if you’ve never seen the sun rise out of the darkness to light up the big texas sky, you’re missing out on something truly spectacular. i’m not usually awake to see it, but driving out to the middle of nowhere with everything around me bathed in that red and golden morning light made me feel like a new person. but, as my brother and i have severe caffeine addictions, we did not quite have the wherewithal to take any photos. dammit.
yet, we drove through every a handful of rundown towns and saw a lot of that sundrenched texas earth.
i have no idea what it is about them, but cows just make me feel better. perhaps its because they just seem like such peaceful and simple creatures. they don’t share the same kind of problems that we have. but on the other hand… maybe their problems are a little more grave than ours. after all, no one is trying to eat me with a side of french fries.
shut up. just look at that little face. she just knows so much.
[photo via down on the farm.]
after we drove through four hours of gorgeous green, flat land, the earth started to become hills and we were in austin. our first stop was the austin museum of art. which is a small institution that seems to have a great emphasis on education and community art.
the museum is more or less composed of a handful of buildings, about half of which are teaching facilities. but the main building is a gorgeous 1916 villa that sits on the edge of lake austin and has a wonderful series of historic gardens and outdoor sculptures.
my favorite exhibition was entitled ‘two takes on one space: lauren fensterstock and steve wiman.’ and it was breathtaking. unfortunately, there is no photography allowed, but i snagged this photo of my favorite piece from a quick google search.
site specific at AMOA. charcoal, paper, mirror.
[image via sienna patti contemporary.]
there’s this nightmarish, decaying feeling to this piece as it starts to creep through the house and spread along the floor. additionally, because one of the main components of the piece is charcoal, there are flecks of dark material and smudges throughout the house on the light-colored tile. it’s almost as if the piece has a life of its own, spreading as it pleases.
this may have been my favorite piece, but my favorite moment of the morning had little to do with art. during the time that we were exploring exhibitions and discussing them the kind of haughty way that we do (yeah, i’ll admit it), there were a number of elementary students doing the same. its amazing what children say, when given the chance to freely interpret something that they are puzzled by. anyway, this extraordinary group of seven and eight year olds were wonderfully behaved and respectful of the art. and as we tried to get out of their way while they climbed the stairs and made their way to a gallery down the hall a little boy looked up at my brother and said in an outside voice,
‘are you an artist???’
‘ugh… haha… um… sort of?’
i guess the kid really put clay on the spot, because he stumbled over his words enough that the little boy didn’t trust him at all. so instead, the kid turns to me and says,
‘is he an artist??’
‘yes, he is.’
and just like that, he lost interest. what a cheap thrill.
once we left the actual exhibition space, we had greater freedom with our photography, which we took full advantage of.
and as we made our way around the lush greenery and passed some wonderful sculptures, we passed yet another group of school children. they were exploring the sculptures and enjoying the cool day, chattering and laughing. and two little girls walked towards me, hand in hand, the way you do when you find your seven year old soul mate who never tires of your made up games and your singing. and then the one closest to me pointed at me straight in the face and said ‘YOU’RE PRETTY!’
aw, children. you must admire their honesty. HA.
but instead of giggling with them and telling them that they were such lovely little girls, the way a grown up might, i blushed and said thank you, as if our ages were reversed and i was the embarrassed child.
after we left the museum campus, we drove to the new branch of AMOA, called arthouse, which is an incredible contemporary art space in the heart of austin. again, its fairly small, but every piece that we saw was truly thought inspiring and impressive.
tony feher, dr. hawking, 2010.
[image via: arthouse]
from there, we walked miles and miles around austin, and eventually made our way to the stevie ray vaughan statue along the river.
from there, we wandered back through austin and took a drive through the university of texas, baffled by how large the university is. and yes, i’ll admit it, i was looking for the UT chapter of my sorority. which i couldn’t find and i’m still upset that it wasn’t on the maps around the university. UGH. but it was quickly getting later, and since we didn’t really want to hit any deer on the journey home, we decided to leave so we weren’t driving through the middle of nowhere in the darkness.
we did, have just enough light to take some photos on the way home.
if for nothing else but the cows.