Parks, Gardens, Pisces, and More Arts Events for the Week

Get out and get arty, away from the SXSW crowds


Right on Time by Aria Brownell (Courtesy Good Luck Have Fun Gallery)

Being the Other and Between

Through April 13, Good Luck Have Fun Gallery

When a fellow is named Tim McCool, you’ve got to hope he lives up to the moniker. We reckon that, as co-founder (with his dauntless spouse, Kira) of the right-there-in-the-garage Good Luck Have Fun Gallery off Enfield, this particular art-scene mover and shaker is as McCool as it gets. Evidence: The gallery’s newest show brings together the colorful and provocative work of four women artists – Aubree Dale, Aria Brownell, Wendy Rhode, and Barbara Miñarro – “who explore the relationships between individual identity and the collective, the process of making art and of making one’s self.”   – Wayne Alan Brenner


Vera

Friday 8, AFS Cinema

Brazilian trans poet Anderson Bigode Herzer lived a wild life full of loss and struggle, which he utilized to create literary art. While confined to a youth correctional facility for most of his teen years, Anderson wrote one of the first trans masculine memoirs in his poetry collection A queda para o alto. He passed at 20 after taking his own life, a sadly still-occurring outcome for today’s trans youth. Through her aGLIFF-supported program at AFS, Queer Cinema Lost and Found, Elizabeth Purchell screens Sérgio Toledo’s Vera – a fictionalized biopic of Anderson described by Purchell as “a critically acclaimed, yet sadly underseen, piece of trans cinema history.”   – James Scott


Fictions More Precious

Friday 8, Big Medium

Works by the annual Tito’s Prize Winner for Visual Arts – yes, that’s the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Tito, tyvm – are presented, as ever, by the community-forward creatives at Big Medium, and this year’s honoree is Trinidadian artist Rodell Warner. Come explore the new Big Medium space on South Congress, its gallery recently refurbished after a fire and freshly bright with Warner’s provocative digital interventions that fictionalize the Caribbean’s fraught past and interrogate that region’s historical photographic archive.   – Wayne Alan Brenner



Fantastic Planet

Fantastic Planet with Live Score

Saturday 9, Dimension Sculpture Park

If you’ve never seen Fantastic Planet, the feature-length French/Czechoslovakian sci-fi film from 1973, the first animated movie to be rated PG in the USA, now’s the perfect opportunity to blow your alien-loving mind via a cinema classic. This screening from Rocket Cinema will take place among the appropriately otherworldly artifacts that tower over and dwell within the Eastside’s Dimension Sculpture Park, with the freaky film’s full-color narrative given a live soundtrack by Austin’s own VOIDRIFTER with Brother Lit.   – Wayne Alan Brenner


Arts & Parks Tour

Saturday 9, Downtown

Downtown Austin Alliance and Ride Bikes Austin turn a spotlight on the city’s fine cultural offerings with a bike tour to view and hear about murals and installations, with entertainment from the Foxtones and DJ Kay Cali bookending the four-hour tour. For transport: BYOB(icycle) or other wheels, rent a discounted Bird scooter or MetroBike, check out rental options from local businesses, or request a pedicab if you require mobility accommodations. At 10:30am on tour day, grab a snack at the farmers’ market at Republic Square, pick up some swag, and set off to learn all about local outdoor art.   – Kat McNevins



This Is Your Sign host Jenn Rosario (by Ashlee Pryor-Pitluk)

This Is Your Sign: Pisces Night

Saturday 9, Fallout Theater

Rihanna. Justin Bieber. Managing Editor James Renovitch. Yes, these are a few of the standout Pisces we all know and think highly of. But how can one truly explore the depths this fishy sign plumbs? For starters, you might check out comedian Jenn Rosario’s astrology-themed show focused on these mutable marvels. Featuring an all-Pisces lineup, every zodiac sign will be bustin’ a gut at sensational sets by local comics like Holly Hart, Natalie O’Sullivan Hamilton, Syd Goin, and Chris Hills. And there’ll be music by Anna Grace and Neil Dorsey! Why even shoot for the moon when you can vibe with all these stars?   – James Scott


14th Annual Garden Party

Sunday 10, the Vortex

The fête champêtre, or rural party, was popular with 18th-century French nobility. According to the countess of Carnarvon’s official blog, these were set within the beautiful Gardens of Versailles and filled by all the Franco-tomfoolery favored by the powdered-wig set. You, however, don’t need to be royalty to cavort through the Vortex grounds at this upcoming fête champêtre. To enjoy the various activities – live music! Tiny Tails animal petting! Excerpts from upcoming Vortex Theater shows! – all you must be is pure of spirit and character. Oh, and if you want to bring a li’l donation to help keep the gardens running as a certified butterfly sanctuary, well. That’d be real kings and queens behavior.   – James Scott


Free Day

Tuesday 12, Blanton Museum of Art

Art! Oh, I love it. But sadly, when I open my pockets, moths fly out. Good news for me and all my broke friends: Every second Tuesday, the Blanton opens its doors to all visitors free of charge. Why, unburdened by the weight of an empty wallet, Austinites can mull the strange world of contemporary womanhood in “Unbreakable: Feminist Visions from the Gilberto Cárdenas and Dolores Garcia Collection.” Or walk beneath the silver and mesh sculptures of Marie Watt’s “Sky Dances Light.” Or explore the past through its artistic pieces in “The Floating World: Masterpieces of Edo Japan.” Or enjoy any of the many, MANY other exhibitions available on this day: all for free.   – James Scott


Wicked

Wednesday 13 - Sunday 31, Bass Concert Hall

What was missing from the original Wizard of Oz movie? Not ruby slippers, or weird death-related on-set mythologies, but in-world political intrigue, discussions of oppression, and a sex club with a tiger. Gregory MacGuire’s 1995 novel added those elements in with the crimson clogs to make an Oz lore twisty enough to grab the attention of Broadway bigwigs, who then made a musical of the same name. Strangely, they took out the tiger sex club, but added in songs that launched not one but two megastars in Kristin Chenoweth and the wi-cked-ly talented Idina Menzel. Catch the musical’s run in Austin before the big-screen adaptation pops up in November, and join the elite class who can say “Pfft. I liked it better in the theatre.”   – James Scott


Adaptations Book Club

Wednesday 13, We Luv Video

Disclaimer up front: This particular book club is for members only. But maybe that’s the motivation you’ve been looking for to become a member of the recently revived video rental store, now a nonprofit event space and lending library celebrating all things film. Adaptations is a bimonthly book club that will surely spur lively discussion over which was better: the film or the book? This month it’s Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, which can be purchased through We Luv’s bookshop.org page, and discussion will be preceded by a screening of the 1993 romance starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder.   – Kat McNevins


Gary James McQueen

Through March 24, West Chelsea Contemporary

If you caught the 2018 doc McQueen, about the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, then you’re already familiar with the talents of his nephew and protégé Gary James McQueen, who was responsible for the stunning, under-the-skin skull sculptures featured in the opening credits. Those skulls, as represented via 3D lenticular artworks, form the basis of the Gary James McQueen exhibit – his first stateside – now running at West Chelsea Contemporary through March 24.   – Kimberley Jones

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