One of my favorite museums in Austin is AMOA-Arthouse at Laguna Gloria. The museum is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is a lovely area to visit and walk around. The grounds are located right next to Mount Bonnel and Mayfield Park, which are both gorgeous places to visit while you are out there as well. The last time I went to Laguna Gloria was last year during their amazing Art on the Green exhibit, where several artists made their own miniature golf course hole and allowed anyone to play on the course. I was excited to visit the museum again and check out the Furthest West exhibit by artist, Erin Curtis.
Erin Curtis is a local artist based in Austin and graduated with an MFA from UT in 2007. She uses a mixture of both painting and sculpture in her work. I became interested in her work after seeing some of it online and wanted to make the trip to see it. I’m glad I did because the effect was much different in person. As you walk up to the exhibit, there are sculptures leading up to the door and banners hanging above the walkway. These add a splash of color to the scenery and depict the kinds of shapes found in her paintings. When you walk inside, a tapestry hangs in the entryway of the exhibit. This piece was my favorite, because it used light in such a beautiful way. The front of the tapestry was completely illuminated and the back was mostly in shadow, with points of light coming through where she had cut repetitive designs into the tapestry. Although I don’t always enjoy abstract artwork, I absolutely loved Erin Curtis’ work. The vibrant colors and use of intricate design in her paintings made them beautiful to view. I also loved that though they were abstract, some of the paintings were reminiscent of architecture and city structures. In my current art history class, we’ve been studying patterning and decoration, so it was nice to see contemporary work in Austin that deals with these concepts. Her work reminds me of the paintings of Joyce Kozlof and Miriam Schapiro, whose work you should also check out if you are at all interested in abstract painting or pattern.
In addition to Erin Curtis’ work, two other artists have exhibitions up on the grounds that are worth checking out as well. One of the artists, Marriane Vitale, used left over parts from railroad tracks to create an amazing bridge-like structure in the shape of an X. If you enjoy sculpture, her work would be great to see. Laguna Gloria museum hours are from10 am- 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday. Furthest West will be on display until January 5th, so head on over to Laguna Gloria!