I like to share interesting art that I’ve found in my wanderings around Austin. This art excursion occurred back in March, when I explored a few East Austin galleries and public art pieces. Here’s an exhibit I really enjoyed at Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery: Austin artist Valerie Fowler‘s swirling, vivid, almost trippy paintings of the natural world.
Landscapes by Valerie Fowler
The exhibit of her covid-times paintings was called Earthshift: She Will Have Her Way With You.
Afterward, driving around East Austin, I spotted this creature-feature, ode-to-friendship mural at the southwest corner of Cesar Chavez and Robert T Martinez Jr Street. Will Hatch Crosby painted Hola Friend, he says, “to celebrate the cultural diversity of East Austin, and [it’s] also a tribute to Daniel Johnston’s iconic ‘Hi, How Are You’ mural.”
It’s irresistible, with a scaly, octopus-like creature popping up to say hello to a broken-horned, scaly, long-tailed bull.
This is all of us, re-emerging after the challenging last few years.
Bison Heart by Chris Levack
Turning onto E. Cesar Chavez Street, I spotted a large metal heart with a buffalo framed out in metal and filled with cedar logs. OK, gotta stop and take a closer look. It turns out this is a piece by artist and builder Chris Levack, whose organic-inspired work I’ve photographed in various gardens.
“This is one of the 11 Hearts on East Cesar Chavez. [Eleven] of us artists took large, metal hearts crafted by @magicalt73 and built our own vision onto them. My idea was based on the transitory nature of this street. Before it was 1st Street it was the main horse trail into town. Way before that it was a bluff overlooking the Colorado River where tens of thousands of bison would traverse the riverbed between the Blackland Prairie and the Hill Country. The juniper branches were culled from just upstream.”
In other words, it’s a ghost bison, evoking Austin’s natural history.
Tire planters at Lou’s
It wouldn’t be an art crawl without a drive-by of some funky Austin plantings. At a stoplight I spotted these stacked-tire planters of cactus and yuccas at Lou’s, a restaurant located where a tire shop used to be.
These plants are road warriors, in planters to match.
I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!
It’s succulent time at Austin Cactus & Succulent Society’s Fall Show & Sale on September 3rd and 4th at Austin Area Garden Center in Zilker Botanical Garden. Includes a plant show, plant and pottery sales, silent auction, and plant raffles. Open 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free with paid admission to the garden.
Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.