To actually write a roundup encompassing all the aspects of Austin's art scene would be nearly impossible: we're lucky enough to live in a city bursting at the seams with art and creativity. So whether you are new to Austin or just want to explore the art scene more, here are some highlights of great classic museums and some newer spaces!
- Austin Art Garage 2200 S. Lamar, Suite J Austin, TX 78704 Forget the wine, cheese and super-expensive art. The Austin Art Garage aims to bring Austin's emerging artistic talent directly into the hands of customers in an easy and affordable way. The Austin Art Garage founders, Jake Bryer and Joel Ganucheau, have a knack for choosing artists who are destined to be "the next big thing" so you'll always know you're looking at the hottest Austin artists. You can purchase art online or visit their funky digs on South Lamar. Either way, you're sure to find amazing Austin talent at unbelievable prices. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30AM - 6:30PM and Sunday 1PM - 5PM
- Pump Project Art Complex 702 Shady Lane Austin, Texas 78702 A non-profit East Austin art venue, the Pump Project Art Complex provides low-cost studio space for over 30 artists, 1000 square feet of gallery facilities and exhibition opportunities--- not to mention connects amazing artists to art lovers. Serving up an atmosphere that's equal parts gallery and workshop, visitors to one of Pump Project Art Complex's many art openings often get the chance to mingle with artists in their own studios, experiencing the art as it is created and becoming personally connected. The Pump Project is known for its inventive events, throwing differently themed openings and competitions often, so you're always bound to be entertained with the best of Austin's emerging artistic talent.
- Austin Figurative Gallery 315 N. Congress Austin TX 78701 (for the summer) While I'm not sure if this gallery necessarily set out to be one of the best places to find emerging artwork, they've certainly morphed into one. With a network of hundreds of artists and a quickly rotating weekly gallery opening schedule, AFG is definitely worth checking out if you're interested in amazingly talented artists. While most artwork sticks within the figurative realm, they occasionally feature artists with a decidedly abstract nature. Regardless, you'll be amazed by the variety of figurative art represented each week.
- Blanton Museum of Art University of Texas at Austin MLK at Congress (200 East MLK) Austin, Texas 78701 Even though this is the University of Texas art museum, this place isn't just for students. One of the best museums in Austin, the Blanton impresses many an art lover with over 17,000 works of art, including European Old Master paintings, modern and contemporary American art, Latin American art, as well as many other genres. Along with wowing audiences with great art, the Blanton also offers gallery talks, lectures, concerts, symposia, and teacher workshops. You're not going to want to miss one of Austin's hottest monthly events, the B Scene, where Austin's art elite mingle with art lovers and art collectors combined. Hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday- Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Free Admission on Thursdays!
- Arthouse at the Jones Center 700 Congress Ave Austin, TX 78701 Arthouse's mission (besides be ultra slick and cool) is to promote the growth and appreciation of contemporary Texas art and artists. Holding exhibitions and programs in Austin and statewide, Arthouse brings some of the most amazing contemporary art to downtown Austin that I've ever seen. Don't worry about it feeling too "museum-y", the Arthouse still has a great local and casual feel to it. Hours: Monday: CLOSED Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 11 am - 7 pm Thursday: 11 am - 9 pm Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm Sunday: 1 - 5 pm Free admission (donations accepted)
- Austin Museum of Art 823 Congress Ave # 100 Austin, TX 78701 What can I say? The AMOA, with two Austin locations, provides Austin art lovers with just what they want: great art to experience. With an arsenal of ever-changing gallery exhibits and educational programs, Visitors to either AMOA location are sure to have a lovely day of amazing art. AMOA also brings one of the best museum gift stores right within the reach of downtown Austin. Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10 - 6, Thurs. 10 - 8, Sun. Noon - 5, Closed Mondays and Holidays. First Saturday of the month pay what you want!
Still not enough? Check out these organizations for more information about local Austin art:
- East Side Studio Tour: a list of last year's participating artists on the East Side Studio Tour (a yearly studio tour of all the amazing local art studios on Austin's East Side)
Have a favorite place to find local art in Austin that you think I've left out? Let me know!