February Artist of the Month, Kiah Denson, Displays a Special Flair

We are pleased to celebrate our February Artist of the Month, Kiah Denson. As a born and raised Austinite, Kiah uses the energy of nature and travel to create striking colorful and abstract images that leap off the canvas or page.

She graduated from Colorado College in 2005, earning a BA in Studio Art with a Distinction in Art. Upon graduation, Kiah started her own decorative painting business. After a few years, she began creating fine art again, and has been steadily expanding and exploring her practice ever since.  

Kiah lives in the outskirts of Austin, TX surrounded by green fields, trees and streams. She works primarily in her sunny home studio, and also maintains a space at Canopy where she meets with clients and displays her finished work (by appointment). When she isn’t creating art, she can likely be found wandering in nature or swimming with her furry four-legged sidekick, Kali

Kiah Denson Artist Austin
Featured Print, “What Remains III.”

Kiah states that her “artmaking process is a transfer and release of invisible, internal energy onto a visible, external surface.” Within her work, she utilizes the natural unpredictability and fluidity of her materials to her advantage to “explore various processes, aesthetics and techniques.” She describes the featured piece, ‘”What Remains III”, as initially birthed “as a triptych but became more [part] of a 3 part mini-series. It was the first time I incorporated watercolor into my work, which had previously only been acrylic and ink. I was enjoying the experiment; the watercolors were so mineral-y and unique. I was going for a lyrical, energetic composition that felt light, spacious, and earthy.”  These pieces inspired her to create a collection, “The Little Things,” which debuted at Austin’s own Link and Pin Gallery mid-2017.

 

“What Remains I”

Kiah gives high praise to Miller IDS and Dana Burton, Graphics Specialist for Miller IDS, when she states she doesn’t go anywhere else to document her small pieces. “It has always meant a lot to me that from the beginning she remembered me (and now, knows me) and goes the extra mile to make me and my work feel important. My pieces aren’t very easy to scan, but she works really hard to keep the details from dropping out, gets the whites white and the blacks black, adjusts weird blues and other colors that the scanner doesn’t like much, prints out multiple proofs, and sometimes, if it still doesn’t look right, she’ll adjust even more. It amazes me still that I can get that kind of service and attention for what I end up paying. Worth it every time. Plus, Dana is a genuine, delightful person, and she has even taken the time to come to some of my art events….I’m grateful that people like Dana and places like Miller exist and thrive, keeping the old school vibe alive.”

“What Remains II”

You can find Kiah’s work and story in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Austin Way Magazine, Inside Austin, Luxe San Diego. Additionally, you can find her work in galleries in Charlotte, NC, Houston, TX, and Greenwood, MS.

To see more of Kiah’s work and story, click here

Oct / Nov Artist of the Month: Ethan Azarian

Our Artist of the month for both October AND November is Ethan Azarian. His painting, 1870 Our Lady of Guadalupe, is featured in our East 7th Street location right now. 
 
“I live and work full-time as a visual artist in Austin, Texas. I realized early on in my career that it was important to diversify, be open to and embrace the many different ways there are of making a living from creating art. One way to do this was to create a space to exhibit my paintings, so I turned my house into a gallery and called it the In House Gallery, which existed from 1999 to 2014. In 2015 Blue Cow Studio was born. Blue Cow Studio is both studio and gallery space which we had built in the back yard. My wife Melissa and I exhibit our own work as well as host and curate exhibitions with Texas based artists. 
 
Recently I have been concentrating on large public works of art in the form of murals. Some of these murals have been funded through the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division and are collaborations with local elementary and high school students as well as members of the community in Austin. In September 2016 I was invited to Angers, France to create a large outdoor mural with art students at Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts. Through these community arts projects (both locally and internationally) I realized just how much I enjoy and am inspired by working with fellow artists and members of the community. I enjoy sharing my artistic process as well as connecting with communities I am working with.
 
In addition I exhibit my paintings in galleries, cafes, libraries and schools. I have permanent works on display at the Robert B. Green Clinic and the University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas as well as the Wilton Mall in Saratoga Springs, New York. “
 
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July Featured Artist: Casie Warnke

Like most everyone, our July Featured Artist is fascinated by the human face. 


Casie Warnke has been drawing, including portraits, since she was a kid. As she became older, she realized that she had a fascination for people’s faces. She believes that she can feel people’s energy and that the eyes are truly the windows to the soul. She feels someone’s emotions through their face, and transfers it through her hands and fingers onto paper. As she says, “It’s a beautiful thing.” She is amazed that her work makes people feel things as well.

Since her parents really wanted her to go to college, she went to art school because it was the only thing she could think of that she was interested in. While she developed her craft somewhat in school, it didn’t really blossom until she moved to Austin and immersed herself in artist communities. That’s when she finally realized that she had truly found her purpose and now, she’s happy that she continues to improve. 

 

 

You can experience Casie’s talents at artbycasie@gmail.com and visit her website – www.artbycasie.com 

The Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas

SMPS Project Tour: Dell Seton Medical Center Open House

Please join us for a look at The Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. This 520,000 SF teaching hospital, together with the Dell Medical School, will transform the way healthcare is delivered in Central Texas. 

Community Invitation: Help celebrate the opening of Dell Seton Medical Center, a teaching hospital built by Seton Healthcare Family. Preview the state-of-the art facility at a community open house featuring behind-the-scene tours, simulations, music and more! Designed to enhance patient care, support medical education and advance innovation, Dell Seton Medical Center will begin accepting patients on May 21. 

Highlights of the new hospital include:

  • New home for our region’s only Level I Trauma Center for adults
  • Designed to support medical education and collaboration among doctors, nurses, researchers, staff, students, patients and families
  • 211 beds in operation (including 135 Acute Care & 60 Critical Care/Universal beds), designed to add up to 135 beds in the future
  • More operating rooms and more space for diagnostic and therapeutic support
  • Pedestrian and bike friendly campus designed to attain LEED certification as a green building

In addition to providing better care closer to home, The Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas is poised to become an economic catalyst for the Austin area. 15,000 new jobs are expected to be created, directly and indirectly through a new medical district.

Project team members include:

JE Dunn Construction (General Contractor), HKS (Architect & Structural), WSP (MEP), Garza EMC (Civil for Hospital) and Stantec (Civil for Medical District). The tour will be directed by Greg Euston, Vice President and Project Executive at JE Dunn Construction and Michael Shald, Vice President and Architect at HKS.

View all open house events here.

Skyline Theatre at the Long Center signage Miller IDS

Making Directional Signage More Interesting

 

Skyline Theatre at the Long Center signage Miller IDS

Skyline Theatre at the Long Center signage Miller IDS

Recently, we had the opportunity to design and print signage for the Skyline Theater at the Long Center. Our designer, Justin Espinosa, crafted this signage to help direct concert-goers during their visit and enhance their experience. Like all good wayfinding signage, this work catches the eye, informs and reflects the feel of the venue. And with so many talented acts performing here, we are happy to help the Live Music Capital live up to its billing.

If you visit Skyline Theater and see the Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul on September 11th you can take a look and see the signage yourself!

Our Sign is Back

sign arrivalWe are SO excited about the arrival of our iconic and much-loved sign at our 7th Street location today!

As the sign had been serving our downtown location for years, it needed a bit of sprucing up! We used the move east as an opportunity to freshen it up before bringing it over. So many of our customers have been asking about it; we were pleased to know everyone else loved it as much as we do and we’re so happy it’s back!

sign upIt’s busy both inside and outside today, but we are always glad to see you, so stop by soon to say check out the sign, get a cup of coffee or just say hi!

 

 

 

busy

Miller IDS’ Featured August Artist

Our August artist, Heidi Miller Lowell, is a long-time Austin resident. First teaching in our public schools, she then launched the town’s beloved Artery, which offers an art collective,  summer camp and and provides nursing home classes in art.

The Artery’s goal is “for each artist to come away from each lesson with a sense of joy and desire to create more art“. Heidi’s extensive reading of current brain research has informed the Artery’s teaching philosophy, believing that just as stress makes brain waves more active and agitated, art calms them. The school concentrates on product over process and goes out to many of the area’s elder care homes regularly.

Heidi feels art is an expression of being alive; its creation is an outlet for all the joy, hope, sadness and love in one’s heart. Though she has used multiple media, watercolors are her favorite medium at this time; watercolors require that you release some control, which she finds meditative. She paints whatever inspires her, often from nature. “Pelican”, featured here is a delicately beautiful rendering of the bird, whose meaning as a spirit animal connotes confidence and calm.

Printing this and other works at Miller IDS, Heidi enjoys coming in as she feels “everyone is so nice, down to earth and friendly – very Austin! – and Dana has been so helpful with my prints”. More of Heidi’s work may be enjoyed on the Artery’s website.

Fed Report says Austin business still strong and growing — but at a slower rate

austin-overtures-sightseeingFrom today’s Austin Business Journal:

In at least one key economic indicator, the stellar growth of Austin’s business scene is slowing down and has been for some time, according to data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas this month.

That indicator is the Business Cycle Index, a key metric followed by economists for its insight into broad economic trends at the national, state and local level. It looks most closely at changes in the local unemployment rate, nonagricultural employment, wages and retail sales. For the Austin area, the business-cycle index expanded at an adjusted rate of 7.1 percent in May. That’s far lower than the 10.7 percent business-cycle expansion seen in January 2015, the highest point of the index since the Austin region emerged from the Great Recession.

But a more troubling indicator is the fact that the business cycle index has dropped consistently since that point. At 7.1 percent, Austin is still above its average long-term growth rate of 6 percent. The last time Austin dipped below the long-term growth average was in 2007, as the Great Recession began to set in. By mid-2008, the slide had continued and Austin’s business-cycle index dropped into the negative — economic contraction — for more than a year. It wasn’t until late 2009 that Austin’s economy began to grow again, according to the index.

Other metrics from the same report show positive trends, but with some caveats. For instance, annualized job growth was 2.5 percent in May, well above the 0.4 percent job growth seen in Texas and the 0.3 percent job growth seen across the U.S. The largest share of that growth came in the trade, transportation and utilities industry, which makes up 17.5 percent of Austin’s employers. That industry grew by 6.5 percent in May. But manufacturing, which makes up 5.8 percent of Austin’s economy, saw employment shrink by 6.4 percent in May. Also of note: the leisure and hospitality industries saw employment shrink in Austin by 0.9 percent, a surprising contraction after that industry’s employment had been in expansion mode since January.

Meanwhile, year-over-year change in real wages paid increased 10.5 percent in Austin compared to 2.6 percent in Texas and 4.3 percent nationwide. Further, Austin’s unemployment rate continues to hover around 3 percent, compared to 4.4 percent in Texas and 4.7 percent in the U.S. Average hourly earnings in Austin rose to $26.55 per hour, more than a dollar above the national average and more than two dollars above the statewide average, which has been hurt by a sluggish oil and gas economy.

Additional information>>>

Massive surf park east of Austin hits legal snags over pool permit

surf park austinAn update from the Austin American-Statesman:

Travis County is on the verge of a court fight with a massive, unopened surf park over a disagreement about whether the park just east of Austin needs a swimming pool permit.

The Commissioners Court last week authorized lawyers to sue the operators of NLand Surf Park, saying the park is being built without conforming to county and state health and safety codes. The suit has not yet been filed.

“Such legal action is essential to protecting Travis County and its citizens,” County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said.

NLand Surf Park, which developers boast will be the first inland surfing facility of its kind in North America, is under construction near Texas 71, east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Contractors are building a lagoon the size of nine football fields that will include artificial waves for 11 surfing areas, according to NLand’s website.

The project is the brainchild of Doug Coors, a member of Colorado’s famous brewing family. Its opening date is unclear.

Attorneys for NLand and Travis County have been negotiating for months over whether the lagoon counts as a public swimming pool and, thus, requires a permit. NLand believes it does not, arguing that the rainwater-fed lagoon is more similar to a lake.

The park’s attorney, Richard Suttle, said the American-Statesman’s call was the first he had heard of Tuesday’s vote and said he was “completely blindsided” that the county would file a lawsuit before the park opened.

“This is a one-of-a-kind in the world (facility), and we are still working the logistics out on water quality,” he said.

State law defines a swimming pool as any “artificial body of water, including a spa, maintained expressly for public recreational purposes.” It requires pools to administer chlorine to keep bacteria from exceeding safe limits and meet other sanitary requirements.

NLand will treat its water with chlorine and has a water quality monitoring system to make sure the water is safe and does not exceed state bacterial standards, Suttle said. But the lagoon is too large to comply with other requirements of a pool, such as refiltering water every six hours, he said.

At least two wakeboardparks exist within Travis County, and neither has a pool permit from the city of Austin, which handles all pool permits in the city and unincorporated areas of the county. Suttle said he tried to raise that point with county officials.

“Their explanation to me was: ‘Just because someone else is speeding down I-35 and we don’t give them a ticket doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give you a ticket,’ ” he said.

Though NLand’s Facebook page continues to insist it will be open in “early summer,” Suttle said the park is months, not weeks, away from opening. A wastewater treatment plant built specifically for the site is set to be online in a few weeks, and that will make it possible to start bringing personnel to the site, he said.

The facility’s website shows job openings for a director of facilities, cafe cook, beer brewer, surf shop clerk, guest ambassador, cashier, bartender and dishwasher, as well as several surf coaches.

Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez, whose precinct includes the park site, declined to say what caused the move to legal action now. She called NLand an interesting project.

“They still have a lot of things to complete, but if they get it together and it’s well-run, kids love that stuff,” she said.

Full story>>>

Find out where Austin’s economy is heading

RECA-VerticalAt the Economic Forecast Lunch during the RECA Exchange scheduled for August 9, Real Estate Center of Texas A&M Chief Economist Dr. James Gaines will give share his latest insight and analysis on the local, statewide and national economies and their impact on the commercial real estate industry.

RECA’s half day Exchange brings together hundreds of Austin’s commercial real estate professionals to network and learn about hot topic issues. The event is open to both members and non-members and tickets may be purchased on the RECA website.