EAST 2017: Pump Project, Dimension Gallery, and More
Finding floating sea creatures, sangria, and a Resonant Lung
By Melany Jean,
1:00PM, Mon. Nov. 13, 2017
To kick off the East Austin Studio Tour's first day in a big way, Erica Nix led a lycra-clad troupe in an inspired routine in Pump Project’s gallery space. Following her instructions, belted through a speaker system that drew curious passersby to peek in, the crew flitted around the gallery area.
Fully energized following that jolt, we set out to explore the complex, winding in and out of artist studios (Stops 264-279 for those following along in the catalog), small-talking with artists along the way about their process and projects. Of course, a trip next door to Stop 263 was necessary to explore ICOSA’s wonderful multimedia show on the theme of utopia/dystopia, “From Eden to Oblivion.”
We popped in along the side of Mission Funeral Home on East Cesar Chavez to look through some strange, beautiful work on offer from Robert Page – sea creatures floating in the air alongside Spongebob, turtles with human skull shells, all found at Stop 398 – and Angela Mathias (Stop 396), whose best surreal painted works pepper playful, bright dots over romantic imagery.
Wandering a bit away from the hubbub and toward the homey, we came across a family affair at Stops 78 & 79, where mother-daughter duo Karen and Caitlin B. Alexander will chat with you in their backyard studio over some homemade sangria about their work’s roots in generational traditions and shifts. Caitlin’s work includes fabric design and her mother Karen’s charming gridded paintings are inspired by the women in their family’s craft traditions, including quilting.
Okay, when you go to Canopy – and you should, really – be sure to walk up Springdale a bit to Dimension Gallery (Stops 181 & 182), which, I know, we’ve mentioned before, but who would we be if we didn’t take our own advice? We stepped into Colin McIntyre’s Resonant Lung, that hulking, foreboding sculpture emitting a luring tune. Impossible to miss, so don’t.