Austin, TX

Here are a couple of drawings made a couple of years ago while Jeff and I were visiting our friends Greg and Kim in Texas. It was so lovely visiting these friends in their home to catch up, get a sense of how they were doing in their new-ish place (at that point they had moved there a year or so (?) earlier from the Northeast) and scope out out the town.  It was shortly after I had finished college and was looking to make a big move to somewhere that strong big focus on the arts. Of course Austin is known for its music, which drew Greg, but I felt confident that where there is a focus on music there is also a big appreciation for visual arts as well.  I've never been interested in perusing galleries and at that time as a painter, that seemed like one of my main plays for an arts career. Instead I wanted to find a place where I could focus on the arts at the community level. Get to know the people and families of an area that had some space for the arts in their life and get in there! Run classes, hold events, create a space for people to get involved and discover their part in the visual arts space, even if they didn't feel comfortable there at first. 

While there Greg and Kim had a cookout in their backyard and it was so wonderful! With a group of musicians in the backyard who of course came with their instruments, it lead to only one thing, an impromptu band practice. It was so nice getting to know some of these people and here their stories.  There was no trumpet at the party that night, but I was asked to draw it in as a tribute to a friend of theirs who had passed away in a fire a couple of years prior to that. I think the sketch of the buttons on the top left corner of the drawing below might have actually been drawn by Greg's friend Gene when he was trying to remind me which one the trumpet looked like.

While there I spend some time checking out a couple of galleries and speaking with some of the community and staff members in those spaces which confirmed for me that I could make an honest effort at a career in the community arts world in Austin. Jeff and I ended up deciding not to move for various reasons (including being secret suckers for the South Shore, MA), but I feel that if we had given it a go, it would have been another exciting path.

While exploring the city a bit we also stopped in the State House which was very impressive.  This room's ceiling went up several floors right through the middle to the top of the rotunda dome.