The Austin Chronicle

More Than a ZIP Code

Artists Jill Alo and Tina Weitz take a trip down the 'Road to 78704'

By Robert Faires, January 10, 2003, Arts

South of the river. There's no good reason why being on one side of a body of water should feel any different from the other side, why one side should possess its own distinct identity, charm, mystique even, but hey, that's the way it is in our town. All you need to do is set one foot on Town Lake's southern shore to know that you're a world away from the business end of Austin, from the bustling hives of Downtown, the Capitol, UT. This is the land of Zilker Park, Barton Springs, Peter Pan Mini-Golf, the shops of South Congress, Texicalli Grille, Green Pastures, St. Ed's. Things move a little more slowly down there; they're maybe a little more loose. This is where you come to kick back, unwind, enjoy yourself -- hell, enjoy Austin. It's no accident that the Armadillo World Headquarters was in the south end of town or that the Broken Spoke and the Continental Club still are. It's a place with a particular vibe that inspires certain kinds of activity. Maybe it shouldn't be different from the north side of the river, but it is.

Jill Alo and Tina Weitz know that, and the two artists are paying tribute to the character of South Austin with their new exhibition, "Road to 78704." The pair aim to capture in images something of the legendary mood and ambience that distinguishes this lifestyle encapsulated in a ZIP code. Given that they'll be coming at the subject from very different creative angles -- Alo with her loose and often whimsical paintings, awash in colors, Weitz with her elegant photographs in smooth black and white -- the two artists should be able to cover both sides of the "road." You can see for yourself at studio2gallery, which Weitz and Alo share with artists Jacqueline May and Marc Silva in -- where else? -- South Austin.

"Road to 78704" will be on view Jan 16-Feb. 27 at studio2gallery, 1700 S. Lamar #318. On Saturday, Feb. 1, musician Fred Mitchim will perform for an artists' reception, 6-9pm. Call 448-2622 for information.

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