Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images).
Austin‘s art scene – much like the city itself – has a flair all its own, and that’s ever-apparent in the many galleries, exhibitions, and shows offered within the city limits. With a mantra like “keep Austin weird,” most visitors come with an image in their mind of what Austin “should” be, and that doesn’t disappoint! With an eclectic style all its own, Austin is a must-see spot to visit for every kind of art lover or anyone hoping to discover some of America’s most interesting art galleries.
Women and Their Work
Created and founded in 1978, Women and Their Work is – as you may have guessed – an art gallery that gives a voice and visual stage to some of the finest art created by women. Though the artwork is inarguably astounding, Women and Their Work aims to be more than just a gallery. The company as a whole does extensive work for the art community within the city by offering performances, innovative local (and traveling) exhibits, literary readings, educational workshops and town-hall-style discussions and debates regarding cultural events, art and history within Austin.
This organization was the first in Texas to receive a visual art grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In short, it’s a must-see.
Another Austin-based non-profit arts organization, Big Medium, is actually comprised of two separate galleries. Gallery is actually probably the incorrect word, as the gallery in itself more closely resembles a community than a normal art exhibit. The two studios provide more of a meeting point for the artistic community within Austin and surrounding cities and brings people together through their work, exhibits and their famous studio tours called the East Austin Studio Tour and the West Austin Studio Tour. These popular tours are for those that want to admire the art at their own pace, and without much pretense while still maintaining a sense of community.
At Big Medium, you can also chat up some of the local artists renting one of their many affordable studio spaces.
Art on 5th
Art on 5th is one of the largest galleries in Austin. The contemporary space hosts everything from contemporary art, to abstract, eccentric post-modernist interpretation of classics such as Dali and Picasso. The gallery first opened its doors in 1988 and featured art obtained or loaned to the gallery and its owner Joe Sigel. The original pieces featured Picasso and Warhol and currently the museum is probably best known for its large collection (thought to be the largest) of Secret Art of Dr. Seuss.
Always-evolving, you can find art from local and national artists, as well as touring exhibitions from art-rich cities such as Washington DC, Chicago, and Montreal.
grayDUCK is located in East Austin and the gallery features both contemporary and modern pieces. Inside you’ll find mostly contemporary work from a range of local and national artist as well as traveling and small-group exhibitions such as That Silky Smooth Feeling by guest curator Jaime Salvador Castillo.