Hogg Auditorium is headed for a makeover, Judy Jensen's Blue Willow is headed to the Smithsonian, and two local artists take the road to recovery.

Hogg Renovation Campaign Launched

Much has been said about the University of Texas closing Bass Concert Hall in 2006 for necessary safety improvements. Less has been said about UT's plan to get another campus theatre upgraded and open shortly after the 3,000-seat Bass goes dark for 18 months. Hogg Auditorium, the 70-year-old theatre on the western edge of the 40 Acres, is due to undergo a $12 million renovation that will expand its stage and fly-loft, replace all theatrical systems and equipment, add new backstage monitoring and communication systems, restore the auditorium interior to its original splendor, enlarge the lobby and restrooms, and upgrade its 1,200 seats to 21st-century comfort levels. The project, dubbed the Hogg Auditorium Restoration Initiative, went public last month with the launch of a fundraising campaign titled ENCORE! for Hogg Auditorium. The idea is to appeal to alumni who would like to preserve a piece of history while at the same time providing for the future of the university. If the initiative keeps to schedule, and plenty of people have their fingers crossed that it will, the restored Hogg would open in the fall of 2006, giving the Performing Arts Center a venue in which to book at least some midsized acts -- touring dance companies and musical acts not of the superstar variety -- and possibly even providing a hall where the opera, symphony, and ballet can perform before the first phase of the Long Center for the Performing Arts is finished in 2007 or later.

Smithsonian Gets Jensen

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has acquired Blue Willow, a reverse painting on glass by Austinite Judy Jensen, for its permanent collection. The longtime local artist, whose work Voyages is on permanent display in the Barbara Jordan Terminal of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, painted Blue Willow in 1996. It features a place setting with twigs in place of forks and a serrated antler-handled knife for a dinner knife. The plate itself features a scene from an oil field that Jensen's father developed in Paraguay, onto which are laid peas, pearls, a human bone, and a family photo. For more information, contact the artist at or 453-2774.

Artists on the Mend

Keep a Thanksgiving prayer or good thought for two local performing arts leaders who have had health problems of late. Several weeks ago, Acia Gray, artistic director for Tapestry Dance Company and member of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame, was brought low by gastrointestinal ulcers serious enough to require hospitalization. She's taking it easy at home now and taking the road to recovery slow and steady. Actor and director Judson L. Jones of the dirigo group took a nasty spill on his motorcycle last week, and in a nasty confrontation with the tailgate of a pickup, the tailgate pretty much won. Jones suffered some broken bones, including his jaw, but he's doing well, getting around, and expects a full recovery.

Leader of ALLGO Goes

Ixchel Rosal has submitted her letter of resignation as artistic director of the Austin Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Organization, effective Nov. 30. Rosal, who has guided ALLGO's cultural arts program for the past two years, is leaving to pursue her studies at UT full-time. For more information, contact ALLGO executive director Martha Duffer at 472-2001.

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More Articulations
The Harry Ransom Center has acquired all the professional and personal materials of profoundly influential acting teacher Stella Adler

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

It's the end of an era for the city of Austin's Art in Public Places Program as Martha Peters, administrator of the program for 11 of its 18 years, departs to direct a public art program in Fort Worth.

Robert Faires, July 18, 2003


University of Texas, Bass Concert Hall, Hogg Auditorium, Hogg Auditorium Restoration Initiative, ENCORE! For Hogg Auditorium, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Blue Willow, Judy Jensen, Renwick Gallery, Voyages, Barbara Jordan Terminal, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Acia Gray, Tapestry Dance Company, Austin Arts Hall of Fame, Judson L. Jones, dirigo group, Ixchel Rosal, Austin Latino / a Lesbian, Gay

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