luis Abreux says. “My past is in Cuba, my present is here. Everything is together, like a collage.” Abreux’s present began just under three years ago when he escaped Cuba and headed to Texas, leaving behind his mother and many of his friends. In his paintings, Abreux mixes elements of collage with bursts of color and oldfashioned surrealist humor — tiny lizards perch on the shoulders of humanoid creatures, forests are filled with hysterical faces and wolves pedal fantastical bicycles. But, despite the bright colors, there often seems to be something sinister or chaotic lurking just beneath the surface. That sense of hidden danger likely comes from this artist’s roots, growing up in Cuba.

As viewed through this artist’s eyes, military imagery becomes playful and consumer culture becomes farcical. Even in his most ominous paintings, Abreux depends on a vibrant color palate that forces a sort of cheerfulness and occasionally makes the scenes seem manic. Abreux began painting at an early age, inspired in part by the 19th-century house he grew up in and also encouraged by his mother. Later, he studied at the school of art in Havana, but he still hadn’t imagined himself becoming a professional.

“The island is fake for the tourists,” Abreux says.

“I painted because I like to paint. I never thought to do it for money,” Abreux says. “I don’t think too much when I paint. Sometimes I surprise myself. I try to protect that natural way to create.”

According to Abreux, the island’s beauty, like the colors in his paintings, often serves to blind visitors from the oppression and hardships Cubans are forced to confront on a daily basis. Having experienced the reality of Cuba, Abreux sees the island as a mixed place.

Abreux’s works have been shown in Key West, Miami and Austin. In 2007, he was recognized for “Best Surprise! We have an Art Show Here!” in the Austin Chronicle’s Best of 2007, for his show at the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries.

“Cuba in the 1980s was a kind of paradise — everything was cheap, money wasn’t important,” Abreux says. “In the 1990s, everything changed. The economy was really bad. I sold paintings for 50 dollars, 20 dollars.”

Cuba remains at the center of Abreux’s artworks, as he continues to draw on his memories and to comment on the situation in Cuba. Further, he maintains that the culture of the island helped nurture his creativity.

As the economic situation worsened in Cuba, Abreux, and those around him, were scrambling to survive, and more and more people began leaving. People regularly left without warning, an experience that added another layer of strangeness to the situation.

“Everybody has an imagination in Cuba,” Abreux says. “Everybody is creative because they have nothing. People have to create everything they need.”

“It’s like the people live inside the TV,” Abreux says. “When you change the channel, the people disappear.”

No matter how long Abreux spends away from Cuba, he will likely continue to draw on that past in his artworks, even as he builds new memories from life here. “My memory is like a backpack,” Abreux says. “I bring things with me.”

Finally, Abreux managed to escape. Now, settled into a house in East Austin, he uses his artwork to poke fun at the politics and culture of both Cuba and the United States.

Written By: Carly Kocurek Photos By: Cameron Jordan

“Here, it’s Madonna and buy this, buy that,” Abreux says. “There, it’s the heroes and the revolution.”


iPhone Love I’ I’ve really started to wonder if there there’s something wrong with me. Why don don’t I LOVE my iPhone? I hadn’t ever really thought about it until this strange man walked up to me and said, “Don’t you just LOVE your iPhone?” He truly loved his, and couldn’t quit talking about it. There I was, just sitting there, having a cold Kirin Ichiban, and waiting on takeout Vietnamese. That day, the iPhone was my crutch — so I didn’t look so alone. My true goal wasn’t really to get take-out or use my iPhone. My only goal was to leave the house long enough to have a beer in a bar…a common trick among married men, waiting for take-out orders. Why do you think we always volunteer to go pick up the food? So, this guy wouldn’t let it go. “I LOVE my iPhone,” he repeated. He went on, explaining to me some of his favorite features. I tried to act very busy, but failed miserably. He asked again, “Don’t you just LOVE your iPhone?” I said, “Well, it’s a nice phone, and it makes the calls I want and gets my email.” He smiled with approval, expecting more. I continued, “and it’s thin and fits in my pocket…and um…it makes the calls I want.” He assured me that I would learn to LOVE it. He said he’s a videographer and loves the convenience of doing “demos” from his iPhone. Maybe I’m a jerk, but I immediately pegged this guy for a bad wedding videographer. The last thing I want to do in my alone time is watch some wart hog’s wedding on a stranger’s iPhone. We exchanged a few more pleasantries and glanced at each other’s phones — which are identical. Then, he made his way back to his wife who he had managed to ignore during our entire exchange. Then, it got really creepy. As I was leaving, saying my customary goodbyes to the staff, he waved from across the room — not with his hand, but with his iPhone. He pointed to it and then gave me the thumbs up. All I could think was “What a F!%*ing loser…it’s a PHONE!” I’ve had many interactions like this since I purchased my iPhone. Apparently, I didn’t get the memo that I was joining a cult. Can’t I just use the phone in anonymity? I really don’t want it to define me. People love or hate iPhones and their users. I don’t need this sort of drama in my life. I first found out how polarizing the iPhone was when I started sending emails from it. I hadn’t realized that it has a built-in signature at the bottom of each email that says, “sent from iPhone.” I would say it was about a 50/50 split — people were either impressed and said, “nice, you got an iPhone” or annoyed and said, “ewwwww, aren’t you special,” in a very sarcastic tone.


iPhone people are starting to creep me out and I often consider taking it back. Not because I don’t want it. I just don’t want to be one of “them.” It’s like being a “Corvette Guy” or an “Ugg Boots Girl.” I like my phone, I like the size and I like that it does a fine job of calling people. Maybe my expectations are lower. Am I a rare breed because I don’t need Soduko on the go? I have to admit that one feature everyone is fascinated with, and it’s pretty impressive, is the fact that you can swipe your finger across the screen to scroll through the photos. I’ve come to realize, when I am showing people pictures of my daughter, they aren’t even looking at the pictures. They are staring at their finger in amazement — much like the first time you saw an automatic toilet flush. Now this is going to upset some people. Hang with me for a second and be honest with yourself, truly honest. My theory is that the iPhone is directly targeted to insecure people. I admit it. I’m insecure. I wanted to be the cool guy with the cool phone. I wanted to be a shadow-dancing silhouette, blaring U2 or Jet. I wanted people to walk up to me and say, “Hey, cool guy…let me check out your cool pics.” I wanted them to flip through my music library and say, “Wow, man. I’m surprised at just how cool you are!” I was hoping friends would say, “Hey, I haven’t checked out anything new on YouTube all day, can I borrow your phone?” None of this has ever happened! The people without iPhones hate me, and the people with them only want to show me theirs. My phone relationship with everyone Iknow, now, officially sucks.

Who let me buy this darn thing? Have you ever been in the Apple store? It’s one of the most pretentious, overblown, pompous places I’ve ever been. I like the store. I just don’t LOVE it. I like that the employees are helpful. I don’t like that they act like they invented the damn thing. I like that you can go in there and demo the product. I don’t like seeing all the customers huddled around the iPhones. It reminds me of a film I watched in Anthropology class. They handed a bunch of chimps tools, just to see what they would do with them. Didn’t take long before they were whacking each other in the head. No different at the Apple store.

I hated the “in” crowd then, and I hate it now. I don’t want this iPhone life anymore. I want to click my heels and go back to Kansas…please. I don’t want to make a social statement anymore. I just want to order a pizza! For all of you Crackberry people out there laughing…don’t get me started. You’re not insecure, just narcissistic. JB Hager is half of the hit morning-show duo “JB and Sandy” on Mix 94.7 Photos By: Cameron Jordan



Luis Abreux, Bar, 40x43, Acrylic on Canvas

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Casserole Queens | | 512-905-6967 | casseroles delivered

10 Emerald City Press | 915 N. Lamar | 512-970-3100 | newsstand, coffee, flowers 11 Gruv | 101 W. 5th St. | | hot lounge 12 Canvas Bar & Gallery | 105 E. 5th St. | 512-391-9181 | bar/gallery 14 Malaga Wine & Tapas Bar | 208 W. 4th St. | 512-236-8020 | tapas & wine



13 Austin Land & Cattle | 1205 N. Lamar | 512-472-1813 | steaks & seafood





























Lofty Dog | 403 W. 2nd St. | 512-476-5050 | pet store Fetish | 1112 N. Lamar | 512-478-1515 | women’s clothing & accessories Hem Jeans | 908 W. 12th St. | 512-478-5326 | denim boutique Sana Boutique | 237 W. 2nd St. | 512-801-5858 | women’s clothing Sparks | 1014 W. 6th St. | 512-477-2757 | gifts & cards Touch of Sass | 500 N. Lamar | 512-478-7277 | jewelry & accessories Underwear | 916 W. 12th St. | 512-478-1515 | lingerie & loungewear





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15 Mean Eyed Cat | 1621 W. 5th St. | 512-472-6326 | johnny cash tribute bar 16 Imperia | 310 Colorado | 512-472-6770 | asian 17 Cuba Libre | 409 Colorado | 512-472-2822 | warehouse district bar 18 Silhouette | 718 Congress | 512-478-8899 | asian 23 Torchy’s Tacos | 511 E. 6th St. | 512-474-7000 | taco stand 24 Torchy’s Tacos | 520 W. 6th St. | 512-789-2063 | taco stand

H E A LT H & B E AU T Y 4 Milk + Honey | 204 Colorado St. | 512-236-1115 | day spa 20 Avant Salon | 318 Colorado St. | 512-472-6357 | aveda salon 21 Seventh Street Yoga | 707 W. 7th St. | 512-477-8777 | yoga studio 32 Giacomo Forbes | 904 W. 12th St. | 512-476-5269 | salon 33 John Girard Salon | 800 W. 3rd St. | 512-469-9997 | salon

LIVING 26 Urbanspace Realtors | 800 W. 5th St. | 512-457-8884 | full service real estate

OT H E R Austin Wranglers | | 512-339-3939 | arena football 25 Ballet Austin | 501 W. 3rd St. | 512-476-2163 | ballet 27 Esther’s Follies | 525 E. 6th St. | 512-320-0553 | comedy 28 Scottish Rite Children’s Theater | 207 W. 18th St. | 512-472-7247 | children’s theater 35 Austin Symphony | 1101 Red River St. | 512-476-6064 | symphony 36 Jerri Kunz Design | 507 West Ave. | 512-474-8005 | interior design 37 The Home Spa | 1411 W. 6th St. | 512-419-9797 | interior design

A rt 9 Russell Collection | 1137 W. 6th St. | 512-478-4440 | art gallery 19 ART on 5th | 1501 W. 5th St. | 512-481-1111 | art gallery 22 SmART Austin | 701 Brazos St. | 512-296-1046 | community art 29 Gallery Lombardi | 602 W. 7th St. | 512-481-1088 | art gallery 30 F8 Fine Art | 1202 W. 6th St. | 512-480-0242 | art gallery 31 Women & Their Work | 1710 Lavaca St. | 512-477-1064 | art gallery 34 Arthouse at the Jones Center | 700 Congress Ave. | 512-453-5312 | art museum

As the nation’s leading fine art company, New Era can transform your home into a work of art — bringing their tradition of quality, value and artistic style directly to you through the convenience of e-commerce.

“By doing everything under one roof, we are a one-stop-shop, taking so many different ways to reproduce a product and making it very cost-effective, so our clients can offer unique artwork to their buyers,” explained Joe.

New Era is Austin’s state-of-the-art printmaker, specializing in modern, decorative fine art for the workplace. Their clients include many world-famous retailers, such as Bloomingdale’s Home, Harrah’s and Ethan Allen.

In the future, Joe sees New Era going from direct to design and direct to consumer. They want to continue to build relationships with designers and homeowners.

“We focus on the designer and consumer. With 100 new images per month, we are continually introducing you to new artists and work, forecasting new trends and staying on the cutting edge,” said Joe Garcia, president and CEO of New Era. “Each work is an exclusive, part of a limited edition series, signed and numbered.” The philosophy is simple: offer a premier product and the best pricing and the convenience of buying online. By partnering with artists from around the country, New Era is able to create more than 3500 original works of art to be reproduced and distributed.


In order to provide maximum flexibility, New Era has developed a unique Custom Printing Program, giving consumers the ability to customize an image to their exact specifications. With three websites underway, New Era is looking forward to becoming a full e-commerce company. Written By: Linsey Krauss Photos By: Ryan Wiley

New Era Portfolio 512-928-3200

Joe Garcia and Nick Nicholas Pictured

.............................. Rare





In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” Art is something that touches us on a personal level, making us appreciate the beauty of the world around us in a way that is otherwise impossible. Art means different things to different people, but it is always something that a person connects with and finds intriguing.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. Art is our business, but it is our business because it is our passion. We try to expand the idea of what contemporary art is by featuring artists from many different backgrounds who create art in their own unique styles, and make that available to Austinites.

How well does Austin embrace the art community? I think Austin’s interests still lie primarily in music, but the art scene here is definitely on its way up. The involvement of the visual arts in many citywide events, demonstrates that Austinites really support visual artists and galleries.

Who are the key influencers in the art community? Ultimately, Austinites themselves are the key influencers. The collectors dictate what kind of work they want, and the artists, in turn, are influenced by the spirit of the city.

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin? B Scene at the Blanton, Art Outside, First Night Austin and of course, First Thursday in the West End.

Joe Sigel & Jodi Brauner


Owner , Gallery Director ART on 5th

What trends in the art community are you seeing? One thing that seems to be consistent is Austinites’ desire to “buy locally” by investing in local artists. Austin is also just naturally a very creative city, and people really respond to the originality displayed by our local artists.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? Hopefully bigger and better, still finding great contemporary art here in Austin and elsewhere for our growing community of collectors.

ART on 5th 1501 W. 5th St. 512-481-1111 Photos By: Cameron Jordan


+ citY The name has changed (again!), but the focus has remained. Art City Austin 08 (formerly the Austin Fine Arts Festival, formerly Fiesta) takes place April 12-13 as a product of about 800 volunteers’ hard work. Sponsored by Art Alliance Austin and led by Meredith Powell, the event celebrates over 50 years of rich history. Festival proceeds support local art organizations, such as the Austin Museum of Art and the Blanton Museum. The organization and events foster friendships among participants from diverse backgrounds, and become important meeting places for artists, members, collectors, leaders, educators, galleries, museums and participants — each collaborating at the intersection of life and art. Each year brings changes, as does the changing face of Austin and its art scene.

Meredith Powell Pictured

After listening to several former volunteers share their memories and experiences, it became apparent that this event’s story is best told by the people that make it happen. The first chair of Fiesta (1956), Peggy Frary, expressed pride while recalling a 2006 event honoring her and marking the festival’s 50th birthday. Frary’s covolunteer, Ruby White, decided to volunteer for Fiesta in the 50s. “Austin needed an art museum,” she explained. As home to The University of Texas at Austin and the Capitol, the city attracted people hungry for culture. Other participants, such as Greg Spense and Kim Eckert, expressed their pride in helping to provide art to the community. Eckert added that the festival also helps the attendees learn how to buy pieces of art. 1964’s chair Jane Sibley, who studied art, mentioned the high quality of artists when asked about the festival. She also shared her fond memories of the children’s art. “We hung the children’s works on clotheslines,” she reminisced.

“Art City Austin artists are selected by a well-accredited panel of jurors, including museum curators, gallery owners, professors and more,” explained Alliance staffer Allison Specter.

Kathy O’Brien also worked in the kids’ “Little Fiesta.” The children’s activities can be some of the most unpredictable,” as Colleen Ogno attested. “A small child dropped a whole bottle of paint into a whirling mechanism, flinging paint all over me from head to toe.”

This April, hundreds of juried independent and emerging artists will descend on Austin to welcome 20,000+ art enthusiasts from the region and nation, eager to discover what masterpiece lies around every corner.

When it comes to the art itself, festival leaders facilitate the artist competition. Judges are only allowed to serve once every five years to ensure the festival art is fairly selected.

Written By: Paula Kothmann Photo of Meredith By: Knox Photographics Photo of Festival By: Dustin Downing 21

clockwise from the top left: Gallery Lombardi 602 W. 7th St. 512-481-1088 Yard Dog 1510 S. Congress Ave. 512-912-1613 Silver Gelatin Prints: $300 F8 Fine Art 1202 W. 6th St. 512-480-0242 Women and Their Work 1710 Lavaca St. 512-477-1064 Photos By: Chad Harlan



Luis Abreux, Fight Fish, 28X77, Acrylic on Canvas

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park SHOPPING 1 Flirt | 2405 Nueces St. | 512-472-4440 | women’s clothing 2 University Cyclery | 2901 N. Lamar | 512-474-6696 | bike shop NO


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4 Cain & Abel’s | 2313 Rio Grande | 512-476-3201 | bar & restaurant

H E A LT H & B E AU T Y 3 Atomic Tattoo | 309 W. MLK Jr. Blvd. | 512-476-1161 | tattoos 5 American Laser Center | 630 W. 34th St. | 512-450-1800 | laser center












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O t her 7 Inn at Pearl Street | 1809 Pearl St. | 512-478-0051 | bed & breakfast





6 512 Realty | 600 W. 28th St. | 512-322-0512 | full-service real estate












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A Scanner Darkly 26

Joseph Santori answers his door in a t-shirt and jeans, fresh with paint splatters. His hair tied back, a devilish goatee pointing down his chin; he explains he’s starting a canvas for an upcoming gallery show. Joey currently works for Sony Interactive on comic book giant, DC Universe, but has made a name for himself in animation, illustration, painting, photography, art direction and music. Joey hit the big screen in 2006, doing Interpolative Rotoscoping (animating live action film) for the movie adaptation of 1977’s futuristic novel, A Scanner Darkly. Director and screenplay adapter, Richard Linklater, filmed much of A Scanner Darkly in Austin, just as he did 2001’s Waking Life (his first foray into Rotoscoping) and 1991’s cult classic Slacker. After working on a music video applying similar effects, a colleague asked Joey to join the Scanner Darkly post-production effort. Multiple teams of artists joined together, painstakingly tracing over, frame by frame, every shot in the movie. “It was something like 500 man hours per minute,” Joey says. “But the software was very artist friendly.” Joey was selected to work on the film’s main character, Bob Arctor, played by Keanu Reeves. The eclectic group of animators and illustrators, gathered in the studio, made for a rewarding experience, despite long hours. Working in Brown Bear Lodge, as his team’s room was affectionately nicknamed, Joey enjoyed interacting with fellow artists the most.

“The level of talent was amazing. We had a sketchbook we’d pass around that everyone would contribute to. And we shared a common interest in public radio, playing cards and telling stories,” he remembers. Animating the movie took 15 months. The visual dreamscape that resulted mirrored author Philip K. Dick’s plot, vacillating between raging, drug-infused paranoia and sometimes equally disturbing reality. Released in July 2006, A Scanner Darkly won the Austin Film award from Austin Film Critics and Best Animated Feature award from the Toronto Film Critics Circle. Tasked with line work and color matching, Joey says the eyes were often the trickiest feature to capture. Line thickness was also integral to holding a shot together, helping to delineate depth and the character’s relationship to other objects in the scene. “Articulating light dancing across the face was a challenge too,” Joey says. “Breaking down the face like that I think helped my painting quite a bit.” Since finishing the film, Joey remains prolific in his artistic endeavors. He moonlights as a musician around town, picking up shows with the likes of David Garza; most often accompanying Oliver Rajamini’s Roma Gypsy music, as well as playing various instruments with several different local bands. He credits a favorite performance as a spontaneous gig on cello with The String Cheese Incident at Burning Man. Joey was also recently selected as poster artist for the 2007 Fort Worth Jazz Festival, his work gracing 25 billboards across Dallas. His paintings fall into three categories, highly detailed stencil pieces, stylized dripped paint pieces and live installations for art openings. Joey’s stencils are pulled from his photography. He uses a computer to digitally break subject matter down to one color, then plots the image onto plastic and carves it out. “To me, it’s the perfect marriage of digital and fine art,” Joey says. His favorite thematic elements include birds, clouds and leafless trees, the execution of which is sometimes violent. “I get into it…spitting, throwing water, stabbing with my brush…adding layer upon layer.” But what’s next? “I take opportunities as they come,” he says. Written By: Cynthia Houchin Photos By: Cameron Jordan 27

David Jungen’s ’61 VW is definitely making heads spin. It’s fully restored exterior is lavishly decorated with close to 120 pounds of aquarium gravel, creating beautiful, mosaic-like purple flames shooting across the front end. Standing proudly on the hood — the Statue of Liberty. David’s first ride in the car was as a child, and he admits, “I didn’t have a plan when I started off. I did it for my own amusement.” A global data specialist for Whole Foods, David explains that the actual transformation of the car started on the inside. “I have owned a lot of crappy cars in need of maintenance,” he says with a grin. “To me, an art car has to be street legal to stand the road test.” His first addition to the VW? A large plastic Big Boy, in his trademark red and white checkered pants, which blinks red by the shifter. Leopard print seat covers are complemented by dangling Mardi Gras beads, blinking interior lights, magnets, playing cards and a headliner sheet featuring dogs playing poker. Dominoes stack down the exterior doorframes, along with matching metal peacocks and anything else that catches his eye. “I find things at dollar stores, thrift stores, and other people contribute quite a bit. I have a treasure trove at my house,” David says. He also keeps a tube of industrial strength glue handy in his car, just in case. “I’ll never stop adding to it,” David says. Although he drives his 2003 Ford pickup most days, the VW is certainly his pride and joy. Occasionally he leads a processional for a friend’s wedding, or drives the getaway car for the grand send off! David sums up, “What I love most are other people’s reactions.” 28

That sentiment is echoed by Bob Sokol — an art car aficionado. Bob has made several art cars, including crowd pleasers such as the Big Wheel Trike, the Canoesickle and his personal favorite, the Boatmobile. VWs are also his car of choice for deconstruction. “They are the perfect candidate for cutting up into pieces,” says Bob. “If you take all of the bolts out of a VW floor pan, the body lifts right off. You can weld just about anything onto the front end and make it go.” His Boatmobile was pieced together in 1987 from a beat-up Karmann Ghia and an old boat with a rotted out floorboard. The two sat side by side in his backyard until a light bulb suddenly went off in his head. Surface additions include dune buggy headlights, a foghorn and a dashboard mounted control for a powerful water spray gun on the prow. “It keeps the tourists in check,” Bob claims. Hailing from New York, it was in Austin that Bob rekindled a romance with his high school sweetheart. Awhile back, the two were married and divorced within a year of finishing college. Ten years later, they met again, remarried and had two children. Still happily married, the couple settled here, and Bob was able to build the garage of his dreams, complete with a lift. Although Bob works for Twobits, a website focused on coin-operated amusement parts and repairs, he still finds time to come up with new ideas for his art car projects. “Every car is a blank canvas,” says Bob. Written By: Cynthia Houchin Photos By: Chad Harlan


.............................. Rare





In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” I would define art as life on display.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. At Esther’s, our brand of art is mainly political and social satire. We hold up a mirror to society (i.e. celebrities and politicians), so that everyone can look into it and laugh at how silly most of these people are. I’ve just recently joined the cast of Bubba and Babe’s Texas Wedding — a semi improvised dinner theater show at Patsy’s Cowgirl Café. That show is very much the same, but with the huge amount of audience participation, we are truly giving them a glance in the mirror. It’s great because the more fun the audience wants to have, the more fun it is!

How do you feel that you personally contribute to the art community? My part in the community is very small, but I think it’s an important one. Just like every other actor here in town, I go to work each day with hopes of reaching out to an open-minded audience and inspiring them.

Who are the key influencers in the art community? The audience. They can make a show or break a show. Thankfully, Michael Shelton and Shannon Sedgwick know their audience very well and continue to create a show that pleases them, as they have for the past 30 years.

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin? Good question. The bad news is that being a working actor here in town leaves little time to participate in the art community or go see shows. In my precious free time, I do like going to Alamo Drafthouse and doing the singalongs, going to concerts and catching an open mic.

Espie Randolph


Actor Ester’s Follies

Have you stumbled across any unique art “finds” here in Austin that others might not know about? I don’t know if it’s necessarily “art” but my new favorite thing to do is to walk around downtown and look up. It seems silly, but it’s amazing how much we miss by just taking in life at the ground level. There are some really amazing buildings downtown that you can’t see unless you look up.

What trends in the art community are you seeing? Austin is many things, but I’d never accuse it of being trendy. I’d say the biggest trend is being eccentric and staying miles away from any trend.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? I have no idea. And that’s why I do it. If I wanted a 10-year plan and a 401k and 3.5 kids, I wouldn’t be an actor. The beauty of being an artist is having a blank canvas and finding joy in filling it up. I won’t know what it’s going to look like until it’s done. And I like it that way.

Ester’s Follies 525 E. 6th St. 512-320-0553 Photos By: Cameron Jordan


clockwise from the top left: Tealy Curvature Collection Necklace: $60 Skull Dots Earrings: $20 Naughty Secretary Club Gold Disc and Coral Necklaces: $68-$88 (Available at Lotus Boutique) Annie O’Grady Custom Made Fur Hats: $60 Chia Hats Eazy-E “Dead Rapper” Glitter Purse: $40 Hot Pink Pistol

Photos By: Chad Harlan



Luis Abreux, The Soul, 40x43, Acrylic on Canvas

m i d t o w n SHOPPING 9

1 Atomic Cherry | 5535 Burnet Rd. | 512-258-2266 | men’s and women’s clothing 2 Russell Korman | 3806 N. Lamar | 512-451-9292 | jewelry R




1 13 OP


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11 Lotus Boutique | 4410 Burnet Rd. | 512-454-9700 | women’s clothing 14 The Art Pad | 4520 Burnet Rd. | 512-323-0802 | art studio




2 Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina | 1206 W. 38th St. | 512-419-7482 | tex-mex


4 Blue Star Cafeteria | 4800 Burnet Rd. | 512-454-7827 | upscale cafeteria






6 34th Street Café | 1005 W.34th St. | 512-371-3400 | cafe 8 Flipnotics | 4600 Guadalupe | 512-380-0097 | coffee house 9 Phil’s Ice House | 5620 Burnet Rd. | 512-524-1212 | burgers









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12 Mama Fu’s | 4500 N Lamar | 512-637-6771 | asian




4 Soigne Boutique | 4800 Burnet Rd. | 512-300-2929 | women’s clothing 5 Slate | 4800 Burnet Rd. | 512-300-2727 | men’s clothing 10 Verbena Floral Design | 1601 W. 38th St. | 512-420-0720 | florist














H E A LT H & B E AU T Y 13 Atomic Tattoo | 5533 Burnet Rd. | 512-458-9693 | tattoos 15 N Salon | 3027 N. Lamar | 512-323-3600 | salon 16 Sage Salon | 4111 Medical Pkwy. | 512-458-2133 | salon


Michell Conner is naked, save for her knickers. I — and about five other people milling around — are stealing glances at her. A small metal device, which appears to be a tattoo gun crossed with a cake-frosting tool, is aimed at her breast. “I’m going for a sort of tribal look here. Brown paint. Bones. Maybe some feathers,” says airbrush artist Amy Young. A few moments ago, Michell was a body. Now, she is Amy’s canvas. Leaves crawl up Michell’s ribs and twigs snake down her stomach. Amy steps back for a moment and studies her work, nodding. Michell looks like a tougher, fiercer version of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, made even more apropos by her pixie-length bleach blonde hair. I can’t help thinking how well she wears Amy’s choice of artwork tonight. “I try to match the art to the person’s physiology,” says Amy. “But more importantly, I try to match the work to their personality and essence.” This would explain the wide variety of photography I find while thumbing through her portfolio: a red head covered with autumn leaves, a petite blonde in tiger stripes. My favorite is a cropped brunette sporting a stunning likeness of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, clouds swirling around her chest, the village scattered across her stomach. I giggle at the steeple pointing up to her cleavage. “Stuff comes out when I’m painting that I didn’t even know was there,” Amy confesses. “It’s a very therapeutic form of self-expression. The first time I did it, at a party, I just began painting…and soon, I felt like I wasn’t even there.”

“I love painting bodies, but I paint some other things too,” says Amy modestly. The floating pancakes at Kerbey Lane on Guadalupe? Amy. The Harley roaring next to you on I-35? Quite possibly, Amy. “I get to interact with so many different people through my artwork,” she laughs. Back to bodies: does she paint men as well as women?

What’s it like being her model, I wonder? “I find it’s actually a very childlike experience,” says Amy. “People tend to get very playful when they’re being painted. I work with a lot of women, and I think it’s especially neat for them…realizing their body is a work of art.”

“Overwhelmingly, I paint more women than men,” says Amy. “[It] is a very sensuous experience and all the people I have worked with love the way airbrushing feels.” I think back to Michell, describing the experience as a cold, smooth blast. Maybe the sensation is somewhat like wearing silk: sensuous yes, but also cool, fluid. Am I close? “I think you would like it,” Amy says with a smile. Maybe someday I will be so lucky.

A body painter for six years, Amy is careful and patient with her work, achieving the same level of precision a regular airbrush painter would — no surprise, since she has painted flat surfaces for 26 years. She paints bodies for art expeditions like Burning Man, Austin Carnaval, Art Outside at Enchanted Forest and many, many more. She uses two types of paint, both blasted on with small, hand-operated jets: water-based paint, which is better for kids (parents can easily wash away rainbows and butterflies) and alcohol-based paint, which is better for sweating adults (bodies that easily perspire from dancing, carousing and performing). Water paint is rinsed off with water and alcohol paint requires baby oil.

Written By: Tolly Moseley Photos By: Ryan Wiley

Airbrush by Amy 512-804-2600


Imagine walking into a beautiful, historic theatre and seeing tons of kids sitting on the floor in front of a stage, cheering on Belle and booing Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. These kids are engaged and enjoying a traditional children’s theatrical production. You obviously just stepped foot into the Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre. Scottish Rite is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. The purpose of the Freemasons, according to Theatre Director and Freemason Gordon Kelso, is to make the world a better place — pure and simple. One way he is doing this is through the children’s theatre. The decision to start the theater back in 2004 was an easy one for Kelso. He already had the perfect location. The Scottish Rite building, which is centrally located, has an auditorium that seats 300 and even comes with 75 pieces of scenery that were hand-painted back in 1882 (when the building was a vibrant cultural center). So, Kelso grabbed his wife Rita, who is the theatre’s costume manager and technical director, and his daughter Gwen, who is often the lead actress and company manager, and the family got to work. “I wanted to provide good, wholesome and affordable children’s theatre in Austin,” Kelso said. “We are creating theatre audiences for the future and introducing families to the Freemasons.” Since the theater opened, thousands of children have come through the doors to enjoy good, fun and interactive performances of Charlotte’s Web, Treasure Island, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Jack and the Beanstalk and many other children’s favorites. And the magic will continue for many years to come! Written By: Beth Ranson Photos By: Shawn Kennedy


Scottish Rite Children’s Theatre 207 W. 18th St. 512-472-7247

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In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” I think that art is subjective and individual. It’s a great form of self-expression and can be whatever inspires an individual.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. My art has actually been inspired by abused and neglected children. For over 14 years, I have volunteered with multiple agencies and advocated for abused women and children. The stories, feelings, emotions and heartache that I’ve experienced over the years, have motivated me to want to do more than just donate money or attend galas. So, I decided to design a line of inspirational shirts. I wanted my designs to represent what I thought of the children I advocated for. They are beautiful, smart and funny. They can truly have great futures with a little guidance and support. So many times I’ve had to remind these children that they are good and that they are angels. I’ve told so many that they should have little wings on their backs!

How do you feel that you personally contribute to the art community? I’m not sure that I personally contribute to the art community, but I hope that my art will contribute to the overall community. When people buy my shirts, they feel good knowing that with each purchase, they’ve contributed to abused and neglected children. We donate a percentage of each sale to CASA of Travis County. I want these children to be constantly reminded that they are special and important! Every time they put a shirt on, they will be reminded that they are loved. I’ve had so many people stop and ask me about the wings on my shirt. And believe me, I take a quick second to let them know why I’m wearing it. The response is ALWAYS positive!

Jennifer Rountree


Child Advocate, Owner You Are Good Tees

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin? Anything that has to do with Music or Theatre. I could watch plays all day. I’ve been known to frequent the Paramount Theatre, Bass Concert Hall and Zachary Scott Theatre. And of course, Austin’s own — The Backyard!!!

Have you stumbled across any unique art “finds” here in Austin that others might not know about? Riverbend Church has a gallery in their Home for Hope, hosting precious artwork created by the children and youth of the church. Also, Gardner Betts Art show and Auction. The Real Estate Council of Austin hosts this yearly art exhibit created by juvenile offenders. The art enrichment classes are offered to these juvenile offenders on the premise that art is a constructive outlet for emotional conflict, a positive strategy for anger management and a means to foster self-awareness.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? I hope that I’m still creating inspirational artwork, and that I can use it in a positive way to give back to the community. Photos By: Cameron Jordan


clockwise from the top left: Giacomo Forbes 904 W. 12th St. 512-476-5269 John Girard Salon 800 W. 3rd St. 512-469-9997 Keith Kristofer Salon 2785 Bee Caves Rd. 512-233-1910 Kisma Hair Co. & Spa 10225 Research Blvd. 512-349-9992 Photos By: Chad Harlan


east side

Luis Abreux, The Soul, 40x43, Acrylic on Canvas

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si d e SHOPPING N 9

1 Deanfredrick | 902 E. 5th St. | 512-493-0943 | badass jewelry 3 Solid Gold | 1601 E. 5th St. | 512-473-2730 | women’s clothing

F OOD & D R I N K 2 Primizie Osteria | 1000 E. 11th St. | 512-236-0088 | italian osteria

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5 Ms. B’s | 1050 E. 11th St. | 512-542-9143 | cajun/creole 8 Star Seeds Café | 3101 N. IH-35 | 512-478-7107 | diner











































LIVING 4 Bercy Chen Studio | 1314 Rosewood Ave. | 512-481-0092 | architecture firm 6 Este | 2235 E. 6th St. | 512-786-6356 | apartments & lofts 7 Urbanspace Realtors | 900 E. 6th St. | 512-476-0010 | full service real estate 9 Cima Grove | 5708 Sutherlin | 512-799-8001 | residential development

collaborative art with a


“Although we often think of a work of art as highly individual, great art often represents collaboration,” art activist Robert Crumley points out. He founded SmART-Austin (Socially Motivated Art - Austin), a non-profit, about three years ago. He and his team developed SmART’s mission: to engage and support people in the creation of public art that transforms the passive observer into a playful participant. Robert welcomes all volunteers; however, much of his participation stems from his own richly diverse neighborhood, University Hills. While catalyzing discussions there, Robert listened for ways to help denizens feel safer. His neighbors, ranging from families with young kids, gay couples and the elderly, agreed that nearby Dottie Jordan Park needed more light. Red Tree, Blue Tree, a community project to install colored lights in trees, encouraging the park’s use beyond dusk, was born. “Envision a dozen old oak trees completely covered in colored flood lights, with you in charge of selecting the color for each one,” articulates SmART’s director. Socially motivated by the need for more security, the installation will also provide a learning tool for children. Robert hopes to encourage participation from a wider spectrum of neighbors than he currently has. He remains optimistic that these residents, especially the children, will help to create the colorful trees. He emphasizes that those who create the art, will take pride in protecting the park from vandalism in the future. The lights will also encourage family use of the basketball court and playscape. If SmART’s model works to bring the elderly out of their homes, the professionals to the running trail and the toddlers down the park’s slide, Robert hopes that other neighborhoods will follow suit.

SmART-Austin 701 Brazos St. 512-296-1046 46

SmART has captured national attention, including Burning Man artists and CBS. Look for them at Eeyore’s Birthday Party 2008. There, they plan to present their project, Life Rhythms, an interactive metal sculpture that anyone will be able to drum. Written By: Paula Kothmann Photos By: Beau Rouin

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In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” J.D.: Art is something someone sees in a particular item or thing. There is art in absolutely everything. Stephen: Art is an original creation that stimulates my brain beyond what any average person or thing can execute.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. Stephen: I have been illustrating my entire life. Then, I picked up a paintbrush and started selling paintings for over 10 years. This was solely my profession until I created my biggest piece yet, Canvas.

How do art and nightlife mix in Austin? Stephen: I mixed the two by creating a space that holds a full art gallery and serves a full bar of patrons. The two go hand-in-hand very well if you do it tastefully.

Who are the key influencers in the art community? J.D.: The local artists are key in the Austin art community. Without some of them, we wouldn’t have the great exhibits that we get month after month.

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin? J.D.: Personally, my favorite art-related activities here in Austin are the Flugtag, that Red Bull puts on every year, and SXSW.

J.D. Dunn & Stephen Condon


Owners Canvas Bar & Gallery

Stephen: Bob Marley Festival, Flugtag and the ever-so-successful First Thursdays.

What trends in the art community are you seeing? Stephen: I am not necessarily seeing a trend as much as I want to see more of a unity of local Austin visual artists. I have seen in other towns the way they unite to help each other. I hope that grows here.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? J.D.: I see myself on the beach somewhere with a cold drink — just kidding. In 10 years, I think my life will be very similar to what it is now, with more creations of Canvas Bar & Gallery. I enjoy my profession and what Canvas has done for it.

Canvas Bar & Gallery 105 E. 5th St. 512-391-9181 Photos By: Cameron Jordan


If you find yourself tired of conventional art, bored with the static gallery walls and the impersonal spectatorship, you need look no further than the streets of Austin to transform your daily artistic experience. Austin Green Art radically changes the way the community interacts with art by allowing them a hand in the creative process. Kick-started by sculptor Randy Jewart in late 2004, the project strives to synthesize an environmentally conscious philosophy into tangible art forms all around the city. “The idea was to create sculpture shows with a green narrative,” Jewart explains, “to come into the issues knowing a little bit about everything, and present it back to the community in a way anyone can grasp.” Not many people have the time or the will to trudge through endless environmental reports. Austin Green Art allows them to shape a green community in a way that is both fun and stimulating. Austin Green Art also develops private pieces for anyone with a green sensibility. Tucked in a wooded lot among the Westlake Hills, they like to think of this piece as an “earthen wedding cake” or ice cream sandwich. They constructed it from flagstone and crushed granite, the same materials found in our Lady Bird Lake running trails. All the public projects are temporary. It is this ephemeral quality from which they derive their power, creating urgency to not only see it but experience it. The atmosphere around each project becomes celebratory. Every creation uses earthen materials and recycled items. From old tires and produce crates to plastic water bottles, the resources truly put the “green” in Austin Green Art. That’s the goal Jewart hopes to achieve throughout Austin. “It’s what we call a ‘Sustainability Revolution,’ to use over and over again without destroying.” It’s a new way to engage with both the community and the environment and move forward. As Jewart succinctly puts it, “because it’s fun, it’s what you do. You change the culture around you.” Austin Green Art will host a slew of activities this Earth Day for young and old alike. Written By: Samantha Garrett Photos By: Chanda Hopkins


clockwise from the top left: Yasmin Middle Eastern Dancer Sangre Del Sol Fire Dance Troupe Austin Symphony 1101 Red River St. 512-476-6064 Austin Lyric Opera 512-472-5927

Photos By: Chad Harlan


south side

Luis Abreux, Race, 56x74, Acrylic on Canvas

s o u t h




1 Downstairs | 2110 S. Lamar | 512-687-0489 | men’s & women’s clothing





2 Craft-O-Rama | 3100 S. Congress Ave. | 512-707-2405 | fabrics



3 Flipnotics | 1603 Barton Springs Rd. | 512-322-9011 | men’s & women’s clothing 4 Strait Music | 2428 W. Ben White | 512-476-6927 | musical instruments

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5 The Black Sheep | 3800 S. Congress Ave. | 512-914-4771 | embroidery & gifts 6 Austin Art Garage | 2200 S. Lamar | 512-351-5934 | art gallery











































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Flipnotics | 1603 Barton Springs Rd. | 512-322-9011 | coffee house P. Terry’s | 404 S. Lamar | 512-473-2217 | burger stand Torchy’s Tacos | 1207 S. 1st St. | 512-366-0537 | taco stand Torchy’s Tacos | 2809 S. 1st St. | 512-444-0300 | taco stand

9 Mama Fu’s | 9600 S. IH-35 | 512-637-6772 | asian 10 Maudie’s Hacienda | 9911 Brodie Ln. | 512-280-8700 | tex-mex 11 Maudie’s Too | 1212 S. Lamar | 512-440-8088 | tex-mex 12 Doc’s Motorworks | 1123 S. Congress Ave. | 512-448-9181 | bar & grill 13 Satellite Café | 7101 W. Highway 71 | 512-301-1883 | coffee house 14 Satellite Bistro | 5900 W. Slaughter Ln. | 512-288-9994 | bistro/cafe 15 Doc’s Backyard | 5207 Brodie Ln. | bar & grill














heal t h & beau t y 16 Brooke Ellington (Hairy Situations) | 1708 S. Congress Ave. | 512-442-6412 | salon 18 Ann Kelso Salon | 1400 S. Congress | 512-467-2663 | salon & spa



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17 Dougherty Arts Center | 1110 Barton Springs Rd. | 512-397-1468 | community arts 26 Gallery Soco | 1714-A S. Congress Ave. | 512-442-5144 | art gallery


27 Austin Enchanted Forest | 1412 Oltorf St. | | community arts

HWY 290




29 Austin Art Glass | 1608 S. Congress Ave. | 512-916-4527 | art gallery







28 Yard Dog | 1510 S. Congress Ave. | 512-912-1613 | art gallery 15

19 Samford Group | 1706 S. Lamar | 512-477-4624 | full service real estate 20 SoLa City Homes | 2500 Del Curto | 512-632-2222 | lofts/homes 21 Floribunda Works | 2041 S. Lamar | 512-657-8287 | landscaping 22 SoCo Lofts | 3801 S. Congress | 512-451-2422 | lofts 25 Akoya | 2200 Dickson| 512-799-3777 | condo development








O t her

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23 Long Center | 701 W. Riverside Dr. | 512-482-0800 | performing arts venue 24 Grey Rock Golf Club | 7401 Hwy 45 | 512-288-4297 | golf club 30 Austin Lyric Opera | 901 Barton Springs Rd. | 512-472-5992 | opera

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In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” I believe the widest and most accessible definition of the word describes any creative expression meant to elicit an emotional response from its intended interpreter — whether from the artist, or the patron who experiences it. That response can be in the form of appreciation, anger, disgust, elation, confusion, enlightenment or dozens of other emotions. I don’t dare pretend that I get all of the “art” that I see. But, I do know I’ve always walked away having experienced an emotion about it. And, since we’re human “beings,” meant to have experiences and feelings, we can not “be” without art.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. I work to build a schedule of art that is not only enriching and entertaining for the general public, but one that also highlights the value of and passion behind the artists’ work. I’m lucky to be in contact with many different artists, arts groups and arts managers on a daily basis.

How do you feel that you personally contribute to the arts community? Another part of my job involves making it possible for local, emerging artists to share their work. By giving them full access to a state-of-the-art theater facility, people from all over the world can see the amazing art that is being created in our friendly, hip, green and a little weird, Austin.

How well does Austin embrace the performing arts community? I believe the city’s relationship with the performing arts community is in transition. While there is undeniable devotion to the performing arts culture in Austin, I think there is room for new concepts in philanthropy for the arts, patronage of the arts and benchmarking excellence in the arts. Many diverse and unique performing arts groups can be found in every zip code in the metro area, but not many artists can actually make a living at it. Austin already embraces the arts community, particularly live music and fine arts. I’m hoping in the next five years, we will see the city take hold of an “arts capital of the world” moniker, creating a sustainable, arts-rich culture in our own backyard.

Tammie Ward


Programming Director The Long Center for the Performing Arts

What are some of your favorite art-related activities in Austin? Much like the rest of Austin, I enjoy the billions of outdoor festivals each season — particularly the ones that have performing arts components. You can’t beat people-watching at an Austin arts festival. I am also a fan of musical theater, classical guitar recitals and cabaret theater. Since moving back to Texas, I’m learning to appreciate polka music (because of all the German Fests). It’s the only music genre that does not currently exist in my music library.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? Ten years from now, I hope that I’ve survived all the current challenges to the world of performing arts — the constant competition with emerging and new media art forms, keeping younger adults interested in live performance and battling the influx of commercial schlock into the performing arts market. I couldn’t see working in any other profession than arts management. Early in my career, I was a decent actress and singer, but I really wanted to be behind the scenes putting the shows together, producing and presenting the art. I don’t know that I could do anything else. I was a horrible waitress, a lousy telemarketer and an even worse retail salesperson. So this is it. In 10 years, in 20 years. The Long Center for the Performing Arts Photos By: Cameron Jordan 55


“Albert?” It’s nighttime. I’m stumbling through a damp, highly wooded area. There are various objects around me that I can’t quite make out yet: things in trees, things on the ground. I can’t tell what they are yet, but I am certain there are many things around me. This feels like I’m making progress. “Is anyone here?”

“Yeah, Albert’s exactly right,” says Tyler. “We want to be able to take you off the street, and completely change your perception of the world, just by having walked into this space.” I indeed believe my perception of the world would be changed by encountering a live elf. But, EF regularly accomplishes that goal without the use of mythical creatures. Take Art Outside for example — their annual March event that hosts well over 100 artists from all over the country, stationing themselves alongside Enchanted Forests’ trails in a decidedly un-art-gallery-like fashion.

A door to a small, squat house opens. A girl leads me outside to the office, where Albert (this elusive Albert) should be. He is not, but luckily, his associates are. “What’s your name?” “What magazines do you like?” “What’s your favorite book?” This is fun. I came here to make inquiries, but confronted with inquisitive, curious minds, I find I’m answering more questions than asking them. And, it is indeed a crew of curious minds that make up Enchanted Forest (EF). “Officially, we are a local collective that aims to bring art to the city,” says Tyler Hanson, EF’s event producer/curator. “We like to bring in artists that might not be quite ready for the mainstream.” Such as? “Lucent Dossier!” Mary Quite Contrary, EF’s graphic designer, calls out. “Yeah, Lucent was pretty good,” says Tyler. “Oh wait — wait! What about Mark and the Mouse Trap?” he says to the crew, which has now been joined by EF’s fearless leader Albert DeLoach. I ask what makes Lucent Dossier and Mark and the Mouse Trap “not quite ready for the mainstream?” After further research, I find out that Lucent Dossier is not one person, but several, a 21st century traveling circus that includes elves in their troupe. Elves! How can you possibly top elves? Perhaps only with a lifesized version of the board game Mouse Trap, that you used to play as a kid — you know, the marble, the tiny pulley, the upside-down basket that descended on its victim. This version involves bowling balls, a 30 foot crane, and a 400 lb cast iron bathtub that crushes a car. “People’s lives have been changed from being in the environment we’ve created,” says Albert, who bought the three and a half acre property that makes up EF back in 2003. Sprawled on a flood plain on the corner of South Lamar and Oltorf, the property has never been attractive to commercial developers, allowing the wild environs there to spread-out in a most unruly manner — just the way EF likes it.

“For a lot of people, ‘art’ means paintings hanging on white walls. You stand in front of them for a minute, decide if they’re good or bad, and it’s all very civilized and a little stuffy,” says Tyler. “We want to completely get rid of that idea of art.” To that end, EF produces a variety of additional “anti-gallery” art events, like a killer Halloween Haunted Trail. Last year saw the aforementioned life-sized Mouse Trap and an Enchanted Forest Summer Camp for kids. Throughout the year, EF also hosts artists from all over the country who want to make a stop in Austin — The Emeralds (a rock band from Yokohama, Japan) and Dingus Kahn, a performance troupe that dances in cocoons. “See, at the root, we are trying to create change,” says Albert. And I see what he means. The moment you step onto the EF property, it’s as if all rules have been happily broken in a Dr. Seussian-way. A house faces backwards from the street. A living room has been erected among the trees. And the artists here define “art” as a democracy, not a club. Written By: Tolly Moseley Photos By: Cameron Jordan


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In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” Art is anything that is created which embodies a personal expression, an interpretation of a person or thing, or a response to our time in history. Most artists’ work reflects a combination of all three.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. Art is a way to see the world through a different set of eyes or from a different perspective. I help my clients to enhance their environments, while in turn, giving back to their community by supporting local artists.

How do you feel that you personally contribute to the art community? Having a gallery with a unique variety of artists provides people with yet another place to view art. They can then use this experience to determine what appeals to them. It also gives people the opportunity to purchase artwork, which they can then live with and enjoy. At the same time, they are supporting living artists, enabling them to make it to the next stage of their career. To sum it up, not only do I offer patrons artwork to purchase, I also help artists make a living.

How well does Austin embrace the art community? Austin has been a community of artists supporting artists, which is tough because artists usually do not have the resources to support each other financially. However, there is an abundance of talent in this city, and now that the music and film scene have achieved national and international attention, the visual arts scene is attracting supporters from near and far.

Jason Siegel& Francesc aQuantrill


Directors Gallery Soco

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin? The Blanton Museum, Arthouse at the Jones Center, AMOA, Umlauf Sculpture Garden and the East Side Studio Tour.

Have you stumbled across any unique art “finds” here in Austin that others might not know about? Flatbed Press and Coronado Studios, two local printmakers that work with local, national and international artists.

What trends in the art community are you seeing? More and more galleries seem to be opening each year, and the East Side has become a real artists’ community.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? My hope is that the artists I work with continue to receive national and international attention, and their work is acquired and exhibited by an even greater number of individuals and institutions. Gallery Soco 1714-A S. Congress Ave. 512-442-5144 Photos By: Cameron Jordan


WeeKlY WeeKlY reGisTer WeeKlY WeeKlY

eMAils eMAils eMAils eMAils

{answer: register for weekly emails}

clockwise from the top left: Umlauf Sculpture Gardens 605 Robert E. Lee Rd. 512-445-5582 Arthouse at the Jones Center 700 Congress Ave. 512-453-5312 Cathedral of Junk 4422 Lareina Dr. 512-299-7413 Museum of Ephemerata 1808 Singleton Ave. Photos By: Chad Harlan



Luis Abreux, The Lie, 57x66, Acrylic on Canvas

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1 Dolce Baby | 701 S. Capital of TX Hwy | 512-306-8882 | baby & children 4 Wildflower | 3801 N. Capital of TX Hwy | 512-732-2145 | home accessories




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2 Maudie’s Café | 2608 W. 7th St. | 512-473-3740 | tex-mex 3 Maudie’s Milagro | 3801 N. Capital of TX Hwy | 512-306-8080 | tex-mex






5 Keith Kristofer Salon | 2785 Bee Caves Rd. | 512-233-1910 | salon 7 Milk + Honey | Hill Country Galleria | 512-236-1115 | day spa






H eal t h & B eau t y

OT H E R 6 Trapeze Experience | | 1-877-759-0044 | trapeze training




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Dougherty Days In 1978, a space, that previously housed the Naval and Marine Reserve Center, was donated to the City of Austin. The space had a theater, so the city decided to turn it into a community-based arts program. The Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) was born. The DAC is comprised of the 1800 square foot Julia C. Butridge Gallery, the 150-seat Dougherty Arts Theater and The Dougherty Arts School. If you are looking to bring out your hidden creative side, then you should check out the arts school. According to Jeanne Henry, the Culture & Arts education supervisor, the Dougherty Arts School “has been a moveable feast since the 1970s.” The school began with a class here and there, and then in 1990, developed into its current role. Community is very important to the faculty and staff of the DAC, and they are dedicated to bringing the arts back to the community and back into the schools. To assist in this fight, the DAC offers two community-outreach programs: Music, Art & Performance (MAP) and Totally Cool, Totally Art. MAP provides teachers with access to local artists and programs that will incorporate art into, and in turn, enhance their curriculum. Totally Cool, Totally Art brings the arts to local community centers, providing junior high and high school students with a safe place to meet their friends and learn about the performing and visual arts. The outreach programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you are a three-year-old or a senior adult, the Dougherty Arts School has a program for you. Each class size is limited to allow for more personal instruction. “You might have ten students, all on different levels, and you will still receive and benefit from one-on-one instruction,” Henry said. The school believes in teaching the process of art and creativity, versus focusing on the final product. “We don’t put a lot of pressure on the students to have a product at the end of the day,” says Henry. “We want them to learn how to be creative and to learn life skills.” Written By: Beth Ranson Photos By: Knox Photographics


The Dougherty Arts Center 1110 Barton Springs Rd. 512-397-1468


21C AUSTIN The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville is a temple to contemporary art and old-fashioned hospitality — a place where high thread count sheets and high-concept art, from established and emerging artists around the United States and the world, help create an atmosphere as luxe as it is stimulating. The hotel began as a project by Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown. The couple, avid art collectors, wanted to do something to benefit downtown Louisville. “My wife and I have been collecting contemporary art for 25 years, and we live with our art.” Wilson says. “For the most part, museums feel untouchable and unfriendly. There’s so much entertainment on television and sports, museums are really losing out. With that in mind, we wanted to help downtown, and we wanted to do it in a way to bring art to the public.”

Maria Friberg (Swedish) Aware But Still There... #2, 2003 Cibarchrome on Pleziglass

That attempt to bring art to the public will soon be expanding into Austin. The original 21c, which includes a 9,000 square foot contemporary art museum and a 91-room boutique hotel, opened in 2006. Since then, Wilson and Brown have been approached about opening locations in various cities, but nothing had quite seemed right. However, when a proposal came in from Austin developers, the city seemed like a good match. Although not slated to open until late 2009, work has, of course, already begun on the Austin location, which will include 209 hotel rooms and a total of 202 residential units — including 12 artist lofts. While the scale and the scope of the project may be different, the Austin location will certainly reflect Wilson and Brown’s unique approach to art — displaying works of relatively unknown artists alongside pieces of their internationally renowned peers.

Margarita Carbrera (Mexican) Vocho (Blue), 2004. Vinyl, Thread, Car Parts

“So often art collections are defined by how famous your artists are, and it’s really not a concern of ours. We like connecting with student art,” Wilson says. “I don’t think quality comes with fame.” Written By: Carly Kocurek Photos By: Andy Peterson

Eva and Franco Mattes (American) 2 works, 2006. Digital Print on Canvas



Founded in 1956 as the Austin Ballet Society, Ballet Austin has since grown into a professional company with extensive roots and a rich history of aspiration. From their new home at the Butler Dance Education Center and Community School in downtown Austin, Ballet Austin Academy is the official ballet school of Ballet Austin, and has more than 800 students.

Other styles of dance and conditioning classes are offered through the Butler Community School. Classes offered include jazz, tap, modern, yoga and Pilates. “We want the students to learn and understand that all dance is valid and all ways of experiencing dance is important,” said Bill.

The newly founded Butler Community School serves anyone in the community who is inspired to dance, and provides a wide variety of dance classes, Pilates, yoga and more. Each class through Ballet Austin is broken up into age groups, and the children progress as they build on the basics taught within each level. “There is a very cohesive quality about the company, even though there are all sorts of people with different looks. Everyone goes through the same training, so the company as a whole is very unified,” said Bill Piner, director of schools for Ballet Austin. Each class is thematically-based, and the children are led through a series of movement stories and dance games. The creative play in each story enhances the development of fine and gross motor skills as they run, skip, leap, stretch, coordinate, isolate and move to the music. Beginning in Level 1 of the Youth Division, students start formal training in traditional classical ballet. Repetition and slow, careful work is emphasized in the Youth Division — with the students learning discipline and control of their bodies. Students progress to the next level when they have mastered the material and physical understanding of the syllabus in their current level. For some students, this may take more than one year. “We want and encourage students to achieve their personal best, which is what we kept in mind in how we’ve laid out the curriculum for the different levels,” explained Bill. Students enter the Intermediate Division after successful completion of the Youth Division syllabus. Work continues on proper body placement, strength building and flexibility. Pointe work starts in Level 4.

Students will be considered for acceptance into the Pre-Professional Division based upon their hard work, determination and discipline. They must also have the technical ability and physical strength required for the more advanced work in this division. Selected through a nationwide audition process, these dancers participate in up to 17 hours of classes per week. During the course of their training, Ballet Austin strives to develop the personal, social and professional skills of its dancers for success both in and away from the dance studio. “Ideally, we want to instill in our students a sense of belonging to this art form community that’s longer, bigger and older than they are,” described Bill. “It is our job to teach tradition and educate the students that dance is a resource for all ages and all skill levels.” With one of the nation’s largest classical ballet academies, the organization is poised for an even greater future. In 2008, it will become a founding resident company for the state-of-the-art Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. Written By: Linsey Krauss Photos By: Caroline Mowry

Ballet Austin Academy 501 W. 3rd St. 512-476-9051 69


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clockwise from the top left: Earthenware Serving Dish: $65 Lisa Orr 512-799-7133 Acrylic Paintings From ARCH: Prices Vary Art From the Streets 500 E. 7th St. 512-440-0839 Lance Bradley Hand Blown Glass Art By Aaron Gross: $2,400 Austin Art Glass 1608 S. Congress Ave. 512-916-4527 Photos By: Chad Harlan



Luis Abreux, Sea life, 24x30, Acrylic on Canvas

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IT’S @$% KICKIN’TIME! And Ron Hernandez, president of WCCF King of Kombat, is taking names. “We’re bringing the most exciting, explosive fights to Austin — all under one roof.” He’s not talking about two frat guys wearing striped Lacoste polo shirts, drunkenly battling it out on 6th Street, either. “We’re bringing highly trained fighters from across the world, including undefeated MMA fighters from Mexico, Turkey, Brazil and Ireland. You name it. Even some UFC fighters!”

If you’re not familiar with MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting, you’ve been living under a rock. It’s a concept that dates back to the days of the Greek pankration. Basically, you take two fighters and pair them against one another in a caged-style ring. They duke it out until one of them quits, commonly referred to as “tapping out,” or until one of them gets knocked out. These are world-class fighters that have fine-tuned the craft of fighting. It’s an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true, and literally fun for the entire family! “When you come to a King of Kombat fight, you’re not only going to see 12 top fights on one card. We have live entertainment during every intermission, and local extraordinaire Toddy B hosting the entire show — a very professionally organized event.” With two successful fight events under his belt, Ron is gearing up for the next King of Kombat showdown. “Our entire organization is made up of fighters. Fighters work in the marketing department. I’ve got fighters assisting in organizing the events. I’m surrounded by fighters, and I’m proud to say that we’ve kept it all right here in Austin. Definitely not something to be missed!” Now, who could disagree with that? Not me. Unless, of course, you’re down to catch an arm bar, while having your face smashed up against a chain-link cage! Next Event: WWIII April 5, 2008, MMA Fight, The Crockett Center Written By: Marcus Gold 74

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In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” Art comes in many forms. In my opinion, it is unfair to define “Art.” Art is an expression of one’s passion for something. Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. My life has been filled with all forms of art for as long as I can remember. With an art collecting father and an interior decorator for a mother, my career as an art gallery owner was inevitable. I have a passion for works of art by the masters: from Rembrandt to Picasso. I also love exploring the transformation that has occurred in art and how the masters have influenced the work of living artists.

How do you feel that you personally contribute to the art community? I not only help people acquire art, but I am determined to teach them about the importance of the art they are acquiring. My hope is to help my clients create collections — a legacy if you will — that they are passionate about. The idea behind collecting art is to keep it for a lifetime and pass it down to the next generation to enjoy.

How well does Austin embrace the art community? Over the last eight years, I have seen tremendous growth in the art community here in Austin. We now have the new Blanton Museum, the Long Center for the Arts and galleries are working together to create art districts.

Who are the key influencers in the art community?

Lisa Russell


Owner Russell Collection

We are all the key influencers in the art community. Art does not become a part of our culture without our passion, appreciation and support.

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin? West End Gallery Night, on the first Thursday of every month, is always fun to attend. It is always great to find live music in Austin on any given night. My kids love to go to the Children’s Museum.

Have you stumbled across any unique art “finds” here in Austin that others might not know about? Aside from spending most my time in my art gallery or attending events with my children, I enjoy the serenity I find at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden.

What trends in the art community are you seeing? The art market is very hot right now globally, and with Austin gaining more national attention as one of the top ten places to visit or live, there seems to be a higher level of interest in our growing art community.

Russell Collection 1137 W. 6th St. 512-478-4440 Photos By: Cameron Jordan



She didn’t exactly run away with the circus, but five years ago, Gabi Tuschak and her firedancing partner were on a two-month tour and got a little distracted in Atlanta. There, they connected with Equilibrius, a now-defunct acrobatic circus. A deal was struck: the acrobats would teach the firedancers the tricks of the trade if the firedancers would perform with them.

“Some people are just naturals at it,” Tuschak said. “I’m always the base, so I always train flyers, who are the people who balance on top of you. For flyers, its not so much whether you’re strong, but can you relax in a pose, can you trust me to hold you. That issue of trust is part of what keeps Tuschak coming back for more.

“I was training with a lot of people,” Tuschak said. “You have to trust people so much. For example, right now, I work with maybe one, two, three other people. But, even when you’re working with seven or nine people, every single person has a lot of responsibility.” When her stint with Equilibrius ended, Tuschak took off for Austin, and immediately began looking for other acrobats. Her success, however, was limited. “Five years ago, I remember posting on Craigslist and not getting a response,” Tuschak said. However, she did luck into a performing relationship with an Austin roommate. “I moved in with this girl, and we just wound up clearing out the furniture in our family room a couple times a week. Then, of course, she moved out of town.”

“I didn’t anticipate what I was going to love about it,” Tuschak said. “And what I love about it is the intimacy of working with someone else and the adrenaline — the fact that it can be a dangerous activity. But, it’s a relationship between the performers. I like the intimacy of putting that much trust in some other person.” Written By: Carly Kocurek Photos By: Cory Ryan

MySpace: popsypurvy, themeandreams

Now, Tuschak has managed to build a small community of acrobats, many of whom she’s trained. She works with two performance groups — Popsy Purvy and The Mean Dreams. The Mean Dreams is a mixture of acrobatics and music. The musicians play their instruments while perched, suspended or balanced amongst other members of the group. Over the past five years, members of Popsy Purvy and The Mean Dreams have had the opportunity to perform at gigs ranging from private parties to national festivals, as well as working with local musical acts. “Each gig is so different,” Tuschak said. “I don’t consider myself a professional acrobat, so we try to keep it a little bit authentic, in that we’re a little rough around the edges. We’re always trying to have fun with that. We’re not a polished Cirque du Soleil group.” Although Tuschak started out looking for collaborators who were already knowledgeable acrobats, she has learned to focus on finding people who are willing to learn and who have skills in dance, sports or other areas that promote special and physical intelligence. “You don’t have to have a lot of acrobatic training to learn the stuff fairly quickly, so that’s how I usually talk about it with people,” Tuschak said. “All of a sudden, you get someone who says ‘Oh, I’ve been a dancer for 10 years’ or ‘I’m really into yoga.’ All these things give you an advantage so far as how your body is oriented in the air.” And, she also stresses that some of the skills necessary are more mental than physical.


clockwise from the top left: Joseph Zambarano 512-740-5324 Cindy Goldman 512-441-0440 Brian David Johnson 512-385-7220 Eric Billig 512-699-2296 Photos By: Chad Harlan



Luis Abreux, Under Another Sun, 60x67, Acrylic on Canvas

livi n g

Photo By: Chad Harlan

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Urbanspace Realtors | 800 W. 5th St | 512-457-8884 | full service real estate Twenty One 24 | 2124 E. 6th St. | 512-786-6356 | lofts SoCo Lofts | 3801 S. Congress | 512-451-2422| lofts

There’s a reason the Victoria’s Secret models always look so good. Yes, they are genetically blessed. No, they aren’t mere mortals. You and I both know they’re getting a little help — and it’s not just from a pushup bra. Their “hair and make-up team” is on-site at every fashion photo shoot and ready to spread magic — making these ladies salivationworthy. You knew Victoria had more than one secret, didn’t you? Humans are visually stimulated by many things, and bodies are just the beginning. Flip on the Food Network, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about: Rachael Ray’s oatmeal cookie pancakes. Giada’s penne with turkey meatballs. Paula Deen’s fried ravioli alfredo. I don’t think it’s exaggerating to call it “food porn.” But, just like models, food dishes require the hand of a master before they’re camera-ready. Fortunately, food stylists like Amy Scofield know just how to get the job done. “It took me an hour to make that sandwich,” says Scofield, pointing to a photograph of a succulent-looking hamburger. “In real life, it’s 11 inches across, and weighs 12 pounds! I placed all the pieces onto it with tweezers, and used Styrofoam, toothpicks and foil to hold it all together.” Looking more closely, I don’t see any of these tools. All I see is bright yellow mustard that refuses to drip, beef that doesn’t sag and a bun that refuses to get soggy. In other words, it’s perfect. “I think perfectionism is definitely required in a job like mine,” confesses Scofield. It also takes a killer eye for composition. Studying her artwork — Scofield is a photographer and sculptor when she’s not food styling, and has shown her work at notable exhibitions in Marfa, Texas — I notice the way she is able to pull out an object’s iconic quality. A grainy photograph of Town Lake Bridge. A weathered, vintage store sign. Her photographs almost seem wistful.


“I have always been interested in preservation, in historical things, in the reasons things last,” says Scofield. Funny then that she styles food, by nature quite a fleeting pleasure. “Well, nothing is real, exactly. This isn’t real food that someone’s going to eat when I’m finished,” says Scofield. For example? “This project involved food coloring, Crisco and a dowel rod,” says Scofield, pointing to a tall stack of multicolored, creamy ice cream scoops, peering cheerfully out from a photograph. “I sculpted each scoop with the shortening, and for more realistic colors, I used other ingredients besides food coloring — cocoa for chocolate and jam for strawberry. Then I strung a dowel rod through all of them so they would stand up.” She’s right, I probably wouldn’t eat that. With a 13-year background in advertising, Scofield has styled food for high-profile clients like Texas Monthly, Whole Foods and Fuddruckers. In fact, odds are you’ve come across her food stylizations before, and just didn’t realize it. Pointing to an aerial photograph of cereal, whose “pieces were hand-picked,” she tells me that things are changing a bit in the food styling community. “There are actually two main trends in food styling right now,” explains Scofield. “On the one hand, there are those Sunday newspaper ad inserts: perfect, plasticlooking food. And on the other, there are these natural, un-styled, sensuous-looking food shots, like in Gourmet Magazine,” she says. Sort of like the difference between coiffe and “bed head” models, I ask? “Exactly,” she says. “And just like models, food needs a little help sometimes to look naturally beautiful.”

Written By: Tolly Moseley Photos of Amy By: Cory Ryan Photo of Ice Cream By: Cooke Photographics


Upon meeting Ivan Spaller, owner of Floribunda Works, I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. So much so, I wanted to order a Shiner Light instead of a soy latte when we met for coffee. I am an accidental cactus killer. Prior to our meeting, I drove by a sample of his jaw-dropping works at a home in Travis Heights. That line from Napoleon Dynamite kept ringing through my head, “I want that.” I want my home to have landscaping, design and style. A sculpture, functioning as a planter, immediately caught my eye. Luckily, Ivan’s humble demeanor immediately put me at ease. I found out he too has killed a cactus or two — maybe not so accidental, but rather for stress relief. Along with landscaping, Floribunda Works is also a design company whose creations include furniture, sculptures and indoor/ outdoor design services. Spaller got his start working as a gardener while attending the University of Texas, minoring in Botany and majoring in Geography. He says he always knew what he wanted to do as a young boy playing outdoors. Bringing the outdoors in, and the indoors out, is the focus of Floribunda Works. Its all about function, design and style. This motto is displayed through water sculptures and couches made out of grass. Yes, you can sit on them — function is key. Inspired by Frank Gehry, Spaller is all about style and creativity, and he pushes it a bit further. When he sees something he likes by another artist, he uses it as inspiration. Then, he likes to try to beat it. Examples of Floribunda Works are showered throughout the city’s hippest hoods as well as at the homes of Austin’s most elite. Creatively speaking, Spaller says, “I like to push clients a little further than they want to go.” Floribunda Works has been in business for six years. Spaller is shifting his focus to home design and how the garden interacts with the house through modernism and Japanese influence. When designing a home, placement of a window is a major focus — what that window will reveal outside and how much light it will get. Staircases built from natural mediums, like wood and steel, and interior and exterior painting are also a focus. Aside from running a local business and frequenting an Austin homegrown restaurant to enjoy his favorite margarita, I asked Ivan what he is doing to “Keep Austin Weird.” Well, you just might find him in the downtown streets dressed as Big Bird, running with the bulls in Hyde Park or, if you’re lucky, you may just be a guest at one of his Great Gatsby-themed parties. Written By: Nicole Carbon Photos By: Chanda Hopkins

Floribunda Works 2041 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-657-8287 87

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In your own words, what is the definition of “art?” Jean Nouvel once said, “Architecture is a form of extreme anticipation mixed with extreme nostalgia.” We think that might apply to art as well.

Art comes in many forms. Describe how “art” relates to you and your profession. We learn a great deal from great artists, and believe there should be more collaboration with artists on architecture projects in a fundamental way. We are interested in the ways art and architecture used to be intertwined during the renaissance, the way Leonardo and Michelangelo used to work. We are also intrigued by Frank Lloyd Wright’s, albeit politically incorrect, idea of architecture being the mother of all arts.

How do you feel that you personally contribute to the art community? On the macro level, we enjoyed participating in the “Create Austin” cultural master plan, and having Calvin volunteer as one of the city’s Design Commissioners. On the micro level, we are interested in collaborating with artists in our design process, as well as facilitating opportunities for commissions and installations in the completed buildings. Last year, we sponsored a film event at the Carver Library with the Austin Film Society.

Who are the key influencers in the art community? Austin has many talented artists, curators and patrons already in the local Art Ecology. We could always use more interest and leadership for the arts though. Compared to cultural institutions in Houston and Dallas, which have each received about $400 million in donations in the last two years, we are not yet seeing the same level of commitment and enthusiasm for the arts in Austin. Austin might have a thriving arts community at the grass roots level, but it is important to engage at all levels of the community.

What are some of your favorite art-related activities here in Austin?

Calvin Chen & Thomas Bercy


Owners Bercy Chen Studio

The B Scene night event at the Blanton. The annual East Austin Studio Tour is excellent for meeting other artists, finding inspiration and fostering a sense of community for the arts.

Have you stumbled across any unique art “finds” here in Austin that others might not know about? Others may know this already: the Flatbed Gallery/Creative Research Laboratory is very exciting and deserves more attention. Also, Laguna Gloria’s sculpture garden. Bolm Gallery often has excellent shows.

What trends in the art community are you seeing? Slowly, we are seeing that to be a serious artist you don’t have to live within one mile of Chelsea, although some might still dispute that. It is encouraging to see other cities like Santa Fe, LA, and Miami develop their own thriving art community or art eco system.

Where do you see yourself and your profession in 10 years? Austin has been good to us. We are concerned that in the United States, with the current trend of vertical integration and consolidation occurring in many professions, everyone in the design and building industry will be working for a faceless giant conglomerate one day, concerned only with the bottom line. We think there should more designers here working like Peter Zumthor, Tadao Ando, Alberto Kalach, people who engage in a dialogue with the vernacular in a poetic way, creating a sense of identity for the region.

Bercy Chen Studio 1314 Rosewood Ave. 512-481-0092 Photos By: Cameron Jordan


clockwise from the top left: Jerri Kunz Design 507 W. Ave. 512-474-8005 Room Fu 512-797-5821 Heather Scott Home & Design 10000 Research Blvd. 512-342-6899 The Home Spa 1411 W. 6th St. 512-419-9797 Photos By: Chad Harlan


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Rare Magazine: April 2008 - The Art Issue  

Rare Magazine April 2008 The Art Issue Cover Artist: Luis Abreaux

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