Over the holidays the Z and I, taking a short break from over-consumption, heeded the cultural call and decided to check out Arthouse, the recently re-opened contemporary art space in downtown Austin. It was as much an opportunity to broaden the ol' horizons as it was a mission to check out the competition (only so many benefactors to go around, you see).
The building, mid-19th century, just underwent quite the renovation: a $6.6 mil capital campaign and a tripling of the useful space, including a pretty swell members only rooftop. They did it right, LTL Architects, forward-looking but with a nod toward the building’s considerable history.
The space is incredibly versatile – a wall-less, column-free second story allows for an exhibition to be sprawled out in to-tal.
As a lover of merriment in general I really took to Jason Middlebrook's More Art About Buildings and Food. It literally captures the essence of the renovation, incorporating salvaged materials and repurposing them into tables, benches, chairs, etc. These pieces, in addition to a recipe-adorned 15-ft high wall running the length of the floor, made for an enjoyable exhibit.
ARTHOUSE AT THE JONES CENTER
700 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701