Miller IDS’ Featured March Artist

Miller courtney holder broken spokeThis month, our Featured Artist is Courtney Holder.  Courtney began oil painting at age 9, and it’s still her favorite medium, especially for personal pieces like our featured “Broken Spoke”. She believes “oils deliver a spectrum and depth of color and flexibility that’s hard to beat and that punch of color that really resonates with the neon colors and swirl of movement that permeate the music and dancing that takes center stage at places like the Broken Spoke”.

Courtney wants her paintings to tell a story – and this painting beautifully tells a story about a nostalgic place encrusted with emotions and memories that mean so much to generations of Austinites. The Spoke is one of the first places Courtney heard live music as a kid, and it’s where she later went boot scoot’n with her now husband. In her own words, “you may recognize some of the regulars in the painting; while the city grows with the new wave of hipsters and progressives, some Austin mainstays dig in their heels and refuse to change. When I drive by the Spoke on my way home, with all its character hanging out all over the place, and surrounded by shiny new towering apartments and lofts, all that rusted metal, dirt and neon glow the Spoke gives off just makes me smile. It’s good to see, that some stories never change.” You can enjoy more of Courtney’s artwork on her website.

Miller IDS’ February Featured Artist

Poppy Fields ForeverMiller IDS’s Featured Artist this month is Lynn Kessel. As a child, Lynn played with art extensively, encouraged by her artist father. However, college and a business career took her time and attention and it was twenty years later before she heard the call and took up a brush again.

Also changing career paths, Lynn returned to school for her Master’s degree and is now a Counselor working with at-risk youth in Williamson County, and has been instrumental in successfully infusing art into the program.

Lynn prefers watercolors and acrylics, primarily painting the flora and fauna she finds near her Georgetown home or on her travels. Her bright colors and tight focus bring the natural beauty of her subject directly to the observer. Her images appear on multiple gift items and her paintings are sold through the Artisans Connect Gallery in Georgetown and she exhibits her work annually at the Georgetown Red Poppy Festival in April.  Her website is www.lynnkesselart.com.

How a savvy businesswoman helped bring Antone’s back downtown

miller antone'sFrom today’s Austin Business Journal:

Thanks to the business and real estate matchmaking skills of Meredith Sanger at the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Antone’s blues club is settling into its new home.

Antone’s co-owner Will Bridges said the Alliance “is really under-credited” for finding appropriate real estate for local businesses in the tight and pricey downtown market.

Bridges and his partners, including musician Gary Clark Jr. and Susan Antone, had been looking long and hard for the right place to re-establish Antone’s, which had its genesis in 1975 when Clifford Antone opened the blues club at Sixth and Brazos streets in a former furniture warehouse. Over the years, the club moved several times.

The club’s cachet survived — greats such as B.B. King and Muddy Waters performed there — even when Clifford Antone served two prison terms stemming from drug trafficking and money laundering charges. He died in 2006 at age 56.

In subsequent years, the club operated at Fifth and Lavaca streets but moved to East Riverside Drive in 2013.

“We knew we had to represent Antone’s in the right way,” Bridges said. “We talked to a lot of people and made a lot of runs at a lot of places. We were looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Enter Sanger, who enjoys a challenge. She lured nationally lauded Houndstooth Coffee to a spot in the Frost Bank Tower and persuaded Portland, Oregon-based Voodoo Doughnuts to open its first Texas store on East Sixth Street.

“Will gave me an idea of where they wanted to be and I could tell that the Maxey’s building didn’t look like what he wanted — at least at first,” Sanger said. “But once he got in there he realized it was a hidden gem in downtown.”

Bridges expected it to be “all offices, but then we saw the beams and columns, I just knew that was the spot. Something with soul, great bones. It just spoke to us.” Additional information>>>

Miller IDS’ Featured Artist January 2016

Miller don collins noah cox house 600This month, we are especially proud to highlight the work of Don Collins, whose beautiful artwork has graced our annual calendar for each of the past 38 years! This decades-long process of calendar design began over coffee when Robert Lambie Miller expressed dissatisfaction with the commercial calendars then available, and suggested that Don do something on a more local level. The result was well received, hence the 38-year tradition. You may recognize the featured work “Noah Cox House, Roma, Texas” from the cover of our 2016 calendar.

Don has traveled the back roads and long-deserted main streets of Texas for years, searching for unique images reflecting a Texas that existed in the past. His inspired drawings and paintings breathe life back into the old homes, courthouses, shanties and industrial sites he finds.

Raised in rural Parker County, Don attended NTAC and Texas Tech before army service during the Korean conflict, completing his final year at UT Austin. Settling in Austin, Don was an active commercial/easel artist for 52 years, serving a broad array of clients, including architects, builders, NASA contractors, publishers, state agencies, and many others.  As a painter, he participated in scores of venues throughout the Southwest, initially depicting wildlife, and later broadening into character studies, landscapes, and historic/vernacular architecture.  Still active at a somewhat more relaxed pace, he welcomes commission work, and is at the board daily, doing art for the sheer pleasure of it.  Don has also co-authored the popular book, Traces of Forgotten Places: An Artist’s Thirty-Year Exploration and Celebration of Texas as It Was. Don has produced more than 300 works for our calendars, allowing us to share his passion for our state with our customers.  Additional work and contact information are available on his website.

We So Appreciate the Bravos from The Long Center!

“I just wanted to let you know what an amazing job your staff does for us on a daily basis! Anytime I call Ian he is always willing to take on any project I may have and always suggests the best materials for our budget. We had an enormous event this past Sunday- and Ian was on top of all of our collateral needs and had them delivered on time. We had over 3800 people attend with 14 participating arts organizations. We would not have been able to have the event run so smoothly without his attention to detail! Tessa & Caleb are also very courteous and responsive.
You have a great team! And your team always makes us look good! Thank you for all the Miller does for us!”

Susan Griffen, Marketing Administrative Manager, The Long Center

Austin’s creative class makes up a big percentage of local workforce

Austin-City-Limits-Festival-ACL-2014-Weekend-One-Day-Two-ATT-Gigapower-Graffiti-Artist-Lucas-Aoki_115233The 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>>