Monday, April 19, 2010

Art - Where To Go in ATX

Spring Art Fix
Where to go when you’re looking for Art

By Jo Anna Ordóñez

As nature is in full bloom in the Texas Hill Country, we are blessed with an abundance of magnificent Artists in this area and many places showcasing their works. Here are some suggestions for those days when you might want to get out and enjoy the Art Austin has to offer.

Austin Museum of Art
(AMOA, 823 Congress
Avenue ,

The Austin Museum of Art has two locations in Austin that offer a wide variety of galleries and exhibits showcasing a myriad of art. From contemporary art to educational programs, tours, performances and more, there is always something for every member of the family. They also feature a wonderful assortment of works by local artist in their Gift Shop. The Downtown location offers art for the broad general audience while AMOA-Laguna Gloria a historic look at the beginnings of the museum as well as classes. Visit them today for a great day of learning, exploration, discovery and fun.

Mexic Arte Museum
(419 Congress Avenue,

Mexic-Arte Museum is a fine example of Austin’s finest coming together to offer the community a glimpse into Mexican American Fine Art through programs and education. It was founded in 1984 by artist Sylvia Orozco, Sam Coronado and Pio Pulido and today has grown to into a cornerstone of the arts and cultural community in Austin. They hold the high honor of being designated as the Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas by the 78th Legislature of the State of Texas.

With its many programs, artists are showcased and inspired though participating in many outreach projects. Through the summer, there will be several exhibits including Imagining Mexico: Expressions in Popular Culture and Photographs of The Revolution by Agustin Victor Casasola.

La Peña Museum and Art Gallery
(3rd Street & Congress Avenue,

Cynthia and Lydia Perez were inspired by the South American custom of community gatherings, known as Pena’s. Traditionally, Pena’s are festivals where local artisans gather to share art, music, poetry and performances. This concept led to their creation of the La Peña gallery in 1981 and along with it a desire to bring about the promotion of artistic expression in the community. La Peña's mission is to support artistic development, to provide exposure to emerging local visual artists, musicians, poets and other performing artists, and to offer Austin residents the full spectrum of traditional and contemporary Latino art.

This gallery has become a cornerstone of cultural life in central Texas.

There are many exhibits throughout the year that feature local artisans and school children, but it is the Toma Mi Corazón Exhibit that brings in several hundred pieces of art that are all auctioned in order to help fund the exhibits and community outreach programs. Visit the Women without Borders Exhibit through April and consider taking a Pastel Class too.

The Benini Foundation and Sculpture Ranch
(Shiloh Road, Johnson City, Texas,

On this great weekend getaway just about an hours drive from Central Austin, you will be richly rewarded with a visit to the Benini Foundation and Sculpture Ranch. It’s located 1.2 miles West of Johnson City, just watch for the Steel and Chrome Longhorn Sculpture on the left and you’re almost there. Not only will you see natures bounty in full spectrum of color, you will also be pleasantly surprised by the Art and Sculptures to behold on this beautiful 140-acre display of imagination.

Originally a showcase for the paintings and sculpture of artist Benini, the Sculpture Ranch has evolved into a living work of art and facility that include a Studio Building, Fine Arts Library with Exhibits and Sculptures by Artist from Texas and around the world. A picnic is a must for this ride and there is so much to see. From metal to stone, glass and works of art by Mother Nature, the whole family can enjoy this beautiful site and it’s free!

JoAnna Ordóñez is a local glass artisan and owner of Vidriosa Glassworks. Her work can be found at her Discover Art Attack Studio (701 Goforth Road in Kyle) at The Lucky Lizard (412 East 6th Street), Things She Adores (2306 E. Cesar Chavez, Suite 101), The Oasis Gift Shop (Comanche Lane) The Old Mill Store (Wimberly Square) and Local Art Shows. Visit her online at

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