Austin Be Ausome


Austin is quite nice, and a lot of that is due to the gallery’s owner/ director.  I like her a lot, and I’m staying at her lovely house.  The Friday night event was much fun, even though I was quite fried. It was very well attended, and rather than being a panel discussion, the three of us artists who were in attendance spoke about our work and answered questions; and a printmaking expert and faculty/ administrator from UT spoke about the two artists who could not be here.  (And a few pieces of mine sold, always good).

It was, however, horrid for hearing; just awful, but deafness was a part of my talk (since all my work is ultimately related to my reality) and so, folk were pretty accommodating and understanding.  A great huge group of us then went upstairs to eat at a gigantic table in an even noisier restaurant. The person who sat next to me was also hard-of-hearing, and very nice, so we had a good time talking.  I could not, for the life of me, hear anyone else, even a very interesting artist who sat  directly across the table from me, who I wanted to talk with.  Oh well.

Yesterday, we went to the gallery and I shot the show and then worked on editing the slideshow images for the two talks at UT tomorrow; then Judy (my hostess) took me to see the wonderfully-named Slugfest, a beautifully-equipped printmaking/ bookbinding studio/ gallery cooperative.  I’d met some of the folks the night before.  They had fabulous and varied tools, plus two cats and a land tortoise, too. Nice.

Then Judy dropped me off in the UT campus area of Austin, and she went back to the gallery for an event, a group of opera supporters who were having a champagne tasting.  I went exploring in rather stupendous heat, then walked down to the gallery when the opera event was supposed to end; it ran over for another 90 minutes or so, though.  Then we went and had delicious barbequed brisket in a great funky place where everything was home-made, and Judy drove me to see The Bats*.  I’m obsessed with them.  But we got there too late, so she drove me around downtown Austin for a bit, pointing out various landmarks and sites, and then we stopped at another gallery, owned by a friend of hers, for the tail end of an opening.  Folk are very friendly here.

Today, we’re just hanging out (I’m glad, I need a little slowdown, and Judy has a lovely garden), and later we’ll go to Whole Foods (which originated here in Austin), put together a picnic, and go early to find a good spot to see The Bats.

Gallery Shoal Creek window

*There is a huge colony of bats that have adopted a bridge in downtown Austin as their seasonal cave.  They fly out from under it each evening at dusk, a la’ Carlsbad Caverns, and though it’s a tourist thing to do, I’ve just gotta see this.  I’m fascinated by most situations when nature takes over manmade things (with the possible exceptions of rats and cockroaches).