Art City Austin: A new kind of art fair

Art Alliance Austin is calling on artists and architects to make work that will reinvent its annual art fair

Art City Austin: A new kind of art fair

What had been the Austin Fine Arts Festival is now Art City Austin, and one way the producers (Art Alliance Austin, previously the Austin Fine Arts Alliance) want to distinguish the new version of the art fair from the old is with a variety of temporary art installations on the fair site. So the alliance is soliciting proposals for temporary art installations at spots along the banks of Lady Bird Lake:

First Street Bridge (845-foot-long, 53-foot-wide project that builds up energy as one approaches the entrance),

Triangle Island (north end of First Street Bridge, approximately 100 feet on all sides, project that is passively interactive and draws reference to the children's area),

the middle of Cesar Chavez Street (35-feet-wide, up to 50-feet-long project to create a visual conversation among the booth arrangement and configuration),

Guadalupe Street entrance (35-feet-long, up to 20-feet-wide, up to 50-feet-tall installation that spans the street in which visitors can pass through easily),

Lamar Boulevard entrance (35-feet-long, up to 20-feet-wide, up to 50-feet-tall installation that spans the street in which visitors can pass through easily),

Art After Dark Austin (projections or lighted elements throughout site or using buildings),

Lady Bird Lake (installation meant to be viewed from Cesar Chavez on the north shore; contact Art Alliance Austin to discuss proposals before deadline).

Artists or teams of all skill levels and in all media may apply. Performance art will be considered as part of a visual-art installation. Projects with a budget of $5,000 or more should contact artist/member relations coordinator Allison Specter (610-4211, [email protected]) before submitting a proposal. Projects must be able to be set up within a 10-hour period. Download applications from Send all proposals to: Art Alliance Austin, PO Box 5705, Austin, 78763. The application deadline is Jan. 11 (proposals must be hand-delivered or postmarked by 5pm). Project jurors are Eva Buttacavoli of the Austin Museum of Art, Annette Carlozzi and Ursula Davila-Villa of the Blanton Museum of Art, and Laurence Miller of Fluent Collaborative. Selected artists will be notified Jan. 16.

The Art Alliance is also looking for innovative ways to view the art in Art City. So in collaboration with the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects, it's launched a design competition for temporary outdoor gallery spaces at the fair. These structures – 10 feet by 10 feet by 12 feet or 10 feet by 20 feet by 12 feet – should reinvent the outdoor exhibition space, operating more like a gallery than the traditional fair layout. A panel including gallerist Wally Workman, architects/designers Louise Harpman and Goil Amornvivat, Austin Museum of Art curator Dana Friis-Hansen, and Arthouse curator Elizabeth Dunbar will determine the Top 10 entries. They will be exhibited during Art City Austin 2008, with the grand-prize winner receiving $1,000, the second-prize winner receiving $500, and the third-prize winner receiving $250. All winners will be notified and announced on April 9. The following year, the winner will collaborate with a local architect on developing a full-scale working version of the winning design. Deadline for registration is Feb. 22, with the deadline for proposals by 5pm on March 24. For more information, visit or

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