Forget About That Goddam E.A.S.T. For a Minute, OK?

Even though it's just a month away, yeah, we know …


But, listen: You don't want to miss the trees for the forest.

Which is to say: Shea Little, Joseph Phillips, and Jana Swec.

The three of them started the East Austin Studio Tour more than a decade ago, right? And their Big Medium compound of studios and galleries is the epicenter of all that creative art-tour wonderment each year, right? And they're the people who the acclaimed Texas Biennial came from, too, right?


But you also know that they're not just a trio of organizational ass-kickers, right? Of course you do: You know that they – separately or as the Sodalitas collective – are also among the finest artists working in this city.

(And when we say "finest," we mean artists whose works will appeal to middle-aged art-history majors with too much college-learnin' in their heads and hotshot design professionals who thrill at the sight of a well-rendered architectural schematic and that Juxtapoz-reading teenager careening drunkenly past on the Kozik deck of her favorite skateboard.)

Yeah: Sodalitas. In which combination Little and Phillips and Swec work in collaboration on art that's 1) visually striking, 2) aesthetically provoking, 3) mentally challenging and calming, and 4) priced in such a way that you don't have to win the fucking MegaMillions to afford having some of it in your art-lover's hovel.

Oh, but they haven't done a show in a long time.

Oh, but they're way too busy with this year's rapidly approaching E.A.S.T. to –

No: Their newest works are currently displayed in glorious profusion on the walls of grayDUCK Gallery right there off South First in Bouldin Creek.

That's right: Sodalitas, right now, represented with original paintings and more that the public's never seen before. Just as beautiful and intriguing as ever. Possibly more refined than their earlier efforts, more thoroughly group-efforted toward sublime excellence, more – oh, yadda yadda, a picture, a thousand words, you know the rigmarole.

(Did we say "displayed … on the walls"? Well, that's not to mention the Core Samples included in this grayDUCK exhibition. Because the Core Samples are exactly that: Samples taken like biopsy plugs from the temporal body of Sodalitas projects over the years; gigantic, chitin-encased sausages filled with a decade's worth of creative ejecta and aesthetic mulch, now sliced like lengths of mortadella and laid out upon a few white tables for your viewing and purchasing pleasure.)

(Ask gallery owner Jill Schroeder, she'll tell you.)

If you haven't seen this show already and you know how good the work of Sodalitas can be (or if our meager scribing's convinced you), we can't imagine how you'd stay away for much longer. But, hurry, friend: This Saturday is the last day.

(And, not that we're in the habit of recommending nearby eateries to anyone, but, word to the wise and hungry: Elizabeth Street Cafe is just, what, a block away? And, oh holy Rothko, have you tried the amazing banh mi in that homey-yet-swanky joint yet?)

You're welcome.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Is Austin’s Prohibition Creamery Too Sweet For Booze?
Prohibition Creamery: Too Sweet For Booze?
A whiskey mouth’s pleasurable experience suggests otherwise

Feb. 20, 2019

Hacking Whiskey at Treaty Oak Distillery
Hacking Whiskey at Treaty Oak Distillery
What’s a brief moment of Brooklyn in a Hill Country paradise?

Feb. 14, 2019


Sodalitas, grayDUCK Gallery, Joseph Phillips, Shea Little, Jana Swec, EAST, gigantic, chitin-encased sausages

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle