Enjoy events at the Harry Ransom Center this fall

The Harry Ransom Center announces its fall calendar of events. View the full lineup of events.

Front graphic_fall calendarEnjoy programs related to the current exhibition, Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West, including:
• Curator’s Tour with Peter Mears (September 16)
• Poetry on the Plaza with poems inspired by the American West (September 24)
• Discussion of Frank Reaugh’s life and work with contributors to the exhibition’s companion publication, Windows on the West (October 1)
Twenty-Four Hours with the Herd performance featuring music by Graham Reynolds, projections, and 4-D effects (November 13; tickets required)

Join us for these literary events:
• “’Hearts with One Purpose Alone’: W. B. Yeats and the Irish Revolution” lecture by Roy Foster, with reception (October 22)
• A talk by Salman Rushdie (October 28; tickets available in September)
• Discussion with Jonathan Bate about his new biography, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life (November 18)

Members receive exclusive invitations to deepen their engagement with the collections. Become a member for these opportunities.
• Director’s Reception and Open House featuring conservation, theater and performing arts, and more (November 4)
• Behind-the-scenes building tour with Cathy Henderson, Associate Director of Exhibitions (November 14)

Save the date: Focus Group at the Visual Arts Center

Screening Room Still

Still from "Screening Room" with Suzan Pitt, 1975

On Thursday, March 28 join the Visual Arts Center (VAC) for the second edition of Focus Group, a new screening series centered on experimental film in its various formats, including but not limited to 16mm, 8mm, and digital video.

This spring, as part of Focus Group, the VAC presents monthly screenings of Screening Room, the 1970s television series that invited independent filmmakers to screen and discuss their work on a commercial affiliate station (ABC-TV). The unique program, developed and hosted by filmmaker Robert Gardner, gave equal exposure to animation, documentary, and experimental film by artists such as Jean Rouch, Jonas Mekas, Hollis Frampton, Yvonne Rainer, and Michael Snow. The filmmakers presented on the show are now considered among the most influential contributors to their respective genres. Produced and released by Studio7Arts, an organization founded by Robert Gardner to support nonfiction media, the rarely seen Screening Room episodes are still invaluable today to creative thinkers, regardless of what medium they work in.

For the March edition of Focus Group, the VAC presents the July 1975 episode of Screening Room with Suzan Pitt. An animator and painter whose surreal films have gained her worldwide acclaim, Pitt pushes the boundaries of the animated form, sometimes working with live actors or using animation in operatic stagings. In this episode of Screening Room, Pitt screens and discusses the films Bowl, Garden, Theatre, Marble Game, Crocus, Cels, Whitney Promo, and Jefferson Circus Songs.

Focus Group is presented in collaboration with Experimental Response Cinema, an Austin-based collective of avant-garde film and video artists, whose members choose videos and films to precede each screening. For this episode of Screening Room, Rachel Stuckey will lead a presentation on women animators and showcase films by Janie Geiser, Daina Krumins and Gunvor Nelson.

Screening is 7-9PM, Thursday, March 28 in the University of Texas at Austin Art Building (ART), Room 1.102. For directions and further information please visit the Visual Arts Center’s website.

March is Texas History Month

The Martyrs of the AlamoThis month celebrate the rich history of Texas and commemorate the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo with a special screening of the 1915 silent film The Martyrs of the Alamo at the Bullock Museum. This is the earliest surviving film to depict the 1836 standoff between Texian volunteers and Santa Anna’s Mexican forces. The film’s historical biases illuminate how 100 years have changed perspectives on that critical event in the fight for Texas’s independence.

This special screening will be accompanied live by The Invincible Czars, presenting their original score for this silent film classic.

FREE for Bullock Museum Members/$10 for non-Members
Reservations required. Please call (512) 936-4649.

Spring Exhibitions at the Visual Arts Center

The Visual Arts Center is thrilled to kick off the spring season last Friday with a fantastic opening reception for its five exciting exhibitions! Exhibitions this spring inspire distinct interpretations of the VAC’s versatile and sweeping galleries through the creation of spaces within spaces and the use of repurposed materials. Drawing on a diverse set of disciplines and art practices, including architecture, performance, and the use of found objects, this spring’s artists invite viewers to engage with these disparate environments, both controlled and chaotic, which are created throughout the VAC. Couldn’t make it to the opening? Don’t fret!  Exhibitions are on view through March 9, with the exception of Diffuse Reflection Lab, which runs through May 11.

Another great way to experience the VAC’s current exhibitions is through Walk-In, a series of guided public tours happening every Saturday at 2pm. Each weekly tour will feature a different theme and conversation topic as a launching pad for visitors to enjoy. A VAC guide will meet participants at the front desk for a tour through the galleries with plenty of time for questions about the work on display. Tours will last approximately 45 minutes and no reservation is necessary.

Save the date: “Face to Face” at the Harry Ransom Center

Face to FaceJoin the Ransom Center for “Face to Face,” the opening celebration for the photography exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass. Get a first look at the exhibition, enter a drawing for an Arnold Newman-inspired prize package, and enjoy refreshments from Austin Wine Merchant, Dripping Springs Vodka, and The Cupcake Bar. Guests will also have the opportunity to pose in one of Newman’s iconic portraits in an analog photo booth created by the Lomography Gallery Store and to view screenings of Arnold Newman interviews and film clips in the theater.

Become a member now to receive complimentary admission and valet parking at “Face to Face.” If you are not yet a member, you may order individual tickets for $20 (valet parking not included). Join or order tickets online or by calling 512-232-3669.

Art on Tap at The Blanton

Sam Hovland and Katy Wilson

Sam Hovland and Katy Wilson getting excited for Art on Tap. Photo: Oliver Martin.

Katy Wilson, public programs intern at the Blanton Museum of Art and a UT art education graduate student, organized Art on Tap: Craft Beer and Local Fare, an event at The Blanton this spring that features tours of our American Scenery and Go West! exhibitions, followed by food and beer tastings selected from regions represented in the shows. Katy interviewed sommelier Sam Hovland and chef Mat Clouser, The Blanton’s partners for the event. Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A. (The full interview appears on the Blanton Blog.)

During Art on Tap, guests will get to try different beers selected because of ties to the art in Go West! and American Scenery, two exhibitions currently on view at The Blanton. Can you tell us how you selected the art works and corresponding beers for the event?

Sam Hovland: Some of the art choices are based on places where Mat and I had spent time, and some are regionally selected so that our progression made sense. We usually chose the beers first and then paired the food afterwards. We knew that we wanted to do the food as three courses, each delivered as a pairing with two beers, so we had to keep that in mind as we narrowed down the art, beer, and food choices.

Mat, you are creating food pairings to complement the beers and art works in the exhibitions. Where do you find inspiration when devising new dishes?

Mat Clouser: Inspiration can and does come from anything. I am always trying to leave myself open to any new ideas or styles. I read about food quite a bit, which tends to inspire my thoughts while I am out walking. As Nietzsche once said, “all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Mine frequently come this way, with a great amount of clarity to them, as well. I think just being in the vastness of space, rather than the typical confines of a kitchen matters. Beyond that, my predominant inspiration tends to be based on seasonality and availability. Nature supplies us with some pretty amazing stuff; I wouldn’t say I try to stay out of its way, but more that I try to accent its great ingredients with my own idiosyncrasies. I do try to spend a great deal of time determining how sensible the food can be: whether the ingredients make sense together, if they might be traveling too far to rationalize their usage, given their toll on our and their own environments. I have to sit on ideas for a while sometimes, some disappear from memory, but the persistent ones almost always become fabulous. I imagine one might call that pragmatic gastronomy, though I think for many chefs it is the one true path to good food. Lastly, I have been meditating on the Dada and Surrealist movements of late: the concepts of unique juxtapositions in food, the playfulness of including some non sequitur into a dish or meal, rule breaking, and in particular the idea of cooking via psychic automatism.

When can we expect your new restaurant, Swift’s Attic, to open its doors? Will the food served during Art on Tap provide a sneak peak of your new menu?

MC: Swift’s Attic will be opening sometime after SXSW, as we want to invite people to come and visit us at a less hectic and congested time and place. We’ll do it when it’s safe to go back downtown, so to speak. The food for Art on Tap is a mixture of things that will be on our menu, albeit with custom tweaks to fit the presentation, and some things that we think compliment the beers, paintings and locales. Six items in total, one paired with each beer, ranging in texture, flavor, and inspiration. Most will be vegetarian, while I am not a vegetarian; I feel that they end up suffering too often when eating out. My, and Swift’s Attic, intent is for there to be many options, for all palates, that are quite delicious on their own, meaty or not. That being said, I am somewhat of a Pork Spiritualist, so do be on the look out for that!

Continue reading the Art on Tap Q&A on the Blanton Blog …

Upcoming Events for Austin’s Cultural Campus

Saturday, November 12: Bike Tour with Mellow Johnny’s

Explore art, history, the humanities, and science while enjoying a casual bike ride! Join us Saturday, November 12, for a bike tour of Austin’s Cultural Campus. Meet at 9 a.m. at Mellow Johnny’s  Bike Shop, located at 400 Nueces. Co-hosted by Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop and the Austin Cycling Association, this no-drop, co-ed group ride is perfect for cyclists of all levels and riding abilities. Total distance is about 6 miles.

On this route, we’ll visit museums that are part of Austin’s Cultural Campus: the Blanton Museum of Art, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, LBJ Library and Museum, and Visual Arts Center. Docents will briefly share museum highlights.

Update: The bike tour is full, and the RSVP list is closed.



Saturday, November 26, Holiday Museum Crawl

Kick off your holidays with some super shopping and a bit of culture too at the Austin’s Cultural Campus Holiday Museum Crawl on Saturday, November 26. Visit the Blanton Museum of Art, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Harry Ransom Center, and LBJ Library and Museum for free or discounted admission to exhibitions (use code: museum crawl at the front desk), live music, free hot beverages, special museum shop savings, plus a drawing for a prize package with gifts from each museum. Visit each museum’s website for additional information and hours for November 26.