Spider Sculptures, Gore Feasts, and More Arts Events

Feed your art habit with these recommended events for the week


Queer Film Theory 101: Road Trips

Thursday 21, Barrel O’ Fun

Who among us hasn’t taken a cross-country car journey that taught us a little about life, a little about love, and a lot about ourselves? Okay, most of us haven’t, but damn if movies don’t overrepresent this experience. This month, the cinematic-minded queer “professors” of Queer Film Theory 101 feature films about adventures on the gay ol’ gravel way and present on how these influenced their LGBTQ lives. And before you ask, no, not everyone can talk about sleepover staple Crossroads, but I’m sure someone will speak on this important work.   –James Scott

A Gore-Met Feast

Friday 22, Eastside Cinema

All over Austin since 2016, horror cinema showcase Bat City Cinema brings the word of 16mm film. Their latest collaboration with the American Genre Film Archive bleeds true bad-taste bona fides for this blood-and-guts presentation: Screening on Austin’s “last single-screen cinema” will be two deep-cut AGFA schlock specials. The Undertaker and His Pals from director T.L.P. Swicegood features a murderous medical student biker chopping up bodies for his “studies,” and, according to the American Film Institute entry on it, had a print confiscated in 1967 by Louisville, Ky., police due to its “publication of materials dealing with bloodshed, lust or crime.” The other film, aptly titled The Corpse Grinders, deals in a sketchy cat-food company utilizing the local graveyard for their meat, which of course makes all cats hunger for human flesh. Yum!   – James Scott

David Spade

Friday 22, Paramount Theatre

David Spade was a key member of one of the best casts in Saturday Night Live history, starting as a writer in 1990 and becoming a beloved cast member along with Chris Farley, his co-star in Nineties buddy comedies Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. Many may know Spade best for Joe Dirt or his Emmy-nominated role as Dennis on long-running sitcom Just Shoot Me!, which leaned heavily on his self-deprecating humor and deadpan delivery dripping with sarcasm. New stand-up show “Catch Me Inside” brings his trademark wry humor to the stage with new material built on a decades-long career.   – Kat McNevins

Courtesy of Paul Michael Bloodgood & Virtigo Pictures / Ballet Austin

Poe: A Tale of Madness

Friday 22 - Sunday 24, Long Center

This world premiere won’t be a danse macabre, per se, but we’re dying to see what Ballet Austin’s Artistic Director Stephen Mills has conjured by way of exploring the life and works of that darkling prince of American letters, Edgar Allan Poe. Mills’ choreography, gracefully (and eldritchly) embodied by the company’s finest at the Long Center, doesn’t take place in any grave silence, of course – the kinetic biography is powered by a musical score from composer Graham Reynolds, performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and features a thrilling libretto penned by the Rude Mechs’ appropriately raven-haired Shawn Sides.   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Diamond Braxton (left) and Sean Enfield (Courtesy of Alienated Majesty Books)

Holy American Burnout! With Sean Enfield and Diamond Braxton

Friday 22, Alienated Majesty Books

Burnout! I, a free alt-weekly employee, obviously know nothing about the concept. But author and Dallas native Sean Enfield brings a hefty education on the subject to his recent essay collection Holy American Burnout! from Split/Lip Press. Essays woven together with cultural critique into a larger tapestry of Black & biracial identity makes for fertile conversation (Enfield also identifies as a gardener), which this day will be had with local writer/editor/founder of anti-racist publisher Abode Press Diamond Braxton. Topics include “the collection, the many forces that lead to our collective burnout, and of course, Frank Ocean.”   – James Scott

“The Stars at Night”

Saturday 23, Vista Brewing

Located about 24 miles southwest of all-lit-up Austin, small-town Driftwood offers a better opportunity to admire the stars at night. Vista Brewing hosts a screening of documentarian Betty Buckley’s 55-minute ode to the night sky and its influence on millennia of storytellers – a creative spark in danger of being snuffed out by encroaching light pollution. A post-screening Q&A will be followed by an hour of informal stargazing with telescopes.   – Kimberley Jones

Alejandra Almuelle's Circular Body (Courtesy of Women and Their Work)

“Circular Body”

Saturday 23, Women & Their Work

Alejandra Almuelle has been responsible for some of the most compelling works of clay sculpture ever created in this city, many of them predicated on the human body and its potential as a record of experience. This latest exhibition of her artistry, a solo show at Women & Their Work, brings the human form front and center, clayborne with additions of graphite, beeswax, paper, resin, and gold and silver leaf. Adorned, embellished, emboldened, the flesh created from clay comes full circle, a cycle of memory and magic powered by beauty, the viewing of it an experience we recommend recording via your own wonder-hungry rods and cones.   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Sarah Sudhoff: Not a Drill

Saturday 23, grayDUCK Gallery

Jill Schroeder’s grayDUCK Gallery presents a powerful new solo show by Sarah Sudhoff, and we should preface this listing with a trigger warning – but that very term, in context, lands much too hideously: Sudhoff’s exhibition “explores our increased exposure to gun violence and the alarming lack of measurable gun reform in the United States.” Which is provocative enough, but: “My project is attuned to focus on K-12 shootings,” says the artist, “and includes community involvement with schools devastated by shootings in Uvalde, Texas, at Robb Elementary, and the 2018 shooting in Santa Fe High School.”   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Saltburn Rave

Saturday 23, Cheer Up Charlies

Where better to celebrate Miss Emerald’s latest controversial creation – what some have called “The Untalented Mr. Ripley” – than in the sweat-soaked premises of the elegant Chups’ estate? Partnered up with Texas Emo Club, CUC brings dance-floor murder for all enjoyers of Jacob “Oh Lordy” Elordi and Barry “Little Freak” Keoghan. Burn it down via busting moves to tunes spun by DJs BB Ding, Claudia Alexandra, and Dragonnqueen as they’ll be boosting dance, indie sleaze, and electric all night. Venue event descriptions promise bathwater shots, but here’s my question: Who’s providing that extra special “sauce”? Further investigation required.   – James Scott

Meet Melecio Galván: The Secret Artist & His Mexican Contemporaries

Saturday 23, Blanton Museum of Art

Melecio Galván died in 1982, but there’s a reason the Blanton Museum of Art titled its new retrospective “Meet Melecio Galván”: The Mexican draftsman didn’t receive the kind of attention he deserved in his lifetime. A recent acquisition distinguishes the Blanton as the U.S. museum with the largest collection of Galván works, now numbering 47 drawings in total – making Blanton the obvious place to offer art lovers an overdue introduction to the undersung artist. The exhibition, curated by Vanessa Davidson and on display through Aug. 25, is rounded out with works by his Mexican contemporaries, including Arnold Belkin, Rafael Coronel, Elvira Gascón, Silvia Pardo, Arturo Pastraña Vásquez, Rufino Tamayo, and José Luis Cuevas.   – Kimberley Jones

Courtesy of Billy Joe Miller

Billy Joe Miller Art Reveal

Saturday 23, University Christian Church

Billy Joe Miller is a queer, interdisciplinary artist who creates public art in response to the natural world. University Christian Church is a dynamic, inclusive community, serving Austin without exception – regardless of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or disability. OK, how about they join forces for more beauty? Done – with a large, arched sculpture made from powder-coated aluminum, redolent of sanctuary and transformation, set within a landscape design of native plants. Witness this work revealed tonight in a ceremony that features live music from Jordan O’Jordan, Bo Ray, and Thor and Friends. WWJD? He’d be right there.   – Wayne Alan Brenner

Borderless: Together Outside

Sunday 24, Dimension Sculpture Park

Artists talking about art and the planet on which it’s made – yes, that would be Earth, citizen – is the focus of this new environmental series led by folks from the local LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and refugee communities. This inaugural event is a panel discussion moderated by Paloma Mayorga, featuring artists Jamal Hussain, Kill Joy, and Mueni Loko Rudd, and takes place on the awe-inspiring grounds of the Eastside’s Dimension Sculpture Park, along with an interactive art exhibition by Darcie Book. Pro tip: Bring picnic blankets for sitting on the lawn!   – Wayne Alan Brenner

You'll be a star like Pearl during Get It Games Horror Trivia

Horror Movie Trivia

Monday 25, Captain Quackenbush’s Coffeehouse

Quick: Tell me who the killer was in the first Friday the 13th movie! If you’ve just shouted at your newspaper with an answer – correct or not – then you oughta be sittin’ in Captain Quack’s this coming Monday. Get It Games scares up tons of terrifying trivia about the horror genre that’ll puzzle you and friends over about two hours. No cost to play, fun prizes, and you’ll be right beside the tempting pastry cases of Quack’s: What’s better than that? All you gotta do is make it out ... alive!   – James Scott

Amplify Book Club

Monday 25, CoffeePeople

Located within our Bat City’s big ol’ independent BookPeople is a book club dedicated to elevating authors of color like the writer of this month’s selection, Akwaeke Emezi. Nigeria-born and Brooklyn-based, Emezi’s work is “deeply rooted in the metaphysics of Black spirit, using the lens of indigenous ontologies to focus on embodiment, ritual, and rememory” according to their author bio. Amplify’s pick for March, Pet, was Emezi’s first young adult venture and received a Stonewall Honor. Its plot follows a young girl whose mother’s art comes to life in the form of Pet, “a creature made of horns and colors and claws.”   – James Scott

Maman by Louise Bourgeois (Photo by Pixelillo via WikiCommons)

Kids Create: Louise Bourgeois-Inspired Wire Spider Sculptures

Tuesday 26, Little Walnut Creek Branch Library

French-American artist Louise Bourgeois once said her art “deals with problems that are pre-gender.” Indeed, a big spider made of bronze, steel, and marble is absent most gendered markers – except, of course, the sculpture’s title: Maman. But what else would Bourgeois call an ode to her own mother, who passed when the artist was only 21? In an interview with the Tate Modern, who commissioned the piece, Bourgeois listed many reasons spiders reminded her of her mom: “Like a spider, my mother was a weaver ... Like spiders, my mother was very clever ... spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.” Kiddos can this week replicate this ode to Bourgeois’ mother in this Women’s History Month workshop. After all, who wouldn’t want a little wire spider to help, protect, and weave? It’s what all good mothers should do.   – James Scott

Science on Screen: The Birds

Tuesday 26, AFS Cinema

“C’mon, James,” you say to me. “I like movies, but science? That’s for the birds!” Yes, I agree: Science is for The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1963 thriller about avian aggression. Austin Film Society pairs this screening with an expert panel to talk bird behavior and evolution. That includes associate professor in UT-Austin’s integrative biology department Carlos A. Botero, Ph.D., and research associate Dr. Lucas Legendre from UT-Austin’s Earth and planetary sciences department. Fun fact: In her memoir, Tippi Hedren says she experienced real injuries during The Birds’ filming due to a glass pane shattering on her when a mechanical crow hit it. Unsafe film set practices? Now that really is for the birds.   – James Scott

Just Dance: Lady Gaga’s Birthday Ball

Wednesday 27, Volstead Lounge

Paws up, little monsters! Oh yes, I’m well aware you’re still out there. While Stefani may be jazzing up her image lately – like, she’s literally rebranding as a jazz singer – we all went Gaga for her first while she rocked heelless Alexander McQueens and Kermit couture. This party takes it back to the Lady’s beginnings with a custom cocktail menu, a “Paparazzi” photo booth, drag pop-ups by the Vixens of Volstead, and DJ Boyfriend spinning Mama Monster music all night long. Don’t think too much, girl, just bust that kick: Tonight we’re all taking rides on Gaga’s disco stick – metaphorically.– James Scott

L’Inferno With Live Score by Montopolis

Wednesday 27, Empire Control Room

Before A Nightmare on Elm Street, before The Exorcist, there was L’Inferno. Adapted from the first canticle of Dante’s Divine Comedy, the 1911 film claims first feature film of world cinema rights, according to Dante chronicler Vittoria Colonnese Benni in their essay “The Helios-Psiche Dante Trilogy.” Lucky us that we might enjoy the seminal silent film with backing band Montopolis, whose previous efforts include towering environmental soundtrack Music for Enchanted Rock. Their score will, as screen provider Rocket Cinema states, “[bring] new life to this horror classic with a mix of psych rock, dark wave and terrifying sound effects performed live.”   – James Scott

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