The Austin Chronicle

Arthouse Reopening Celebration Schedule

By Robert Faires, October 22, 2010, Arts

On Sunday, Oct. 24, Arthouse reopens the renovated Jones Center for Contemporary Art to the public with eight hours of activities, including a ribbon-cutting with the mayor, a talk with the renovation project architects, music and dance performances, art activities, and, naturally, the opportunity to explore the space and see the wealth of new exhibitions. Part of Congress Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets will host food trailers, including the Best Wurst, Chi'Lantro, Cool Haus, Old School BBQ & Grill, and GoodPop. The schedule of events and a guide to the exhibits follows. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Noon-8pm: Photo booth with Erica Nix. Make your own props and masks. Photos posted throughout the day to the Arthouse Flickr page.

1pm: Ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

2-3pm: Arthouse Executive Director Sue Graze introduces architects Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis to speak about their architectural process and the Jones Center renovation (Community Room).

3:30-5:30pm: Arthouse teen program members lead an art activity designed around Mequitta Ahuja's exhibition with the artist in attendance (Community Room).

6-8pm: Ryan Hennessee's video The Specious Present at 700 Congress screens (Community Room).

6-7pm: Musical duo Silent Diane performs (rooftop deck).

7:15-8pm: Dance trio Little Stolen Moments performs (rooftop deck).

Inaugural Exhibitions

"Mequitta Ahuja: Automythography II"

First-floor gallery, through Jan. 2

The current artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Ahuja paints herself, yet not herself. Using imagery drawn from myth, heritage, and personal experience and a rich assortment of visual styles, she creates self-portraits that also construct new identities for the artist.

"Jason Middlebrook: More Art About Buildings and Food"

Second-floor gallery, through Jan. 16

For his commissioned work in the new Arthouse, Middlebrook is bringing along the old, using remnants from the Jones Center's previous incarnations – ceiling joists, lumber, and masonry from the Queen Theater days and stair railings and plate-glass windows from the 1950s Lerner Shops era – to fashion benches, a dining table, and place settings. And in a nod to the structure as a longtime gathering place in Austin, he has added a huge drawing that features 177 family recipes submitted by the public, some of which will be used in a potluck dinner held on Saturday, Nov. 20.

"Tony Feher: Dr. Hawking"

Second-floor gallery, ongoing

Now based in New York, University of Texas alum Feher was commissioned by Arthouse to create an installation, and he took an unexceptional negative space on the second floor – the gap between support beams and the ceiling – and gave it a touch of mystery, using bottles suspended from the rafters to create an evocation of the night sky.

"Cyprien Gaillard: Cities of Gold and Mirrors"

Film & Video Project Room, through Dec. 5

For his first solo presentation in Texas, the Paris- and Berlin-based Gaillard contributes a five-chapter, nonnarrative film that includes footage of spring-breakers, a Bloods member dancing atop a Mayan archaeological site, the demolition of a mirrored building, dolphins living in a hotel pool, and the interior of a Cancun nightclub.

"James Sham: Close Caption"

Lift Project, through Jan. 2

The inaugural showpiece in the Lift Project, Arthouse's series of short videos shown in its passenger elevator, comes from Canadian Sham. He shows DJ Kool arguably lost in translation as his song "Let Me Clear My Throat" is used as the basis for a demonstration of American Sign Language.

"Ryan Hennessee: The Specious Present at 700 Congress"

Screen Project, through Jan. 2

For Arthouse's new second-floor projection screen facing Congress, Austin artist and Okay Mountain member Hennessee plays on the building's relationship to past, present, and future with a looping animation based on foot traffic going past the Jones Center.

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