Four Austin Art Galleries Worth Your Weekend Time
Gonna make your eyes wanna kiss your brain
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
9:51AM, Thu. Jul. 26, 2012
Oh, we're not saying there aren't others.
(Hell, no: This city's lousy with visual-arts goodness. It's not San Antonio, no, you're right; but, hey, even without considering UT – and how can you not consider UT? – this town's got some fierce venues for your cultural diversion & edification.)
But: Here are four we've had the pleasure of visiting recently, the exhibitions of which are still on display:
grayDUCK Gallery's got the three-artist Tamed Territory going on right now, with Calder Kamin's ceramic sculptures of all sorts of animals, including several species of bats, a series referencing the Endangered Species list, and a roadkill armadillo and a dead rabbit – complete with beautifully glazed bloodstains; Casey Polacheck's paintings of animals-in-diorama; and the photography of Areca Roe, who's documented a diversity of creatures during a tour of national zoos. Of course, it's worth going into grayDUCK anytime – just to look out through the gorgeous set of windows in the east wall… and because you can get some of the best food in the city within a, oh, five-block radius.
The Mexican American Cultural Center's got two exhibitions up right now, and let's be glad for this particular pairing. Because after you've gone into the main gallery upstairs and been rattled & hollowed out by Rigoberto A. Gonzalez's enormous and realistic oil-on-linen tableaux of Mexican drug-gang violence and decapitations (Baroque on the Border), you'll be grateful for the sweet chaser provided by Matthew Bonifacio Rodriguez's Scruffy Kitty show that offers cartoony relief and the comforts of family history in the smaller community gallery. Also, it's the MACC: Both the galleries could be closed & it'd still be worth a visit just to ogle the inspirational, angular architecture of the complex and its vast courtyard in stark daylight.
Big Medium is home base for the folks who bring us the venerable East Austin Studio Tour (and, that's right, also the West Austin Studio Tour), so it's no surprise that the current show – ROC-KS by Kevin McNamee-Tweed – is so worth perusing. The artist has taken sumi-e ink and applied it with pens or brushes to rocks of all shapes and sizes. Rock after rock after rock – filling several shelves in the gallery, and all adorned with hand-drawn images or text that might comment on the shape of the rock or might be totally random but will make you think or (frequently) laugh out loud. (Don't pay attention to what this exhibition looks like online. We did, and we thought "Yeah, okay, whatever;" and then a friend insisted we go and see it in person, and now… Oh, Jesus, we're still chuckling and smiling and, I mean, we even bought one of those damned clever, carefully limned rocks, you know?)
Women & Their Work Gallery, well, we've done up a regular review on what's to be seen there now – Event Horizon, that pair of huge theremin-terminated funnels created (by Leticia Bajuyo) from thousands of CDs – so this is just a happy reminder. Also, pssst: Their gift shop's got some unique beauties to it … and whatshername's birthday is just a few weeks away, isn't it?