Go WEST! (and a little South)

I love showing with woodworkers...if you need a wall, they just build one!

I love showing with woodworkers...if you need a wall, they just build one!

I participate in the West Austin Studio Tour for completely selfish reasons—I want to introduce my work to new audiences, to collaborate with other artists who aren’t necessarily in my same creative wheelhouse, and, of course, to discover hidden taco trucks and coffeehouses! This year I believe I have accomplished at least the last two items in spades.
This WEST tour I will be showing at Toolmarks ATX, a collective workspace in south Austin for many of our city's top furniture designers. Toolmarks is located a few blocks from St. Edwards University, tucked behind the SoCo Apartments. If you love the smell of fresh cut wood, the smooth, clean lines of modern furniture and old-school craftsmanship, then you absolutely should venture out and join us: May 12-13 and 19-20 from 11am - 6pm. With just one stop you can see visual art, sculpture, furniture and jewelry from thirteen Austin artists.
Once you are out and exploring the area, here are a few fun places to check out. Next door to Toolmarks you will find The Institution Theater (improv performances, classes and workshops), while around the corner you can improve your climbing skills at Crux Climbing Center.
The hidden gem —and more importantly, the food and drink secret stash– is the new urban oasis Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden located at 121 Pickle Road just across Congress. Cosmic is the dream project of Paul Oveisi (formerly owner of Momo’s music venue), who has returned to Austin from New York City. Cosmic features handcrafted coffee and cocktails and kombucha, surrounded by raised garden beds and ponds filled with edible plants.
Two of Austin’s best food trucks have found a home at Cosmic: Leroy and Lewis BBQ and Pueblo Viejo Traila. Both of these are serious foodie finds, so try one the first weekend of WEST and give the other a shot the second weekend.
And to round out your WEST-South Austin adventure, grab a can of wine and kick back to listen to some local music at Infinite Monkey Theorem. Yes, oenophiles, I said “can of wine.” But with a name like Infinite Monkey Theorem, you just have to give this funky urban winery and tap room a visit. “Canned wine: your portable, single-serve, smarter alternative.” Live music on Saturday May 12 from 3pm-5pm. And nothing says Happy Mother’s Day better than a cold can of rosé.
Hope to see you during the tour, but if our paths don’t cross, you can always find me during the week at Canopy-Studio 216. Happy spring to all!
.— Kristy

Art Crush

Ed Ruscha (right) with art writer Dave Hickey at the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX) /01.20.2016

Ed Ruscha (right) with art writer Dave Hickey at the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX) /01.20.2016

I need to admit something. I have a bit of an “art crush.”

Back in January, Ed Ruscha discussed his life and work with writer and art critic Dave Hickey at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas to celebrate the opening of the Edward Ruscha Papers and Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center. Even before Ruscha was honored in 2013 by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People,” I admired his work. His art is particularly relevant to me now as I focus on information overload in my own work.

I feel like Ruscha and I are kindred spirits. Ruscha builds artwork from text, always in search of an “elusive truth.” As Ruscha shared with the Blanton audience, he is:

a plumber of words...
a linguistic kleptomaniac...

Ruscha admits to being fascinated with found phrases, grabbing words and mutilating them to serve a visual purpose. As critic Hickey noted, Ruscha makes “the word incarnate…it becomes part of the world.”

Step On No Pets_Ruscha

Ruscha makes us deal with words in a very tangible sense. As Hickey noted, in Ruscha’s works “the text infects the image.” Some of Ruscha’s most famous works incorporate quirky palindromes (“STEP NOT ON PETS” and my personal favorite “TULSA SLUT”) juxtaposed over images of mountains that are themselves visual palindromes. In many of Ruscha’s works, dull yet visually demanding typography (that Rushca fondly refers to as “Boy Scout Utility Modern”) shouts at the viewer to acknowledge and contemplate those unexpected words.

Like me, Ruscha is also interested in the destruction of paper. Ruscha wistfully recalled how much he likes to “flip the pages” of a book, again demonstrating his preference for the tangible, incarnate word over the ephemeral information of today’s ebooks or internet searches. I share Ruscha’s concern that books are “threatened information.”

With “so much in common,” what did I do when presented with the opportunity to speak with Ed after the talk?


Indeed, I believe I channeled my best junior high teenage self and simply froze. As Ed stood inches away graciously chatting with other members of Austin’s art community (damn you, Bale Allen!), I stood there completely at a loss for what to say… “OMG, Mr. Ruscha.! I LOVE your work! I am an artist, too! We have so much in common!!!”

It’s still a bit fuzzy in my memory, but I’m pretty sure that instead of speaking to Ed Ruscha, I ran to the bathroom to text a photo of Ed Ruscha to my art pal in San Francisco. Sigh.

Yes, a missed opportunity to be sure. Perhaps I will do better when I meet Mark Bradford.

Join HEB and Creative Action for Community Art Sundays

Great family fun with my favorite creative nonprofit organization, Creative Action, teaming up with H-E-B for Community Art Sundays —all year!

Date/ Time: Sunday September 27th from 2pm - 5pm

Location: The new Center for Creative Action, located at 2921 E 17th St (by the MLK, Jr. Light rail stop).

There will be live music from the Tiarra Girls, a performance from Forklift Danceworks' Body Shift, storytelling, interactive art workshops, and free ice cream, free H-E-B snack bar, free coffee, free beer, and free lemonade.

Women & Their Work

Women & Their Work / Red Dot / Sept. 10 / 7pm-10pm

Glad to be supporting Austin's own Women & Their Work gallery again this year. Come out and join the fun. Look for my contribution—Small Fall.


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