AUSTIN — The slogan “keep Austin weird” is well supported. The state capital thrives on a deep love for art, music, food and creativity. It is a very un-conservative city, in a very conservative state. When I want to get away from my everyday life, I go to Austin for a day trip, or the weekend. I have taken trips to Austin several times, yet have not been to The Contemporary Austin—Jones Center, until now.
There are two locations: The Contemporary Austin—Jones Center at 700 Congress Ave., and The Contemporary Austin—Laguna Gloria at 3809 W 35th St. I have not been to the Laguna Gloria location, but I do plan to take a visit next time I go to Austin. The Contemporary Austin also runs an art school. The locations’ overall mission is to inform the community on contemporary art through exhibitions and education.
The Contemporary Austin—Jones Center is a two-story art museum, but small. There were two exhibitions (one on each floor), Paper Dance by Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin and Relational Aesthetics by Jessica Stockholder. I enjoyed viewing the exhibitions, although I admit I did not understand the art. Growing up, I took several art classes and all my instructors taught the theory that art does not have to be understood to be art. I always enjoyed that theory.
On the bottom floor is the Relational Aesthetics exhibit. Stockholder uses everyday items and bright colors of paint in her abstract pieces. A bath tub, a scooter, a lamp and a refrigerator are just a few of the everyday items used in Stockholder’s exhibit. This exhibit also has a viewing platform visitors can use to get a different perspective of the art.
In contrast, the Paper Dance exhibit’s main construction materials are paper and wooden crates. In the background of the Paper Dance exhibit is a video of people dancing while holding large body-size pieces of brown paper. The crates in the exhibit have various items placed on top of them, such as sculptures and photographs, which were made and taken over a 30 year span by Janine Antoni. Anna Halprin and Janine Antoni collaborated the dance. This exhibit is constantly being rearranged. As I entered the second floor, to the right, was a large pile of brown paper, which at first I confused for as left over exhibit materials, but soon found out it was part of the art.
About every three months, the exhibits at The Contemporary Austin—Jones Center are changed. Admission for military with a valid ID is free. For more information, visit www.thecontemporaryaustin. org.