The Austin Chronicle

Books, Sculpture, and Weed Lead Our Recommended Arts Events

It'd be a lot cooler if you went to one of these events this week

By James Scott, Katherine McNevins, Cat McCarrey, Richard Whittaker, Brant Bingamon, Lina Fisher, Carys Anderson, and Maggie Q. Thompson, April 19, 2024, Arts

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum’s 25th Annual Garden Party

Thursday 18, Umlauf Sculpture Garden

Indulge the desire for the finer things in life with an evening of fine food, fine wine, and even finer arts. And great news, art lovers – it’s all for a good cause. The Umlauf Sculpture Garden showcases the emotionally wrought work of sculptor Charles Umlauf but also hosts other artists with indoor and outdoor exhibit space. Help fund their educational programming while delighting in the secret-garden setting. It’s the perfect place to relish art and partake in some of Austin’s most delectable offerings.   – Cat McCarrey

“Ode to the Book” Opening

Thursday 18, Bolm Arts

In a gear-up for Independent Bookstore Day on April 27, Bolm Arts offers up a new exhibit, “Ode to the Book.” Musicians Jade Parx, Jac Carson, Amir Neubach, Liz Emme, and Nico Little will play as visitors peruse a diverse collection of illustrations, letterpress prints, book shrine sculptures, art books, and art made from books. “Elevating them beyond their functional purpose, artists Stephen Dubov, Sandra C. Fernandez, Emily Mitchell, Kyle Schlesinger, Jennie Tudor Gray and Beckette Rivera have created their own unique tribute to books,” writes the gallery. For more bookworm content, check out a talk by author Eric Heisner, a Western-loving screenwriter, actor, and filmmaker who will speak on the Austin Book Trail April 27.   – Lina Fisher

“Beneath the Persimmon Tree: Poetry and Process”

Through April 28, Georgetown Art Center

Austin, where even the suburbs keep it weird and artsy. That’s definitely true of the Georgetown Art Center and their carefully curated local exhibits. Take a trip up north and enjoy the latest from multimedia artist Kelly Wagner Steinke. Her strikingly textural works find beauty in chaos, rejoicing in the boundaries of materials like wax, pigments, and birch panels. Oddly hypnotic and comforting, they’ll definitely spark some thought. Check it out and ponder the art’s meaning while walking through the “most beautiful town square in Texas.”   – Cat McCarrey

“Karn Knutson: Inside the Moments”

Through May 12, Link & Pin Gallery

How do we experience each singular second of our lives? An enormous question for an event listing, sure, but that’s exactly what artist Karn Knutson tackles in her current exhibition. “Knutson attempts to show us ourselves in moments of reflection,” the show description reads, “contemplating the transitions through life, processing the struggles, finding ways forward with knowledge, sometimes hard lessons from our past, and learning from our choices good and bad. She aims to represent the things we all feel but can’t always express until we see something that lets us talk about it outside ourselves.” Maybe the something that unlocks your inner feelings is waiting just inside Link & Pin, ready to unleash all those singular seconds.   – James Scott

The Prom

Through May 12, Zach Theatre

OMG, it’s prom season, y’all! And what could make it better than four Broadway stars making it all about themselves? Zach presents the catchy tale of desperate thespians trying to gain relevance by “helping” a small town prom be less bigoted. Set to toe-tapping tunes, this musical entertains and educates. There will be laughs, love, and you know, someone might just learn something along the way.   – Cat McCarrey

Selena Birthday Week Celebration

Friday 19, French Legation State Historic Site

Some people like cheese paired with grapes. Some people like one of the oldest houses in Austin paired with one of the most iconic music biopics of all time. Five years before “Jenny on the Block” dropped, Jennifer Lopez starred as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the Queen of Tejano music. To celebrate Selena’s April birthday, the 1997 film will be screened Friday at the French Legation. To dig deeper, head to Sid Richardson Hall earlier in the afternoon (1-4pm) to view archival material including photographs, magazines, and ephemera from Selena’s life.   – Maggie Q. Thompson

CLYTE Presents Weathering the Storm

Friday 19 - Saturday 20, Crashbox

The Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble continues its mini-tour of local stages with the presentation of a new play written and performed by a cast of kids from 14 to 18 years old – Weathering the Storm. The play is a collaboration between Creative Action and the SAFE Alliance’s Expect Respect program and follows high schooler Kenzie as she navigates her emergence into full personhood. It asks why it is so difficult for young people to say no to friends and family, how they learn who is safe to share their complete selves with, and how they set boundaries and communicate needs.   – Brant Bingamon

Holly Roberts Opening Reception

Saturday 20, Yard Dog

Across the 40 years of her artistic career, there’s been a softening in the work of New Mexico artist Holly Roberts. Her 1980s output came with a menacing shadow, a threat of violence at the edges. In the past decade, her post-millennial experiments with collage and hybrid photography/painting have given way to a new era of portraiture and equine studies that plays with the wildness of naive art with utter control. Catch the latest stage of her evolution with new prints in a joint show with Jon Langford, Lisa Brawn, Bruce Lee, and Kerry Smith.   – Richard Whittaker

Alamo Dankhouse Feasts

Saturday 20, Alamo Drafthouse

Celebrate the highest of holidays with a selection of stoner classics at Drafthouses around Austin. Pick from Friday, Half Baked, Inherent Vice, Mallrats, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, all accompanied by a special 4/20 feast of Kool Ranch Popcorn Munchie Crunch, Midnight Snack Mac & Cheese, and Puff Puff Parfait. Even if you miss the whole day, you’ll get a chance Tuesday to satiate those 4:20pm munchies with Super Troopers.   – Richard Whittaker

Greater Austin Clay Studio Tour

Saturday 20 - Sunday 21, multiple locations

Oh my love, my darling, why not have your own Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore moment with the Clay Studio Tour? Try your hand at the wheel through pottery demos and workshops. Or just support those magical mud-makers and buy some art. So sorry, but you can’t use location as an excuse not to go – these tours are happening throughout the Austin area, from Pflugerville to Manchaca and everywhere in between. Get messy and make financial mistakes while witnessing some truly staggering claywork.   – Cat McCarrey

Drug Stories, Live!

Saturday 20, Eastside Cinema

Bat City Cinema, purveyor of 16mm and 35mm “classics and oddities,” presents what they term “a hallucinogenic head trip into a world of punks, drunks, jokers, tokers, pill-poppers and flip-floppers. A lysergic lesson in the do’s and don’ts of drugs.” The screening is a collaboration with the American Genre Film Archive and Something Weird Video, a distribution company based in Seattle that specializes in “the very best in exploitation cinema from the 1930s to 1970s.” It’ll be hosted by the “World’s Biggest Joint,” whatever that means. Why not find out!   – Lina Fisher

La Mujer: A Celebration of Women

Sunday 21, the Cathedral Art Gallery

La Mujer presents an overwhelming smorgasbord of options celebrating and caring for strong, sensitive women. Inside: art exhibits, keynote speakers, and a series of workshops on things like sound healing and somatic writing (these do require pre-registration, so plan ahead). Outside: open pitch for businesses, open mic for artists, kids’ activities, chamoy making, and an outdoor market by Frida Friday. Heal your mind and soul.   – Cat McCarrey

Austin Independent Book Fair

Sunday 21, Far Out Lounge

The best way to make sure that the book you’re buying wasn’t churned out by AI is to buy it direct from the author, and you can do exactly that at this celebration of small press and independent authors. New civil rights icon Brigitte Bandit will be on hand for drag queen storytime, but if you prefer your makeup of the corpse-paint variety, check out death metal storytime. Plus, if you feel like evoking that salon life, there’ll be a cocktail social about local crime anthology Austin Noir.   – Richard Whittaker

Hyperreal Hotel: Bride of Chucky

Monday 22, Hotel Vegas

I'm biased here, see, because your ol' pal James is a major fan of that evil doll Charles Lee Ray. What's playing this coming Monday in the beautifully dank caverns of Hotel Vegas is the crown jewel of the Child’s Play franchise. This comedy-horror masterpiece takes the plastic-gut frenzy of Child’s Play 2 and smashes it straight into high-quality goth-girl aesthetics via the one, the only: Tiffany Valentine, played by the iconic Jennifer Tilly. Plus: Monday's screening is presented by horror expert and frequent Weird Wednesday programmer Morgan Hyde, so you know this one's a top-tier pick. Arrive early and grab a Hyperreal Hotel punch card to get yourself on the way to earning a free keychain.   – James Scott

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

Monday 22, Violet Crown Cinema

OK, 3-2-1, let’s jam. In 2001, Shinichir Watanabe brought back his free-jazz anime riff to cinemas with Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (better known internationally as Cowboy Bebop: The Movie). For fans, it was a hidden episode 22 1/2, but for new audiences it was a wild ride into his cool space-noir packed with bounty hunters, existential doubt, gunplay, and the cutest Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the solar system. See you, space cowboy.   – Richard Whittaker

The Amazing Acro-Cats

Through May 5, Rollins Theatre at the Long Center

Fantastic feline alert! Gear up cats and kittens, for a show unlike any you’ve seen before. The amazing Acro-Cats, incredibly trained kitties, are taking their feline feats of derring-do to the Long Center starting April 24. Watch in awe as they show off their acrobatic skills, accompanied by the all-cat band Tuna and the Rock Cats/Jazz Cats. I’m sure it won’t end in cat-astrophe. In fact, it’s guaranteed to be a fully paw-some time.   – Cat McCarrey

Shakespeare’s Birthday Party

Tuesday 23, Batch Craft Beers & Kolaches

Come one, come all, it’s time to celebrate

The birthday of the bard, our darling Will!

With trivia and monologues galore

(Open-mic style, so bring stuff that will kill).

Enjoy craft beer, kolaches, here at Batch,

Or try some movie trivia – let’s go!

And raise a glass to Shakespeare, lord of words,

Creator of the works that we all know.

– Cat McCarrey

On Story Premiere Party & Live Taping

Wednesday 24, Austin PBS, KLRU-TV Studios

Maybe you’ve heard of this little-known show called The Office. Seven-time Emmy-nominated Lee Eisenberg likely had a hand in some of your favorite episodes, but the prolific writer and producer has his fingerprints on a ton of projects, including 2023 miniseries Lessons in Chemistry and 2009’s Year One starring Jack Black, Michael Cera, and Olivia Wilde. Next week, PBS and Austin Film Festival’s award-winning show On Story will celebrate the premiere of Season 14 with a live taped conversation with Eisenberg. Those in attendance will get free food and beverages, plus a look inside local PBS station KLRU’s brand-new studios.   – Maggie Q. Thompson

Gay Science: The Book Tour

Wednesday 24, BookWoman

We’ve all heard of gaydar, but how does it work? In his new book taking the popular Gay Science video series to the page, comedian Rob Anderson uses actual science to explain gaydar and get down to the bottom of what “gay voice” is, why gay men are terrible drivers, and why they run like that. Finally, a useful science textbook! Anderson’s previous works include a hilarious storybook telling of Fergie’s disastrous 2018 performance in The Fergamerican National Anthem, and his recap videos are the only right way to experience the unhinged “Christian” TV series 7th Heaven. Don’t miss the chance to meet him and get a signed book.   – Kat McNevins

Molly Sydnor’s “After the Rain Part I”

Through May 12, Big Medium

A piece of Dallas artist Molly Sydnor lives in Austin this spring thanks to “After the Rain Part I,” a Big Medium pop-up exhibition of bright textiles. Like a touchable rainbow, the multicolor weavings run ceiling-to-floor in a tiny room of the arts organization’s South Congress Avenue gallery space. The claustrophobic container may “evoke anxiety,” the artist notes, but for Sydnor, the act of weaving is a meditative process. Catch the display from 7 to 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or weekends from 11am to 4pm.   – Carys Anderson

Singin’ in the Rain in the Park

Thursday 25, Pease Park Tudor Cottage & Terrace

What better spring musical is there than Singin’ in the Rain, a Hollywood Golden Age classic wherein Gene Kelly prances around in Technicolor and Cyd Charisse stunts on everyone (those gams!). With some of the best choreography and songs of all time, Hyperreal Film Club invites you to a "film history fairy tale about the death of silent film. Sometimes the journey is inspiring and joyful, and sometimes it is exhausting and exploitative ... it's both a monument to the movie musical's past and a playful slap from its future." The screening will follow an 8:30 music video premiere for Tele Novella's "Eggs in One Basket."   – Lina Fisher

“Gabriele Galimberti: The Ameriguns & Toy Stories”

Through May 12, Lydia Street Gallery

They say Texas is the gun capital of America; no arguments here. And many gun collectors treat them almost like toys, taking pride in amassing safeloads of the things and procuring the latest gadgets. Internationally acclaimed Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti set out to capture images of American gun owners among their massive collections of weapons for “Ameriguns,” resulting in some stunning imagery. This series is juxtaposed with children showcasing their toy collections for “Toy Stories,” for which Galimberti also made observations about socioeconomic and other factors influencing the subjects’ relationship to their possessions, making for a thoughtful and provocative exhibition.   – Kat McNevins

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