From the Editor
by Claire Ruud
Here’s what rocks about Austin: the turnover. You think I’m joking? I’m not. As Art Palace prepares for a move to Houston, heed its director’s warning. In an exit interview with Kate Watson on Glasstire, Arturo Palacios spoke these pearls of wisdom about our city,
For artists, this place is a great incubator, a place to be ambitious and take big risks. For someone like me, Austin is still a place where an Art Palace... can be born, nurtured and can grow without the pressure of a top-heavy gallery system. The potential is great here.
I’m with Palacios. The constant turnover in Austin creates a lot of space for people with ideas and energy to experiment and grow. Art Palace has been good to us, and we’ll miss it. Palacios’s energy and hard work, and the caliber of his exhibitions has been unmatched. Now, Palacios’s move to Houston is right for him and his artists. In addition, it’s opening up the arena for younger, less experienced artists, curators and gallerists to create something new.
By way of eulogy to Art Palace, I offer up some thoughts about its fresh final show in Austin, ONE on ONE on ONE, in this week’s …might be good recommends. As if in testament to Austin’s continuing vibrancy, Palacios gave his closing show primarily to a group of artists we haven’t seen much of yet, but we’re sure to see more of in the future. Definitely make the trip out to see what’s brewing there.
E.A.S.T. is coming up too, this year spanning ten days from Saturday, November 14 through Sunday November 22. Though you may have to wade through a lot before you find what you’re looking for, it’s exciting to see how much this open studio event continues to grow exponentially. In its first iteration in 2002, E.A.S.T. consisted of just 28—yes, 28—open studios. This year, there are over 300 sites on the tour, by my count.
We’re also looking at two hot openings this weekend. Noriko Ambe’s carved artist books grace the halls at Lora Reynolds and booksmart takes a look at the book as a structure of knowledge at Okay Mountain. Also, Teresita Fernández’s exhibition opened at the Blanton last weekend, and all three of the preceding—Ambe, booksmart, Fernandez—will be reviewed in our next issue of …might be good.
In this issue, Katie Geha reviews our very own Michael Smith’s collaboration with Mike Kelly, A Voyage of Growth and Discovery at SculptureCenter in New York, and Michael Bise talks about Hard Edge: Ping-Pong Abstraction at Optical Project, Bill Davenport’s experimental gallery space in Houston. In addition, I explore the possibilities and pitfalls of public art programs at Universities with Mary Beebe, Director of the impressive Stuart Collection at UC San Diego. A year ago, UT Austin’s own public art program, Landmarks, kicked off with the temporary acquisition of some of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s sculpture collection. Upcoming Landmarks projects include James Turrell’s Skyspace in the new student activity center and a to-be-announced project for the new Visual Art Center. As we await the next unveiling in Austin, Beebe’s thoughts on her experience in San Diego offer insight into how public art programs function within universities on both a practical and theoretical level.
Claire Ruud is Associate Director of Fluent~Collaborative.