The massive Art Deco-inspired Seaholm Power Plant in downtown Austin has long captivated the imaginations of locals and visitors alike, and now after many years of dreaming and planning the retrofitted building is almost ready for its new occupants.
About 70 employees of Athenahealth — a software company — will move into the building near Cesar Chavez Street and Lamar Boulevard on Feb. 9. The Austin Business Journal was given a private tour of the facility, which is one component of the $100 million Seaholm LLC redevelopment. Read full article>>
It’s five in the morning and I’m somewhere off 51st Street with Austin’s most dangerous street artists.
Well, not exactly. It’s is really early and I am watching some of Austin’s finest street artists do their thing, but they aren’t actually very dangerous. In fact, they’re really a bunch of easy going guys who happen to be amazingly talented artists.
The Austin street art scene has become a growing and visceral part of the city’s overall vibe. If the music scene is the 2000 pound gorilla of Austin’s cultural landscape, then the street art community is its little brother. A little brother that is growing up fast.
All over midtown and across the east side, massive and beautiful murals spring up overnight on a weekly–and sometimes daily–basis. On barren walls and dumpsters, across busted fences and back alley doorways, these rattle can warriors are turning the mundane into the marvelous. From colorful and fantastic creatures to politically charged imagery, the street art of Austin is always cause to stop and admire the imagination behind the work.
The Texas Cultural Trust has released its 2015 State of the Arts report, which shows the impact that the arts have on the state. In addition to economic contributions (i.e., jobs and sales tax revenue generated) and travel and tourism dollars collected, for the first time the report also includes new data that demonstrate the powerful impact that arts education can have on student outcomes such as pass rates, test scores and attendance.
Texas’ 42 “art and culture” industries generated $5.1 billion in sales for the state and nearly $320 million in annual state sales tax in 2013. Those sales are up 24.6 percent from 2003, when the state saw $4.1 billion. Full story>>
Cherish your holiday memories with this special officer from Miller Blueprint! 18″ x 24″ Gallery-wrapped Giclee Canvas Print, just $84.62 and 18″x 24″ Print Mounted on 1/2″ White Foamboard, just $29.40. Continue reading →
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As consumers are increasingly accustomed to information in real time, retail stores and restaurants must adapt accordingly, changing prices, promotions and features, also in real time. Our new wide format printer, the RTI Vortex 4200, gives businesses the ability to move quickly, by providing faster print turnaround and superior image quality with print costs that are more than 40% less than traditional inkjet prints for in-store signage. Continue reading →
Graphic design trends are fickle friends. As soon as you’ve mastered a medium or style, it becomes unfashionable and your portfolio cliché. But never fear! We’ve compiled a list of five trends that are sure to be big hits this year. So get ahead of the curve and take note of what’s to come in 2015.
Temporary Tattoos – Looking for a new market for your design work? Consider temporary body art. Companies like Tattly (http://tattly.com/) and Flash Tattoos (http://www.flashtat.com/) offer exquisite, artful tattoos that last about six days. Forget those things you used to get in the Cracker Jack box – Tattly offers funky designs beloved by designers and other artists, and Flash sells tattoos that mimic gold and silver jewelry.
3D Printed Designs – 3D printing has become a major force in many design disciplines, and some designers are using it as a medium rather than just a tool. 3D printing allows designers to combine sculpture, digital art, and engineering in one project. And it allows remote collaboration (see previous item). Check out some amazing 3D work here: http://on3dprinting.com/tag/art/
Wide-Format – Inkjet printers that can output images as large as 48 inches have been around for over a decade, but designers are realizing that modern inkjets are simply way better than the bitmappy, slow, sloppy machines of old. Today’s equipment produces giant images that even old school film experts admire. If you have the file size, why go small?
Funky Point of View – Drones are not just for wars anymore! Shots from above, shots from below, shots through goggles, shots through rain…any image can improved if you take a fresh view. Proper framing techniques still matter, but photographers are more apt to use a smartphone camera’s viewfinder as the frame than two trees. See some examples here: http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1788#tabs1-point-of-view
Big architecture shows are hardly news these days, but the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 2014 – January 2016), is the first time the city of big shoulders has officially showed off its skyscrapers, bungalows, and other architectural gems since the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893!
But does that fact make it worth a visit? No, but here are a few reasons why a trip may be warranted, and a couple why you may want to skip it:
Reasons to Go
First, this isn’t just a Chicago show, it’s the “largest international survey of contemporary architecture in North America,” according to press releases. The show, which will run until January 2016, will include installations about established and emerging architects from throughout North America and beyond. So if you want to see what’s new in architecture all in one place, the show’s worth it.
Second, the architectural installations will be complemented by art installations and public programs curated by Theaster Gates. If you’re not familiar with this Renaissance man who believes art can transform neighborhoods, check him out here: www.theastergates.com. His involvement ensures that the Biennial will not be boring, nor will it ignore the people who really make up the fabric of a big city.
Third, the event promises to be more than just a collection of cool buildings. Here’s an excerpt from the city’s press release about the event:
“More than a profession or a repertoire of built artifacts, architecture is a dynamic cultural practice that manifests at different scales and through various media: buildings and cities, but also art, performance, film, landscape and new technologies. It permeates fundamental registers of everyday life—from housing to education, from environmental awareness to economic growth, from local communities to global networks. The State of the Art of Architecture will take stock of the extraordinary ways that architects, artists, designers, planners, activists, and policy makers from around the world are tackling such challenges today.” Read more here>>
Finally, if you love architecture, Chicago is simply a cool place to be. You can see the big name stuff – Mies van der Rohe, FL Wright – but also the street-level gems that make gritty city life better.
Reasons to Skip It
Ironically, the greatness of Chicago’s architecture is one reason you might want to skip the Biennial – you can see the best of Chicago’s architecture any day. Sure, the installations, tours, and other events will only happen during those months, but if the Robie House will still be there when the crowds leave.
Furthermore, visiting during the Biennial won’t be cheap. Even when nothing special is going on, finding a decent room in Chicago under $200 a night is not easy. Few schedule details about the Biennial have been released, but you can figure room rates will jump once news about the bigger events, such as the opening, are announced.
What the Heck…
In the end, you’ll probably be happy if you came. You’ll meet tons of people, see a cool city, and hopefully get inspired to do better work. Even if your wallet is a little lighter on your way home!
Each month, we’re featuring a local artist with whom we work. This month, we’re featuring Rodolfo Ybarra and his piece “The Fiery Maguey”. Look for a print in our downtown and North Austin locations! Continue reading →