Art & Culture
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Artistic Austin: Culture in the Capital City
Written by Christy Wink / Image by Bruce Bingham
W hether it’s a painting, glass, sculpture, mixed media, or even those originals that defy the traditional classifications, you would be hard pressed to walk around and not encounter art in Austin. Whether for sale or just made for everyone’s enjoyment, our art can be found in a wide range of settings. It’s on our streets, bridges and walls; it’s built into our architecture and sold on our sidewalks.
We have fine collectable pieces hung quietly in peaceful and austere museum- quality settings, while roomfuls of funky glasswork and sculptures made from everyday items are tucked carefully away in tiny antique houses-turned-galleries.
In addition to the galleries and museums peppering the downtown and Hill Country scenes, there are numerous festivals and exhibitions throughout the year. One of the highlights is Art City Austin, which takes place during the last weekend of April 2016. Each year, hundreds of emerging and independent artists spread themselves out over the rolling hills and streets surrounding Austin City Hall to sell their creations to thousands of eager art enthusiasts.
If you’re here in December, do not miss the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. Held during the ten days leading up to Christmas at the Palmer Events Center downtown, this bazaar is two events in one: part art fair and part music festival. Notable names from the Austin music scene play for your entertainment as you shop an amazing array of handmade items from local artists and artisans.
In the heart of downtown, 6th Street is shut down for two weekends a year (one in May and one in September) for the Old Pecan Street Arts Festival, a tradition for over 30 years. Visitors can indulge in a wide variety of art, crafts, food, music and street shows. It should come as no surprise that an offbeat and vibrant city such as Austin has a highly active art scene. Our art, like our music, is part of our soul. One need do nothing more than open their eyes to see this city alive with creativity.