Five Exhibits Beyond Mere Eye Candy

Form and substance balanced in these thought-provoking works

It's called visual art because it slides past those lenses and excites your rods and cones, which is the first part of its pleasure, yes. But there's more to some art than just titillation of pattern-hungry organic processors in your skullbound clump of electric meat. There's the stuff that, as they say, makes you think. And we think that these five recos will bring a variety of deeper joys to your day.

Myriorama by Virginia Colwell

Co-Lab Projects: To Have and To Hold

New work by Virginia Colwell, curated by Leslie Moody Castro, that investigates the ambiguity of truth and fiction in history and archives, using the romanization of the South to examine the deliberate obfuscation of the deep history of enslavement and racism. Through March 4. 5419 Glissman.

Commotioneers by Alyssa Taylor Wendt

Northern-Southern: Going Down

This exhibition "delves passage to counter places and underworlds. In painting, photography, sculpture, taxidermy, and games the artists seek to rebalance the spirit and the flesh; to synthesize myth and experience." Yes, it's an art show about hellholes, featuring new work by Alyssa Taylor Wendt, Charles Degeyter, Christos Pathiakis, Emma Hadzi Antich, and Jamie Zuverza. Through Feb. 18. 411 Brazos.

Fossil No. 3 by Lera Niemackl

Tyrell Gallery: Future Fossils

A presentation by Lera Niemackl and Kessler & Jo Zayner, featuring original bio-media and science-fiction narratives, displaying a curated array of relics from a speculative civilization. This is work that "speculates the primitive technologies that emerge from interactions between human intelligence and novel biologies," on display within a working laboratory. Science in the service of art – and vice versa. Sat., Feb. 4, 5-9pm. 1905 Kramer, Bldg. B #850.

Women & Their Work: Wayfinding

In this large-scale installation, Jade Walker uses color, weaving, rope, tools, notions of signage, and found objects to articulate questions around how we engage with our environment and the effect that the relationship has on society. Through Feb. 23. 1311 E. Cesar Chavez.

RichesArt Gallery: American History Vol. 2

Austin's only Black-owned gallery's annual show spotlighting Texas artists and their interpretation of Black people's contributions to American history. Bonus: During opening day, there will be an unveiling of one of Cap Metro's new Black History Month buses designed by Richard Samuel. Through April. Opening reception: Sat., Feb. 4, noon-4pm. 2511-A E. Sixth.

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Five Things, Northern-Southern, Women & The Work, RichesArt Gallery, Co-Lab Projects, Tyrell Gallery, Lera Niemackl & Kessler, Richard SamuelVirginia Colwell, Alyssa Taylor Wendt, Charles Degeyter, Christos Pathiakis, Emma Hadzi Antich, Jamie Zuverza, Jade Walker, Black History Month

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