From October 2011

Critics Hail Blanton Museum Exhibition

“El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa,” on view at The Blanton through January 22, has received praise from local, state, and national critics. The Wall Street Journal (9/24/2011) said “Don’t miss,” the exhibition, Texas Monthly selected it as one of five stand-out shows this season, and closer to home, The Austin American-Statesman described the works as “breathtaking.” Learn more about the exhibition in this behind the scenes video: El Anatsui at The Blanton

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The VAC presents MAKE in November

Come join us for an intimate journey into the lives of four American self-taught artists.

A new round of exhibitions is about to open at the Visual Arts Center! The VAC is excited to present MAKE, opening November 18th. MAKE explores the lives and works of four self-taught American artists. Making art gave each of these artists a powerful voice that transcended their disabilities and obstacles.

Ike Morgan, Judith Scott, Hawkins Bolden and Prophet Royal Robertson’s work will be on display at the VAC in the East Gallery.  Each artist has a distinct style, but only Morgan, whose paintings frequently feature portraits of presidents considered his creations pieces of art! Scott’s extremely elaborate and intricate creations made of yarn and threads are beautiful and haunting. Bolden went blind at a young age, but still produced eerie scarecrows.  Robertson considered his drawings of the apocalypse not works of art, but prophecies that foretold the coming on aliens and the end of days. These four artists offer a stark contrast to the traditional art world and their unique perspective is not to be missed.

Scott Ogden, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts UT Austin, curates MAKE.  He directed a documentary film titled MAKE, featuring the four artists, which will receive a screening at the VAC on November 29th followed by a Q&A with the director.  Don’t miss this rare film and make sure to check out the art before the screening!

MAKE will be on view at the VAC from November 18th through December 17th.  Be sure to join us at the opening reception on November 18th at 6 pm.

For more information on MAKE at the VAC visit . For more information on the film visit  .

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A World of Interest: Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s Self–portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940) has returned to the Harry Ransom Center and is on display in the lobby through January 8, 2012.

Join us on Thursday, October 27, at 7 p.m. for a lecture by Peter Mears, Associate Curator of Art at the Ransom Center. Mears discusses how the Ransom Center acquired the painting and a small but important collection of modern Mexican art from photographer and collector Nickolas Muray, who was also Kahlo’s lover. Mears will also provide an overview of this iconic painting’s worldly travels, which serve as a cultural barometer reflecting the trends, issues, and cross-cultural themes prevalent in the art world over the past two decades.

The painting, one of the Ransom Center’s most famous and frequently borrowed artworks, has been on almost continuous loan since 1990. During that time, the painting has been featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and around the world.

The painting was most recently on loan as part of a Kahlo retrospective tour with stops at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, Germany; the Kunstforum Wien in Vienna, Austria; and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain. View a map of where the painting has travelled in the past 20 years.

Watch a video documenting the painting’s return, unpacking, and conservation assessment.


Visit the Harry Ransom Center

The galleries are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursday until 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Docent-led tours are offered Tuesdays at noon, Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

The Ransom Center is located at 21st and Guadalupe. Admission is free. Your donation supports the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs.

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Fun Fossil Events at the Texas Memorial Museum

Artistic rendering of new dinosaur Sarahsaurus by John Maisano.

After remaining closed since June for renovations, the Texas Memorial Museum is back with lots of fun events for October!

New Exhibit! – Beginning Saturday, October 8, 2011 – Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis is an early ancestor to giant sauropod dinosaurs. Learn about its discovery and what makes this claw-handed dinosaur such an intriguing find!

Family Fossil Fun Day – Sunday, October 9, 2011 – 1pm to 4:45pm
Fossil identifications, hands-on presentations by paleontologists, storytime, fossil dig pit, and paleo-themed crafts and activities. Free admission and free activities.
Schedule of Activities:
2:00–2:30 pm (4th floor, theatre) Discovering Sarahsaurus—with Dr. Timothy Rowe, TNSC vertebrate paleontologist. Learn about Dr. Rowe’s exciting find and what Sarahsaurus tells us about dinosaur evolution.

3:00–3:45 pm (4th floor, theatre) Mammoths on the Move—with Dr. Pamela R. Owen, TNSC vertebrate paleontologist. Come for storytime and a hands-on exploration of mammoths and their relatives from the last Ice Age!

4:00–4:20 pm (1st floor, Paleo Lab) Meet a Preparator—with Ms. Laura Naski, TNSC educator and Paleo Lab preparator. See the “tools of the trade” and learn how fossils are cleaned, repaired and made ready for exhibit, research and teaching.

Ongoing 1:00–4:30 pm
Sarahsaurus exhibit (2nd floor)
Crafts and games (2nd floor)
Fossil Identifications (1st floor, Paleo Lab)
Fossil Dig Pit (Outside on the west patio)
Dinosaur Track Mats (Outside on the west patio)

National Fossil Day – Wednesday, October 12, 2011

National Fossil Day™ is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.
Join paleontologists at Texas Memorial Museum in this nationwide celebration promoting awareness of fossils and the science of paleontology.

Schedule of Activities:
2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm – (2nd floor, Sarahsaurus exhibit)
“Sarahsaurus and the Success of Dinosaurs”—a gallery talk with Dr. Pamela R. Owen, TNSC vertebrate paleontologist.

Ongoing 1 pm to 4:45 pm – (1st floor, Paleo Lab area)
Fossil identifications and more! Meet with TNSC paleontologists and members of the Paleontological Society of Austin to learn about the fabulous fossil record of Texas and explore paleontology as a career or hobby.

Fright at the Museum – Sunday, October 30, 2011 – 1 pm to 4:45 pm

Dress up your little goblins and celebrate Halloween at Austin’s very own dinosaur graveyard during Fright at the Museum! Join our spooky scientists in exploring the mysterious side of Texas’ natural history. Feel frightful fish from the ocean depths; be rattled by slithery snakes of Central Texas; and feast your eyes on our bizarre bugs while we serve up creepy, crawly critters for your culinary delight. Free event for the entire family!

This year, we’re out for blood! We’ve partnered with The Blood Center of Central Texas and are hosting a blood drive at the Museum. You too can be a fang-tastic blood donor! Register for the blood drive now.

On the blood drive registration page:
Under Step 1, enter “Vampire” as the sponsor code and October 30, 2011 as the date.
Under Step 2, select “Texas Natural Science Center” as the location.
Under Step 3, click on “Schedule” next to the time you want to donate blood.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 115 pounds. Donors must bring a photo ID with their date of birth on it.
For more information contact Christina Cid at 512-232-5509.

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